Subscription purchased with award points

Magazine media paid promotional programs

Subscriptions purchased with award points refers to programs where a consumer may purchase a magazine subscription by redeeming accrued award credits, in lieu of cash. Commonly known award point programs include frequent flyer programs and credit card programs.

AAM permits subscriptions purchased with award points to qualify and classify as paid circulation. Rule F 8.9/F 108.9 Subscriptions Purchased with Award Points, addresses the qualification requirements for the purchase of magazine subscriptions by redeeming award points.

The qualification requirements for subscriptions purchased with award points primarily focuses on the structure of the reward point program.

  • The award program must:
    • Build brand loyalty of discretionary goods and services and increase the sales of a host organization. ­
    • Require an enrollment process. ­
    • Require points be earned as a result of specific incremental actions performed by the consumer. The consumer must be fully informed of the actions necessary to earn points, including volume of points for each activity. ­
    • Make accrued points available for future redemption. ­
    • Make a consumer’s account status accessible on a regular basis.
  • The consumer must be fully aware of all items that may be obtained for the redemption of points.
    • All items offered must have a stated value in points or dollars. ­
    • At least 20 percent of all items offered for the redemption of points must be non-publication items. At least half of all the non-publication items must be commercially available. ­
    • The average value of commercially available items must be equal to or greater than the average value of all publications available. ­
    • The program may provide an initial award of no more than 35 percent of the points needed to obtain the least expensive product or service in the program. 
  • Each point must have a monetary value.
    • The product value divided by the assigned point value equals the per-point value. ­
    • The point value must be consistent for all award items.
  • If the points have an expiration date, the program must allow time for sufficient accumulation of points to redeem the highest valued item.

  • A qualifying price for a subscription purchased with award points is one cent, net of all considerations. The price paid for the subscription can be determined by multiplying the per-point value for points in the program by the number of points required for the acquisition of the magazine subscription.

Pre-evaluation of all award points programs by AAM staff are required. The standard form to submit to AAM is available on our website.