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Got AIR MILES? Here’s What You Need To Know Before They Expire

As you may have heard through the grapevine, Air Miles’ expiry policy is coming into effect for the first time this year and it has been causing a little bit of frustration among collectors. The policy states that beginning this upcoming December 31, Reward Miles over 5 years will expire on a quarterly basis. So if you have any unused miles collected before 2012, they will be gone before you know it. If you’ve been saving up Miles for a dream vacation or a new French-Door fridge, it is time to work on making it a reality. There have been quite a few changes to the Air Miles program, so before you start redeeming points, there are a few things you’ll need to know to make the process less daunting and get you the best reward for your miles.

When Exactly Will Your Miles Expire?

Every Reward Mile in your account is date-stamped, if you have any unused Miles they will be automatically removed from your account at the end of each quarter (December 31, March 31, June 30 and September 30). For example, if you collected miles in January 2014, they will expire on March 31, 2017. You can request your expiry statement here to find out when your Miles will expire. You will receive an email with the details within 12-24 hours.

How To Redeem Your Miles

There are 2 categories for collecting and redeeming Reward Miles, AIRMILES Cash, and Dream Rewards. However, if your miles are expiring this year or you have not opted to collect Cash Miles then you are limited to redeeming Miles for travel, events & attractions, merchandise and sweepstakes in the Dream Rewards category only. If you have been collecting Cash Miles, then you could be eligible for in-store and online cash rewards  or make charitable donations. Stumped on where to begin? Don’t worry! We’ve explained in detail how you can redeem miles for each reward category so read on.

Retail Rewards

If you opted to collect AIRMILES Cash then you can get instant cash rewards or e-vouchers at participating retailers. For every 95 Miles redeemed, you will get $10 off your total purchase.

Charity Donation

You also have the choice to donate your Miles to charity. There are over 86,000 participating registered charities so all you have to do is pick a cause to support, get a donation code, and make your donation using your Cash Miles. It’s that easy! Plus you’ll get a tax receipt.

Dream Rewards

Redeem your dream miles to enjoy rewards such as travel, free hotel accommodations, tickets to events, attraction passes, health & wellness packages, kitchen & dining products, electronics, and so much more!

According to many sources, including HowToSaveMoney.ca, you will get the best value for your miles if you use them for travel. You can travel within North America for as low as 1300 miles during low season and 1600 during high-season. For example, a round-trip flight from Toronto to New York in October will set you back 1300 miles plus an additional $135-$165 in taxes and fees. If you’re planning on travelling in the next little while, it might be worth it to do a flight search and find out if your miles can earn you a free flight.

A popular option among those who want to travel but don’t have the required miles, is getting an American Express AIRMILES credit card. As a new cardholder, you are eligible for the welcome bonuses which range from 500-2,400 miles. If you’re interested in learning more about this offer, visit their website here.

What will you spend your AIRMILES on?