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AIR MILES Rewards Canada

Updated on March 14, 2016
AIR MILES is a registered trademark. Logo and screenshots have been used with permission.
AIR MILES is a registered trademark. Logo and screenshots have been used with permission.

AIR MILES Rewards Loyalty Program Review

AIR MILES® is a successful loyalty rewards program open to Canadian residents. Members collect reward miles (or points) through their regular cash and credit card purchases like groceries, gas, utilities, travel, etc.

These reward miles, called AIR MILES (AMs), can be redeemed for a variety of merchandise, travel rewards, gift certificates, and much more. This rewards points loyalty program is also available in other countries like the UK, Netherlands, Spain, and U.A.E.

In 2012, the AIR MILES Cash program was introduced through which members can redeem their Cash balance directly at the cashier, at participating retailers. A minimum of 95 Air Miles, equivalent to $10, can be used toward purchases made.

I've been an AIR MILES rewards program member for over a decade now and have redeemed hundreds of dollars worth in gift cards and merchandise. In fact, in June 2012, I redeemed some of my points for twelve $20 Metro grocery gifts cards. Since then I've been using the new AM Cash option which allows member to redeem points right at the cashier at participating retailers. On this web page, I will show you how to become a member of this loyalty program, how to collect Air Miles, and how to redeem your them online.

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AIR MILES Program Overview

The Canadian AIR MILES® Loyalty Program was launched in 1992. As mentioned earlier, I've been a member for over a decade. I've enjoyed using this free loyalty program and have made good use of it. The concept of the program is quite simple. Basically, you can collect Air Miles (or points) on your everyday purchases when you shop in participating stores.

You receive one Air Mile for every $20 that you spend at the participating retailer. However, you can double them on each purchase if you have an Air Miles credit card, for example. Also, throughout the year the company runs special programs which allow you to earn bonus points. I've collected literary thousands of reward points and redeemed hundreds of dollars worth in AM Cash, gift cards and merchandise.

There are essentially two types of Air Miles rewards: Dream Rewards which you redeem for merchandise and gift cards; and Cash Rewards which you can redeem instantly at the cashier, at participating retailers, and apply towards your bill payment. You can become a Gold Rewards collector by earn 1,000 Air Miles in a given calendar year by December 31st. Being a Gold Collector entitles you for exclusive discounts and bonus offers, as well as fewer points to redeem on certain merchandise.

Some of the top Air Miles participating sponsors are Amazon.ca, American Express, BMO, Boston Pizza, LCBO, Metro, National Car Rental, Rexall / Pharma Plus, Rona, Shell, and hundreds of others. You can use your points to get gifts for your family and friends. You will find a variety of gifts items like electronics, music, gift cards, movie tickets, travel certificates, sports equipment, and much more. There is no limit to the number of Air Miles you can collect, however, effective December 31, 2011, they have an expiry date of five years.

AIR MILES Cash

Setting your AM Balance Preference
Setting your AM Balance Preference

AIR MILES Cash Rewards Program

AIR MILES® Cash option was introduced in 2012 (or late 2011) which allows you to redeem your accumulated points instantly at the cashier, at participating retailers, when making a purchase. Therefore, if you have sufficient miles in your Cash account, you can instantly reduce your bill at the cashier.

I find the AM Cash program very convenient because there is no waiting. That is, you don't have to wait to receive your gift cards, in the mail, after redeeming your points online. However, you have to register in the program before you can redeem your points.

You will need to accumulate at least 95 Air Miles before you can redeem them from your Cash account. 95 Air Miles equals $10 which includes taxes and you can redeem your AM Cash in increments of 95 points. Check the video below to learn more about the Air Miles Cash program, register and instantly redeem points at participating sponsors.

AIR MILES Gift Certificates

How to Redeem AIR MILES?

Redeeming AIR MILES Cash & Dream Reward Miles

I've earned and redeemed thousands of Air Miles since I first joined this loyalty program in 1999. Essentially, you can earn AM Cash and Dream Reward Miles. AM Cash can be redeemed instantly and directly at the cashier, at participating stores.

Basically, at the time of making the payment, you present your AM collector card to the cashier and you can redeem Air Miles in increments of 95 points (which is equivalent to $10). You can redeem up to a maximum of $750 per day.

Before the AM Cash option was implemented, AM collectors were able to redeem gift certificates at certain stores. For example, back in 2012, I redeemed twelve $20 Metro gift certificates (as you can see in the image above). Now, with the AM Cash option, this gift certificate option is no longer available because now it's easier to redeem your Air Miles directly at the cashier (at participating retailers), so you don't have to wait to receive the gift certificates in the mail.

In terms of Dream Rewards Miles, you can redeem them at the Air Miles website for over 1,500 products from electronics, toys, magazine subscriptions, as well as travel. I've mostly used my redeemed my points for AM Cash and merchandise, rather than for travel. Back in 2004, I redeemed my AMs for a Sony digital camera.

I'm a member of several other loyalty programs like HBC Rewards, Esso Extra, Petro Points, ad a couple of others. Overall, I've found the AIR MILES loyalty program one of the best and I continue to make the best of this program.

AIR MILES Help & FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions on the Air Miles Program

Below you will find answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Air Miles loyalty member program. Air Miles Cash, Gold program, Earning and Redeeming your loyalty points, etc. including how to become a member.

AIR MILES Smartpone App for iPhone and Android Devices

Are you a member of Air Miles Rewards Program?

Credits: AIR MILES® is a registered trademark. AIR MILES logo and screenshots have been used with permission. Pictures on this web page belong to the author unless otherwise mentioned.

Guestbook: Air Miles Rewards Canada

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    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 12 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi there, AIR MILES changed their policies and introduced a new Cash Plan with which you can use AMs directly at checkout in increments of $10. You present your AMs card to the cashier and let them know how much you would like to use (95 AMs = $10). You can use this plan only at participating retailers. Hope this helps. Apologies for the delayed response. I was overseas and just got back last evening.

    • profile image

      Pat 13 months ago

      i still cannot find out where I convert my air miles to the cash part???

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi, you can create an online account with your AIR MILES Collector card number and check your balance online. Alternatively, call them at 1-888-247-6453. If you go to the website, you can even chat with a live representative online (during business hours). Hope this helps.

    • profile image

      mymomsanangel25@gmail.com 2 years ago

      would like to know my balance

    • profile image

      chattersharon 4 years ago

      I flew twice last year on Airmiles and have flown a few times in the past as well.

    • WorkSmarter101 profile image

      WorkSmarter101 4 years ago

      I've had Air Miles for years and it seems after reading this article that I've never really taken advantage it.

      Thanks I really appreciate the information. Very useful!

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Diva2Mom: Yeah, when used effectively, it's amazing how beneficial it can be to leverage from these loyalty programs, like Air Miles Rewards. Thanks for stopping by and for your New Year blessings! Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year too ~ God bless and huge hug!

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Lady Lorelei: The Air Miles Cash program is very convenient too, though the conversion rate is not the same as getting some merchandise or gift cards. I like the cash program though and use it all the time.

    • Diva2Mom profile image

      Diva2Mom 4 years ago

      Wish to fly soon and be able to fly more, and maybe later on, I can take advantage of the Air Miles Rewards Program as well :). I'm currently a member of Dellta's Skymiles rewards program and MileagePlus with United Airlines. It's amazing how easy it is to actually earn and collect mileage points esp. nowadays. Great Valuable Lens indeed, my dear. Well done, dear friend! Fabulously-BLESSED by a little Squid Angel. God bless you and huge hug! Happy New Year!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      I've been a member of the Air Miles Program for years. It will be interesting now that they have changed the program so you can use it for gas purchases. (Suits me perfectly!)

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @TransplantedSoul: Yeah, I think Air Miles is a great loyalty program. There is no catch to it other than having to shop at participating retailers. I've benefited hundreds of dollars worth of gift certificates and merchandise. It's amazing how it adds up just going about your regular shopping. I do use many of the special promotions they have for bonus Air Miles. And with the new Air Miles Cash program, you can pay at the cashier (of participating retailers) directly using the Air Miles Rewards card.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 4 years ago

      I never bothered to enroll. I always thought there was a catch. I'll need to think again.