The ListExpert Talk: Vikas Chandak, SVP of InterMiles (Formerly JetPrivilege) On How You...

Expert Talk: Vikas Chandak, SVP of InterMiles (Formerly JetPrivilege) On How You Can Make The Most Of Your Miles

Air miles act as fantastic perks for frequent fliers but the real value of air miles is way beyond that. There’s a lot of research that needs to be done before you can conclude which reward scheme is the best. Moreover, with Covid-19 putting a halt to frequent flying, those air miles are doing nothing but collecting dust and lost hopes. But is it really so?

The Channel 46 was in conversation with SVP & Head of Business & Strategic Partnerships of InterMiles, Mr Vikas Chandak, who helped us understand the rebranding of JetPrivilege and lots of insider tips on earning benefits from air miles! 

1. It’s going to be a year since JetPrivilege has rebranded to InterMiles. How has that transition been for the programme and for its members?

For the last five years, we have established a clear, differentiated growth strategy to emerge as a  ubiquitous reward currency of choice. In our new avatar as InterMiles, we have doubled down on customer-centricity in our approach and as consumer behaviours and aspirations continue to evolve,  we are perfectly poised to become a valuable new digital currency that unlocks exciting, meaningful and relevant experiences – both essential and aspirational – for our members. We have also built opportunities to accumulate InterMiles every day, like a very rewarding habit as opposed to being occasion-driven. Earning and redeeming has never been easier even with our vast partner network that offers diverse and valuable opportunities across multiple categories to our members. Therefore, whether it is shopping for essentials, dining out or the search for new services in healthcare or education, InterMiles represents new rewarding journeys. Members can earn InterMiles across our 150+ partner sites and unlock rewards across Amazon, Flipkart and over 2,500 merchandise options on the InterMiles Reward Store.

2. What are the three top ways to earn InterMiles? 

Using our co-brand credit cards helps members turbo-charge their earnings and subsequent tier growth, with double-dip benefits. That being said, the beauty of the InterMiles programme is that members can make it their own and use it as per their convenience and needs. With our InterMiles  Everyday proposition, we have extended an expanded range of opportunities that enable members to broad-base their earning potential of the digital rewards currency, InterMiles. Hence, the top ways to earn InterMiles can differ from member-to-member depending on their unique lifestyle and spending. 

For those who travel frequently, booking hotels & flights on InterMiles would be the best way to earn Miles. For some others, it could be shopping, fitness, learning, or playing games online. The expansive partner portfolio offers a gamut of opportunities for members to engage with the programme in ways that best suit them. 

3. Is it recommended to use InterMiles for last-minute flights? 

At InterMiles, our redemption portfolio has been tailored to keep our members and the diversity of their needs in mind. While advance travel planning offers greater benefits, if a member faces unplanned or last-minute travel bookings, the InterMiles programme offers flexibility to use Miles in part or for the entire value of the ticket. For advance bookings, members can find flight options which offer routes at fixed Miles value. 

4. Does it necessarily mean that if one has Miles in a specific airline’s program, they are locked into redeeming awards from that airline alone? 

While with any traditional Frequent Flyer Program that is exactly what the situation would be,  InterMiles – being an airline agnostic programme, does not restrict redemption options based on where members earn their Miles from. If a member has booked their ticket with one airline and earned InterMiles on it, they could redeem those Miles to book a flight with any other airline on our platform. Members can also redeem InterMiles, that were earned with flight bookings or even through other transactions, for any reward of their choice from our Reward Store. This could be in the form of vouchers, OTT subscriptions or a range of household products. Hence, the choice of how to utilize their Miles and engage with the programme is totally in our members’ control. 

5. Can we redeem InterMiles for cash?

We believe that the proposition behind accumulating Miles towards a dream redemption is far greater in value than redeeming for cash. InterMiles today is a ubiquitous currency. With changing aspirations in a new-normal world, it represents a currency that is more valuable for the breadth & depth of experiences it offers. Whether it is flights or stays at any destination, shopping for essentials or the search for new services in healthcare or education, InterMiles represents new rewarding journeys. 

6. What are some common promotional seasons one should look out for to maximize InterMiles and get great offers on upgrades and tickets? 

As we work with a vast, diverse partner portfolio, many of our events & promotions are in sync with their sales calendars to ensure members can avail double-dip benefits at every possible opportunity. It would be advisable for members to look out for Diwali, Christmas, New Year, Republic  Day, Independence Day sale events by our partner platforms to maximize their Miles accrual as well as tap into the holiday seasons for redemption options. 

We recently launched, ‘Miles Frenzy’ – our first-ever festive offering for members. Here, members were offered the opportunity to multiply their Miles earnings when booking flights & hotels, as well as double their Miles earnings & get Mega Bonuses up to 7000 Miles & other benefits while shopping on Amazon and Flipkart. This event witnessed an encouraging response from our members; we look forward to launching similar events in the future to ensure our members derive maximum value for their festive spends and to establish InterMiles as the preferred gateway for all festive shopping &  travel needs. 

7. A lot of people have decided not to fly this year due to the unforeseen pandemic. What can they do with their frequent flier miles?

The intent and aspiration to travel are very strong amongst our member base. Our recently released InterMiles Consumer Sentiment Index Report has highlighted that 60% of people would look at travelling domestically before February 2021, while 9% were ready to pack their bags within September 2020 itself. For these consumers, InterMiles offers an arena of opportunities to earn and redeem Miles on flights and stays. 

For those members who choose to postpone their travel, our programme offers umpteen other ways to use their Miles, including shopping, filing fuel, and subscribing to OTT platforms and magazines. 

8. Lastly, can you give us some insider secrets on earning more benefits?

InterMiles, with a strong partner ecosystem and diverse product offering, is a programme that has so much to offer everyone. Here are a few tips to help members maximize their benefits from the program. 

  • Try to earn Miles across all categories. No matter what the intended spend is on, there are  extremely high chances that InterMiles will have a relevant, preferred partner in its ecosystem to  help earn Miles on every transaction 
  • Use InterMiles’ co-brand credit cards for every transaction. They have amazing joining bonuses in the form of Miles, great offers and can help members earn up to 8 Miles for every ₹150 they spend.  Not to mention the double-dip earning benefits co-brand cards provide  
  • Make InterMiles a daily lifestyle habit. It will help members earn Miles for something as simple as taking a walk or playing an online game every single day! 
  • Earn enough Miles to jump through the programme Tiers. Tier programs come bundled with some  extremely valuable travel & lifestyle benefits as well as help you accumulate miles even faster with  Tier bonuses (up-to 75%)  
  • Look for sub-programs like MyFamily+ to suit specific needs 
  • Always be on the lookout for our member specials, offers & great value deals communicated in  emails 
  • Download the InterMiles App. It is the one place where members can maximize their earnings,  track it on an ongoing basis as well as get personalized updates on the latest deals
  • Lastly, stay invested. Accumulate those Miles and get the dream redemption.

Don’t stop collecting, ever!

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