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AIR MILES CASH and DREAM Miles
There are two types of AIR MILES Reward Miles:
- CASH Rewards
- DREAM Rewards
AIR MILES CASH Rewards
Cash Miles are very easy to use:
- at an AIR MILES partner’s register
- either online for electronic rewards
In both cases, the exchange value will be identical and fixed:
95 Cash Miles = $10
or 10.5 cents / mile
But at some times of the year, you can redeem 85 or even 75 Cash Miles for a $10 rebate at Jean Coutu. This mathematically increases the value of your Cash Miles.
AIR MILES DREAM Rewards
DREAM miles require more flexibility to redeem. They can be used online to earn a reward from the AIR MILES DREAM catalogue:
- Travel: flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages…
- Miscellaneous articles
- Events and attractions
In most of these cases, the exchange value will often vary.
In fact, within the milesopedia community, many members find value in the AIR MILES DREAM catalogue like these 3 readers:
I always earn Dream Miles. I just bought 4 round-trip tickets from Montreal to Orlando for 12,950 DREAM miles. I am satisfied: it took me 1 year to earn it all!Louis B. - Lecteur de milesopedia
As already mentioned, DREAM! 4 tickets to Los Angeles for a total of 8,060 miles (thanks to companion tickets) on spring break. I couldn’t have afforded this trip on short notice without it ($700/ticket x 5). I would get two tickets to Disneyland with the return of points.MP - Lectrice de milesopedia
Dream Miles: you have to be very flexible on flights. The most interesting ones are not available/less advantageous when everyone travels at the same time…Sébastien - Lecteur de milesopedia
And the key is here: in order to use Dream Miles, you have to be flexible!
The difficulty of redeeming Dream Miles
AIR MILES offers its members the opportunity to redeem their DREAM miles for airline tickets.
The cost per mile varies thanks to what is called a “dynamic” fare structure .
This means that the cost in miles will vary depending on market dollar prices.
Since the search tool was recently launched by AIR MILES on November 18, 2021, the true cost in miles remains to be seen. An article on this subject will be published shortly.
If you are not flexible in your dates, it will be better:
- Earn Cash Miles
- or use your DREAM miles for vacation packages, for example via Redtag
In fact, this is the only case where the value of the DREAM miles will be fixed:
909 DREAM miles = $100
or 11 cents / mile
This problem with the availability of rewards with DREAM miles has prompted many collectors to migrate to Cash Miles.
The choice is yours!
Thus, to the question:
Do I have to collect CASH or DREAM miles?
There is no single answer. This will be according to:
- your objectives
- your flexibility
If you prefer concrete and immediate rewards, you’ll be better off with CASH miles.
If you are more “playful”, and more flexible in your dates, it will be advisable to go for the DREAM miles.
You may find it useful:
But as always: check the market price of what you want to get!
For example, Disney World has promotions at certain times of the year that target Canadian residents… but AIR MILES does not take this promotion into account and will not adjust its price!
As Frederic found out about the adult fare for Disney (taxes included):
A 7-day pass appears to be worth $369.56 USD, or 486.63 CAD. 4750 miles for $486 is 9.77 cents per mile, which is no better than Cash miles.
This can then significantly decrease the exchange value below 10 cents per mile… the value of Cash miles!
So it’s hard to know for sure if loyalty programs are trying to adjust in some way to change the value of points & miles held by their members.
However, I have noticed, with the feedback of many milesopedia community members, a clear preference for Cash miles on the AIR MILES side. This preference seems to have increased in recent years.
Personally, being more flexible on my vacation dates, I am accumulating 100% on the DREAM miles side!
Maybe when our kids are older – with a school calendar – reason will prevail to switch to the Cash side!
Finally, don’t forget that there are many AIR MILES credit cards available. Here are the best deals available today:
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