Last week it came to my attention that Air Miles changed their expiry policy, something, which I am sure a lot of people, did not see coming. This new Air Miles expiry policy came to my attention as I was making BankNerd’s Best of the Best article. That being said, I first read about the new Air Miles expiry policy on Rewards Cards Canada.
What is the new Air Miles expiry policy?
The new Air Miles expiry policy can now expire; in fact starting December 31st, 2011, all Air Miles reward miles in your account will have a date stamp of 5 years. What this means is that any reward miles you have earned before December 31st, 2011 will have to be redeemed by December 31st, 2016.
Any Air Miles reward miles you earn after December 31st, 2011 will need to be redeemed 5 years from when they were posted. For example, if you earned 20 Air Miles on August 2, 2013, then you have until September 30th, 2018 to redeem them.
It can get a little confusing when you think about it, because if you are like most people, you collect Air Miles reward miles on a regular basis, which will make managing your redemption deadlines a little annoying.
To help make your life easier, you will find a table below showcasing how the redemption deadlines work:
|Reward Miles posted by||Will Expire if not redeemed by|
|Prior to Dec 31, 2011||Dec 31, 2016|
|Between Jan - March 2012 calendar year||March 31, 2017|
|Between April - June 2012 calendar yearBetween July - Sept 2012 calendar year||June 30, 2017|
|Between July - Sept 2012 calendar year||Sept 30, 2017|
|Between Oct - Dec 2012 calendar year||Dec 31, 2017|
|Between Jan - March 2013 calendar year||March 31, 2018|
As you can see, depending on the quarter of the year, your Air Miles will expire differently; in my opinion, it is still a bit confusing, there really is nothing you can do about it.
Why did Air Miles change the expiry date?
This had to be the second question that I asked myself when reading about the new expiry rules. I took a look at the Air Miles FAQ and it stated that:
Most loyalty programs in Canada and around the world already have an expiry policy of some kind (some expire accounts, while others expire points).
These practices are put in place to provide accounting certainty and are an accepted industry practice.
Honestly, this had to be the worst answer to the question; in the end all it told me was that other reward programs have an expiration date, so Air Miles should as well.
Is having Airs Miles worth it now?
One key feature about Air Miles reward miles was the fact that they never expire; it made it ideal for anyone looking to cash in their Air Miles reward miles on a vacation. With the expiration date now in place, it does make one have to stop and think before signing up for Air Miles.
I will be honest, it will definitely be tougher to accumulate the large number of Air Miles reward miles that you will need for your vacations, but realistically, 5 years is still a good timeline to have.
I for one am disappointed in the change, but with the launch of the new American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card and the Member Get Member program, collecting the required amount of Air Miles reward miles might not seem as hard anymore.
What do you think of the new Air Miles expiry policy?