5 Best Ways To Redeem Your Air Miles

5 best ways to redeem your Air Miles

Air Miles may have decided to cancel their their expiration policy - but that doesn't mean you should wait to redeem your miles.

Why?

Because Air Miles was banking on huge profits from being able to take millions of unredeemed miles off their books and keep that money for themselves. Now they can't...

... And who do you think is going to foot the bill?

You'd be right if you're thinking they are going to try and make their collectors pay for their misfortune in some other way! They even admitted that much in a financial disclosure to their investors as reported by The Globe and Mail.

It’s time to stop 'dreaming' about a glorious future redemption and get real about what you can actually get for your points today before they’re worth much less.

Want to get the BEST value for your Air Miles? Download the PDF version of this guide - and read it anywhere when you want.

Your Options For Redeeming Air Miles

A big change to the Air Miles program, Air Miles “Cash”, was announced back in 2011. At the same time, the clock on this new 5 year expiry policy started ticking that has now been abolished.

If you chose to switch your points to 100% Air Miles Cash at the time, then you’re pretty safe. Just go to a participating Air Miles sponsor in your area - maybe a gas station or grocery store - and get part, or all, of your purchase for free.

With Air Miles Cash, your miles can always be redeemed at a rate of 95 miles = $10. That gives each single mile a value of 10.5 cents. This is known as the cost per mile or CPM and is an easy way of comparing reward value.

You calculate CPM by taking the real cost in dollars of the reward you are buying and dividing it by number of Air Miles required to redeem for that reward. I’m going to be using CPM throughout the rest of the article.

If you chose to stick with Air Miles 'Dream', then you have a much more difficult decision ahead of you. You can choose between a variety of rewards including travel, merchandise, events & attractions, and even sweepstakes.

Inside each one of those categories is a confusing array of additional choices. The bad news is that the selection of high value rewards has really dwindled since Air Miles Cash was introduced.

My go-to reward was always the free movie certificates because they gave a 30 cent per mile value, nearly triple the cash rate. Years ago that reward disappeared so I switched to car washes which also had a high value. Not long after, that one was gone too - followed by the great selection of gift cards they used to offer.

The good news?

There’s a few things left worth redeeming for and I’m going to tell you what they are.

Top 5 Air Miles Dream Rewards

The goal here is to find rewards that are as far above the 10.5 cents per mile value of Air Miles Cash as possible. I’ve done price checks on at least 4 rewards in each category and come up with a rough average value for each type of reward still available.

Here are the top 5:

1) Hotels (19.4CPM)

Hotels provide surprisingly good value when purchased with Air Miles.

I did a few test bookings on airmiles.ca and compared the cost in miles to the cost of booking the same room through the hotel’s own website. I used the lowest fully cancellable rate listed because Air Miles reservations are also fully cancellable. Using non-cancellable discount rates or priceline bidding, you can get much lower prices.

Reward value ranged from a low of 10.3 CPM at a Best Western in North York all the way up to 26.2 CPM at the Holiday Inn & Suites Vancouver Downtown. If you find something above 19 CPM, you are doing pretty well.

Be aware that only a smaller selection of hotels are available usually with only a few in the actual city centre. Even booking months in advance, I found most of them were either on the outskirts of town or near the airport.

Book hotels here.

2) Flights (16.8 CPM)

Flights provide value consistently above 10.5 CPM averaging out to 16.8 CPM with the test flights I managed to find. My personal Air Miles balance is relatively low at 1800 miles, so that limited my ability to test book flights.

At first, they would allow me to view the search results and compare prices even if I didn’t have enough miles. Their algorithm appears to detect people who do this a lot and eventually takes away the already small link that allows you to do that. Their system was extremely busy at the time I did this with all the people trying to redeem their expiring miles at once, so it may have been removed for that reason as well.

I tested flights departing from Halifax, Quebec City, Toronto, and Vancouver going to mostly bigger cities in Canada and the USA like Vancouver, Richmond, and Orlando. What I found is that longer flights tend to reduce your value under 15 CPM, and really short flights increase it to around 20 CPM. Remote destinations, like Yellowknife for example, also help push up the value.

If you are planning to redeem for flights, I would suggest getting the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard to get an extra 1,000 3,000 bonus miles and first year free (limited time) for your trip and a 25% discount on the amount of miles you need to fly in North America. That 25% discount actually raises your CPM by 33% meaning that the 16.8 average CPM for flights jumps to 22.4. That enough to push flights to the #1 spot.

Book flights here.

3) Car Rentals (15.7CPM)

For some reason I never enjoy booking or paying for car rentals, so the fact that Air Miles provides decent value when renting a car is attractive to me.

I tested single day prices for both compact cars and minivans because those are two really popular choices. Compact cars are notoriously cheap and minivans are notoriously expensive.

One compact car actually gave me a terrible CPM of 6.1 because the car was available for only $21 per day. Another one came in at 16.4 CPM though, so I suspect the $21 price was a good limited time promotion.

Minivans consistently resulted in a CPM of around 20 cents, which is really good. If you need a minivan and have the miles, it’s a really good use for them.

Book rental cars here.

4) Events (14.4CPM)

Events, particularly concerts, can provide really good value for your miles. The reason for this is twofold:

  1. You can get good seats to concerts that have limited spots remaining or have even sold out completely.
  2. Some concerts, like one I found for Gwen Stefani, can give a CPM as high as 25 cents.

I price checked 3 concerts: Blink 182, Fifth Harmony, and Gwen Stefani, along with a fun looking event called “Prairie Feast”. Honestly, most of these gave a value around 11 CPM, while the Gwen Stefani concert brought up the average with its 25.4 CPM.

I wouldn’t expect most events to deliver insanely high value, but the fact that you can get good seats at sold out concerts increases the value substantially. If you look at prices for tickets to sold out concerts on the secondary market, they are easily double or triple in cost and that “amps up” the CPM value a lot.

Browse events here and concerts here.

5) Attractions (13.2CPM)

Finally, attractions are still going to typically give you a higher value for your miles than our Air Miles Cash 10.5 CPM baseline - averaging about 13.2 CPM. They were also among the most consistent only ranging from a low of 12.4 CPM to a high of 14 CPM.

I considered the following attractions when I did this calculation in July of 2016. Some of them are now sold out or no longer available.

  • Calypso Waterpark: 300 miles = $42 w/ tax = 14 CPM
  • Canada’s Wonderland: 395 miles = $54.57 w/ tax = 13.8 CPM
  • Disney 7 day pass: 3775 miles = $370 USD = $478.06 CAD = 12.7 CPM
  • Busch Gardens: 925 miles = $89 USD = $115.01 CAD = 12.4 CPM

Keep in mind that with some of these attractions you can find creative ways of lowering the price. For example, season pass holders often can bring guests super cheap and you might be able to buy passes from them online. Other times you can buy in advance, get a package deal, or find discount coupons to bring the price down.

I just used the online pricing for a single day adult pass, except with the Disney 7 day pass. Prices at the gate were higher in some cases.

Look for other attractions here.

Don’t Waste Your Miles

What do you want to avoid spending your miles on?

Merchandise is one thing I would suggest avoiding. I tested prices for several products and most of them were in the 11-13 CPM range. The rub is that they mostly only have high end expensive products available and, as we all know, if you wait and look for a sale you can almost always get merchandise for less.

Vacation packages are something else I wouldn’t bother with. The first reason is that you’re probably better off booking your package through a real travel agency or a site that specializes in vacations. The second is that they can’t be booked or priced online and the Air Miles customer service line is so busy they aren’t even answering calls anymore. Right now, you literally have almost 0 chance of successfully booking a vacation package with your miles.

Finally, using your miles for sweepstakes is just like throwing them away - at least most of the time. Like most paid lotteries, they are designed to make you lose money. Sure, there is a chance you could win, but it isn’t likely. Entering a contest for free is one thing, but paying to do it should be avoided unless you get a lot of personal enjoyment out of doing it.

Get The Miles You Need Faster

If you need more miles fast to get the reward you really want, there is no better way than a big credit card sign up bonus. I have ranked all the Canadian Air Miles credit cards from best to worst here and update the sign up bonuses monthly as they change:

Which AIR MILES Credit Card Is Best?

What Will You Redeem Your Miles For?

I'm curious, now that your miles will no longer expire, do you still plan to redeem them soon?

If so, have you found a reward that is still worth it for you?

First published: July 18, 2016

Updated: January 20, 2017

Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links. We're letting you know because it's the right thing to do. Here’s a more detailed disclosure on how HTS makes money.

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Comments

LG
LG's picture

Great explanation and breakdown, thanks for the info Steve. I did check our expiries and AM responded within 24 hours with a quarterly expiry listing.

July 19, 2016 @ 12:22 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks LG. I had the same experience - they are pretty quick in sending out the emails which is a plus.

July 20, 2016 @ 6:11 pm
Michael Bromley
Michael Bromley's picture

You may be interested to know that Arthur Potts, an MP in Toronto has put forward a private members bill which has passed it's second reading that prohibits companies from expiring your points. This includes Air Miles and all loyalty cards and if passed will be retroactive to October 1, 2016.
The article was in The Toronto Sun on Saturday October 29, 2016. I'm sure he would appreciate knowing how many people support his bill.

October 30, 2016 @ 1:20 pm
Ann
Ann's picture

I have 12,000 Air Miles which I've been saving for 100 years (or it seems that long). I wanted to book a trip somewhere because I haven't travelled in 15 years. First, I waited for hours on the phone to get hold of 'vacations' person, then when I finally did get through, they said I had to make an appointment. Appointment was made and when they called, they just played games - "you didn't reach the right department" - they called me I didn't call them. Finally the agent came on and took all my information down and asked "didn't Sonya call you". OMG....he then said our connection is bad I will have to call you back and then he hung up, never to call again.

This is a travesty what Air Miles are doing to the collectors. I hope Arthur Potts gets this bill through, this should be considered like the 'gift cards' and they cannot expiry either.

October 31, 2016 @ 4:07 pm
Rose
Rose's picture

awww, I can relate, I have been on weeks trying to get a vacation planned to Disneyland. Ridiculous, they never call back. When I finally did manage to book an appt for the travel agent they set up a call a week in advance. Well turns out the day they called I was in emergency, and couldn't take the call. A voice message was left to call back Rhonda. Ha, you have to start the whole process over again, its not a special number, its the regular number. What a joke, so much for my vacation, I gave up.

November 01, 2016 @ 8:18 pm
annita
annita's picture

Bunch of crapp

November 03, 2016 @ 8:57 pm
Tom
Tom's picture

Arthur. Thank you for introducing your private members bill!!
I think it's fraudulent to pay to get the points by purchasing items and then air miles and other loyalty card decide to have them expire.
In Alberta and maybe other provinces gift cards no longer expire under our current laws.
There should also be some other guarantees on booking flights. You get frustrated holding for someone to help you. Today I tyres to book a flight. I got right through to an agent who informed me all their systems were down
Can't believe this maybe stores should drop their loyalty plans and reduce prices
Is their a site that you can contact their clients (stores) with one email of complaints
Good luck in getting your bill passed and thanks very much!,

November 15, 2016 @ 2:39 pm
Paul Regan
Paul Regan's picture

I was a fiercely loyal AM collector about 10 years ago; only buying from AM partners, so that I could travel during my retirement years starting in 2017. Then I became aware of the expiry recently when they sent me an email on early November. Sure they may have said something 5 years ago, put I never read the small print.

Now, I am at risk of losing 56,000 AM points on Dec 31, 2016. And I cannot get anyone from AM to answer their phones. You need to speak to an AM Travel Consultants to spend expiring points ... earliest date is Dec 29, 2016 ... for points expiring 3 days later. And for those that think the points were free anyway, I paid for my loyalty!!! and the expiry is worth $7,280. That makes it theft and fraud. Guess that says a lot about what Loyalty stands for these days.

Lesson learned... NEVER BUY INTO ANY LOYALTY PROGRAM. They are all rip-offs. Instead, get a cash-back credit card.

November 30, 2016 @ 4:30 pm
Tracy
Tracy's picture

I was aware mine were expiring too (long time collector).
If you get online to their website, or call them, they send you a copy of what points are expiring in December.
If you change from dream miles to cash miles (and back when you need to) you can spend some of the expiring miles so you won't lose them. Even if its on grocery cards or something. I hate to have them wasted especially since they are not transferable. The only use the oldest miles first . Hopefully you still get to book some trips in the future.. They are also pretty quick to reply on their Facebook site. Just so you know. Good luck

December 03, 2016 @ 3:38 am
Don
Don's picture

I booked a flight around this time last year online, took me about 20 minutes and I paid about 300 bucks (cash besides airmiles) for 2 round trip flights to hawaii

April 18, 2017 @ 5:11 pm
chris sparling
chris sparling's picture

I still do not understand how one redeems Aeroplan points. At time of booking?? I recently booked Air Canada flight and hotel on Expedia to London England and also Air Canada Totonto to Vancouver and saw nothing about Aeroplan. Used my TD Travel card both times.

Fortunately, I have switched back to TD Travel Card and I just call in any time and they give me a credit on my account.

April 22, 2017 @ 9:00 am
Lynn
Lynn's picture

Thank you for all the information I did have one question with respect to buying the gift certificate with the dream rewards do they come with your name on it or can you give them away. I am interested in buying ski passes and would like to give them away and cannot get through on the telephone lines to ask if I have to use them or can give them to somebody else? Does anybody know ?

November 08, 2016 @ 2:26 pm
P
P's picture

I ordered some a few years ago and they were fully transferable

November 23, 2016 @ 1:52 am
George
  George's picture

I cannot believe how many dumb people or so called collectors enroll in Airmiles.
This is a company from he'll and you all deserve to lose all your points.
Airline frequent flyer cards are 10000 times better.
With airmiles you have to spend 50 000 dollars to get a cappy ticket to Ottawa.
Thus company is a scam

November 25, 2016 @ 1:58 am
George
  George's picture

I cannot believe how many dumb people or so called collectors enroll in Airmiles.
This is a company from he'll and you all deserve to lose all your points.
Airline frequent flyer cards are 10000 times better.
With airmiles you have to spend 50 000 dollars to get a cappy ticket to Ottawa.
Thus company is a scam

November 25, 2016 @ 1:58 am
jean
jean's picture

I have 457 air miles expiring at year end and can't redeem except on lottery. Any idea ?
Jean

July 19, 2016 @ 12:30 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Car rentals start at about 150 miles per day so you could get up to a 3 day rental for that number of miles. I'd also consider looking at attractions, especially if you have kids.

July 20, 2016 @ 6:15 pm
Ginette
Ginette 's picture

You can purchase grocery gift cards worth 100$ for 95$ plus 50 airmiles

July 27, 2016 @ 9:06 am
Walter Garbotz
Walter Garbotz's picture

I looked the Air Miles site over and over and can't find where to buy the grocery gift cards. I don't think they have them anymore for anyone wanting to redeem Dream Miles. Sigh! W

August 26, 2016 @ 10:13 pm
Glen Hynes
Glen Hynes's picture

So what do I do with 6236 Dream Miles , DREAM ABOUT THEM and thats It

September 03, 2016 @ 5:37 pm
Tracy
Tracy's picture

You have to transfer from Dream miles to Cash miles, then you can go into grocery stores.(specified on their site) and use them when you buy groceries.. or grocery gift cards. (Sobeys and safeway are a few)
Good Luck

December 03, 2016 @ 3:41 am
cornmanz
cornmanz's picture

You can only purchase grocery cards if you have Cash Miles. Dream Miles may NOT be converted to cash.

September 13, 2016 @ 11:10 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

He was talking about a different Dream miles silly promotion of being able to buy gift cards using a combination of real money and miles I think. It wasn't very good value.

September 15, 2016 @ 1:08 pm
penelope
penelope's picture

they dont seem to have those anymore either, AM are a joke now, will be getting a cash back card asap

December 10, 2016 @ 10:36 pm
suzan
suzan's picture

I am fed up with air miles and the air miles expiry policy.

I am also frustrated by the lack of information available on the details of expiry. I have tried repeatedly to get information on expiry by year for each of the next 5 years but keep being told we can't tell you that! Really I don't believe it.

One reason I heard given for the need for expiry is the need to estimate the liability but aeroplan seems to have worked that out as aeroplan points no longer expire. I wonder what got aeroplan to reverse their plan for having points expire? and if the same approach could work with air miles.

I expect pressure from sponsors (not card holders) may be the key. So card holders should let their favorite sponsors know they are not happy with the policy and are considering dropping their loyalty.

July 19, 2016 @ 12:45 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I think the more consumers and media make noise about it, the bigger the chance that they will consider reversing the policy. There is already starting to be quite a backlash so we'll see if they choose to weather the storm or back down.

I like your idea of encouraging people to talk about it with their favourite sponsors. Get on social media and make as much noise as possible and we'll see what happens.

I was a little bit surprised that the expiry statement was only for the next year myself. It wouldn't be a big deal to extend it out for five years. They probably decided to limit it to make the expiration policy seem less scary.

July 20, 2016 @ 6:22 pm
Rosemary Dart
Rosemary Dart's picture

I've had 1,539 Dream Miles for years! I was told I could not turn them into Cash miles which I've always felt terribly unfair since I'm unable to travel. Do you know of any way around this? I'd surely appreciate it. Rosemary

July 19, 2016 @ 12:52 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I'm sorry Rosemary I don't know a way around it other than trying to pick a dream reward that doesn't involve travel.

July 20, 2016 @ 6:23 pm
Claire Selensky
Claire Selensky 's picture

I'm confused. I thought you could transfer Dreams Miles into Cash Miles! It seems they are always promoting it, so why is Rosemary saying she "can't? "

October 01, 2016 @ 5:47 pm
Ann
Ann's picture

I tried doing that Claire, but they won't let me. They said when I opted to be in Cash Miles it's from that date, you cannot go back and convert your Dream Miles into Cash Miles. So not fair. They are scamming people now. Lets all write to Arthur Potts and see if he can hurry this bill through.

October 31, 2016 @ 4:16 pm
Jill Would
Jill Would's picture

I have had my Air Miles card since 1993 and have never done anything with it but recently went online to the air miles website and converted the miles to the cash option that allows you to redeem at Sobeys and other stores for gift cards like Cineplex. It was quite easy - took a little less than an hour to get it done but now I can use my 1300 plus miles - especially the ones expiring Dec. 31/16. Give it a try.

November 07, 2016 @ 11:45 pm
Mike Miller
Mike Miller's picture

Sorry...do not know how you did that!...Air Miles can not be transferred from Dream to Cash rewards!

November 16, 2016 @ 9:36 pm
Tracy
Tracy's picture

Maybe it is a Canada can and USA can't ??? When I am on the website for airmiles its pretty simple to change from Dream miles to Cash miles. That may be the difference everyone is noticing since I can't see where people are from, I imagine airmiles is collectible in both USA and Canada.

December 03, 2016 @ 3:44 am
penelope
penelope's picture

i have been told repeatedly i cannot do that?!

December 10, 2016 @ 10:39 pm
cj
cj's picture

I am so frustrated with the lack of options to use for my 1,600 dream miles. i didn't realize that so many options that I used to use were going to disappear or I would have converted them into Cash Miles. I tried booking hotels - they are unavailable even though when I called the hotel, there are hundreds of rooms available. Air Miles needs to get more options available NOW.

I think this is a disgusting way for Air Miles to allow the miles to expire without having them redeemed/spent - nice little trick! They should not be allowed to do this.

July 19, 2016 @ 3:31 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I agree they have done a poor job making a lot of hotels and flights available. It seems like their selection is even more limited than Aeroplan. It's definitely discouraging.

July 20, 2016 @ 6:24 pm
Jerry
Jerry's picture

It appears to me that 'Air Miles' are like ReMax balloons........full of 'Hot Air'.

November 08, 2016 @ 12:34 pm
Christine
Christine's picture

Actually I did redeem most of mine for a merchandise item. I used to love the gift cards as I would get a number of those to do my Christmas and birthday shopping. But my husband has health issues these days, he has Amyloidosis, so travel is not an option here. I had been looking at those big stand mixers but with hubby's health and being on a fixed income thanks to that I didn't stand much of a chance at being able to pay for one. As a family we looked over our options with the number of miles we had to work with. I didn't have enough to get a Kitchenaid mixer but I did have enough for a Breville one. Family decision was to get the Breville as my boys felt I deserved it. Once it got here I switched the miles all over to cash. Our local grocery store takes Air Miles now so I can collect a good amount and redeem for groceries to help our budget out. It may not have been the greatest use for those miles but it worked for us.... Oh...and the Breville works like a charm, I am so happy with it!!!!

July 19, 2016 @ 10:32 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I have a bathroom scale that I got more than a decade ago with some of my very first PC points. I still use it to this day and really like it.

Nothing wrong with getting merchandise if that's what works best for you. Air Miles Cash is nice too because you can get a discount on everyday essentials instead of less tangible rewards.

July 20, 2016 @ 6:26 pm
Don
Don's picture

I share a lot of the frustration with other posters here. I've been a Gold Collector for a number of years, so I had a lot of miles expiring, but getting flights has always been a real pain, so I decided to try buying something from their shop. Not only was most of what they were offering not something I was interested in, I found that the items would often drop off the list with no warning. This happened to me four times, but I was able to finally find something I wanted.

The fortunate part was that the item was about the same cost in the stores as it was in the Airmiles shop, and it was an item that really doesn't go on sale. This, however, doesn't make me feel any better since I would rather not be forced to buy an item when I'm not ready for it.

July 21, 2016 @ 12:24 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Glad you finally found something half-decent Don. I hope they bring back some of the old rewards they used to offer. Honestly, I think Air Miles Cash is probably the better option for most people going forward even though the value can be lower.

July 21, 2016 @ 10:45 am
Val
Val's picture

We have 12,000 airmiles on the expiration list. They were earmarked for a special vacation four years, which was cancelled for medical reasons. Airmiles says re-book the trip, and if we have to cancel (again), the five-year clock will simply start again. However I'm afraid they'll simply say, no, they're gone because you cancelled due to a pre-existing condition. How and where do we most effectively lodge a complaint with Airmiles?

July 27, 2016 @ 11:11 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Well, you could lodge a complaint through the Better Business Bureau. This is their listing I think:

http://www.bbb.org/kitchener/business-reviews/marketing-programs-and-ser...

​You could also try reaching out to them on Facebook and Twitter to get in touch with someone who is more than just a regular CSR. I'd also call customer service and ask them how you can lodge a formal complaint.

If they officially told you that you could rebook the trip and your miles wouldn't expire that way, I'd get that in writing if you can. If they don't come good on it, then you could involve someone from the media who specializes in consumer complaints like Ellen Roseman or CTV's On Your Side.

Do any readers have other suggestions?

July 28, 2016 @ 10:25 pm
bill wonnacott
bill wonnacott's picture

Class action suit???

July 30, 2016 @ 2:44 pm
Ed
Ed's picture

Once my miles are gone, I intend to melt my cards in the fire and send the charred remains to the company as an expression of my opinion. I've had about 3000 miles forever, and have never been able to accumulate many more because I've found that the stores where they are offered tend not to be very competitive with prices. These two facts may be related!

In years past I've been able to use some miles on attractions with the family. I don't think they were the best value, but we enjoyed ourselves with the thought that essentially these attractions didn't cost us anything and we did go to places we would not otherwise have spent the money on, so it was a nice little bonus. None of these attractions are offered now, so this option is gone. I'll probably try to get a few hotel nights, but I'm sure many of the miles will expire unused, a nice little gift to the company.

July 27, 2016 @ 5:33 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Haha - I love the idea of sending the charred remains of the card to them - really sends a message :)

July 28, 2016 @ 10:53 pm
Gordon MacDonald
Gordon MacDonald's picture

My wife and I also collected more than 8000 miles for many years for a so called dream card trip , as soon as we can rid ourselves of this garbage we also will melt down these useless cards. A complete waste ,never again

October 03, 2016 @ 5:12 pm
Janice
Janice's picture

Does anyone know how seat selection works when you use your miles to get concert tickets? I just used 1,875 miles on 2 tickets to John Fogerty concert. It said they would be in Section 104 or 117, but even after checkout, it doesn't indicate whether the seats are already chosen. Or do I have to wait until the reward arrives and then book the seats? I ordered them about an hour ago and still haven't received a confirmation email or anything. Thanks.

July 29, 2016 @ 2:03 am
Pat
Pat's picture

I just cashed in about 19,000 miles on flights to Costa Rica which took me about 15 or 20 years to save. I was pretty excited until I realized that at 1 Airmiles point earned for every $20 spent, I would have paid (not counting any bonus miles, etc.) roughly $380,000 over the years to get the free flights to Costa Rica. Then when I checked the actual cost of the flights with Westjet, I could have bought them for $1850.

Here's the math: $1850 ÷ 19,000 points = 9.7 CPM or

$1850 ÷ $380,000 = only 0.048% of my purchases back in Airmiles value.

Much the same is true for cash rewards. It's 95 airmiles for every $10 airmiles cash. So to earn those points it took you 95 x $20 (or $1900 in spend) to get $10 in Airmiles cash. That works out to a 0.052% return of your original spend.

Long story short, Airmiles equate to around a half of a percent back on every dollar you spend (not including free points and other bonuses). You're better off looking for the best price to begin with and forgetting the Airmiles.

August 08, 2016 @ 12:27 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I totally agree that then return on spend with Air Miles is generally quite low. I only collect them myself when there are big bonuses or I'm shopping somewhere anyway and they happen to give Air Miles.

If you want to up the to around 1% return on spending, the BMO Air Miles World Elite gives you 1 mile per every $10 spent instead of $20.

August 09, 2016 @ 10:41 am
Clive
Clive's picture

Pat, hopefully you havent booked a car with airmiles. I have just booked a car for 2 weeks with 3590 points. Using points for car rentals is recommended by this site. However, because you are not paying for the car with a CC you can no longer use the CC to cover the CDW insurance. I now find that purchasing this insurance is going to cost almost the same as the car rental. So now the points I took 7 years to save up have been completely wasted

October 26, 2016 @ 11:48 pm
Janice Clarke
Janice Clarke 's picture

I AM CERTAINLY VERY ANGRY WITH THE CANCELLATION of air miles. We all need to gather on social media and get them to reverse their decision. Strength in numbers.

August 18, 2016 @ 11:02 pm
cornmanz
cornmanz's picture

Well, thats ridiculous. We have had 5 years to redeem our air miles. 5 YEARS! So we procrastinators have no right to complain, and the company has no obligation to change anything.

September 13, 2016 @ 11:14 pm
Paul Regan
Paul Regan's picture

Nice attitude.

November 30, 2016 @ 4:36 pm
penelope
penelope's picture

Its not procrastinating, its not wanting to cash in your points until youve saved enough for your dream vacation, that youve been eyeballing ever since the beginning of airmiles and have tailored your shopping around for freaking YEARS! And for some of us, who have crap healthcare wages, it will literally take a decade to save enough, and now we are forced to cash them in for some stupid Espresso machine that we never wanted at all, because otherwise the last 8 years of collecting will all be for NOTHING! To top it all off, now everybody did that, they have now reversed their decision, and now everyone is now stuck with these stupid Espresso makers that they never wanted, and have completel;y lost everything they saved for all these years. I think they did it on purpose, to trick everyone to cash in for gifts that are a way less value, and I even got an email from them BRAGGING that they have just had a record year for rewards redeemed!!! WTF!!!! My grammer gets messy when Im this annoyed, my apologies!! GRRRRR

December 12, 2016 @ 10:38 pm
Steve
Steve's picture

Hi, I have 14300 air miles I've been accumulating forever. Now I need to know what to spend them on. Was wishing there was a way to convert them to Aeroplan or use them to purchase status or something. I travel lots for work, so buying flights/car rental/ hotels isn't great for me. Any suggestions?

September 02, 2016 @ 6:44 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Other than what I've mentioned above Steve, there isn't really much to choose from. I guess I'd look at events and attractions and merchandise to see if anything is good value for you.

September 05, 2016 @ 1:03 pm
Kim
Kim's picture

Hi Steve, any luck with using your miles. I have just over 11300 expiring and over 18k+ was looking for a great high end trip. Did you find anything?

October 09, 2016 @ 5:02 pm
tshirt for mommy's picture

We are an easy, reliable, and super nice present store.

June 14, 2017 @ 11:42 pm
Glen Hynes
Glen Hynes's picture

I think I'm going to grow wings and fly my self

September 03, 2016 @ 5:41 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Might be easier than using Air Miles? ;)

September 05, 2016 @ 1:03 pm
Paul
Paul 's picture

I just redeemed some dream miles for a Dyson V8 Absolute. 6200 miles. 2 weeks later (today) I see they are selling it for 5500 miles. I just got burned for 700 miles !

Once I have used up all of my Dream Miles, I will be switching to other reward programs and go out of my way not to shop at Airmiles retailers. I cannot stand being ripped off ! I will go back to mom and pop retail stores and support them rather than big corporate giants that rip you off.

September 08, 2016 @ 9:08 pm
penelope
penelope's picture

Ditto, we are shopping for the best cash back cards right now, thinking maybe the Costo cash back or a Scotia Visa cash back.....still looking

December 12, 2016 @ 10:43 pm
Carol
Carol's picture

I have been a member since 2002 and always hated air miles, but I used it if there was a great promotion at one of the stores. I always thought we could change our preference to cash or dream miles, so recently I switched to cash and assumed I would be able to get gift cards etc for my expirying points, not so!!!When you switch your preference,the points don't switch, you just start accumulating the new points in the new account!! I just found out that the dream points can only be used for overly expensive items on their website. I guess it's not a big deal since I only have a total of 3,000 points, 300 are expiry!! unlike some of you that have a lot!! I mentioned to their customer service that I find this is the worst card ever!! With my credit card company in 4 years I've already received for free 2 flights to Vegas, 2 flights to Chicago, 2 flights to Edmonton and one flight to California. I'm sure there's more but my husband usually does it.With this card you book your flight, last minute deals etc, wherever you want, and you let them know and they send you the money from your balance!! Also, the shoppers optimum card is one of the best out there, I have received $1000's of dollars of free items. That's not spending a lot of money to get them, it's just knowing how to use the promotions with sales and coupons!! I have received for free PlayStation 4, GoPro, Olympius Tough water proof camera, Canon camera, XBox and way too many things to list!! I agree with everyone something should be done and we should all go on Facebook and start venting our frustration there!!

September 11, 2016 @ 7:45 am
Kiran
Kiran's picture

i have a total of 3710 dream rewards. Out of these, some are expirying as below

December 31, 2016 0 741
March 31, 2017 0 241
June 30, 2017 0 691

I need to find out what would be the best option for me to use part of the expirying airmiles, all of the expirying airmiles or all of the dream rewards. I am not interested in merchandise or travels. What is my best option. Thanks in advance.

September 12, 2016 @ 2:11 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Most of the options are listed above in the article. I'd just pick the one that works best for you from the list starting from top to  bottom until you find something that works for you.

September 12, 2016 @ 11:46 am
mae
mae's picture

I have over 3000 dream miles expiring dec 31/16 can I book a trip now using these miles but the trip would take place in 2017. would appreciate your help

September 17, 2016 @ 2:32 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

That shouldn't be a problem mae. They debit the miles as soon as you book the trip so you can book into the future just fine.

September 19, 2016 @ 9:51 pm
Richard
Richard 's picture

I looked for a few days for a return flight with Air Miles from Toronto to Los Angeles. Each time that I looked there were many flights available for that weekend. Then the next time, a day later, I looked there were no longer any flights available for that weekend. Yet, there were flights available for every day around that weekend and for weekends before and after that date. How could all those flights for the weekend that I wanted disappear so quickly? There weren't even any one way flights available for any day that weekend.

September 18, 2016 @ 8:49 am
Jim
Jim's picture

Understand Richards frustration, I have had the same problem. Not as the saying goes you have to "seize the moments", if you see the flights book it otherwise it will be far..far..away next time you look.

September 19, 2016 @ 2:53 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I experienced this phenomenon before as well. I think some flight reservation systems use an activity gauge to price flights - so if a particular flight sees a lot of activity but not necessarily bookings they will raise the price.

Air Miles likely has restrictions on the maximum they will pay for a flight, so if all the activity bumped the price up too high it likely got dropped from their system. Usually if you wait a few days, the price will drop down again if the activity returns to normal and not a lot of people are booking.

September 19, 2016 @ 9:52 pm
Robert Snow
Robert Snow's picture

NO, I think they are blocking people and I think it is random. I sat along with my sister in law for three hours with us both trying to book a flight from Halifax, Nova Scotia...to ...Boston Mass. in the US for the same date. She was using her airmiles account and I was using mine. We both had similar Airmiles points ( withing 1000, her at 13,000 and me at 14,200 ) I was at my desktop and she had her Ipad. With her account she could see 14 flights for the dates requested, for me on my account ZERO. Tried this for three hours same results, with us even switching Ipad and Desktop...same results. I even tried numerous other flight locations across Canada and the USA and could only access one flight...one flight from Halifax, Nova scotia to Sydney, Nova Scotia...a 200 mile flight distance . We tried the same routine the next day for two hours with the same results, and finally gave up with zero success. So in my opinion they are not only doing bait and switch with the merchandise but with all rewards in general. I really think it is about time the Government or the Law stepped in to end this fraudulent program....because if this is not good old fashion robbery...nothing is.

October 22, 2016 @ 8:08 pm
JAne
JAne's picture

Great article.

Air Miles is a total joke. It took a week of constant calling to even get someone on the phone. And he informed me that he was just "the call back person' to the 'cal back person'. Basically meaning I was hooped and wouldn't be abe to talk to anyone in travel for a month. And he was incredibly rude. bEyond rude. Such a joke.

Merchandie avaliablty depends on whose account you login in with. Another joke

I'm done with air miles.

September 20, 2016 @ 1:48 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Yes - they are in some serious hot water for these things right now. There has been a class action lawsuit filed against them now out of Alberta I hear.

September 20, 2016 @ 10:49 am
Joan Mauthe
Joan Mauthe's picture

I misunderstood also about the cash miles. All our miles were in Dream, so I switched a percentage hoping to use up expiring miles. HAH. Just found out that cash miles will only be on any Air Miles from now on and won't transfer from Dream This SUCKS, bigtime.

September 23, 2016 @ 4:40 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Ya, it would be nice if you could just choose either/or at any time wouldn't it?

September 24, 2016 @ 9:31 pm
Pierre chiasson
Pierre chiasson's picture

Is it possible to exchange air miles dream into Aéroplan? Otherwise grand thieft Will occure and i dont like it

September 26, 2016 @ 5:21 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

There is no way to directly convert. Possibly through Points.com but I haven't tried - they will steal most of your point value in the process though.

September 29, 2016 @ 9:57 pm
Jackie
Jackie's picture

As someone else pointed out, we WERE told this was coming. Personally, I switched my account to 100% cash when the option was first introduced. Part of the reason was that I too noticed that trying to save up for a merchandise reward didn't work because there was no guarantee it would still be there when you got the miles; and the reward offerings that interested me most were disappearing. For most of us, these miles cost us nothing. Unless you paid for an airmiles credit card or you paid extra to buy specific things because they earned you airmiles, you are not out of pocket. So cash 'em in for whatever catches your eye and chalk it up to a fun time while it lasted.

September 26, 2016 @ 5:36 pm
Cathy
Cathy's picture

Can I get anything for 578 dream miles? I find the website soooo confusing. I tried a car rental but the dates aren't available. WTF??? I've been in number 5 in line on the chat forever.

September 28, 2016 @ 3:35 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

My best recommendations are above - hopefully you get through to their chat support.

September 29, 2016 @ 9:58 pm
Joyce
Joyce's picture

What a sham! I can't even find the merchandise calague that states the number of airmiles only. I don't want to use air miles and cash for something l don 't even need at this time.
Please help.

September 29, 2016 @ 11:49 am
Al
Al's picture

I have 22,000 which will be expiring. You can be certain I will destroy my card and stop shopping at stores
with Air Miles rewards.

September 30, 2016 @ 3:41 pm
marcusleblanc
marcusleblanc's picture

You can transfer them to me if you are not going to use them.

October 05, 2016 @ 10:37 am
cindy
cindy's picture

All the restaurant and attractions seem to only be in toronto or farther out is there anything in the kitchener/ cambridge area to redeem reward miles on?

October 01, 2016 @ 9:01 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Options are certainly quite limited these days. If they don't can the 5 year expiry policy all together, I sure hope they make an effort to increase the availability of awards and provide better options.

October 14, 2016 @ 12:53 pm
Michael G
Michael G's picture

After collecting points for so many years & buying products promoting the accumulation of points I find this very unfair. Shouldn't they be like Gift Cards.

On October 1, 2007, the Consumer Protection Act banned expiry dates and most fees on gift cards bought after that date to make sure you get their full value, regardless of when you use them.

Well these services & products encouraged consumers to purchase to acquire points & now they take them away.

& we have almost 8,000 Travel Air Miles going to waste...

October 01, 2016 @ 5:47 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

It would be nice if points were treated like cash - but most of the terms and conditions for points programs state that they have no cash value. There is unfortunately no guarantee when it comes to points. The only thing preventing companies from taking them away or completely changing them for the worse is the backlash they will get from consumers and the media along with a hit to their reputation.

In this case, AIR MILES isn't associated with any one store or brand - so it makes it easier for them to weather the storm. Any other brand probably would have caved by now.

October 14, 2016 @ 12:55 pm
Darlene
Darlene's picture

Air Miles is now a joke. I have over 10,000 air miles and just checked out kind of merchandise I can purchase. The pickings are pretty slim. Time to drop the air miles I think and switch to a PC MasterCard and get something we all need.....FOOD.

October 04, 2016 @ 5:34 pm
L.Scott
L.Scott's picture

Mr. Weyman, thank you for this insightful report.
The CPM breakdown confirms my personal take on those various numbers.
I was able to book a hotel way back in May, but still 7k+ "in the hole" for Dec. 31. And wazzup with that "booking fee" on hotel & air tix?
Anyway, now looking at a high-end lawn mower as it cuts a lot of points out of the pot and as it's a certificate to be redeemed at select vendors, I'm pretty sure I can schmooze a dealer I know to just buy the chit from me for a decent figure that gets him over $250. more in his pocket when sent in for reimbursement.
That's called a Win-Win, yes?
Oh and btw, only found your article by trying to find evidence of what my wife claims to have heard on the media about the expiry plan having been scrapped. From what I found, AM is sticking tough (and sticking it to everybody) and obviously my wife misunderstood the radio report.
For a moment, life still had meaning but seems all hopes are again dashed.
Keep up the good work.

October 10, 2016 @ 11:00 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks for the kind words. I agree the booking fee is ridiculous especially for an online booking. I've never had enough AIR MILES to actually redeem them for travel - I've always used Aeroplan and other true travel rewards programs for that.

Love the idea you are doing with the Lawn Mower - great way to get some cash back out of the program.

October 14, 2016 @ 12:58 pm
romeo
romeo's picture

Air Miles Card was exciting as I built up the airmiles.
Then the change of Cash and Dream came about with no information whatsoever as I do not recollect receiving any intimation nor a call. Now I have over 15000 airmiles and they are all Dream. I am about to dream so much that I dreamt that I will never use my American Express Platinum card which gave me 1 airmile for every $10 spent. This will save me the fee I pay and opted for to get the points. Yes, You, the Loyalty program is a joke and a Scam. You hurt people and take for granted that you can do whatever you can. You are liable for the shift and change in policy. You have to get our value for the money we spent. You need to sit down and reflect what you are doing or about to do. I am not going to use you no matter what. Amex has lost a valued client. I hope they can wake up and prevail upon you to make good the loyalty promise.
Please do not think that you can escape. This is your end. Small gains for a big disaster. That is what awaits you.

October 11, 2016 @ 12:45 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Very prophetic words!

October 14, 2016 @ 1:00 pm
Robert
Robert's picture

What is the formula for one-way flights? (i.e. 60% of the return mileage)

October 13, 2016 @ 11:47 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I don't actually know Robert - I never tried to book a one way flight with them.

October 14, 2016 @ 1:00 pm
Andrew
Andrew's picture

I have over 38,000 airmiles, and nearly 26000 of them are expiring. The thing that burns me is that apparently the rewards site will only display the types of rewards according to your reward level. As I have been less active in the past couple of years, I am now back down to normal blue level. None of the high end items that are even remotely worthwhile are showing up due to the blue level.

This is a ridiculous issue and I hope they smarten up and learn from Aeroplan and decide not to expire. I have been a collector since 1990 when it started.

October 14, 2016 @ 1:45 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Wow - that's an insane amount of miles. Sad to hear about the position that puts you in.

October 16, 2016 @ 8:57 pm
Don McI., Kitchener ON
Don McI., Kitchener ON's picture

Further to the suggestion in the early part of these comments, I requested my Expiry Statement on AIR MILES.ca and, surprisingly, received it within five minutes. FYI.

October 19, 2016 @ 1:58 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

To their credit, they are pretty quick with it.

October 20, 2016 @ 2:22 pm
Arnold
Arnold's picture

Got 7600 dream airmiles that are expirind in December what is the best use of them?

October 19, 2016 @ 2:21 pm
Margaret Greggain
Margaret Greggain's picture

Where do I go to redeem my airmiles that are going to expire Dec. 2016. We will not be travelling so will buy something with airmiles.

Thank you

October 21, 2016 @ 9:06 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

You just create an account on airmiles.ca and it shows you your redemption options there. Just pick your reward and they will mail directly to you.

October 24, 2016 @ 1:13 pm
JL Mitchell
JL Mitchell 's picture

Every year for the last 4 years, I have saved and used my air miles for car rentals , this year the air miles required to book a car , same type, time and location has TRIPLED in air miles cost. So I don't know how you rate the CPM for rentals as good. For the past 4 years The car rental averaged about 1300 air miles and 65 in cash (taxes) per week to rent the cheapest economy car. This year 3600 and 105 in cash. I have checked others sites for car rentals that I have used in the past that indicate same or minor dollar increases nothing like air miles increases.

October 26, 2016 @ 8:31 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I'm just going by the rates I found at the time I wrote this article - I did several test bookings and crunched the numbers. It's possible rates have risen since then or that value for rental cars was much better in future years.

November 01, 2016 @ 9:57 am
Helen Ringer
Helen Ringer's picture

I have collected 25000 airmiles. We have tried to book flights and hotels and it said no flights and hotels available. We even tried some ridiculous flight locations and come up none available. This is extremely annoying. We are planning to cancel our BMO financial accounts along with our BMO airmiles credit cards
.

October 26, 2016 @ 6:42 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Availability is frustrating. When I was test booking hotels, there was nothing near the center of any city I looked at - only the outskirts.

November 01, 2016 @ 9:58 am
Rob freemont
Rob freemont's picture

What is the best use of 2000 dream miles which expire Dec 31 best value without extra or significant taxes? I like others was unaware I could not switch back to cash miles

October 26, 2016 @ 6:58 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

The top 5 I listed here are the best suggestions I have.

November 01, 2016 @ 9:58 am
sandy h
sandy h's picture

Im tired of airmiles. I have bee trying to get through to them on the phone for three days. They state they are extremely busy and your call will be answered in so may minutes. It should state never or days. Forget the call back feature. They will call you back within the promised hour and then put you through to a line that you will never get an answer. It sounds like they do not have enough staff. Also the person that calls you back, why can't they answer your question. I think airmiles is just avoiding clients by not answering their phones in an appropriate timeframe.

October 26, 2016 @ 8:02 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I've heard they are trying to increase staff - but likely not to the necessary levels as they probably want to control costs. I imagine the whole point of this expiry is for them to control costs and make their accounting easier.

November 01, 2016 @ 10:00 am
USA
USA's picture

My husband as over 10 000 miles and wanted to get me a trip for my birthday and stay home with the kids. Does any one knows if we can do that or do we need to pay to get the trip to my name

November 04, 2016 @ 12:17 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

He should be able to book a ticket in your name no problem.

November 07, 2016 @ 2:23 pm
Liz t
Liz t's picture

What does the PDF version stand for and hoe do I log in for this ?

November 04, 2016 @ 10:18 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

It's a downloadable version of this article in case you want to take it with you on your computer/phone/whatever. You only need to provide an email address to access it.

November 07, 2016 @ 2:24 pm
ljhh6
ljhh6's picture

I have about 1200 dream miles. Not enough to travel. Don't need a car rental. When looked at merchandise the items all require as much cash as buying the things in stores. Often cheaper in stores on sale. Guess I will just lose them. All miles are cash miles now. Learned about that too late and didn't understand at first.

November 07, 2016 @ 9:04 pm
Tricia
Tricia's picture

I have almost 9000 miles, of which 7400 will be expiring in December. I have been trying to see where I could travel to and what dates are available. Is there a way to see what is available?

November 09, 2016 @ 11:11 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I put a link above under the 'Flights' section.

November 14, 2016 @ 10:26 pm
Fred
Fred's picture

I have spent my last air miles on Air Miles Dream Sweepstakes for
1) KitchenAid Appliances and
2) Ultimate Shopper Experience
The winners are not listed and the contest is over. Does anyone know where the list of winners might be available?

November 10, 2016 @ 1:51 pm
S Brooks
S Brooks's picture

Having significant difficulty getting through to Airlines (via phone or live chat).
My parents have 3100 Dream Airmiles - can they convert these to Cash Miles before they begin to expire?
Thanks!

November 11, 2016 @ 4:18 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Not that I have heard so far unless they decide to change the rules.

November 14, 2016 @ 10:27 pm
christina
christina's picture

I cashed out about 1,100 air miles a few yrs ago for a $100 voucher to be used towards an investment at BMO. As with other popular rewards such as gift cards, this reward has since disappeared. I'm sure everyone would agree it's not worth the time and effort to bother with collecting air miles any longer, esp if you can't use it effectively for its intended purpose: air travel. It's a shame that they can't improve the program to make it worth its while. I have also heard that you can use your miles for car rentals but again, it seems that the number of miles is excessive for the value.

November 11, 2016 @ 7:52 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Air Miles was always a terrible name for the program because it has never been particularly suited to air travel and isn't an airline rewards program. Very confusing name for them to have chosen.

November 14, 2016 @ 10:28 pm
Lisa
Lisa's picture

I just checked my balance and it said Dream Transfer in the amount of all my points. Almost 9000. I haven't transferred a thing. I sure hope I can get through to their customer service in the morning. Judging by what others have said it seems like Air Miles is not overly cooperative. Has anyone else had their balance transferred? My current balance is now 0. Not sure what is going on.

November 11, 2016 @ 11:53 pm
George Harris
George Harris 's picture

I have 6300 Dream Air Miles & am trying to find a way to change them to gas cards. Any help would be appreciated.

November 12, 2016 @ 5:28 pm
Claude
Claude's picture

We need to have a revolt where we would boycott safeway, and other airmiles vendors and tell them if we can't redeem our points then they will have a war!

November 14, 2016 @ 1:02 am
Stephanie
Stephanie's picture

You are able to transfer your air miles to another person but expiry date will be the same. Must be Dream account to Dream account; and Cash account to Cash. In addition, Air Miles charges $0.15 per mile + $10 service fee per transfer.

If you're thinking about paying for a flight and are short of miles, Air Miles is willing to sell you the balance miles you need at $0.20 per mile.

I have 687 miles and must use them by Dec 31, 2016. There isn't much I can do with this. It will cost me $113.05 to transfer this amount to someone ((687 x 0.15) + 10).

November 15, 2016 @ 4:31 pm
USER
USER's picture

AIR MILES COMPANY IS A RASCAL. WHERE WILL UNUSED AIR MILES GO? THEY WILL FILL UP THEIR POCKETS WITH OUR EXPIRED MILES WHICH WE DIDN'T USE. VERY SMART, EH! IT;S NOT RIGHT!

November 19, 2016 @ 6:52 pm
Dale
Dale's picture

I have complained about Dream Miles expiry to Safeway and Bank of Montreal. Too busy to get to Shell and all the others.
We should all join the class action, if possible. That would get Air Miles attention. I don't want to pay cash to get rewards. I purchased a video camera, with just dream miles I don't like it, I will offer it on E-Bay. I purchased event tickets which I am going to sell to my neighbour. I might not be getting full value for my miles, but at least I am getting something rather than letting them expire. As for Cash Miles, they work great. The cashier even reminds me when i have some to apply to my purchase. Sometimes i walk out of the store with a full cart of groceries for just a few dollars.

November 21, 2016 @ 9:07 pm
Dale
Dale's picture

Sorry, I meant to say: IF I don't like the camera I will sell it. I might like it.
In comparrisson to with the experience some have reported with Air Miles, Aeroplan is a dream (sorry couldn't resist). Book your flight or cruise with your Expedia travel agent, purchase enough certificates from your Aeroplan account, forward the certificates to your travel agent and your are done.

November 21, 2016 @ 9:23 pm
Chwkmark
Chwkmark's picture

I have 93,000 airmiles. They aren't expiring yet because I am presently an Onyx collector, so I am going to try the personal shopper team, where they allow you to buy other items that aren't in their merchandise catalogue. I have a lot of airmiles and think it really sucks that they could expire. I'm going to the stores that I buy from with airmiles and tell them they should quit the airmiles program.

November 22, 2016 @ 5:14 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

That is a truckload of miles man - what's your secret to collecting?

November 27, 2016 @ 3:30 pm
Chwkmark
Chwkmark's picture

The way I got 93,000 airmiles wasn't much of a trick. I just spent a lot of money. Actually I'm a builder and some suppliers give airmiles. I just heard that the airmiles aren't going to expire. The company backed down, which is great, but it will take me a while to recover from the negative feeling I have towards them.

December 01, 2016 @ 9:33 pm
lvachon
lvachon's picture

I agree. This is bull crap, very unfair and not right. I've been collecting airmiles for probably 25-30 years. It's taken me a long time to get these miles that I was saving to take a nice trip sometime and now it is all going up in smoke. I'm fed up with airmiles. I have no respect for them.

November 23, 2016 @ 2:52 pm
Anthony
Anthony's picture

I have been a collector for over 20 years with 17,900 air miles expiring Dec 30th ,2016. I have never redeemed any air miles before until this imposed expiration date. I started 3 weeks ago to familiarize myself on redeeming the expiring air miles. It was the most frustrating experience of having to jump through hoops that ended with nothing satisfactory. I spent many frustrating hours navigating the website exploring flight, package holiday , cruise, merchandise and not able to speak to anyone, wasted numerous hours on hold, disconnected and call back.....only to find out the limitations after the fact. When you do get a voice message & be told that for cruise/package vacation you will need to speak to an adviser for an appointment some weeks later if you are lucky to get a call back. I discovered after some while the offers are of limited selections at best. Pricing on merchandises are higher then that can be obtained elsewhere. I am face with no choice but to decide to redeem the expiring air miles on merchandises that I don't like or to loose it all after Dec 31st, 2016.
I truly believe that a class action will be the way to go & to investigate this Air Miles scam. I m furious, frustrated, betrayed & felt cheated !
I promised myself to have nothing to do with Air Miles going forward. I will cancel my credit card who is associated with Air Miles , as It is synonymous with vulgarity of the "F.."word.

November 24, 2016 @ 5:42 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

It's a shame because they used to have a lot of half decent rewards with good availability. It isn't the case now that they changed the program with Air Miles Cash.

November 27, 2016 @ 3:31 pm
Wkabean
Wkabean's picture

I have used my airmiles over the years for flights within Canada and the US so I was surprised when I found out that I still had 20,000 expiring in Jan. I wrote a letter to Airmiles president office and received a call back from their office in one day which was also a surprise. I discussed my concerns and pointed out that it was similar to putting money in a bank account and when I had not used the money for 5 years the bank was taking this money away since I did not need it or had not used it. I discussed my options and the end result was that I was able to spend enough to switch to Onyx so the miles would not expire as long as I remained Onyx. I had the ability to do this and most people do not and I have always felt that Airmiles was a card for the average person who wanted to save up for a once in a lifetime flight as well as people who did spend a lot and used it

My plan is to use up my Airmiles and then change to another loyalty program. As pointed out by the author Steve, I find my best use of the miles is to use local flights, car rentals and hotels which I have not had any trouble in booking over the years. I have found a similar issue as pointed out by some writers that flights can be there one day and not the next but usually if you leave it for a few hours or overnight they come back. I understand why Airmiles might want to close up some accounts that have not been used for years and some owners might not even know they still had miles BUT if someone is consistently still building their airmiles account up then that person is still active and should not be forced to use or lose them. Apparently Airmiles notified us of this change but it was in a very quiet way and I am an active Airmiles member who does read my mail and check my account on line and it certainly was not very clear that this was imminent and what it would really mean.

Anyway just my 2 cents.

Wkabean

November 24, 2016 @ 10:55 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks for sharing your experience. Glad to hear you at least got a call back quickly. Wonder if it had something to do with the size of your balance?

November 27, 2016 @ 3:33 pm
Alena Matos
Alena Matos's picture

How long after signing up for a credit card will it take for the miles to update? Or do you have to wait for approval as well? I need 18 miles to get something I would like… and I guess only a couple days till expiry?

November 29, 2016 @ 10:01 pm
Elizabeth C
Elizabeth C's picture

I too, am frustrated. I have been trying to obtain information on the merchandise I redeemed as a result of the deadline. When I initially started to look into redeeming my air miles in early August, the items would show available, but as soon as I clicked on the "redeem" button, a message would appear stating the merchandise was no longer available. After 3 tries, I finally cashed in 5800 air miles on a sound projector bar, 3400 on a blue ray dvd player and the rest of the Sweepstakes. I went on line to see what the cost was for one of these sound bars and they were priced at $650.00 CND. I received the blue ray dvd player within 1 week but still no sign of my sound projector bar and no confirmation of the Sweepstakes contest. After several frustrating calls to the call centre since October, I am still being told that the sound bar is in their warehouse and will be shipped shortly. I think it will disappear and I will never receive it and at the same time, will not get my points refunded because they'll likely say something like "the deadline has passed". I kept the sheet of paper that outlined my redeeming history just in case but I know I won't get this item. I just have a feeling.

I will advise though that instead of waiting in cue for your call to be answered by the next available agent, (current wait time is 30 to 40 minutes), just choose the call back option. They really do call you back.

Good luck to everyone but as for me, my card has been cut in half and thrown away as I no longer wish to be aggravated unnecessarily. Life is too full of stress so why put yourself through this?

November 30, 2016 @ 3:08 pm
Tracy
Tracy's picture

THEY CANCELLED THEIR CANCELLATION POLICY!!!
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.. KEEP YOUR MILES PEOPLE!!
I just logged in to check on my account and its cancelled.

December 03, 2016 @ 3:52 am
Tracy
Tracy's picture

THEY CANCELLED THEIR CANCELLATION POLICY!!!
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.. KEEP YOUR MILES PEOPLE!!
I just logged in to check on my account and its cancelled.

December 03, 2016 @ 3:55 am
guest
guest's picture

Am I allowed to bring a US citizen as a guest when I put my air miles towards a trip?

Can't seem to find any information on this.

December 08, 2016 @ 1:43 am
Linda
Linda's picture

Hello, Thank you Stephen and Thank you all. This is the first day Dec. 8 that I have learned of the miles expiring.

Can you Stephen or someone else confirm if this policy has truly been reversed please ??

I still collect a bit, I have 19,000 miles, but don't even have my collector # or current email on my account, so I cannot check for myself.

Thanks again & Regards.

December 09, 2016 @ 12:57 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Yes, the expiration policy has been 100% cancelled. Your miles will not expire.

December 13, 2016 @ 12:08 pm
Linda
Linda's picture

DEFINITELY HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Just read an article on the cbc.ca website confirming this. THANKS TO ALL WHO COMPLAINED & FOUGHT THIS.

December 09, 2016 @ 1:27 am
Marina
Marina's picture

What do you do with 150 dream miles left over after purchasing the flight?

February 23, 2017 @ 1:19 pm
carole nakonechny
carole nakonechny's picture

Totally awful way to end the day...just picked up on Airmiles Dream/ Cash weirdness..I'm not an advanced rewards tracker person
3000 stuck in Dream (nightmare) Account
I see 2 options..
Cashout with whatever blender /vacuum cleaner// hairdryer/ flight to Kelowna I can find
OR wait for Airmiles to do the right thing and disband the Dream Sector
Dream On
Carole

April 08, 2017 @ 4:49 am
Kelly
Kelly's picture

I have recently re-directed my Airmiles account to my current email address. I have never been a "passionate" miles collector, but I have been a collector since 1995. I have never redeemed any miles and yet I have less than 1200 miles. Have I been ripped-off along the way? How do I follow-up and ensure I have not had miles taken away?

April 21, 2017 @ 5:32 am
Stéphane Lefebvre
Stéphane Lefebvre's picture

Last septembre, I was contemplating a Stihl Lithium ion mower but I still needed 500 miles to get to the 6250 needed !
On this 6th of may 2017, I thought of finally ordering it, having enough miles to do so. So I thought!!!
To my surprise, those crooks are now asking 9900 miles, but since I have a gold status, they are giving me a bargain and asking only 8910 miles!!! In a little more than 6 months they boosted the price of this item by 3650 miles!!!
This is Hopeless. At this rate, I'll be lucky if I get it before I turn 100!!!
And they're still getting away with it!!! That's not mentioning the outrageous fees they are charging to transfer air miles from member to member.

May 06, 2017 @ 12:27 pm
Whitham martin
Whitham martin's picture

I would just like to purchase a gift card with my points. Can I????????? A card I can use on whatever I want. Please advise. I think in the past I purchased gift card. But I don't see it available now.

July 05, 2017 @ 7:47 pm
Phil Morris
Phil Morris's picture

You may want to take another look at the value of the flights , I was going to book 2 flights fromToronto to Dublin one cash the other with 5400 air miles the total price after all the fees and taxes were added it would have cost me $1300 plus the air mils. I can get the same flights on Expedia for around $1500 . .

October 16, 2017 @ 4:06 pm

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