Home THE BUZZ ONYX is the new black

ONYX is the new black


A Collector’s look at the new AIR MILES ONYX Program

By: Tracey Drake, Editor in Chief, exclusively for NICHE magazine

In my professional world, fashion changes its mind daily, travel is a job prerequisite and luxury goods fly across my desk for review on a regular basis. So, I get jaded and product inundation is something that I deal with non- stop and so, when I learned about the new ONYX Personal Shopper Service from AIR MILES, I wasn’t sure a new Collector program, no matter what the retail perks, could even come close to wowing me. I was wrong!

Armed with my Onyx Card and 6,426 reward miles, I set out to see what treasures or trinkets I could find on the AIR MILES’ website (airmiles.ca). I was tempted by a stunning Michael Kors Pippa silver-tone watch, and had my eye on a long weekend in Las Vegas. However, I opted to use my reward miles to get the things I really wantedonyx1

I booked a free flight to Toronto to attend Fashion Week. How cool is that? Booking a flight on the airmiles.ca website was actually really easy, took all of about five minutes, and the email follow-up from my Onyx rep was impressive. The courteous rep wanted to make sure my flight booking went smoothly and if there was anything else I needed. I love personalized service. I was impressed.

onyx2I have had my eye on a very special pair of Christian Dior Paname Sunglasses. These cats-eye beauties are very common in black and tortoise shell, but I really wanted the rarer chocolate brown colour. So, I decided to try out the AIR MILES Personal Shopper Service for Onyx members only. I was told the personal shopping service would attempt to find me anything I desired, and once found, my personal shopper would send me a quote detailing how many AIR MILES it would cost me.

I was given the option of calling a special Onyx members only phone number or making contact via email. Given my busy schedule, email is always easier, and I crafted a short email, stating the item I was looking for. Within fifteen minutes of sending the email, I received a reply asking me to confirm my shopper request, to make sure they were looking for the right item. The next morning, I received a lovely email from my personal shopper, Emma, who confirmed she was hot on the trail of those elusive Dior sunglasses. If they could be found, she would get back to me within five business days with a quote. I was skeptical. Dior is often hard to find in Canada.

I waited… rather impatiently I must admit. But can you blame me? I had been coveting these delicious Dior glasses for many months. I was sure the email would come back that they could only be found in black or tortoise and would I like to substitute.

Six days later (but truly just four business days), the email arrived and it was fabulous news! My new shopping angel, Emma had found the glasses – and in chocolate brown! After providing me with the quote for 2,400 AIR MILES reward miles (take them!) and asking me to sign off on quote acceptance (with bells on!), the Dior sunglasses were ordered, and two weeks later, in the midst of the summer sunshine, I was united with my dreamy Dior sunnies via Canada Post Xpresspost. Throughout the entire process, Emma provided shipping status, checked in with me and followed up.

I was no longer just impressed. I was downright smitten.

No other points or rewards card that I carry (and trust me, I have them all!) even comes close to this personal shopping experience. For someone like me, who is immersed in retail, fashion and lifestyle, I am hard pressed to find a single reason why I wouldn’t want to throw all my fashionable eggs into this one collector card basket.

Step aside orange… ONYX is the new black.


onyx3AIR MILES ONYX in a nutshell:

Formerly just Blue and Gold collector statuses, AIR MILES recently introduced a new echelon of member status – Onyx – reserved for members who collect at least 6,000 or more miles in a single year. It is a way for AIR MILES to reward their best Collectors, providing Collectors with exclusive benefits like better access to airline seats, discounts of up to 40% off cash companion fares on WestJet and Air Canada flights, preferred pricing on cruises and vacation packages, merchandise for up to 50% fewer reward miles, discounts on leisure and entertainment, invitations to events and contests, and of course, exclusive access to the Personal Shopper Service. For more information, check out airmiles.ca/onyx



For anyone that is already an AIR MILES Collector, and wants to get to ONYX status faster, I recommend trying the following:

  • Apply for a credit card that is associated with AIR MILES and use it for all your day to day purchases. Oftentimes, there are special offers that double your AIR MILES. These reward miles add up fast! For example, American Express offers a Platinum AIR MILES Credit Card and Collectors can earn additional reward miles when shopping at participating AIR MILES Sponsors.
  • Shop more frequently at participating AIR MILES Sponsors and watch for incentives and bonus offers to earn more points.
  • If you’re like me and love to shop online, start every retail therapy adventure at airmilesshops.ca. Login and your reward miles will be automatically monitored for you. Whether you love to auction hunt on eBay.ca, shop for fashion at Hudson’s Bay, Macy’s or Anthropologie, or pick up a new gadget from the Apple Store, there are more than 100 of your favourite stores that can help you earn AIR MILES reward miles faster.

My #1 tip: I downloaded the airmilesshops.ca toolbar for my internet browser. It alerts me while I’m shopping if the store does or doesn’t accept or allow me to earn AIR MILES, displays my current CASH and DREAM balances, and provided a convenient one-click pull down bar to shop at an AIR MILES partner web wide!