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What Are AIR MILES Dream Rewards and How Do They Compare to Cash Rewards?

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Last updated on May 6, 2019 Views: 547 Comments: 0

AIR MILES is a ubiquitous rewards program in Canada. You’re asked if you collect them when shopping at sponsor merchants, they are offered on several credit cards, and they’re of enough interest to the Canadian public to occasionally end up in the news.

But, there is some confusion about what kinds of AIR MILES can be earned and redeemed, particularly when it comes to AIR MILES Dream Rewards. How do they work, and what can you get for them?

AIR MILES Dream Rewards vs. Cash Rewards

Those who collect AIR MILES have two choices when it comes to allocating their Miles. The first option is Cash Rewards, which you can use toward your everyday shopping at participating partners (mostly grocery stores and drug stores). The second option is Dream Rewards, which you can use for bigger ticket items such as vacations, events, and electronics.

Now, it is important to remember to choose wisely between the two, as they cannot be transferred. It is possible to do a mixture of both, but many choose to allocate their points entirely to Dream Rewards, as the rewards are exciting and they can have a higher CPM (cost per mile).

Not every reward has the same CPM so you will want to do a little bit of math and make sure that you are getting the best deal on the reward that you choose. To do this, take the retail price of the product that you want and divide it by the number of miles you will need to exchange for it. Obviously, the higher the CPM, the better the deal for you.

For example: The GoPro Hero 7 Silver is $399.99 retail, but it’ll cost you 6,100 Dream Miles for a redemption. $399.99/6100 = $0.65. Therefore the current CPM when redeeming for a GoPro Hero 7 Silver is 6.5 cents.

Generally speaking, AIR MILES Dream Rewards tend to have a higher CPM compared to Cash Miles, but that’s only when you’re booking flights or vacation packages. Most points collectors agree that if you can get a CPM of 10.5 when making a redemption, you’re getting good value regardless of what you’re claiming.

How to Redeem AIR MILES Dream Rewards

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AIR MILES Dream Rewards can be redeemed for a variety of experiences and products. Common rewards include flights, car rentals, hotels, tickets to attractions and events. You can also use your points to purchase household items and electronics such as cameras, barbecues, watches, and more. Once you have a sufficient number of Dream Rewards, you can proceed to exchange your points for your desired reward online.

Please note that AIR MILES Dream Rewards gift cards are no longer available. If you are looking for vouchers to restaurants, the movies, etc., they now fall under the AIR MILES Cash Rewards program.

AIR MILES Dream Rewards Catalogue

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The AIR MILES Dream Rewards catalogue is where you can find all of the options and items that you are eligible to purchase using your Dream Rewards. The online catalogue is divided into different sections including travel, merchandise, and events or attractions. You can use these categories to browse the items on offer. For travel and vacation redemptions, prices will vary depending on the time you choose to travel and where you’re travelling to. Remember to calculate the CPM to make sure you are getting the best deal!

The AIR MILES Dream Rewards catalogue also has weekly deals with select merchandise available for less miles than they would usually cost. There are also occasional travel rewards specials as well. Make sure to take a look at these promos before redeeming your points.

AIR MILES Dream Rewards Return Policy

Customers should note that all purchases made with dream rewards are final. Once you have received your order confirmation, you cannot make any changes. Refunds, returns, exchanges, or cancellations are not allowed. Should there be an event cancellation, it is up to the artist/venue/or promoter of that event to issue a refund or exchange as they see fit.

Can You Transfer AIR MILES from Dream Rewards to Cash Rewards?

As soon as you sign up for an AIR MILES account, you will have to choose how you want to allocate your points. Your options are Cash Rewards, Dream Rewards, or both. You can choose to earn all your AIR MILES as one or the other, or a combination of the two. Although you can change your earn allocation at any time, once the points have actually been earned as Cash or Dream Rewards miles, you can’t transfer them between the two.

The Best Credit Cards for Collecting AIR MILES Dream Rewards

There are several AIR MILES credit cards to choose from where you can collect AIR MILES Dream Rewards. However, there are two stand-out options that we particularly recommend: the BMO World Elite AIR MILES Mastercard and the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card.

bmo air miles world eliteBMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: 
– Min personal income required: $80000
– Annual fees: $120 

The BMO World Elite AIR MILES Mastercard is a great pick for several reasons. New cardholders will be rewarded with 3000 bonus miles as a welcome gift when they spend $3000 on the card in the first three months, and will have access to additional travel perks such 2 VIP lounge access passes per year, and a great travel insurance package. Miles will be earned at a rate of 2 mile per every $10 spent on the card and cardholders also receive a 15% discount on all AIR MILES flights within North America. The BMO World Elite AIR MILES Mastercard comes with an annual fee of $120 (waived for the first year) but note it has a minimum personal income requirement of $80000 to apply.

Click here to apply for the BMO World Elite AIR MILES Mastercard

American Express Air Miles Platinum Credit CardAmerican Express Air Miles Platinum

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: 
– Min personal income required: $0
– Annual fees: $65 

The American Express AIR MILES Platinum card is another great choice for travellers looking to collect AIR MILES Dream Rewards. New cardholders can receive a bonus of 2000 Miles if they spend a minimum of $1,500 in the first three months. AIR MILES can be earned at a rate of 1 mile per $10 spent at an AIR MILES sponsor store and 1 Mile per every $15 spent elsewhere. The annual fee for this credit card is $65 and there is no minimum personal income required to apply.

Click here to learn more about the American Express AIR MILES Platinum card

Are AIR MILES Dream Rewards Worth It?

The AIR MILES Dream Rewards program does have some decent offers, but some travellers find the program restrictive when it comes to using their Miles toward flights. Travellers looking for a more flexible program might want to consider BMO’s in-house rewards program and its marquee travel credit card, the BMO World Elite Mastercard. It’s considered to be one of the top travel credit cards in Canada and is known for its flexibility when it comes to travel rewards redemption.

BMO Rewards World Elite MastercardBMO World Elite Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: 
– Min personal income required: $80000
– Annual fees: $150

One of the best benefits of this card is that it is a ‘book anything, anytime, anywhere’ card. That means you can easily redeem your points for anything travel related; there are no blackout dates and your points will never expire. All you need to do is purchase something travel related on your credit card through a travel provider, then go online or call to redeem your points toward the purchase.

The BMO World Elite comes with a welcome bonus of 50000 rewards points when you spend $3,000 within the first three months of card membership. Additional benefits include a comprehensive travel insurance package and four annual airport lounge passes. Earning rewards is also easy since you’ll get 3 points per $1 spent on travel, dining, and entertainment while all other purchases earn 2 points per $1 spent. The card does come with an annual fee of $150, but it’s waived for the first year, so you’re getting a ton of rewards for free. The combined total value of the card’s perks in the first year can be estimated at $540. Not too shabby.

Click here to apply for the BMO World Elite Mastercard

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