Effective today, Air Miles are no longer requiring customers to pay fuel surcharges on certain reward flights. This change in policy applies to flights within Canada, the United States (including Hawaii and Alaska), Mexico and the Caribbean. To make up for not paying for fuel surcharges, there is an increase in the number of points required for a reward flight. International reward flights continue to have fuel surcharges.
Below are a few samples:
- A low season round-trip reward flight starts at 1,200 reward miles (previously at starting from 950 reward miles)
- A low season round-trip reward flight from British Columbia to Los Angeles increases by 19% (from 1,600 points to 1,900 points) and 14% during high season (from 2,275 points to 2,600 points).
- A low season round-trip reward flight from Ontario to New York City will increase by 13% (from 1,150 points to 1,300 points) and 14% during high season (from 1,400 points to 1,600 points).
This is beneficial to people who are strap for cash, but have points to burn. However, if you have a hard time earning Air Miles, then these changes will probably have a negative effect on you. You have to bear in mind that there is a 5 year fixed expiry policy, where all your points will expire 5 years from the day they were deposited. The expiry policy comes into effect on December 31, 2016. So there is still time, but after December 31, 2016, all the points you earned before December 31, 2011 will expire.
If it weren’t for the expiry policy, I think I might actually be a fan of this change. The less money I pull out of my wallet the better. So long as you take advantage of bonus points earning opportunities, the points can add up fast.