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Thread: Start using up your Air Miles as they will expire

  1. #1
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    Default Start using up your Air Miles as they will expire

    Come December 31 of this year, air miles that were acquired over 5 years ago will start to expire. So use them or lose them folks. Between the lack of notifying the millions of Canadians that collect them and the outright greed, I should just cut this card up. I'm a small time collector, might have enough for return airfare from Vancouver in the 15 years I've had one and all this does is punish us non corporate account types. Here's a big "F*ck You!"

    https://ca.news.yahoo.com/air-miles-...050000206.html


    Air Miles site: www.airmiles.ca

  2. #2
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    Yikes. As one of the first Air Miles collectors (since March 1992) I'm pretty sure that most of my Air Miles are over 5 years old. I've probably collected almost 2,000 miles in that time. I better find out what I can do with my 1035 Air Miles before it's too late.

  3. #3

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    Interesting story on CBC radio. A couple each logged in on their own computers across from each other. The wife with fewer points was able to view more electronics reward options than the husband who had far more points and would have been able to use them on those same items - while the wife wouldn't have been able to.

    They talked about the web site customizing the experience... Then, sorry, I missed that part of the broadcast.


    In spite of missing the industry response I can guess it and personally, I wonder if the site isn't designed to offer up higher reward level teasers, pushing out 'affordable' or low inventory items or some such algorithm that's generally in favour of the company and not the user.
    Last edited by KC; 13-09-2016 at 06:54 AM.

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    Seems like it however I don't think it's going to work out well for them. Customers weren't happy with the five year rule and now being restricted in what you can redeem for isn't going to help.

    Personally I've found Air Miles to be a pretty poor program. It's hard to accumulate enough points to get anything in any reasonable time frame. For awhile they had movie tickets that were a very good deal but they eliminated that. My wife discovered you can get a room at the airport hotel so we've done that twice when we've had 6AM flights. Other than that we've got far better value from Aeroplan despite how limited their flight options are.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  5. #5

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    We did a summer trip through north western states and used air miles for hotel rooms. Saved a lot of cash and used up miles that were likely to expire. Booking was pretty easy and available, only issue was Best Western is about the only hotel you can book at, luckily they were in most towns we stayed in and the rooms/ amenities were good.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    Seems like it however I don't think it's going to work out well for them. Customers weren't happy with the five year rule and now being restricted in what you can redeem for isn't going to help.

    Personally I've found Air Miles to be a pretty poor program. It's hard to accumulate enough points to get anything in any reasonable time frame. For awhile they had movie tickets that were a very good deal but they eliminated that. My wife discovered you can get a room at the airport hotel so we've done that twice when we've had 6AM flights. Other than that we've got far better value from Aeroplan despite how limited their flight options are.
    Totally agree with the outright greed on the expiration of the miles. I also thought the program was poor but it may not be that bad after all.


    I has 1,170 miles and needed 330 to get 1,500 for a flight to YVR. Safeway had some excellent deals in August where you could buy 5 Kraft items and get 100 miles. Did that twice. I once thought what is the point of buying the expensive stuff just to get points. However, with the Kraft promo, the products were also on sale at prices that I would have paid at Superstore so it was a no brainer. Mind you, I now have a two year supply of peanut butter...

    I did a second purchase using the 95 miles for $95 dollars promo. With other things on sale that day with bonus miles I managed to get 296 miles that trip.

    So...it can be done if you watch the flyers and you can find reasonable prices for stuff on sale that have bonus mile offers...

  7. #7

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    Yep, I do the same, and get air miles almost exclusively at safeway/sobeys. I've had a few 700mile shopping trips, and always making sure the price not including miles is competitive. My Wife laughs when I come home with 10 jumbo boxes of breakfast cereal, but really that's only a couple month's worth.

    I've also only got one or two things that I actually use airmiles for, but it works out OK.
    There can only be one.

  8. #8
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    Given I'm with CIBC and Visa I can get Aeroplan points far, far faster as it's 1 point per dollar on the card. While Aeroplan can be finicky about scheduling flights we've done all right with it and can generally get a couple of flights a year out of it.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  9. #9

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    There are lots of better options for credit cards. The more cash-like the reward is, the better, in general.
    There can only be one.

  10. #10

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    one to read... An Open Letter To Air Miles

    An Open Letter To Air Miles
    by Robb Engen | Jul 10, 2016 | Rewards Cards | 122 comments

    "Here’s the great Air Miles deception. When you introduced Cash and Dream Rewards in March 2012, collectors had to declare which rewards bucket they wanted to earn future reward miles (i.e. 100 percent Cash or 100 percent Dream, or something in-between).
    Not only were collectors automatically defaulted into earning 100 percent Dream Rewards, any reward miles earned prior to this change also sat in their Dream Balance.
    Meanwhile, as you built-out the Air Miles Cash program, you slowly stripped away many of the rewards that used to be available under Dream Rewards, leaving over-priced merchandise and “member pricing” rewards such as this steal of a gift card:..."


    http://boomerandecho.com/open-letter-air-miles/
    sourced from:

    Will Air Miles step up and do the right thing?
    ROB CARRICK
    The Globe and Mail
    Published Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2016

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...ticle31826298/

  11. #11
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    Only a couple months away folks from your air miles expiring. And the scam continues:

    'I got shafted': Air Miles collectors locked out of cash rewards for expiring miles

    Customer frustration is mounting over Air Miles' refusal to let collectors redeem expiring miles for easy-to-use cash rewards.

    Instead, whether customers like it or not, all miles set to expire on Jan.1, 2017 have been relegated to a "dream" category. That category offers a lot of high-priced travel and merchandise rewards that some people don't find appealing.

    "Your company is a disgrace," a collector recently posted on Air Miles' Facebook site. "Changing thousands of Air Miles into dream miles was a nasty trick."

    The site is riddled with complaints about the issue.

    Some collectors are demanding that Air Miles make amends by allowing them to redeem their dream miles for cash rewards like gift cards for groceries, restaurants, movies and some retailers.

    But the loyalty program claims its system is incapable of processing such a request.

    That explanation has only further ignited the fury of collectors who don't buy it.

    "What they did was very underhanded," said collector Gary Johnson from Burlington, Ont.

    Johnson recently tried to cash in his 656 miles before some of them expire.


    On Jan 1., a new five-year expiry rule for Air Miles kicks in. On that day, all unused miles collected before 2012 will become worthless.

    Johnson had his heart set on restaurant gift cards. But when he tried to claim them, the 80-year-old discovered he no longer had access.

    "I was angry. In the past, I never had a problem cashing them in."

    Air Miles used to offer a selection of gift cards along with all other products, in one large catalogue.

    Then in late 2011, the loyalty program announced a new cash category for gift cards.

    Collectors aware of the change could switch their accounts and start collecting cash miles from 2012 onward. Air Miles locked all unspecified miles and all miles earned before 2012 in the separate dream category.
    More here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/air-...tors-1.3826043

    I'm using up the little air miles I have in any which way possible, they moved the goal posts on me so I'm going to be stuck with a few hundred that will expire. You used to be able to move all your miles around between the dream and cash category as I did a couple times about 5 years ago but now they realize most everyone would want to put it into cash category with expiration looming and of course now "the system isn't designed like that" when wanting to move your miles into that category. No you assh*les, you designed it like that. Pretty much exactly what they want - hoping people's air miles will simply expire by complicating things and having a very limited selection of goods in the dream category. I'm so very tempted to just cut up the card come the end of the year and whenever asked if I have an air miles card will just reply "I don't support scams". They definitely forked over their user base. Arseholes.

  12. #12
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    And just to add, a class action lawsuit has been filed. From Sept. 16 2016

    Class-action lawsuit filed against Air Miles, alleging unfair customer treatment

    A Calgary law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against LoyaltyOne, the company that owns and operates the Air Miles rewards program in Canada.


    The proposed lawsuit claims that its aim is to "remedy harm caused by the Air Miles program to its users."


    JSS Barristers filed the suit Wednesday at the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta on behalf of all Canadian Air Miles members who possessed any "Dream" reward miles on or after Dec. 28, 2011.


    The case must be certified in court before it can proceed.


    The lawsuit's statement of claim alleges that Air Miles "engaged in unfair practices" that include introducing an expiry policy without adequate notice and making it "increasingly difficult" for members to redeem miles that start expiring on Jan. 1.


    "The net result is that Air Miles' conduct will result in a large number of the class [action] members' miles expiring, resulting in a significant loss to the class, and a corresponding large windfall for Air Miles," claims the court document.


    In late 2011, Air Miles quietly announced a new five-year expiry rule for miles, effective Dec. 31 of that year. That means that on Jan.1, 2017, any unused miles collected before 2012 will disappear and become worthless. The popular rewards program launched in Canada in 1992 and boasts about 11 million members.


    After CBC News ran a story in July about the looming expiry date, we heard from many frustrated members who said they were having difficulties redeeming their miles before they vanished.


    The class action's statement of claim alleges that hurdles customers have faced trying to cash in their miles include:



    • Long waits to speak to Air Miles customer service by phone.
    • Not allowing members to redeem soon-to-expire miles for cash rewards.
    • Being blocked from some rewards when members actually have enough miles to buy them.


    The suit also claims that Air Miles promoted its loyalty program with the "promise to bring you the best in service," and that customers reasonably expected fair treatment from the program.


    It also states that Air Miles benefits financially from its members when they shop at specified retailers to earn miles.


    "Primarily the members, the class members are alleging that they've not been treated fairly and are seeking redress for that," said Andrew Wilson, one of the lawyers who filed the suit.

    Damages for class-action members have not yet been specified.


    LoyaltyOne told CBC News that it is reviewing the statement of claim and has no comment at this time. LoyaltyOne is headquartered in Toronto and its parent company, Alliance Data, is based in Texas.
    More here:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/clas...ards-1.3764526

  13. #13
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    Well Well...

    Air Miles cancels expiry policy — your miles are safe

    Air Miles customers no longer have to worry about using up their miles by the end of the year. Today, the loyalty program announced it is cancelling its expiry policy that was scheduled to take effect on Dec.31.
    The decision is effective immediately.

    The Ontario government is set to vote on Monday on a private member's bill that would make it illegal for rewards programs like Air Miles to impose an expiry date on points. Air Miles' owner, Toronto-based LoyaltyOne, said the "uncertainty" that such legislation has created prompted the company to nix its expiry rule.

    "We have decided to cancel the expiry policy so that all collectors, regardless of location, can be confident that their balances will be protected," Bryan Pearson, president and CEO of LoyaltyOne, said in a statement.

    CBC News has run numerous articles about Air Miles customers complaining about the expiry rule and the difficulty trying to redeem their miles for adequate rewards.

    LoyaltyOne is also facing a proposed class-action lawsuit that came about following customer complaints.

    The company said "it believes that cancelling the expiry policy will lead to more meaningful conversations between government and industry, helping to ensure loyalty programs remain viable in all provinces and that Canadian consumers continue to reap the rewards of loyalty programs, regardless of the province in which they live."

    Eleven million Canadian households collect Air Miles.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/air-...licy-1.3877319

  14. #14

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    Good. They were ripe to be hammered with legislation and probably a good class-action lawsuit. They were intentionally making it nearly impossible to redeem. I'm expecting them to ramp up the impossible to redeem part as a result of this.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  15. #15
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    People are equally peeved that they reversed their policy too as they used up air miles on items they didn't really want or need. I'm one of them, bought a cheap point & click Canon camera and a Wok for the stove.... yay.

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    Yummer! Post pics of whatever you cook up.
    Nisi Dominus Frustra

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    I just cooked some bratwurst in it! It's a nice wok for sure, just not happy with this whole air miles fiasco.

  18. #18
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    Air Miles quietly drops value of some points, angering collectors

    Air Miles collectors will now need to cough up more miles when booking vacation or cruise packages. That's because the rewards program has lowered the value of miles in the category by about 20 per cent.

    The program made the move without informing its collectors. CBC News asked the program this week if it had devalued any miles. It said only that it was "carefully reviewing" its options.

    Collector Allison Peters only found out because she tried to book a vacation package to Mexico. Between the time she researched the trip and finally was able to contact Air Miles by phone to book it, she discovered her trip would now cost much more.

    "I was surprised and then I was angry," says Peters.

    She estimated the more than $11,000 worth of miles she had to book a trip suddenly plummeted to a value of about $9,000.

    "I feel like they've stolen over $2,000 of available travel to me," says Peters, who lives in Victoria. "I'm really unimpressed."

    Air Miles told CBC News Friday that it adjusted the pricing for vacation packages because this is a "subsidized" rewards category requiring a higher level of customer support.

    Customers can't book vacation packages online. They must contact the program by phone. That has always been the case.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/air-...ards-1.3955506

  19. #19

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    Product downsizing strikes again.

    'In my day' a mile was a mile.

    Now it's only 4,224 feet.

    Soon to be called Air Yards or Air Feet.

  20. #20
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    I was thinking of booking an Air Miles flight to Ottawa. It used to be about 3,800 Air Miles, now it's 6,500.
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