What's better: Cash Rewards or Dream Rewards?

If you're an Air Miles collector, whether or not Cash Rewards or Dream Rewards are better for you depends on your personal preference, travel style, and which other points currencies you collect.

Air Miles lets you choose between collecting two different types of sub-currencies: Cash Rewards and Dream Rewards. However, you aren’t allowed to convert already-earned miles from Cash Rewards to Dream Rewards or vice versa, so some planning is required when deciding which type of Air Miles to collect.

For most Air Miles collectors, the traditional path has always been to focus on Dream Rewards for the allure of collecting points in the hopes of a free vacation someday. But with the introduction of Cash Rewards, the minimum amount of miles required for a redemption was brought down to 95 Air Miles, and the value was fixed at a ratio of 95 miles = $10.

Cash Rewards come with the benefit of being easy to redeem, with redemptions being completed at the point of sale and in small increments. As well, you’ll get the instant gratification of reaping the rewards that you’ve earned every time you exchange 95 Air Miles into $10 in shopping credit.

Dream Rewards can certainly provide greater value, with some higher-value flight examples discussed in the Guide to Air Miles. However, the opportunities for redeeming your Dream Rewards may be more limited and may require much more careful planning compared to the simple and intuitive option of turning 95 Cash Rewards into $10 worth of free stuff.

The decision is really a personal one, depending on your ability to travel, willingness to spend time planning your Air Miles redemptions, and shopping habits at participating merchants. And remember, if you have a tough time deciding between the two, you can always split your earnings at your preferred ratio between Cash and Dream Rewards.


Last updated 19 May 2019. Any questions? Contact me.