Air Miles has decided to cancel their plans to expire points that are five years old. And although that news is good, members may now need to keep an eye on the amounts they need to redeem for rewards.
Apparently the company that owns and operates Air Miles, LoyaltyOne, has stated in a document for stockholders (Form 8-K – Alliance Data dated December 1st, 2016) that they may adjust these amounts :
“LoyaltyOne will adjust the value proposition to collectors to offset the lost economics resulting from a reduction in the breakage rate estimate and to maintain, as closely as possible, the economics of the AIR MILES reward program prior to cancellation of the expiry policy“.
I like Air Miles and will continue to collect them. But unfortunately I can’t use them to pay for music downloads anymore and have been using up my miles on groceries, theatre tickets and gas.
They do offer turntables, headphones, speakers and other electronics to members that collect Dream Rewards. But I chose the Cash Rewards program because it’s more convenient for me. And if ever I want a reward offered on the other program, I can simply take the money I would have spent on my groceries, theatre tickets, gas, etcetera and save it to purchase the reward elsewhere.
From time to time gift cards are discounted at grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations, so you could always buy those with your savings instead and save more.
With a bit of research you can find better deals, especially at this time of the year. And nothing stops you from using cash back rewards programs like eBates.ca and cash back credit cards to save more.
In regards to cash back credit cards and purchases made on credit cards via the rewards programs, it is always more advantageous to pay those amounts in full, before their high interest starts gobbling up your savings.
If you are able to pay these in full, you can always maximize your returns by using a cash back credit card on your eBates.ca purchases. And there are also bonus points offers out there.
For example, Air Miles collectors can purchase gift cards at participating Shell gas store locations can get up to 50 Miles by purchasing them in five separate visits this month (click here for details). These cards can then be used on purchases either for bonus Air Miles (via airmilesshops.ca) or a cash rebate from eBates.ca.
Unfortunately neither Netflix or iTunes is on eBates.ca but you may want to also take advantage of several offers on gift cards for those film and music download services this week.
Participating Rexall stores are giving 55 bonus Air Miles on $60 Netflix gift card purchases until December 8th, 2016 whilst participating Shoppers Drug Mart stores are giving 3000 bonus Optimum points on $50 iTunes gift card purchases until December 9th, 2016. Consult your local flyers for details.
In regards to other loyalty programs, note that Esso Extra reward point members can redeem 4,500 Points for $25 gift cards at Esso Gas locations (which includes card for Indigo and Cineplex) and Aeroplan members can redeem 3,500 Miles for a $25 iTunes gift Card or 13,000 miles for a $100 Indigo gift card or 68,500 miles for a $500 Best Buy gift card.
It should be noted that Aaroplan had decided to cancel their plans to cause their points to expire in 2013 and that Private Members Bill 47, the Protecting Rewards Point Act, is expected to pass in the Ontario Provincial Legislature next week.