Ever since the acquisition of Air Miles earlier this year, BMO has been making efforts to get more consumers excited about the program again.
This week, there have been some major updates to the Air Miles Travel Portal, including how you can earn and redeem Air Miles. We’ve also seen an opt-in deal to earn more Air Miles on your next travel booking to drum up excitement for the revamp, which can be quite lucrative.
Air Miles Launches New Travel Portal
This week, Air Miles launched a revamped travel portal, which allows you to book flights, accommodations, car rentals, vacation packages, cruises, and extras.
Notably, park passes that were previously offered elsewhere are now available through the portal, making it even easier to redeem Air Miles.
However, the biggest updates are on how you can earn and redeem Air Miles through the travel portal.
First, you may now pay for flights with a sliding amount of Dream Miles, whereas previously, you needed to have the entire amount of Dream Miles available to use the Cash + Miles feature. The minimum Dream Miles required depends on your Air Miles tier, and is structured as follows:
- Blue: minimum 50% Dream Miles to use Cash + Miles
- Gold: minimum 25% Dream Miles to use Cash + Miles
- Onyx: no minimum to use Cash + Miles
For example, a Porter Airlines flight from Toronto to Vancouver costs $148 (all values in CAD), or 898 Dream Miles plus $59 in taxes and fees. As a Blue member, you may now use as few as 449 Dream Miles to cover half the fare.
However, you’re slightly getting worse value than you would for Cash Miles, which allows for redemptions of 95 Air Miles = $10 in value, or 10.5 cents per Air Mile.
With the example above, you’re offsetting $89 of the fare with 898 Dream Miles, giving you a slightly lower value of 9.9 cents per Air Mile.
Still, lowering the minimum threshold for Dream Miles redemptions on airfares is a positive development. If you have a balance of Dream Miles that you wouldn’t have been able to use with the previous limitations, you may now consider using them for flights.
Air Miles has indicated that you’ll soon be able to transfer Dream Miles into Cash Miles, and vice versa. It’s expected that this will roll out in the coming weeks, and then in 2024, your miles will be combined into a single account.
Indeed, this will be a wholesale improvement to the program.
New Earning Rates on the Air Miles Travel Portal
The Air Miles Travel Portal is also changing its earning rate structure.
The earning rates for booking travel through the portal depend on your status tier, and are structured as follows:
- Blue: 1 Air Mile per $15 spent
- Gold: 1 Air Miles per $10 spent
- Onyx: 1 Air Mile per $5 spent
Air Miles members may also earn more miles by bundling trip items together under a single booking. An example of a bundle is a flight and a hotel on a single booking.
The earning multipliers on bundles also depend on the status tier, and are structured as follows:
- Blue: 3x Air Miles on bundles
- Gold: 4x Air Miles on bundles
- Onyx: 5x Air Miles on bundles
Keep in mind that these miles come in addition to any you’d earn on an Air Miles co-branded credit card.
For example, with the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard, you’ll earn 3 Air Miles per $25 spent on the Air Miles Travel Portal.
With the BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*, you’ll earn 3 Air Miles per $12 spent on the Air Miles Travel Portal.
Depending on your level of status with Air Miles, the numbers can really add up to meaningful amounts, especially on bundles at higher tiers and using the World Elite Mastercard to pay.
Limited-Time Air Miles Travel Portal Offer
Air Miles has also launched a promotion to drum up some excitement about the changes to the program.
Until October 25, 2023, you can earn up to 2,500 Air Miles by making an eligible booking through the Air Miles Travel Portal. Keep in mind that you must opt in through the Air Miles website, or on the app, and just keep an eye out for the below image..
After opting in, you’ll earn bonus Air Miles depending on the amount of your booking. The bonus amounts are structured as follows:
- 100 Air Miles upon spending $100 (excluding taxes and fees)
- 1,000 Air Miles upon spending $500 (excluding taxes and fees)
- 2,500 Air Miles upon spending $1,000 (excluding taxes and fees)
We value Air Miles at 10.5 cents apiece, so if you spend $1,000, you’re getting an impressive $263 in value back with this promotion alone.
With a promotion like this, it’s important to take note of the terms and conditions, which read as follows:
- Bookings must be made through the Air Miles Travel Portal
- Bookings must be made with a credit card, regardless of which one
- Qualifying purchases include flights, accommodation, car rental, packages, and extras
- Limit of one offer per collector number
- Offer can be combined with other Bonus offers
If you have some upcoming travel to book, it’s worth considering making a booking through the Air Miles Travel Portal for a nice boost of Air Miles.
It’s refreshing to see that BMO is working on making Air Miles easier to earn and redeem through the Air Miles Travel Portal.
With the new portal, a new earning structure has been introduced, and you can now earn 1 Air Mile per $5–15 spent, depending on your tier. Furthermore, travel bundles, such as flights and hotel, multiply the earnings by up to 5x.
To drum up excitement for the revamp, Air Miles is offering a limited-time promotion on purchases through its travel portal. Members may earn up 2,500 Air Miles on eligible bookings.
We’ll certainly be keeping a closer eye on Air Miles in the coming weeks to see what else BMO might introduce to the program.