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That corrupt Air Miles...they don’t get it
May 17, 2018
9:56 am
John Wayne (Marion)
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I packed it in with these guys quite awhile ago. I tried to call them to cancel account but you know how that goes ...wait..wait...and wait some more. They ripped me off by allowing to buy overpriced miles for a trip to Britain and I will never forgive them!!! For the miles I paid for I could have paid for the trip with any travel agent. So the life long savings of the miles was a wasted effort. And don’t forget all that bad publicity and that arrogant CEO. I can’t believe Rona and other retailers use this corrupt company for a loyalty program. And some don’t even ask at time of purchase if you have an “Air Miles” Card.

I just cant get rid of them.....here is my email today.

Hello,

It's been a while!

We noticed you haven't been active with your AIR MILES Account in over 22 months.

We recently informed you that if you did not use your Account by April 29, 2018, your Account would be closed and you would lose all AIR MILES Reward Miles in your Account. This deadline has now been extended to June 29, 2018. We would hate to see you go.

To keep enjoying the benefits of the AIR MILES Reward Program, be sure to use your Account by taking at least ONE of the actions listed below before June 29, 2018:

I quess I am not the only one that hopes they leave Canada.

May 17, 2018
1:56 pm
moneyhelp
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Mary said
I packed it in with these guys quite awhile ago. I tried to call them to cancel account but you know how that goes ...wait..wait...and wait some more. They ripped me off by allowing to buy overpriced miles for a trip to Britain and I will never forgive them!!! For the miles I paid for I could have paid for the trip with any travel agent. So the life long savings of the miles was a wasted effort. And don’t forget all that bad publicity and that arrogant CEO. I can’t believe Rona and other retailers use this corrupt company for a loyalty program. And some don’t even ask at time of purchase if you have an “Air Miles” Card.

I just cant get rid of them.....here is my email today.

Hello,

It's been a while!

We noticed you haven't been active with your AIR MILES Account in over 22 months.

We recently informed you that if you did not use your Account by April 29, 2018, your Account would be closed and you would lose all AIR MILES Reward Miles in your Account. This deadline has now been extended to June 29, 2018. We would hate to see you go.

To keep enjoying the benefits of the AIR MILES Reward Program, be sure to use your Account by taking at least ONE of the actions listed below before June 29, 2018:

I quess I am not the only one that hopes they leave Canada.  

I'm with you, I hated how they forced people to use their miles or lose them, then when some of us did use them and then they declared they would not expire, at that point I had already used my miles. I had enough for a trip but couldn't leave due to a family member being sick, so I reluctantly decided to redeem for merchandise, but after they declared that they will not let the miles expire, I found out that you could not return the merchandise and get your points back.

This left a very bad taste in my mouth, so I've given up on them. Immediately cancelled my Platinum Air Miles card and I only use airmiles card when visiting LCBO and changed preference to be 100% cash, but I don't buy from them, I do not use a credit card endorsed by them and I will not jump to any promo they have.

But hey, look at the bright side, you wanted the account closed, now you have a way out. sf-wink

May 17, 2018
1:58 pm
Rick
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Ironically, Air Miles was never the best deal for travel...not to anywhere I wanted to go. Don't you still have to pay the taxes and fees on a trip using A/M? That was sometimes more than half the cost of a regular fare. Always found better deals paying full fares elsewhere. None of their rewards are really worth what you pay for them in cost per mile. There were always lots of bonus miles and promos to make em cheaper. Amex had some especially good promos. Other than that it's free stuff for buying whatever you were going to buy anyway. After the fiasco of showing you rewards you didn't have the miles for, then hiding them when you did, really P'd me off. Cashed em in, lost my gold status, and don't bother chasing them anymore. Wasn't even aware the last place I got them was part of the program until the cashier asked for it. Accounts still open and I think I have about a 100 miles. Will take me forever to accumulate enough to get something worthwhile.

May 17, 2018
2:27 pm
julio
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After getting rid of all my “travel miles” by exchanging them, at that time, for BMO GICs (!), I started to “collect” the Air Miles (=AM) only accidentally when offered, like when applying for a specific BMO M/C one gets 3000 AM. Each 95 AM is worth $10 at Shell gas stations.

May 17, 2018
2:48 pm
Loonie
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Surely you knew what the exchange rate was when you bought those AirMiles, didn't you?
I agree, it's a terrible deal, but it's also a case of "buyer beware".

In my experience, AirMiles can be quite useful but it's a matter of reading the fine print very carefully. In the last year or so we've gotten several hundred dollars worth of free gas and groceries courtesy of AirMiles through their periodic special promos such as MegaMiles, and we've only had to spend a few dollars more than we otherwise would have. I'm waiting right now to receive 1250 AM for each of us from the last one. We don't have the daily commute any more, and fill up the tank about twice a month, but haven't had to pay for any of it yet this year except for 2 x 25 litres in order to qualify for another great promo.

A few years ago we got $1,100 in cash through BMO GICs purchased with AirMiles - since redeemed and deposited elsewhere for better return.
We've also had numerous "free" flights - mostly before they added the exorbitant fees.

It's all in how you use it.

I'm sorry you lost out with the travel credits. I have certainly been PO'd with them in the past for their poor communications, lack of clarity on offers, inflexibility on redemptions, targeted and vanishing redemption offers, and inaccessibility. I think they have pulled up their socks, so will stick with them as long as I can make a deal that's good for me. I wouldn't touch their related credit cards, although we used to have one at one time. Cash back is more reliable and timely, whether it be actual cash or free gas etc., and it doesn't depreciate the way AirMiles do. I would never put any of my own cash into their merchandise, which is overpriced and not returnable, even for "Gold" members.

My advice to anyone considering AirMiles is to only use the "cash" option, don't stockpile beyond about 600 AirMiles which you save for redemption promos, get a separate card for each family member, look for redemption promos, check top and bottom of each page of grocery flyers for promos, check the emails they send you for heads-up, and study the rules on the major promos very carefully (I have had to use a high-end magnifying glass on occasion) to figure out how to work it to your advantage.

Last weekend, for example, in my area at least, Metro had a redemption promo where you spend $10 in Airmiles and get 50 Airmiles back once a day for four days. Sobeys and Foodland also had, for the whole week, redeem $10 and get 25 AirMiles back, to be used once only. We each did all of these things, and we were spending AirMiles that had cost us next to nothing in the first place, from last Fall's ShopTheBlock promo, and now we'll have another 500 AirMiles to spend, perhaps on the next redemption promo, plus the 27 we acquired by 2 buying particular items at very good prices - and with coupons!

It takes a small investment of time to figure out the angles and follow the rules. You may or may not feel it's worth it to you. I enjoy the game, because I like winning!sf-smile

May 17, 2018
9:54 pm
John Wayne (Marion)
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Did I know the exchange rate.....NO. Did they omit to highlight the cost per mile....YES. And it is only since after the trip I found that you are lucky if you get the value of 10 cents per mile when you use them for merchandise and they put them on sale for 20 cents a mile...regular 30 cents per mile. So their profit is 10-20 cents per mile. So I likely paid 30 cents or more to top up to the required miles. But later on we saw the same trip for less if we paid out right vs what we paid for the top up miles....so once again I reiterate that the collecting of miles for the 20 plus years was a waste = me is bitter. I now avoid all gimmicks like London Drugs cards etc. As you may think it is to your benefit but you are giving them information about yourself to become their target!!!

I only carry cash back credit cards.

And by the way Julio, BMO changed my BMO Air Miles Mastercard to a cash back card over the phone...no hassle....no questions. New cards are the same number.

I have no association with Air Miles except my extended offer that I could not use as our cards were cut up many many months ago.

I am 200% po’d with Air Miles and have zero trust in them.

May 17, 2018
10:28 pm
Loonie
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Yes, Mary, you were scr*wed, and I can understand your bitterness.
AirMiles' price for buying the extra miles is so high that it's only relevant for very small top-ups, if at all.
On the other hand, you ought to have checked on what it was going to cost before you went ahead, as with any purchase. I did check into this a long time ago and decided it was a rip-off. Even when they put the AirMiles on "sale", rarely, it's still not a good deal.
I don't really understand why you didn't at least ask what it would cost, if not do the research yourself.
It's too bad they have lost you as a member, but there are still some good deals out there for the rest of us who want to bother.

May 18, 2018
4:50 am
Top It Up
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I'm with both Mary and Rick on this, I now have ZERO interest in points plans. I've got a lot more going in my life to be bothered trying to maximize my "gain" for such minimal "gain" in what I wanted/expected from the plans, particularly early on to where they have evolved to, today.

I enrolled in the programs for the BIG picture stuff, instead consumers more and more are being relegated to using the programs to purchase coffee table coasters and Ginsu knifes or maybe a free Kit Kat a checkout.

May 18, 2018
5:32 am
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Rick said
Ironically, Air Miles was never the best deal for travel...not to anywhere I wanted to go. Don't you still have to pay the taxes and fees on a trip using A/M? That was sometimes more than half the cost of a regular fare.

Almost every program now charges taxes and fees when redeeming points for tickets. I wanted out of the Aeroplan program and so looked to Aventura as my points collector program. It turns out that, while taxes and fees are included in your points purchase they have a base MAXIMUM dollar value (before taxes and fees) for European flight redemption. Since international carriers have squished in more economy seats on flights, I no longer fly steerage class opting instead for Premium Economy and above - those seats are more than the Aventura maximum - so why even bother collecting the damn points.

May 18, 2018
7:39 am
Loonie
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These programmes have shifted their emphasis, but that has opened up different opportunities.

Some of you who have bailed might want to take another look at AirMiles. I have little use for Aeroplan at this point.
I have certainly done my share of complaining about AM - see other threads in this sub-forum.

Some will find this too tedious to bother with but others will appreciate it and will profit.

By following the major AirMiles promos, I have found it far more worthwhile over the last year or so than it ever was in the last 25 or so!

The use of "Cash" miles have meant that I can get the value out of those AirMiles faster and easier, and I am not piling them up waiting for something that may never happen.

They are almost useless for travel. Just forget about that part. If you must use them for flights, do it on domestic routes only. Use only the "Cash" option - assuming you have local partners where you can use it.

My profile says that I have accumulated 2,758 Air Miles this calendar year already; and I am awaiting deposits of over 1500 more. That's $450 of gas and groceries already this year - and spouse has similar, for a total of about $900. I don't anticipate that the rest of the year will be as profitable, but I'm not complaining. It's still going to be at least $1000, and it's tax-free so that it's equivalent to more in earned income.

I have kept track of any extra money we spent above and beyond necessary expenditures in order to get these AMs, and it amounts to no more than $100 between us. It also didn't take a huge amount of effort although it did take some. If you don't live in an urban area, it would certainly be more difficult.

We haven't travelled for a while (for non-financial reasons), have no AM credit cards, and don't spend a lot at Air Miles partners. But we do follow the major promos on collections and redemptions.

Some may still feel that this isn't worth the little bit of effort that it takes, but I do.sf-cool

May 18, 2018
10:01 am
Rick
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Might as well throw a little more fuel on the A/M bonfire:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....-1.4651577
Like every other rewards program, read the fine print and know the rules.

May 18, 2018
9:46 pm
Loonie
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... and don't sweat the small stuff.

I'm sure the CBC story is true. I recognize most of the exclusions, although milk is not normally an exclusion. Perhaps unique to the Maritimes?

If you want to play, just remember that you won't get very far on the kinds of purchases this story profiles, regardless of what is excluded or included. You need to watch for the promos (or use their credit cards - not recommended).

I just toted up the amount of free gas and groceries we've gotten through AM this calendar year so far. All these AirMiles were accumulated in 2017 or 18.
Between the two of us, it's $690.
We still have over 1000 AM sitting in our "cash" accounts.
And we are anticipating receipt of an additional 3000+ this month.
Total spending value so far this year: over $1,100.
Unwanted or overpriced purchases: less than $100.
Net value $1,000.
Tax value $300 (I'm not sure about this amount; will depend on the person).
Total value about $1300.

Those who are out of the country a lot will not likely be able to make this work. Those who already have more money than they need may not be interested. The poorer you are, the more significant it could be to your total income.

Me? I just can't say no to that much free money!sf-smile

May 19, 2018
7:54 am
John Wayne (Marion)
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In regards to Sobeys exclusions. Here are similar by Costco and some are province specific.

Executive Membership 2% Rewards Exclusions List

Items that fall into the following categories are not eligible for the 2% Reward.

In all provinces:
prescription drugs
all tobacco products (including: cigarette paper, lighters, matches and tubes)
all food court items
all bottle deposits and refunds
all taxes and levies
all Costco Services (click here for a complete list)
eye examinations
tire disposal fees (where applicable)
tire mounting and balancing, and stud installation fees
gift certificates and Costco Cash electronic gift cards
membership fees
oil disposal fees (where applicable)
home delivery charges
administration fees
gasoline
charitable donations
third party insurance payments
postage stamps
environmental fees, deposits or levies
other items, products and services specified as exclusions from time to time
Additional exclusions in the province of Nova Scotia:
all liquid milk and cream items (e.g., 1%, 2%, homogenized and skim milk, chocolate milk, light cream, cream blends, coffee cream, whipping cream, egg nog, buttermilk, concentrated milk, etc.)
Additional exclusions in the province of Quebec:
all pharmacy items (including analgesics, cough and cold medication, allergy medication, eye care products, antacids, condoms, nicotine replacement therapies, vitamins, minerals, supplements, insulin, etc.)
all alcoholic beverages
all liquid milk items (e.g., 1%, 2%, homogenized and skim milk, chocolate milk, light cream, cream blends, coffee cream, whipping cream, egg nog, buttermilk, concentrated milk, etc.)
all optical centre items and services (e.g., eyeglasses, contact lenses, etc.)
Additional exclusions in the province of Alberta:
all alcoholic beverages

A complete list of exclusions is also available at the Membership Counter in each warehouse.

May 19, 2018
8:03 am
John Wayne (Marion)
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Rick said
Might as well throw a little more fuel on the A/M bonfire:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....-1.4651577
Like every other rewards program, read the fine print and know the rules.  

As I am a retiree from a major retailer I know we too had exceptions on discounts, sales and coupons. It is difficult to know all the exceptions by each and every retailer. The less exceptions the better.
And I can understand the reason why a retailer could have some exceptions.

BUT Air Miles, themselves, practice deceiving methods. It was on W5? a couple of years ago.

May 19, 2018
11:57 am
mmlt
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No love for air miles. I tell every cashier that asks how much I dislike air miles. Politely.

No love for aeroplan. They keep emailing me about my points balance after telling me I had no points several years ago. I can't log on to get them and phone/email support is non existent. Not a huge amount of points but a charity could have used them.

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