I recently found out about a new way to use my Air Miles account that I wasn't aware of. Air Miles Cash rewards offers you a chance to redeem your miles points for cash off every day purchases that you make at participating retailers. Since I prefer cash rewards over travel or products, I was quickly interested in this option. In order to allow me to test this addition to the program, I received a few extra points.

Perks of Air Miles Cash Rewards

The new Air Miles Cash rewards program allows you to add a new dimension to your reward-earning endeavors. You can still allocate points toward your Dream balances in order to redeem for for travel and, on the other side, earn cash rewards.

It's important to understand that your Dream balance and your Air Miles Cash balance will not be interchangeable. This means that you can't move your cash points over to your Dream balance, nor your Dream points over to the cash side. If you want to join the program, you can decide how to allocate your points.

So, if you still want to earn Dream points, but you are mostly interested in cash, you can set it up so that your purchase points are allocated 30% to your Dream balance and 70% to your Cash balance (you can even switch so that 100% of your miles points goes to one balance or the other). You can switch up your allocation percentages at any time, but remember that your balances are non-transferable.

You continue to use the miles in your Dream balance as normal, and with the Air Miles Cash rewards, you can instantly redeem your rewards at participating locations. Every 95 Air Miles you have translates into $10 cash that can be used on site. It also looks like any Air Miles Cash retailers no longer have an option to cash in Dream rewards for gift cards, so this new option seems to have replaced that.

Some of the participating retailers include:

There are currently only two retailers where I can use Air Miles Cash here in Alberta, so I went to both and cashed in some points in exchange for money off my receipt.

  • RONA: Home improvement giant RONA is participating in the Air Miles Cash program. All you have to do is redeem 95 points from your Air Miles Cash balance at checkout, and you can get $10 off your purchase. This worked well here, I told them I wanted to use some Air Miles Cash points and I had my bill reduced in $10 increments and I only had to pay the remaining few dollars.
  • Shell: The same is true at Shell. You can use your Air Miles Cash balance to get $10 off in-store purchases at the register. If you pay for your gas in the store, you can benefit from this by getting $10 off your purchase. The only exception  is on tobacco products. I wasn't sure if I could redeem at the pump, so I went inside and prepaid $20 using my Air Miles Cash points. Redeeming worked really seamlessly since the even amount meant I didn't need to pull out my credit card.

There is a daily limit on your ability to instantly redeem your Air Miles Cash balance. You can redeem in $10 increments up to $750 a day.

Advantages to the Air Miles Cash Rewards Program

The biggest advantage to the new Air Miles Cash program is that you can redeem your points instantly, at checkout, on things that you buy regularly. This is a huge upgrade from a lot of points rewards programs that require you to submit paperwork for reimbursement, or just have get a statement credit.

It's also nice that you can get $10 with only 95 points. Many programs require hundreds (or even thousands) of points before you can start redeeming. This means that you have the chance to use your rewards faster, and on things that you know you need.

Whether you choose the Dream or Cash rewards options, you can make the most of the program by collecting bonus points when available and using an Air Miles credit card for all your purchases. What do you think of the new Air Miles Cash program?

Air Miles Cash rewards offers you a chance to redeem your miles points for cash off every day purchases that you make at participating retailers.

About Tom Drake

Tom Drake is the owner and head writer of the award-winning MapleMoney. With a career as a Financial Analyst and over eight years writing about personal finance, Tom has the knowledge to help you get control of your money and make it work for you.