Rarely, if ever, are we incentivized with cash and deals in exchange for using greener transportation. Now, many of the features and benefits popular with airline frequent flyer programs, based on points or "miles" in exchange for deals, are being used in a new rewards app called Miles.
Miles (free on iOS) rewards users for using more eco-friendly forms of transportation, tracking the number of miles spent on each. Now, users can accrue "reward miles" by riding on bicycles, flying, using public transit, ride-sharing services, and running or walking.
These reward miles are earned under a scoring system based on a sliding scale. The more active you are, the more points you earn.
How does the sliding scale work?
The more eco-friendly your transportation mode, the more points you earn under the sliding scale. For example, flying by air would net you 0.1X in earned miles, a carpool or rideshare for 1X earned miles and 1X bonus miles, and the most environmentally-friendly option of them all -- a run or a walk, netting you a cool 10X (1X earned miles and 9X bonus miles).
What kind of rewards can I receive?
Once users have reached a certain number of points, they can be redeemed at participating retailers, including $5 Starbucks cards, complimentary car rentals, or 20 percent off a $100-plus purchase. Some retailers or service providers that are currently participating or have participated in the past include Avis Silvercar, Amazon, Whole Foods, Cole Haan, and Bath & Body Works.
To redeem a reward, users scan an in-app barcode in the store or receive a standalone code. What's more -- points are awarded proportionally to a user's status for improved redemption rates, falling under Gold (starter level), Silver, or Platinum, with upgrades based on app usage. Additionally, the app runs a series of challenges from time to time, such as biking four times a week or using Uber/Lyft twice, in exchange for rewards.
Users must grant permission for the app to access its location, with all trip information logged discreetly in the background. The Miles app promises that location data is not stored, and is used only to feed its proprietary "predictive marketing AI platform," which matches users with relevant deals based on behaviors and receptiveness. For example, if 14 people in Pittsburgh purchase a soft drink within a high demand time window, the soft drink advertiser would be more inclined to offer a reward.
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