Air Miles Expiry Policy Cancelled!

Air Miles is one of my least preferred mileage programs. Even though their name contains “air” – it’s not really an airline program. Redemptions for travel are generally a horrible value, and they’ve just had scandal after scandal:

Now, even though they’ve scrapped their expiration policy, people are pissed off about redeeming miles for items they didn’t really want simply because of their upcoming deadline. Air Miles also isn’t going to be refunding anyone.

Air Miles Expiry

Air Miles Expiry

My Thoughts on Air Miles Expiry

Air Miles perhaps thinks all of this is going to blow over. It won’t – not especially when you’ve had months of negative publicity. This is to the point where not only avid points collectors are aware, but even the general public knows.

It’s just been one marketing blunder after another. I’m shocked at the lack of customer response that Air Miles has presented. Even the FAQ page for air miles expiry (https://www.airmiles.ca/expiry) hasn’t been updated. It simply redirects to the home page.

A heartfelt apology note pasted on the front page would go a long way to assuage angry consumers, even if it doesn’t really do anything. Some promotion to win back the minds of Canadians would be great.

For Consumers, the easiest way is to vote with your wallet. If you have an Air Miles credit card, switch to an Aeroplan co-branded card like the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite, or an American Express.

I’ve collected 51 Air Miles in the past few months. Until the program improves, I’m certainly not going to be continuing.

Air Miles Expiry

Air Miles Expiry

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Comments

  1. Airmiles has very poor rewards if you accumulate them as an alternative to any other rewards program. NEVER use an Airmiles credit card for example. However, if you shop wisely and pay the going rate for product at Safeway, for example, then the points are free. Ad when/if Safeway has a product bonus then the points earned can be useful. Example: a bonus of 100 Airmiles can be used for >$10 cash back against future purchases either at Safeway or perhaps Shell.

    Gone are the good old days when $10 worth of Kraft Dinner (my kids loved it) would net a hundred points or more.

    Safeway had an auction three years ago that netted us a Diamond Bracelet worth thousands for something like 5000 points which had incredible value. (Note – it was the daily special not the auction). I don’t know if it will return now that Sobey’s owns the brand.

    So if you get the points free they can still have a little value so I will continue to collect them. Unfortunately I have a Bose Wave that I really did not want because I ‘used up’ my expiring balance. Only received about 12 cents per point which is really low (about .6%) but better than nothing at the time.

  2. I’ve never seen much attraction in the Air Miles program. Back when Sobeys purchased Safeway, I was hoping that Safeway would have followed with Sobeys, who at the time, was partnered with Aeroplan in Ontario. Instead, they converted Sobeys over to the Air Miles program that Safeway was using. Even more puzzling, that we have two major grocery banners in Ontario, both offering Air Miles, but none left with Aeroplan. I would have thought that retailers would not want multiple retailers in the same consumer category offering the same program, so they have a unique offering for attracting consumers. If you actually did like the Air Miles program (and I don’t), what can Metro do to incent you, as a shopper, away from Sobeys, when both chains offer the same thing?

    Basically, any Air Miles I collect, are just incidental to purchases I happen to be making at Sobeys or Metro anyway. They don’t provide any real incentive to drive my shopping decision.

    The only Air Miles I happened to intentionally collect this year, happened when Metro was offering Keg gift cards for sale with bonus Air Miles for a week or so. It was something like get 50 Air Miles for every $50 Keg Gift card purchased (that ratio might be off, but it was pretty good). It’s probably not the healthiest of life choices, but my wife and I eat dinner at the Keg about twice weekly anyway. So, I earned about 2,000 Air Miles on that promo, along with the usual double Amex MR rewards for shopping at a grocery store.

    But now that I have those basically free Air Miles, I don’t actually have a planned use for them.

  3. I have to say that I like Airmiles I think it can work well under certain circumstances. BMO Air Miles MasterCard is the only card we pay a fee on – mostly for the car rental insurance but the medical insurance worked overseas seamlessly on two occasions. It gives an automatic 25% discount on required miles and is the main mileage earner for us. With strategic shopping at Metro, Rexall, Airmileshops (on bonus days) and my annual AMEX card bonus (although they are no longer waiving 1st year fee!!) I’ve made Onyx for 3 years running. Best uses are domestic flights (we typically travel in shoulder season) and car rentals. Do save your Aeroplan points for long haul flights though, Air Miles sucks once you fly further afield!

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