At the close of 2011, Air Miles introduced a five-year expiry date on rewards miles. That means on January 1st, 2017, any unused miles collected before 2012 will disappear and become worthless. The rewards program launched in Canada in 1992. Many West Central Saskatchewan residents are left scrambling to use their collected Air Miles before they expire, but, the company has made it exceedingly difficult to use some reward miles, and customers have been upset by these "seedy" tactics. 

Due to a deluge of customers trying to access Air Miles' services, people are having trouble connecting to the company's website or reaching a customer service rep by phone. Air Miles used to offer gift cards for places like grocery stores and movie theatres along with travel rewards in one main category. Then in 2012, the company announced a "dream" rewards section for things like travel and merchandise and a separate category for cash rewards.

Collectors aware of the change could opt for cash rewards for future miles. Unspecified miles and all ones earned before 2012 automatically defaulted to the dream category.

That means miles expiring by January can't be used for cash rewards like gift cards which are easy to redeem and often require fewer points.

Some tips to get the most out of your Air Miles before expiry:

Check your balance and request an expiry statement. This will break down when your older miles will expire to get an idea of how quickly you'll need to use them. The company states it can do this within 12-24 hours, but many customers have experienced slow service and "techinical issues". 

You can transfer your miles to a different account, and this will reset your expiry date, but of course, this will cost a fee. 

Redeem your Air Miles cash rewards at in-store and online as a practical way of using your un-used Air Miles. 95 cash miles gets you $10 off your purchase at several major grocey stores as well as Shell gas stations, Cineplex theatres and the Keg to name a few. 

The dollar value of one Air Mile is $0.121, according to Their research found that when it comes to booking flights, the best value is travel to the U.S. Midwest, Manitoba, and the East Coast, especially during peak travel times. For example, a flight to Minneapolis or Kansas City averages out to $0.231 per mile, while Seattle or Portland costs $0.041 per mile.

And forget about redeeming your Dream Miles for merchandise if you’re looking for value. says those fancy blenders and Bluetooth speakers average out to just $0.0715.