Changes to the Air Miles Program

Changes to the Air Miles Program

A Summary of the Changes to the Air Miles Program

Air Miles has changed its rules. As of December 31, 2011, any miles that you collected in the past will carry an expiration date of December 31, 2016, giving you 5 years to spend your miles. As of this month, customers are also able to redeem Air Miles instantly; 95 miles can be instantly redeemed for $10, but only through participating retailers.

Not only will your old miles expire, but your new ones will as well. In fact, all miles will have a 5-year lifespan, giving collectors the incentive to redeem them more often. Unfortunately, not everyone is happy with the changes. Some Air Miles collectors have been saving their miles up for years and are disappointed that they are being forced to use them. But if they don’t, their unused miles will expire.

How Do Air Miles Work?

Air Miles is a free rewards program. In exchange for your information on your shopping habits, you can collect miles on select items you purchase. Every time you make a purchase at a participating retailer, you collect points on the money you’ve spent. Once you’ve accumulated enough points, they can be redeemed for merchandise including airline tickets, subscriptions, electronic goods and gift cards. And if you feel so inclined, you can even donate your Air Miles to charity.

I only recently found out about the changes to the Air Miles program. Excited, I realized that I hadn’t checked my Air Miles since I had started collecting them. I was really curious to see just how many I’d accrued.

Apparently, I’ve been collecting Air Miles since I first got my card in 2008. Since that time, I have collected a total of 287 points. I decided to visit Air Miles’ website to see just what my 287 miles would get me. As it turns out, not a lot. Apparently you have to spend a LOT of money to collect enough Air Miles to purchase anything exciting.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about the program. In exchange for my shopping information, Air Miles is giving me free points – points that I can exchange for goods. I just haven’t used them as much as others have.

After taking a look at their website, I came to the conclusion that I could purchase one of about five things – a movie package for two including two drinks and a medium popcorn, or a handful of $20 gift cards, including one for iTunes. Most of the merchandise available for purchase was selling for well over 1000 miles per item. At this rate, it would take me another 12 years to save up enough for something cool. With the new rules in place, however, I don’t have 12 years to save anymore.

I spent quite a bit of time cruising the Air Miles website. There was a lot of cool stuff on the site, some of which would look great in my home. For instance, I found an Energy Star General Electric refrigerator for 24,100 miles – an item that would take me 335 years to save up for.

So what did I do with my miles? I decided to purchase a movie package and take my partner out on a date.

Redeeming Your Air Miles

In order to redeem your Air Miles, you’ll first have to set up an account. Once you’ve created your account, take the time to check out the items available on the Air Miles website. Select the item you want by clicking the “Add to Cart” button. You’ll be taken to the “Checkout” page, where the amount due will be subtracted from your accumulated Air Miles. As an added bonus, shipping costs are included in the total. Shipping will take approximately 3 to 4 weeks.

Good luck and don’t forget to spend your Miles!

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