For most Canadians, the desire to collect rewards and gain maximum benefits from the loyalty programs is an overriding one. Many Canadians go to great lengths to collect the coalition loyalty program, Air Miles on almost all their daily shopping and purchases.
However, not all Canadians have an idea on how to spend and maximize on their Air Miles and there are others who simply let them to collect dust with no idea on what to do with their points.
If you are keen on collecting Air Miles, there are myriad ways in which you can do so via a host of sponsors. Not all of these rewards are the same. Various retailers have varying rewards structures so you will earn different amounts of miles depending on where you are making your shopping. If you are savvy enough in your pursuit of miles, then you can collect all that is there to collect. Some people, however, may not be even be aware on how to earn the most miles and maximize the spending of their miles. Unless you devote a considerable amount of time in collecting, tracking and redeeming your miles, the Air Miles program can get a little confusing.
There are two main ways through which you can accrue a good amount of Air Miles fairly quickly. One is by doing your shopping at select high-earning sponsors. You should also use the Air Miles credit card that will help you maximize on your Air Miles.
However, when it comes to earning the most Air Miles, it is advisable to craft your own earning strategy based on your spending habits, the travel time available for you as well as the amount of passion that you are planning to devote to your miles pursuit. Generally, this process takes time. A good miles accrual strategy is always repeatable ensuring that you have a sustainable miles earning that will help you maximize on rewards at every opportunity.
Know the value of your Air Miles
A strategy will take you nowhere if you don’t know the value that you are pursuing. So before you begin optimising your Air Miles accrual, it is important to know the value of the miles that you plan to collect. Knowing the value of your miles can also help you determine the rate of return on your Air Miles when you spend your money with various retailers.
Tips on Earning Your Air Miles
There are various ways in which you can earn your Air Miles. These include the following:-
- Get a Bank of Montreal MasterCard: This is one of the easiest ways through you can accrue your Air Miles. For every $20 that you spend using your Bank of Montreal MasterCard, you will earn a single Air Miles mile and for every $30 that you spend with any of the other cards issued by the Bank of Montreal, you will also earn a single Air Miles mile. You will also earn a single mile if you spend $15 using the Bank of Montreal Gold MasterCard. There are various options available for you including the BMO WorldElite MasterCard, BMO Rewards MasterCard and the BMO Air Miles MasterCard.
- Make your purchases with any of the hundreds of Air Miles partners in Canada. For every $30 spent with any of these partners, you will earn a single mile.
- Take advantage of promotions: Partner companies generally run several promotions through which you can accrue lots of miles with small purchases or by taking certain actions.
- Purchase your Air Miles directly from the Air Miles website at www.airmiles.ca. $30 will buy 100 Air Miles.
How Do You Maximize on Your Air Miles?
Here are some ways in which you can maximize on your Air Miles:-
Compare the Air Miles You Can Earn With the Various Participating Sponsors
There are numerous participating sponsors in the Air Miles program and each of them offers different rates for Air Miles. Some of the best rates that you can earn include the following:-
- Crown Plaza: Earn 1 mile for every $5 spent.
- Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts: Earn 1 mile for every $5 spent
- Holiday Inn: Earn 1 mile for every $5 spent
- Staybridge Suites: Earn 1 mile for every $5 spent
- Embassy Suites: Earn a single mile for every $8 spent
- Hampton Inn: Earn a single mile for every $8 spent etc
Generally, the resorts and the hotels will give you the best value when it comes to collecting air miles so it is always important to keep that in mind.
Earn Your Air Miles on Safeway
Many Canadians shop at Safeway so it offers a great avenue for quick miles accrual without spending too much money. Your daily grocery expenditure may seem insignificant but if you have tally it over several months or even a year, it adds up to a lot. You can maximize on Air Miles accrual when shopping at Safeway in multiple ways:-
Take advantage of the weekly deals:- Safeway offers regular weekly deals that you can take advantage of to earn as many Air Miles as possible. You could earn 100 Air Miles when spend $100 or earn a mile for every $20 that you spend. Just be on the watch and grab those deals when they come.
Earn Bonus Miles on Customer Appreciation Days: You can lots of miles during the Safeway Customer Appreciation Days which mostly occur on the first Tuesday of every month. On these days, you will could earn up to 20 times on your base miles for purchases.
Buy the Safeway “Bonus Event” Products: When you buy Safeway’s bonus event products, you could earn bonus Air Miles. It is always advisable to do a price comparison with what other stores offer to see where you get the best value for money on your weekly grocery shopping.
Take advantage of Safeway Email Direct: Like many other retailers, Safeway sends weekly emails packed with lots of goodies. Some of these might include irresistible deals on the Air Miles when you buy certain product categories. Check out this link so as to sign up on the Safeway Email Direct:-
Earn Air Miles with Safeway Pharmacy: In certain Canadian provinces, you could earn as much as 7X of your base miles when you shop at the Safeway Pharmacy.
Take Advantage of the Air Miles Credit Cards
Like most loyalty programs, Air Miles gives you extra perks when you make purchases using their branded credit cards on your everyday shopping. Just like with the Safeway option, every single purchase might not amount to much but the cumulative effect of shopping regularly with an Air Miles credit card over long period of time can be staggering. There are lots of Air Miles credit cards in the market that can give you an incredible value. These include the following:-
American Express Air Miles Reserve Credit Card: While this card has a hefty $299 annual fee, it unlocks for you a world of lucrative travel rewards. The benefits of being a cardholder include a free companion flight annually when you are redeeming your miles, earn up 2400 free Air Miles whenever you load your credit card with $3000 within the first three mounts after joining the program, as well as access to the exclusive Air Miles FlexFly program that gives you access to flights, airlines and departure times that you wouldn’t get in the regular Air Miles program.
BMO Air Miles World MasterCard: With this card, you are going to earn a higher rate of Air Miles for every dollar spent with the card. You will need 25% less Air Miles when redeeming your miles for the various rewards. However, this program carries a $99 annual fee which is still hefty although cheaper than the American Express Air Miles Credit Card.
BMO Air Miles Shell MasterCard: This is the same as the BMO Air Miles Credit Card although it would be better suited who spends a lot of money on fuel annually. You can pick either a regular version or a world version of the credit card. Get bonuses on Shell stations as well as for car rentals with companies such as National Car.
The AMEX Cards: Apart from the American Airlines Air Miles Reserve Credit Card, there are a host of AMEX cards that you can also choose which offer various tiers of packages and have varied annual fees. The Reserve card has the highest annual fee at $299 but there is an AMEX card with no annual fee: the American Express Air Miles Credit Card. You don’t have to grapple with the annual fee and the rewards that you will get with this card are comparable to those you would get in other cards.
The American Express Air Miles Platinum Credit is better suited for the high spenders. However, if you are a frequent traveler, you would be better off with the AMEX reserve card that costs $299 per year.
Run Payments as Possible Through Your Air Miles Credit Card
Granted, many Canadians have multiple credit card options that they can use to make daily purchases. However, if you are focused on maximizing on the Air Miles, it is advisable that you run most of your daily payments through your Air Miles credit cards. Include everything including your regular shopping and recurring monthly expenditures such as the utility bills and phone bills among others.
Open a Bank of Montreal Air Miles Account
The BMO Air Miles account will be an ideal option for you if you are ok with using your credit card on all your purchases. The rewards or ROI is great, enabling you to earn a single point for every $30 of your debt spending. You can make countless bank transactions on a daily basis with this account. There are plenty of other features that will also appeal to you if you are after Air Miles accrual. This account costs $13.95 per month.
Just to recoup your monthly fee of $13.95, you have to earn 90 Air Miles, assuming a single mile is worth approximately $0.15. That means you will need to spend a total of $2700 per month on your debit card just to recover the monthly fee. Don’t just get the BMO Air Miles account for the rewards; look at other features that might appeal to your banking needs. There is a bonus when you open a BMIO account, though: you will get 1000 Air Miles worth approximately $150.
Join the Air Miles Gold Program
If you collect anywhere from 1000 to 5999 miles from January 1 to 31 December of every year, then you will qualify for the Air Miles Gold status. Gold collectors enjoy various travel perks and offers when they travel or when they buy merchandise. The rewards are quite generous. You could get as much as 30% off on selected flights as well as 50% off on the miles that are required to redeem for certain merchandise. Other perks may not be as tangible in the form of miles earned, miles saved or money saved as they are more experiential such as being invited to exclusive Gold Program gatherings as well as free movie passes on select movies. You can also grab the numerous giveaways and participate in a host of Gold-inspired contests with lots of prizes to win.