stratLX helped design and implement VIA Préférence Program


VIA Rail Canada Inc.’s mandate is to operate the national passenger rail services on behalf of the Government of Canada, offering intercity rail services and ensuring rail transportation services to regional and remote communities.  

Its objective is to offer a safe, accessible, efficient, reliable, sustainable and environmentally friendly passenger rail service that meets the needs of Canadian passengers. 

In 2018, VIA Rail embarked on a journey to implement a new reservation system along with a new platform for its loyalty program. Striving to offer members more value than ever before, VIA Rail collaborated with stratLX to introduce the redesigned VIA Préférence Program, officially launched in 2023.  

Throughout the implementation and launch phases, stratLX worked closely with all internal and external stakeholders to ensure the success of the new and improved loyalty program. 


VIA Préférence


VIA Rail


As part of the implementation of its new reservation system and loyalty platform, VIA Rail wanted to redesign the VIA Préférence program to give members more value with exciting new features and new ways to earn points and redeem them sooner. 

The introduction of the redesigned VIA Préférence program was carried out in multiple phases.  

The comprehensive transformation of the VIA Préférence loyalty program began with an in-depth analysis of market benchmarks and industry best practices. Every existing facet of the program underwent a thorough evaluation, aiming to deliver more value and flexibility for members.  

The collaborative efforts between the stratLX team and the project team focused on the technical implementation of the new program. This included a rigorous identification, analysis, and documentation of the new loyalty features which ensured a smooth transition to the development teams tasked with delivering these new features. 

Throughout the subsequent phases of development, testing, and implementation, stratLX remained present.

Our commitment extended to ensuring alignment between business objectives and technological development, while simultaneously offering ongoing support to partners and the VIA Rail loyalty team throughout the development of the platform and the customer interface to meet the evolving needs of the program. 

In addition, considerable effort was invested in reevaluating the program’s reporting requirements for effective performance tracking and creating internal training materials for managing the new program.  

With the program now launched, our collaboration continues to ensure ongoing program management and future platform optimization, striving to consistently provide members with more value and flexibility. 

While our team engaged and interacted with many participants over the course of this major project, stratLX stood out in a very significant way. Every time stratLX participated in conversations, I felt like we were speaking the same language, that we had an ally on our side who understood where we wanted to go and what we needed.

Violaine BoutinSr. Specialist, Customer Loyalty & Lifecycle Management, VIA Rail Canada


Whether they travel every week or a few times a year, members of the VIA Préférence program are rewarded for all their trips. The redesigned VIA Préférence program gives members more value, exciting new features, and new ways to earn points and redeem them sooner.  

With three available tiers, members start at the Préférence level and can progress to the Privilège and Premier levels based on their qualifying spend. Higher tiers come with faster points accumulation and more exclusive benefits that enhance the member’s travel experience. 

More points in more ways 

The VIA Préférence loyalty program allows members to collect points towards reward trips. As part of the new features, members can now earn points on eligible fees and optional products and services—like baggage and fees for travelling with pets—in addition to their tickets and travel passes. 

Friends and family can share their points 

Members of the VIA Préférence program can now treat their friends and family with points for reward travel! As part of the enhanced experience, members now have the option to transfer points from their account to a friend or family member’s account for free, up to 5 times a year.    

More redemption options 

Instead of the fixed-points reward chart, the number of points needed for a particular trip is now based on the published fare at the time of booking.

When the fares are lower, so is the number of points required and members may well find points requirements that are less than before.

The new program also offers new ways to redeem points. As point redemption is no longer limited to tickets, members now have the option to redeem their points for products like travel passes, baggage and pets on board.  

Members can redeem their points for any seat at any time, without blackout dates. Plus, members can easily redeem online by selecting points as the desired form of payment.  

Learn more about the VIA Préférence loyalty program.