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Thread: Anyone else trying to redeem expiring Air Miles?

  1. #1
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    Default Anyone else trying to redeem expiring Air Miles?

    As most of you probably know, Air Miles start expiring soon. After apparently doing zero research, many years ago I thought an Air Miles card was a good idea, and thus have a decent amount left (~$500 worth). Now that it's getting to the point where they will soon start to expire, I have started looking at merchandise to use up my miles on, because the flight deals are obviously horrible value.

    Lo and behold, there is probably 1/10th of the merchandise they normally have, and it is all garbage. Normally their selection is decent, with a scattering of quality items (years ago got my Vitamix from them for example). Further research shows that AirMiles is already being sued, because people with expiring miles get far fewer redemption options shown to them than those with mostly brand new miles.

    I have only begun looking into this but has anyone else noticed this or is it just me? If I had to guess, they are making it as unappealing as possible for people with expiring miles to redeem them, so they don't get used by the deadline. For nearly a decade my choices for merchandise have been roughly the same, and now conveniently when there is no doubt a bit of a rush to use the points, they cut their selection down by a factor of probably 10. Not a big deal for me obviously, but some of you might have a lot more miles.
    Last edited by Mitsu3000gt; 08-12-2016 at 07:57 PM.

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    yup. All merch is shit now lol.

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    This the same thing if have the cash points?? I went to Shell today and tried to use it and kept getting declined.
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    Oddly enough I just did some digging into the value of air miles and it seemed like even with having to pay the taxes on flights, it was still best value to use them on air travel (anywhere from 17-29 cents per mile value for the three flights i randomly checked from Calgary departing to winnipeg, toronto and phoenix).

    For the rental car I checked, compared to a posted rate from budget it worked out to 15 cents a mile, and this price has just jumped recently as i have been watching it.

    In terms of merchandise, I checked three random items I could find price values for (dyson vacuum, pressure cooker, and skil saw) and the value worked out between 10 and 16 cents a mile.

    Overall, I definitely hear you about how there is much less selection on what you can do with them. I have all my future air miles switched over to cash miles and am just trying to work my way through my dream miles.

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    I am not sure how the cash points work, but for the actual Airmiles 10 points = $1

    So a $400 item is 4,000 air miles roughly, and they always value everything at full MSRP even if it's 2-3 years old and doesn't cost anywhere near that amount in the stores, for example.

    For trips, let's say you're going to Hawaii. It's about 3,100 miles each way, so 6,200 miles required round trip. It's rare that you pay more than $600 go to to Hawaii, but to use air miles you pay $620 worth of miles PLUS $300 or more in fees. That's how it worked last time I used air miles for a flight (once), so maybe it's different now but it was the worst deal ever. You end up spending $600 or so in miles to save $200 or so on the flight. I believe now you can pick any seat, instead of air miles designated seats, but I'm not sure how they deal with the taxes these days.

    Regardless, I just want to pick out a $400 item and be done with it, so I started looking and the selection is 1/10th if not worse of what I used to see. I used to scroll through pages and pages of electronics and now there is like 6 things total.

    Sounds like the guy suing airmiles logged on to the store at the same time as his daughter, and she got way more stuff and far better stuff to pick from. When he logs on with all his old miles, he sees a fraction of the merchandise because they are (probably) trying to discourage a rush of redemption before the expiration deadline.
    Last edited by Mitsu3000gt; 08-12-2016 at 11:07 PM.

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    Yeah f*cking air miles man, I thought I was selected under cash point - nope, had them under dream points.. so I can't buy a f*cking THING.

    HOWEVER .. I can book some hotel nights in Penticton and Revelstoke so I'm probably just going to use them for that..

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    You guys. There's still some quite decent merchandise on Airmiles, maybe not baller status but still decent stuff. The Breville blenders, beasts - we've had an Airmiles Breville blender for a number of years and it's great. Cameras, toaster, panini grill, vacuums and other stuff over the years and it's all still working great. Fishing gear we've got from Airmiles also catches fish very well.

    I do think the Airmiles flight thing has become a bit of a joke as I can book cash flights through them return to Kelowna but am unable to book any flights on the same dates using Airmiles. Don't know about other travel stuff because I really don't care to travel any more.
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    air miles has always been a joke for flights. Avion destroys it for travel.
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    The best value for airmiles has traditionally been on short haul flights because although the taxes and fees are still higher than booking through the airline, they can't charge several hundred dollars in fees on a $400 flight.

    I fly to Vancouver several times per year and have never gotten a value of less than $0.18/mile.

    I just checked for midweek September 14-16 flights:

    Westjet website: $325.75 including taxes
    Airmiles: $121 taxes and fees +1125 miles

    $204 savings with airmiles using 1125 miles is a value of $0.182 per mile.

    With that said, I used to get between $0.30-$0.40 per mile. I had about 10,000 at one point and stopped collecting when they got stupid and increased the miles required for everything and decreased the miles earned.

    Vancouver flights used to be 800 miles; now they're 1,500. Every $20 at Shell used to earn you a mile so if you'd fill $80 it was four miles and then they had their promotions that multiplied your miles so you could earn 20-40 miles with every fill-up. Now it's a single mile regardless of the amount of fuel purchased with a minimum of $20.

    I've stopped going to Shell and am tossing my airmiles card once I use up the miles I have left. I'm sure many others are doing the same thing.


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    I'm just planning to get a shitton of shell gift cards and be good for gas for like a year..
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    Whenever I get groceries and collect Air Miles they ask if I want to use Air Miles to pay for X amount of the grocery bill. Can't you just get ~$500 worth of groceries and pay for it all with the expiring miles?

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    i just burned all my points, got a few attractions passes, card will be retired now, i dont use it consistantly enough to make it worth my time to dig it out of my wallet.
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    The gift card plan is a good idea, but my GF used Airmiles to buy $200 of gas cards, the cards arrived empty, and both Airmiles and the gas stations told her to GFY every time she tries to use them, so there is no way I'm rolling the dice on gift cards/gas cards.

    I'll probably just end up ordering some merchandise and putting it on Kijiji unless by some miracle their selection improves by the end of the year.

    The other thing they do, is on a lot of the merchandise people actually want, you can't even use air miles! It has an actual price listed in dollars you can pay if you want, same as walking into a store, and no option to use air miles for it. Or they have absurd deals like a 4K TV for 2000 air miles + $1,700 cash

    They are also moving away from name-brands and carrying a lot of electronics from the cheap eBay/amazon knock off brands.
    Last edited by Mitsu3000gt; 08-15-2016 at 09:58 AM.

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    Originally posted by Swank
    Whenever I get groceries and collect Air Miles they ask if I want to use Air Miles to pay for X amount of the grocery bill. Can't you just get ~$500 worth of groceries and pay for it all with the expiring miles?
    No. It's stupid. They have two balances. One is Air Miles Cash and another for Air Miles (dream miles I think it's called). They are not transferable between the two and you have to set the default as to which of the two you are collecting.

    edit: reference
    https://www.airmiles.ca/arrow/CashDreamOverview

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    Man, what a farce, it's PetroPoints ugly cousin

    I switched to all cash points now, I was at 70/30. I guess at the end of the day it's still free money, doesn't cost anything to have the card
    Last edited by Swank; 08-15-2016 at 11:07 AM.

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    I'm sure glad that I switched everything over to cash points a couple of years ago. I use them at Shell/Sobey's. Wish I could switch my "dream" miles over..

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    They used to have BMO investment certificates you could buy. Either 950 miles for $100 or 4750 miles for $500 worth. Basically a cheque they mail you then you can take it to a BMO branch and deposit it in some sort of investment. I deposited the $500 certificate in my BMO Investorline then transferred the cash out right away.

    Not sure if they still have these but if they do that's a good way to get cash. Although it works out to about only 10.5 cents per mile.

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    Originally posted by [email protected]
    I've stopped going to Shell and am tossing my airmiles card once I use up the miles I have left. I'm sure many others are doing the same thing.
    Did that since they have that cash/dream split and I can't collect Shell gift certs. Fewer and fewer Shell outlets and since neighborhood Co-Op has the same premium, I stop going to Shell or care about airmiles.

    I donated my last bunch of miles to Red Cross Ft Mac relief.

    Originally posted by Swank
    I switched to all cash points now, I was at 70/30. I guess at the end of the day it's still free money, doesn't cost anything to have the card
    It may be free but they keep devaluing the miles to the point that it costs more to grab the card out of my wallet than what the miles are worth.
    Last edited by Xtrema; 08-15-2016 at 02:50 PM.

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    just booked an all-inclusive trip to Mexico flying with Air Transat which help cover slightly more than half for my wife, 2 kids and I for an October trip. Had about 18000 Air Miles to use up.

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    Anyone spy some nearby-ish weekend packages (used to get the fairmont hot springs ones)?

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