We’ve been collecting Air Miles since almost the start of the program. Heck, I use to work on the account when I was in advertising years ago. I’ve always considered my Air Miles points for larger rewards, such as hotel stays or car rentals, but there’s a new reward option for those smaller every day needs.
Air Miles Cash enables collectors to treat their points like cash, attributing them towards purchases at select retailers such as grocery stories and gas stations.
So there’s no confusion, Air Miles Cash isn’t a different program than the traditional Air Miles you are probably familiar with. You still use the same card and accumulate points to the same account. The difference is in your preferences. Your account defaults to collecting Air Miles Dream points, where you collect points to exchange for travel or rewards online, such as a new camera or blender. Cash is just the other end of the preference scale. You can determine what mix of Cash and Dream rewards you want: all Cash, all Dream, or a mix of both.
Whatever you choose you should note that your preference change won’t register until the next day and only new points will be added toward your new preference after it has become active. We discovered this the hard way when we wanted to build-up our Cash account. We tried adding points BEFORE our new preferences were active so our points all dropped into Dream. And you can’t transfer any Dream points into your Cash account or visa-versa. After we realized this lag we were fine going forward.
This video from Air Miles gives a good explanation of the two types of point collection:
Having points within our Air Miles Cash account came in very handy on a recent trip to Rexall Pharmacy (one of the participating retailers). Along with picking up those family items like toothpaste and deodorant, I offered my oldest daughter twenty dollars from our Air Miles Cash account to spend on her.
Unlike her younger siblings who are still into toys and LEGO, my oldest daughter is entering that pre-teen love of fashion and beauty products. Of course I didn’t realize this offer would mean over an hour perusing the beauty section of the drugstore.
After our tenth trip up and down the beauty aisles I was half expecting the drugstore security guard to start following us. Thankfully my daughter finished filling her basket and it was off to the checkout.
After all our purchases were scanned I handed them my Air Miles card. Even though we were going to use some of our Air Miles Cash towards some of our purchases I still earned Air Miles on everything I was buying. Love. At the end I indicated I wanted to pay some of our total in Air Miles Cash. The minimum amount you can use is $10, increasing in $10 increments, and you don’t get change back. This means Air Miles Cash isn’t the best option for buying a quick chocolate bar or pack of gum but like grocery stores, I’m always able to find something to buy in the drug store.
After I told her to take the $20 Air Miles Cash from my account I was able to pay the remainder with my credit card. I have an American Express Gold Rewards card that can I transfer reward points from into my Air Miles account but there is also an American Express Air Miles Card to help you earn points faster.
That was it. Super easy. Almost within minutes of using my Air Miles Cash I received an email updating me on the amount of Air Miles Cash points I used and what I had left in my account.
You may remember Air Miles did have gift cards for stores like grocery stores and gas stations that you could order online but the whole ordering and waiting for these gift cards to arrive made them pretty useless to me. This new Air Miles Cash system is more instantaneous. I can use my Air Miles Cash rewards when I’m in the checkout line or paying for my gas. And there’s no extra card to keep track of or go unused. The Air Miles Cash just gets added to and deducted right to your account. So convenient.
I still love collecting my Air Miles Dream points for family road trips but the new Air Miles Cash enables me to save on those every day things (or treat my daughter). And the Air Miles preferences mean I can have a bit of both, the best of both worlds.
Thanks to Air Miles for the opportunity to try the new Air Miles Cash system.