Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Air Miles Points! Are They Worth It?

     If you're like many people you will carry a folder of cards with you that are used to collect points.  Most grocery stores have a points system. They want you to build up points and stay with them. Many large box stores have points.. Like most of you I have an Air Miles point card.

     So many places I go I present my Air Miles card and get these wonderful points. I can redeem my points for flights or buy merchandise. Recently I discovered that there are very few places to spend your Air Miles points. Recently some businesses have stopped taking Air Miles points for the purchase of  merchandise.. They'll still give you points but you have to go some place else to spend them. Now as far as flying is concerned, I would not get to the end of  the runway on Air Miles points. And that's a short runway. It takes a lot of points to go any place and I'd rather drive to our nearest town.

     Now the Air Miles topic got going here yesterday when the Air Miles statement came. We bought a car in April and used the charge card for the maximum on the card. The micro manager said I don't think we got the Air Miles points for buying he car. I made a mathematical error when estimating the points. I calculated 2500 points. We phoned Air Miles and discovered it was 250 points instead of 2500. My mistake. However, the Air Miles statement doesn't tell you where the points came from. 

     There are now time limitations on your Air Miles points. You have to use them within five years or you lose them. How many people know that? How many people keep track of Air Miles.?

     I also suspicion that points are worth less but I can't prove it. At one time you may have got a point for every dollar spent. I saw something the other day where you get a point for every $20.00 spent. To make matters worse points are different values. So you have many cards and each card has different values.

     Now I was told to change my Sobies (grocery store) points to Air Miles. We found out the points were put into cloud instead of cash so we can't redeem them at the store.

    So what's a poor boy to do? Well, I'm going to tell you that Air Miles points are crap. I'm going to tell you we're wasting our time with the whole points thing. It's a scam. I would like to see just a competitive price rather than the razzle dazzle of points which are completely rigged against the consumer.

    I wonder if my mother getting cups, glasses or tea towels in products was a better system?

    So am I the only crab who doesn't like collecting points? Am I doing something wrong? 

40 comments:

  1. I had no idea you have to use them within that time frame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think very many people are aware of a time limit. Much of the stuff that comes looks like junk mail and is thrown away.

      Delete
  2. i do cash rewards points. my card earns 1% cash back on all purchases. i charge as much as i can on my card, pay it off every month so it costs me nothing in interest, then get to redeem $50 for each $5000 charged. there are other ones out there that'll offer 2% here or 3% spent there, but i just stick with clean and simple - 1 cent back on every dollar spent. doesn't sound like much, but today i just redeemed $150 credit at once. nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A standard one percent would be easy to work with. Keep it the same.

      Delete
  3. We get World Points with our Master Card and I get cash points with my Amazon Visa card to use for purchases from Amazon. Both have worked well for us. It does take more points to fly than it used to, no doubt about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you have to do your business on line to make the best of it.

      Delete
  4. Different airlines have different rules re the time frame for using points. But I found one loophole to the time frame thing - which was the transfer of some points from my airline points membership plan to a family member's membership. That transaction sometimes cost a few dollars, but it resulted in resetting the date of expiry on both our memberships - as the date is usually so-many years from the last transaction (in cases where there's an expiry date). On my Qantas card, too, the fact that I get points applied applied to my Qantas account for every grocery purchase means that my Qantas expiry date keeps moving ahead every time I buy groceries. Finally, one thing that may helps those of us living Down Under: Because we are on the opposite side of the globe from Europe and North America, every time we travel to either of those popular destinations - or even to Asia - we earn a hell of a lot of points per trip. So while I was working as an education consultant in various Asian countries, over the years I earned enough points to get several free overseas trips for myself, and several for various members of my family. That's one case in which the so-called 'tyranny of distance' we talk about Down Under works in our favor!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've obviously done your homework on this I have never heard of transferring points to reset the clock.

      Delete
  5. I knew that Sears made you spend your points within a particular time frame but I didn't realize that about Air Miles. Frank has a card. I throw my points in there. I doubt he'll ever do anything with it. Aside from that, I just have my Shopper's Optimum card for at least 15 years now. And I don't think I've ever redeemed anything there yet either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You better check. You might be rich!

      Delete
  6. I've never collected them so I don't know but it doesn't sound very good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's interesting how this racket varies in different countries.

      Delete
  7. Geese, I went to Canadian Tire the other day and now they are doing away with Cdn Tire paper money and making everyone use a card. You have to go online to register it and ""HERE COME THE PERSONAL QUESTIONS" TO GET REGISTERED - Cripes, I really liked collecting my Cdn Tire money and having that bundle when I went to the store...and I did ask the question - "what if you do not have a computer" - ANSWER - we have one right by the customer service desk and all you have to do is type in the answers to more personal questions, - oh dear lord, its all about cards. Can't they just invent a chip to put in your hand and you just swipe on the way out the door. More and more plastic keeps coming to the house - whatever is a girl to do? I spend minutes cutting it all up and out to the garbage it goes...... + the five year thing really makes me angry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How could Canadian tire get rid of a Canadian icon like Canadian tire money! Wait until the micro manager finds out about this.

      Delete
    2. I would like to know "Micro Manager's" answer to that. ha,ha

      Delete
  8. A store here gives you points for discounts on gas at their pumps. It can be nice to fill up for 20-30 cents off, but I think it also makes some people buy some things that have the points on them. Not all grocery items have that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have a store that gives 4 cents per liter for groceries in the store. So for 50 liters I get $2.00 to spend in the store. Of course, they know I'll spend more than $2.00.

      Delete
  9. Some rewards cards are better than others, I suppose. But I wouldn't like one that puts a deadline on when you can use up those rewards. That is really crappy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it's being done and I think many people won't notice. The card outfits aren't going to warn you or tell you that you lost points.

      Delete
  10. We do Marriott points and get discounts at nicer hotels and since we travel more than we used to, we find this useful. We also get air miles but find they are next to impossible to use. Once we called with United miles and asked for a discounted trip anytime in August to a couplte of places and they could NOT accommodate that! Our grocery store points help us get 30 to 40 cents off gallons of gas if we watch when we fill our cars and gas cans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there are few places you can use your Air Miles. We have a deal on gas too. 4 cents a liter to be used in the store.

      Delete
  11. I don't go in for all those point systems. The only one I use at all is when I fly on Alaska Air, I get points in their system. They continue to offer me credit cards that would allow me to get points faster, but they are not free and I'm not interested in having yet another credit card! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wouldn't you like a folder of about 50 cards??? It would look awesome!

      Delete
  12. It all sounds too good to be true at times. I keep hoping we will have enough points for a free flight on our next trip but after reading this I am not so sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check on it so you don't lose anything. Everybody is different.

      Delete
  13. We often use our credit card to get "travel miles" and have used them for a round trip ticket to Italy. Next year we're doing the same for Germany, if it's still possible. They are making it tough to use them I'll agree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My credit card does the same thing. It seems to take a long time to get anywhere!!

      Delete
  14. Seems redundant to me. With one card we got a bird feeder once...a bear stole it out of the yard. Since then the points accumulate and expire...I don't pay much attention...but then I am more of a cash person:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cash people are getting rare these days.

      Delete
  15. I have an air miles credit card, which gives me a mile (Point) for every dollar spent. They'll offer specials where I can get 10 to 15 miles (Points) per dollar spent. I went to Alaska to babsyit for my daughter in September and had enough miles (points) to get a free ticket. So I like mine! lol We wish that card for everything, and pay it off each month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess you have to watch and take advantages of deals to get far more points than ordinary.

      Delete
  16. I used to use Air Miles many years ago for flights but more recently I've found it harder and harder to get decent flights that I wanted so I forfeited over 100,000 Air Miles a few years ago and no longer bother with them However I have amassed over 100,000 British Airways miles - now Avios - but am having difficulty actually spending them. I really wonder if they are worth the effort.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems like to take advantage of points you have to do your homework.. I've learned a lot from comments on this post.

      Delete
  17. I keep getting aeroplan points and have no idea how to cash them in. I am not happy with points either. B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We spent everything on aeroplan and then closed it. WE got the card because of one particular flight.

      Delete
  18. I read all your comments Red. I had to laugh about the bear that stole the bird feeder. A hoot.

    We have points for our groceries. I have not really sat down to read all about it. Come here and read. I pretty well am clued in. One says she went to Alaska. Another ones got allot back.We can get gas also.

    Hmmmmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Well I am afraid to fly so there is no worry about getting points. I love Far Side's comment! She makes me laugh! I think we would be better off if companies put a dish towel or a little something useful inside boxes of stuff as a reward for buying their product! :) One of our grocery stores gives points for cents off on gasoline but I've never collected enough to fool with it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. When hubby was working for the airline, he was living in Calgary, working in TO, and staying in an airport hotel for a couple of months. He had a ton of points, which we managed to give to the kids for their honeymoon! It was great. We just don't earn those kinds of points these days!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've got few point cards for groceries and some cosmetic shops. I can barely feel points adding up to some of my cards. It took me a year to gather certain amount of points in order to be given a gold card which entitles me to upto 30% discount. My grocery card does give me literally a 100ruble discount at a purchase of more than 800rubles. I dunno if it all make sense but I'm not crazily counting points all the time. :) I just use them 'coz I have them and if there's real discount in it, then why not.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I just asked Art and he said it hasn't helped us much because we fly different airlines. Ah well...

    ReplyDelete