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How to Earn Air Miles from Most Canadian Retailers

How to Earn Air Miles from Most Canadian Retailers

I've been taking advantage of this next tip for years now.  But I am always shocked when I have the Air Miles conversation with people and most don't know about this!

Have you heard of AirMilesShops.ca?  If you have, great!  If not, it's time to catch up!

Most people I know have an Air Miles card.  Air Miles has been getting some well deserved bad publicity lately, but that's a different topic!

There are a handful of retail stores across provinces that let you earn reward miles in-store; Rona, liquor stores, Sobeys, Shell gas stations and Michaels are a few examples.  However, those in-the-know are aware that most Canadian retailers (and major U.S. retailers that ship to Canada) allow you to earn Air Miles on your online purchases.  If you were unaware of this, I don't fault you.  It's not an obvious thing!  

You must follow the steps below exactly for the process to work.

Here's what you do!  

1. Go to www.airmiles.ca and sign in.  That step is very important.  This will not work if you have not signed in to your Air Miles account!

2. Once you have logged in, click the link on the right side of the screen that says "Shop and get Miles at airmilesshops.ca".

3. Click the name of the retailer from which you are interested in purchasing.  

4. Click the green "shop now" button, next to the store name.  Then click "Shop now" on the pop up window that pops up.

5. A new window will open with the store's website.  You must complete your purchase through this window only.  If you open a new window with the store's address, you will not earn Air Miles.

6. Be patient, it takes up to 120 days for these miles to be added to your account.

Hot tips:

  • Some stores allow you to earn from their own loyalty program and from Air Miles at the same time and some do not.  You'll have to check with each individual store to see what their policy states, Air Miles does not keep a list of this.  For example, hotels.com does not let you earn both Air Miles and hotels.com Rewards Nights, so you'll need to evaluate which loyalty program is more important to you.  On the other hand, Sephora lets you earn both!
  • Most online stores have free shipping after you spend a certain amount.  If you're serious about earning as many miles as possible, when you are planning to make a large in-store purchase (large enough that if you ordered online, you'd get free shipping), skip the check out and order online instead!  I still like to go to stores, because I need to try things on, or test a product in-store before I buy. I usually shop in-store now, and check out products or clothing, but then instead of paying for it at the till, I go home and order the items online instead!
  • Get bonus miles!  Refer a friend and get bonus miles.  You and a friend could get bonus miles on your first purchases through airmilesships.ca  Click here for details!  And, if you'd like a referral code, pop on over to my public Facebook post for mine ;)
  • Subscribe to the Air Miles newsletter and check back often.  The typical reward is one Air Mile per each $20 CAD spent, which is not a lot.  But every little bit counts!  Plus, stores often have bonus miles events, especially around holidays and back to school where they offer 5x or 10x the rewards!  In addition, you'll usually get an offer for bonus miles for a repeat purchase, once you make a purchase.  If you're a super schemer like me, and you plan to purchase a lot from a particular store (enough to qualify for free shipping twice, if split over two purchases) you'll order just enough to get free shipping, then wait for the extra bonus miles code in your email, and then order the rest.  But that's dedication!
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