air miles expiry

Tips to Keep Your AIR MILES from Expiring

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

AIR MILES has been one of Canada’s top rewards programs for decades. However, a number of changes over the past few years regarding AIR MILES’ expiry policy has made it tricky for consumers to keep up with. We’ve done the research and now we’re sharing everything you need to know about AIR MILES expiry and how to keep your miles active.

AIR MILES Expiry: What Does It Mean Exactly?

If you visit the AIR MILES website, you’ll see a notice informing members that AIR MILES has cancelled its expiry policy. At a glance, this seems like great news. But a closer look reveals that the so-called cancellation of the AIR MILES expiry is not quite as clear cut as it seems.

When it comes to the AIR MILES program, no expiration date means that you don’t need to worry about using up your Miles within a certain amount of time, and that the Miles will remain in your account as long as you stay active. But if your account remains inactive for too long it will be considered dormant, and you will indeed lose your AIR MILES. So, while the AIR MILES themselves technically don’t expire, your AIR MILES account can.

When Do AIR MILES Expire?

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As long as you stay active and continue to earn and redeem your AIR MILES, they will not expire. The problem arises when your AIR MILES account becomes inactive for a period of 24 consecutive months. At this point you will lose all of your Miles, so make sure you keep your account active by earning some Miles at least once every two years.

AIR MILES Expiry Statement

The good news is that your AIR MILES won’t randomly disappear on you without warning. You will receive notification in the form of an AIR MILES expiry statement, alerting you to the fact that your account has been unused for too long and you’re coming close to the cut-off period, after which it will be considered dormant.

With that being said, several AIR MILES customers have complained that they never actually received the statement. In the end, it turned out that they indeed received the AIR MILES expiry statements by email, but their email provider labelled the emails as ‘junk’, so the customers didn’t see them.

AIR MILES Expiry Limit

Unfortunately, there is no limit to the number of Miles that you can lose. According to the AIR MILES expiry rules, once your AIR MILES account has reached the dormancy threshold of 24 consecutive months, you will lose all of your Miles, even if you’ve amassed a huge number.

How to Avoid AIR MILES Expiry

There are a few key actions and habits that we recommend to ensure that you get to keep and use all of your Miles.

1. Keep an Eye Out for the Expiry Statement

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We highly recommend that you adjust your email junk box settings and add any AIR MILES email addresses to your safe sender list, so that you’ll receive the expiry statement when it’s sent to you and have enough warning time to correct the situation accordingly.

2. Earn or Redeem AIR MILES Frequently

Your AIR MILES account remains active as long as you continue to collect Miles and/or redeem them for rewards items, so you don’t need to worry about losing your AIR MILES as long as you earn and redeem them with regularity.

3. Get in Touch with the AIR MILES Team

Sometimes account inactivity might be the result of prolonged illness or other personal problems. If this is the case, then get in touch with the team behind AIR MILES and see if they can do anything to help. They may be able to give you an extension on that 24-month inactivity period or even transfer your Miles to a family member or friend. Exceptions can be made, though normally only in extreme circumstances. Please note that if you are going to go this route, you need to reach out before your account expires. If it’s already been labelled dormant it is likely too late.

4. Use an AIR MILES Credit Card

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your account stays active is to choose a credit card that offers AIR MILES as its rewards program. There are several Canadian credit cards that earn AIR MILES, but we recommend either the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard or the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card.

bmo air miles world eliteBMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard

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

New cardholders of the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard receive 3000 Miles when they charge $3,000 to the card in the first three months. The card’s earn rate is 2 Mile per every $10 spent, one of the highest found among AIR MILES cards. Additional benefits include comprehensive travel insurance and two free VIP airport lounge passes per year. The card’s premium perks mean that applicants must have an annual personal salary of $80000 to apply, and they’ll pay an annual $120fee (though the first year’s fee is waived).

Click here to apply for the BMO Air Miles World Elite 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 

Another great AIR MILES credit card to consider, especially for those in a lower income bracket, is the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card. The card has a relatively low annual fee of $65 and there is no minimum income requirement to apply. Cardholders will receive 2000 Miles as a welcome bonus when they spend $1,500 in the first 3 months, as well as travel accident insurance, car rental damage waivers, and purchase protection. The card earns 1 AIR MILE per $10 spent at AIR MILES sponsor stores, and 1 Mile per $15 spent elsewhere.

Click here to apply for the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard

5. Consider a Different Loyalty Program

AIR MILES is a popular program for Canadian consumers, but if you’re worried about your miles expiring, you may be better off using a less restrictive travel rewards program, such as BMO Rewards.

BMO Rewards points never truly expire and they can be used to redeem any travel purchase.

BMO Rewards World Elite MastercardEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: 
Good-Excellent
– Min personal income required: $80000
– Annual fees: $150

They’re relatively easy to earn with the right credit card—the BMO World Elite Mastercard, for instance, comes with a welcome bonus of 50000 BMO Rewards points when the cardholder spends $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. The card’s earn rate is 3 points per $1 spent on travel, dining, and entertainment, and 2 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Cardholders also get 4 free airport lounge passes per year and a comprehensive travel insurance package. The card does have an annual fee of $150, but it’s waived for the first year, so the card’s overall value proposition is very high.

Click here to apply for the BMO World Elite Mastercard

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