Another piece of news is the Air Miles Cash program. It is inline with their recent announcement that air miles expire. From what I understand, you can use your airmiles like a pre-loaded gift card at some retailers. Currently it appears to be only Shell and Rona, but hopefully that changes. It might help a lot of air miles members to use their miles up at a quicker pace.
You can watch a video and get more details on the Air Miles Cash Rewards page on their site.
Cash versus Dream
The odd thing is that they have divided your miles into two concepts. The Cash air miles and the Dream air miles. The Dream miles are what you use to get rewards like travel or vouchers. So what it has always been. The Cash represents miles you can use like money.
When you log into your account, they will ask you to set a preference. You can collect them all for Cash or set a percentage of cash versus dream that you want to collect. By default, if you haven’t set a preference, they have you collect all miles in the Dream account.
The cash value is 95 air miles for $10 worth of credit at a store. This amounts to a value of 10.5 cents/airmile. This is quite a bit on the low side of the value as I have written about in my Collecting Air Miles and their Value article. So I have chosen to continue collecting 100% towards my Dream account at this point in time. However, if you have a hard time using your miles up, it is a convenient method to purchase gas at Shell or items at Rona.
How Does Cash Compare to a Gift Card
Interestingly, you get a little bit less at Shell than if you used a gift card. Maybe that is a slight charge for the convenience of using your airmiles like cash when you are there. You get $10 for 95 airmiles using the Cash program. Currently they offer a Shell gift card that is $20 for 175 air miles. You would have to use 190 air miles to get the same $20 using Cash program then. So I find that a bit strange.