MasterCard Inc. and Points International Ltd. will partner to deliver more options for cardholders to redeem, exchange or trade their rewards points.

The companies aim to drive more customers to issuing banks participating in the MasterCard Rewards program through changes that emphasize management of travel and other rewards.

"Consumers have said loudly and clearly that they want increased flexibility with their rewards," Nandan Mer, group executive for MasterCard Loyalty Solutions, states in a Feb. 18 press release. "Our enhanced solution delivers just that — the ability to exchange, trade, buy and gift rewards points."

Following an initial integration, the companies plan for the program to be fully available this year.

"While the financial services industry has been a keen focus for some time, we are especially excited to be partnering with a leading organization like MasterCard," Rob MacLean, CEO of Points, states in the release.

Toronto-based Points says it provides loyalty e-commerce and technology software to the world's top brands, enhancing consumer offerings while streamlining back-end operations in Canada and the U.S.

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