Do Air Miles Expire in Canada?

Girl on vacation booked with Air Miles
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Your Air Miles account will expire if there’s been no activity in it for 24 consecutive months.

An inactive account is one in which no transactions have been conducted within that time frame.

In other words, you did not earn, redeem, or transfer any points over the 24-month period.

Seeing the Air Miles in your account vanish overnight can be frustrating and demoralizing.

However, it doesn’t take much effort to prevent your hard-earned points from expiring – this article will explain what you need to do.

How to Keep Your Air Miles from Expiring

Air Miles’ terms and conditions state the following:

If no Miles are posted to any of your Collector Accounts or used from any of your Collector Accounts for a period of 24 consecutive months, we may cancel the Miles recorded in all of your Collector Accounts without notice or compensation to you.

It’s clear from these rules that your Air Miles account has an expiration date.

Therefore, if you wish to retain your points indefinitely, you must perform at least one transaction through your account involving a minimum of one Air Mile.

Never allow your account to stay dormant for too long.

There are four ways to keep your Air Miles from expiring.

Let’s look at each of them.

Make a qualified purchase

The easiest and most efficient way to ensure your account remains active is to purchase something that earns Miles.

There are several ways to do this:

Shop with participating partners.

Air Miles maintains partnerships with a wide range of merchants across various industries.

These include brands like Fountain Tire, Neo Financial, Shell, Samsung, Jiffy Lube, and Global Pet Foods.

All you need to do is present your Air Miles card at checkout to collect your points.

Visit the Air Miles Shop.

Do you prefer to shop at home?

If so, you can collect points by making a purchase at one of the dozens of Air Miles-affiliated online retailers through the Air Miles Shop.

To access the Air Miles Shop, log into your account and select the store you wish to shop at by clicking the link.

You’ll then be redirected to the retailer’s website, where any purchase you make will earn you Miles.

Get an Air Miles credit card.

Acquiring an Air Miles branded credit card is a super easy way to ensure your account remains active.

When you use an Air Miles credit card to make qualifying purchases, you’ll instantly collect points, so always keep it handy.

Depending on your card’s earn rates on select spending categories, you can even garner double or triple the points.

Several Air Miles credit cards are available through BMO and American Express.

Don’t Forget!

Simply holding an Air Miles co-branded credit card account won’t prevent your points from expiring. You must still conduct at least one transaction over 24 months to ensure Air Miles doesn’t flag your account dormant.

Redeem Air Miles for rewards

If you have an abundance of Air Miles sitting in your account, consider redeeming some to reset the 24-month expiration deadline.

There’s no shortage of rewards you can apply your points toward:

  • Flights
  • Car rentals
  • Hotels
  • Events and attractions
  • Merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • Charitable donations

One negative aspect of this method is that you may only have enough Miles to redeem them for something you don’t need or want.

If that’s the case, you’re essentially throwing away your Miles, which can take a long time to amass.

A quick and cheap redemption solution is to purchase an item using your Cash Rewards account – 95 cash miles is equivalent to $10 at a participating Air Miles store.

This amount is the minimum redemption allowed.

Transfer Air Miles to another account

If you’re feeling generous, consider transferring some of your Air Miles to a family member or friend; this qualifies as a transaction to keep your account active.

You can contact the Air Miles customer service department to arrange a transfer.

However, one downside to this method is the cost involved: you’ll have to pay a fee of $0.15 per Mile that you transfer.

Buy Air Miles

Instead of collecting points through qualifying purchases, you can simply purchase them directly from Air Miles.

The cost is $0.30 per mile, and you must buy them in increments of 100.

The maximum number of points you can purchase is 2,500 per transaction.

What to do if your Air Miles Expire

Unfortunately, once your account is deemed dormant, you won’t be able to recover your lost Air Miles.

The only way to get them back is to repurchase them.

You’ll need to pay $0.15 per mile and a $10 service fee for each purchase transaction.

To arrange for a buyback, you must contact customer service.

The phone number is 1-888-247-6453.

Aside from repurchasing your dormant points, you can contact customer service and see if you can negotiate to have them reinstated free of charge.

Under extraordinary circumstances, they may grant you an exception and reactivate your account with your miles intact or extend your expiration date.

However, this is the option of last resort and unlikely to work, so don’t have high expectations.

How Will You Know If Your Air Miles Are About to Expire?

As your Miles’ expiration date approaches, you’ll receive a notification via email warning you that you’ve abstained from using your account for too long, after which point it’ll be shut down.

These alerts may end up in your spam folder, so make it a habit to check it regularly.

Or better yet, adjust your email junk settings to whitelist any messages from Air Miles – this is the best way to ensure you don’t miss this critical message.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I know when my Air Miles will expire?
  • Can I get back expired Air Miles?
Mark Gregorski

Mark is passionate about educating people on how the financial markets work and providing tips to help them better manage their money. Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and has more than a decade of experience as an accountant.

Outside of writing and finance, he enjoys playing poker, going to the gym, composing music, and learning about digital marketing.