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Redeem AIR MILES for Everyday Purchases

FAM, self By December 11, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Redeeming AIR MILES for Everyday PurchasesThe reality is setting in. December has arrived and the holiday to-do list is longer than my children’s wishlist for Santa. (Which is saying something). I haven’t started to shop for gifts, haven’t chosen cookie recipes and my pantry is bare.

This year, our family has also undertaken the enormous task of chairing a Family Ball for 450 adults and kids to raise funds for mental health. The event is on December 7th, and I think a whole big bunch of my angst stems from having slightly too many things to do. But just as I was about to have a panic attack, my AIR MILES American Express Card fell out of my wallet and the inspiration hit me.

I have always been so wise in using both my AIR MILES Collector Card as well as my Amex AIR MILES Credit Card to get twice the miles on purchases, and now it’s time to be rewarded for my efforts. Let’s see just how many AIR MILES I can redeem and how much money I can save this year while purchasing the items I need to buy anyway…

AIR MILES Cash RedemptionI chose from one of my many list-making apps and came up with a cunning plan. Every 95 reward miles redeemed equates to $10 off of the bill at participating stores if you are an AIR MILES Cash Collector, so I will attempt to end up with the smallest credit card bills I’ve ever seen this coming January! My plan:

1. Redeem AIR MILES for eVouchers at Toys R’ Us toward Minecraft toys to use as silent auction donations that will appeal to kids at the Family Ball. While there, with the miles available for redemption, I’ll add a few stocking stuffers for my kids and find games for the cousins.

2. Redeem AIR MILES while filling up the gas tank at Shell before our family trip to Big White Ski Resort in mid-December. Actually, I’ll also add in a couple jugs of windshield wiper fluid while at the gas station to combat the dirt from snowy roads!

3. Make a quick visit to the movie theatre and coffee shop during next week’s soccer practice to redeem my AIR MILES for movie tickets for the teachers, coffee for the mail carrier and other eVouchers for both as part of another silent auction prize. DONE.

4. Groceries. I can never quite fathom how long the holiday list is. This year I am going to calmly analyze the recipe books and make sure I only have to do a big shop once. I will take into account the brownies-in-a-jar mix we are gifting to neighbours, extra hot chocolate for snow days and plastic containers to replace the ones whose lids have miraculously disappeared. My local store participates in AIR MILES Cash redemption… wouldn’t it be incredible if I did my whole holiday shop for $17?

5. After realizing that all of our children’s fever medications are expired, I need to head to the drugstore. Beginning a new year without a proper first aid kit is not a wise move. Not only will I redeem some AIR MILES Cash balance for the new medicine, but I may treat myself to some holiday makeup with a touch of glitter.

I’d love to hear how you make out – and especially which everyday spending you choose to tackle with your AIR MILES Cash over this busy holiday season!

If you want to learn more about the Amex AIR MILES suite of cards you can check them out here.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.

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5 tips for maximizing your air miles

Five Tips for Maximizing your AIR MILES

Canada, International, ROAM By November 30, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

The weather becomes crisp and you’ve finally finished filling out mounds of paperwork for kids’ activities and school. Photos are done, pumpkins composted and you sit down for a steaming cup of orange pekoe when it hits – you need a holiday. But with the bustle of December looming, a holiday will have to wait. Panic rises from somewhere in your belly that you haven’t exercised in a while and deep breaths don’t seem to impact a racing mind that is compiling to-do lists faster than a room full of monkeys can type.

Calm yourself. This year it will be different. You’ve got a secret weapon that constantly reminds you of travel to come. This holiday season my family is using our five tips for maximizing your AIR MILES so that we can get away together in 2015.

This year I plan to do my usual over-the-top holiday décor – three themed spruce trees, a minimum of 5 holiday squares and cookies at the ready and way too many vegetables at Christmas dinner. The light at the end of the tunnel for me is always travel, and the collection of AIR MILES for my family helps facilitate our trips – either by using our reward miles for flights, or helping the budget by getting cash redemptions at AIR MILES Cash Sponsors.

My mantra? More travel = more educational opportunities. More savings = less stress!

Maximize your AIR MILESWe have a few tricks for maximizing the AIR MILES we earn and I want to let our readers in on the secrets!

1. Check the fliers at your local grocery store that issues AIR MILES on purchases. Better yet? Get on their email list so that you always know when you can earn bonus miles on the items you have to buy.

2. Ensure your spouse and any other family member who wants to help the cause have a duplicate AIR MILES card in their wallet. Sponsors always ask if you are a Collector, so you won’t miss any chance to accumulate miles! Our whole family uses the same account for flexibility and ease.

3. Use an American Express AIR MILES Credit Card alongside your AIR MILES Collector Card at Sponsors to earn double the miles. Earning twice is always much more nice.

4. Use that same credit card to earn rewards miles on all of your everyday purchases. I use the American Express AIR MILES Reserve Card to earn one mile for every $10 I spend at AIR MILES Sponsors but I also earn one mile for every $10 spent at other eligible stand-alone grocery stores, gas stations, and drugstores in Canada and one mile for every $15 spent everywhere else.

5. The AIR MILES website is full of special offers and promotions. When you need to rent a car, do the things that keep every family afloat on a weekly basis, be sure to check the bonus offers, as you can accumulate hundreds of bonus AIR MILES by being a savvy shopper.

American Express is currently hosting their #MoreAIRMILES contest to let AIR MILES members answer the question, “What would you do with more AIR MILES?”. Once answered, you’re entered into a draw for a weekly prize. Invite a friend and each one who participates in the contest lands you an additional entry.

Remember: AIR MILES + Amex = MoreAirMiles and You + Daily Entries + Your Friends = More chances to win! Check out the contest here.

Are you ready to dream? To save? To eliminate holiday stress? I’d love to hear about the holiday that your family is working toward throughout this holiday season! Bon voyage!

This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.

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Maximize your Rewards this Hallowe’en

Uncategorized By October 24, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

Maximize RewardsAhh.  October.  Just when you’ve eaten your fill of turkey, forked over a ton of cash for organic pumpkin pie ingredients and filled your house with harvest décor, you realize that Hallowe’en is only two weeks away.  Or maybe one.  (Your calendar is still covered in gravy splatter.)  The turkey coma is replaced by the end-of-October panic attack.  You create a list.  Lists are fun!  Until you realize that you have not one thing checked off yet.

–       Costumes for the kids
–       Candy for the door
–       Extra candy for when you run out at the door
–       Baking for the Hallowe’en party at school
–       Decorations to make your home the spookiest on the block
–       Rake, lawnmower, yard bags and Mums to tidy up the yard
–       A costume for yourself so you can look like a rockstar parent in front of all of the other parents who come to the door (they won’t know you haven’t cut the kids’ nails in a few weeks)
–       And along that line of thinking, cleaning supplies to make your front foyer sparkle  (The rest of the house doesn’t matter)

US Open Swing AnalysisAnd now I’m slightly stressed.  But I do like to multitask and thankfully, was approached to try out the American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card.  I’ve held different Amex Cards for over 15 years and have used a ton of the American Express customer service extras and benefits (Front Of The Line for theatre tickets being one of my favourites) so I jumped at the chance.  The company has been great to deal with.  Over the years I have been phoned to check on irregular purchases, had cards replaced immediately when I’ve (ahem) lost them, and just last month, used the Amex Members lounge at the US Open to charge my phone and have my swing analyzed.  So I’m a huge fan.

Currently, there is a promotion that if you enroll and spend $50 or more on you Amex AIR MILES Card from October 24 – 31, 2013 you can earn 100 Bonus AIR MILES reward miles.

All of the purchases I would be making anyway from my Hallowe’en list will earn me reward miles, and quite certainly also Bonus reward miles.  (Because we all know about my family travel obsession.)  Any flight or hotel that doesn’t dwindle the bank account makes me smile again and again.  I know there are tons of travel reward cards out there as I’ve used many of them.   The American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card p is quite different than most.

1. You can use your reward miles to cover taxes and fees on flight redemptions, and no blackout dates or zone limits means I can control my own travel decisions.
2.  There are choices in the Card I choose based on my needs (and which I think will look chic in my wallet.)  No need to stretch the budget or change existing spending habits (apologies to my poor husband).

I chose the new Reserve Card for myself and feel the $299 annual fee is well worth the benefits.

Amex AirMilesThe Reserve Card:

1.  I earn reward miles twice when shopping at participating AIR MILES Sponsors across Canada using my new Credit Card combined with my AIR MILES Collector Card.
2.  AIR MILES has introduced FlexFly Redemptions, meaning with this card I can access additional airlines and destinations, departure times and seats not within the AIR MILES Flight Program.
3. Complimentary companion ticket for a short-haul flight once annually
4. Access to an AIR MILES concierge service (loving the sound of that)
5.. Four passes to Priority Pass airport lounges worldwide every year.  If you’re wondering about the benefits of this while flying with kids, we did an article on it.  [link] Of course.
6. Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country), $100,000 Travel Accident Insurance, Car Rental Theft and Damage insurance, Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance, Flight Delay Insurance, Baggage Delay Insurance, Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance.  Because I know all of you moms pay really close attention to insurance policies.  (This can eliminate the stress of not reading stuff unless it’s about fashion).

  • How you Earn reward miles:
    • Earn 1 reward mile for every $10 in Card purchases at AIR MILES Sponsors
    • Earn 1 reward mile for every $10 in Card purchases at other eligible grocery stores, gas stations, and drugstores in Canada
    • Earn 1 reward mile for every $15 in Card purchases everywhere else

The other Amex AIR MILES Card options:

The American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card:

1.  $65 annual fee waived for the first year
2. Reward miles are earn at the same rate as with the Reserve Card
3.  Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance and $100,000 Travel Accident Insurance 

The American Express AIR MILES Credit Card:

1.  No Annual Fee
2.  Earn 1 reward mile for every $15 in Card purchases at AIR MILES Sponsors and 1 reward mile for every $20 in purchases you charge to the Card everywhere else
3.  $100,000 Travel Accident Insurance

Is your stress dwindling too?  Or already dreaming of your dream destination?  Psst.  You can take the extra Hallowe’en candy with you.  Wink.

Disclosure:  This article was generally sponsored by Amex AIR MILES.  As always our opinions are our own.

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