What is the value of an Air Mile? As with many other programs, it varies depending on how you redeem your points. Generally, we found Flights to provide the best value at about 14 cents per Dream Mile. If you collect Cash Miles, you have a guaranteed value of 10.5 cents per Cash Mile.
It is important to note there are two very different sides of the Air Mile program, and customers choose to either earn Cash Miles, Dream Miles, or a split of both. Generally, we recommend consumers to choose one or the either and commit to it. Cash Miles are easier to redeem in small amounts and provide a defined cash value of 10.5 cents per Mile. This can be redeemed in quantities of 95 Air Miles for a benefit of $10 off at a partner store (namely Metro, Sobeys, Shell, Rona or Staples) or for a variety of eVouchers (gift cards) at an identical rate.
If you collect Dream Miles, it will take a much longer time before you can collect enough points for a redemption. However, there is a much wider variety of redemptions available, including flights, car rentals, events & attractions, vacation packages, and merchandise.
Value: 14 Cents Per Mile
As the name implies, flights are the core redemption of Air Miles. As we found with Aeroplan, redeeming for flights is also usually the way to get the most value out of your Miles. Air Miles provides a convenient interactive map to see how far your Dream Miles will take you here. The way to maximize the value of each Mile spent is to use them on flight paths that are typically expensive for each Mile covered as they aren't served by any budget airlines. There are many flight paths where 20+ cents per Dream Mile values are possible.
However, there's no point flying where you weren't wanting to travel anyways. In my opinion, you should use your Air Miles to book the flights you want. On our random surveying of different flight paths, we found Dream Miles are worth about 14 cents per mile on average.
Value: 11 Cents Per Mile
Dream Miles can be redeemed as a rebate against packaged vacations at a rate of 909 Dream Miles for $100 off your vacation package or cruise booking. This may be a reasonable use of miles if you prefer the peace of mind of vacation packages over separate flights and hotels.
Value: 10.2 Cents Per Mile
Air Miles can be redeemed for free hotel stays at many different major hotel chains. After surveying a random selection of hotels in the table below, the value of this redemption sits at around 10.2 cents Per Mile. That means they produce nearly the same value as Cash Miles, so this may be a good redemption if you need a place to stay for a trip.
|Air Miles Hotel Redemptions|
|Hotel||Air Miles Required||Actual Price||Value|
|Doubletree by Hilton Airport, Weekday||1,360||$139||10.2 Cents Per Mile|
|Fairmont San Francisco, Weekday||3,560||$364||10.2 Cents Per Mile|
|Four Points Halifax, Weekday||3,370||$321||9.5 Cents Per Mile|
|Roosevelt Hotel Lima, Weekday||860||$82||9.5 Cents Per Mile|
|Delta Regina, Weekend||990||$107||10.7 Cents Per Mile|
|Ritz Paris, Weekend||15,760||$1710||10.9 Cents Per Mile|
Additionally, it should be noted that hotels can be purchased with cash on the Air Miles site to earn bonus Miles when booking hotels. If you are loyal only to Air Miles and no hotel chain this may be a good idea. However, we generally recommend booking with hotels directly, especially if you are loyal to one chain (so you earn their points and status with that hotel).
Value: Varies Greatly
As with Aeroplan, our surveying of rental car redemptions did not produce any consistent values and varied greatly with location and date. That being said, some redemptions seemed to approach near 20 cents per Dream Mile. If you need a car rental for a trip and have excess Air Miles, this may be a worthwhile redemption.
Value: 8.5 Cents Per Mile
Let's get this out of the way right now: as with most other loyalty programs, merchandise is generally not worth it. You often are far better off collecting Cash Miles and using gift cards to redeem for merchandise than going this route. There are some occasional exceptions to this rule though, so it may be worthwhile to browse the Air Miles catalogue. To verify this, we randomly selected some items and determined what value you would be getting out of your Dream Miles if you performed these redemptions in the table below.
|Air Miles Merchandise Redemptions|
|Item||Air Miles Required||Actual Price||Value|
|Cuisinart® Elite Collection 4-Cup Chopper/Grinder||1,500||$101.69||6.8 Cents Per Mile|
|Google Home Max||4,500||$450.87||10 Cents Per Mile|
|Marshall Stockwell II Portable Bluetooth Speaker||4,510||$305.09||6.8 Cents Per Mile|
|STIHL HSA 56 Lithium-Ion Cordless Hedge Trimmer||5,400||$395.44||7.3 Cents Per Mile|
|HP Pavilion 15-cw1018ca 15.6" Laptop||11,575||$1129.99||9.8 Cents Per Mile|
|Zwilling® Pure 6" Chef's Knife Wide||1,380||$146.89||10.6 Cents Per Mile|
Air Miles is a flexible program for redemption, providing a wide variety of options. Generally when possible though, we recommend booking flights with your Miles to get the best possible value of them at about 14 cents per Mile.