The Air Miles reward program was launched in 1992 and has been a mainstay of the loyalty market since. It has established itself as a strong competitor to Aeroplan and is Canada’s largest coalition loyalty program. Although Air Miles has devalued significantly in the recent past (who hasn’t?), it remains the primary loyalty program for many Canadians.

Back in 2011, Air Miles introduced a five-year expiry date on reward miles, which means starting January 1st, 2017 unused miles are set to expire. This has many Canadians, who were saving up over years for an aspirational trip, scrambling to redeem their miles. Air Miles redemption for travel can be quite frustrating with limited seat inventory and overpriced hotels, car rentals and merchandise on offer.

How many Air Miles are set to expire?

The Air Miles system has an easy way to determine the number of air miles set to expire each quarter. You can request a personal expiry statement, which is emailed to you within 48 hours,  as shown below:

Log in -- look for 'Request Expiry Statement' -- Submit Request

Log in — look for ‘Request Expiry Statement’ — Submit Request

 

My Air Miles expiry statement

My Air Miles expiry statement

 

$50 Delta Airlines Travel Credit Voucher

Based on my expiry statement, I had to figure a way to save 410 miles from expiring. Given that all my Fall travel is already booked and paid for, I was struggling to find a decent redemption, until this week. Air Miles is advertising a Delta Airlines travel credit voucher, 50 USD value for 250 reward miles. I value Air Miles at 10.0 Canadian Cents, which puts this redemption value at 26 CPM!!

Delta travel credit voucher - $50 US

Delta travel credit voucher – $50 US

 

Easy instructions on using the voucher

Easy instructions on using the voucher

It gets better, T&C’s for this redemption indicated that two Delta credit vouchers could be combined towards a single booking as long as the voucher holder was part of the travel itinerary.

Combine up to 2 vouchers ($100 US) on a single booking.

Combine up to 2 vouchers ($100 US) on a single booking.

This works out perfectly for me, since I travel on Delta (and earn Alaska miles) at least a few times a year. I can offset $100 worth of Delta credit towards my future travel. It’s an easy way to save the 410 reward miles that are set to expire in my account on January 1st 2017.

However, when I tried to redeem two Delta vouchers at the same time, I received an error telling me I could only redeem one.  I proceeded with one order at a time and it worked, and I received confirmation for both redemptions in my account.

Error Message when I tried to redeem 2 vouchers at once.

Error Message when I tried to redeem 2 vouchers at once.

 

Was able to redeem two vouchers in separate orders

Was able to redeem two vouchers in separate orders

Take Away

Keep an eye out for promotions like these in the travel redemption section. Avoid buying appliances and other merchandise, they are grossly overpriced. Travel redemptions still remain the best value on offer. Unfortunately, this Delta deal does not help those that are set to lose thousands of miles due to expiry, be patient and keep checking travel redemptions and book online when available. If you need help, use the online chat feature as opposed to calling customer support as reports suggest its taking hours to get through.

Are your miles expiring? What has been your experience with recent redemptions? Leave a comment below.