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AIR MILES Dream Rewards vs. cash rewards

Those who collect AIR MILES have two choices when it comes to allocating their Miles. The first option is Cash Rewards, which you can use toward your everyday shopping at participating partners (mostly grocery stores and drug stores). The second option is Dream Rewards, which you can use for bigger-ticket items such as vacations, events, and electronics.

Now, it is important to remember to choose wisely between the two, as they cannot be transferred. It is possible to do a mixture of both, but many choose to allocate their points entirely to Dream Rewards, as the rewards are exciting and they can have a higher CPM (cost per mile).

Not every reward has the same CPM so you will want to do a little bit of math and make sure that you are getting the best deal on the reward that you choose. To do this, take the retail price of the product that you want and divide it by the number of miles you will need to exchange for it. Obviously, the higher the CPM, the better the deal for you.

For example: The GoPro Hero 7 Silver is $399.99 retail, but it’ll cost you 6,100 Dream Miles for a redemption. $399.99/6100 = $0.066. Therefore the current CPM when redeeming for a GoPro Hero 7 Silver is 6.6 cents.

Generally speaking, AIR MILES Dream Rewards tend to have a higher CPM compared to Cash Miles, but that’s only when you’re booking flights or vacation packages. Most points collectors agree that if you can get a CPM of 10.5 when making a redemption, you’re getting good value regardless of what you’re claiming.

How to redeem AIR MILES Dream Rewards

AIR MILES Dream Rewards can be redeemed for a variety of experiences and products. Common rewards include flights, car rentals, hotels, tickets to attractions, and events. You can also use your points to purchase household items and electronics such as cameras, barbecues, watches, and more. Once you have a sufficient number of Dream Rewards, you can proceed to exchange your points for your desired reward online.

Please note that AIR MILES Dream Rewards gift cards are no longer available. If you are looking for vouchers to restaurants, the movies, etc., they now fall under the AIR MILES Cash Rewards program.

AIR MILES Dream Rewards catalogue

The AIR MILES Dream Rewards catalogue is where you can find all of the options and items that you are eligible to purchase using your Dream Rewards. The online catalogue is divided into different sections including travel, merchandise, and events or attractions. You can use these categories to browse the items on offer. For travel and vacation redemptions, prices will vary depending on the time you choose to travel and where you’re travelling to. Remember to calculate the CPM to make sure you are getting the best deal!

The AIR MILES Dream Rewards catalogue also has weekly deals with select merchandise available for less miles than they would usually cost. There are also occasional travel rewards specials as well. Make sure to take a look at these promos before redeeming your points.

AIR MILES Dream Rewards return policy

Customers should note that all purchases made with dream rewards are final. Once you have received your order confirmation, you cannot make any changes. Refunds, returns, exchanges, or cancellations are not allowed. Should there be an event cancellation, it is up to the artist/venue/or promoter of that event to issue a refund or exchange as they see fit.

Can you transfer AIR MILES from Dream Rewards to cash rewards?

As soon as you sign up for an AIR MILES account, you will have to choose how you want to allocate your points. Your options are Cash Rewards, Dream Rewards, or both. You can choose to earn all your AIR MILES as one or the other, or a combination of the two. Although you can change your earn allocation at any time, once the points have actually been earned as Cash or Dream Rewards miles, you can’t transfer them between the two.

Using credit cards to collect AIR MILES Dream Rewards

The fastest way to collect AIR MILES Dream Rewards is to focus all or most of your purchases onto a credit card that earns AIR MILES. If you like the AIR MILES rewards program, there are a number of potential advantages to using an AIR MILES credit card, including:

  • Earning AIR MILES for every dollar that you spend
  • Extra AIR MILES for shopping at partner retailers
  • Extra AIR MILES for making purchases in specific spending categories (e.g. grocery stores)
  • Special sign-up bonuses for new cardholders, allowing you to earn a large number of miles in a short time
  • Additional benefits, like airport lounge access, travel insurance, low interest rates, etc.

AIR MILES credit cards are processed by either Mastercard or Amex. Mastercard is accepted by a larger number of merchants than Amex (both in Canada and abroad), while Amex cards typically offer more lucrative earn rates.

To easily figure out which AIR MILES credit card will earn you the most value possible, spend a little quality time with our AIR MILES calculator below. You enter your monthly expenditures and the key details of the credit cards you’re choosing between, and it will give you the approximate real-world $ values that the cards will generate based on your spending habits. You can learn more about the calculator by reading this article.

AIR MILES calculator

Spending Categories

Fill in your approximate spending per month in each of the below categories

Earning Structure

Fill in the amount you need to spend on your card to earn 1 Mile, for each category

Card Features

1st Year Waiver:

Are AIR MILES Dream Rewards worth it?

The AIR MILES Dream Rewards program does have some decent offers, but many find the program restrictive when it comes to using their Miles toward flights. Travellers looking for a more flexible program might want to take a look at our comprehensive article about other travel rewards programs in Canada. Keep an eye out for programs like American Express Membership Rewards and Scotia Rewards, both of which allow you to retroactively apply points to any travel purchase you’ve made with an Amex or Scotiabank credit card.

About the Author

Hannah Logan

Hannah Logan

Freelance Contributor

Hannah Logan is a Canadian freelancer writer and blogger who specializes in personal finance and travel. You can follow her adventures on her travel blog or find her on Instagram @hannahlogan21.

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