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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tips and tricks on how to save money using the Air Miles program

After the cold weather of yesterday, it is now snowing. Once again, it’s the Holiday Season and who say Holiday Season mean traveling to go spend some time with families and friends. It’s seem like for a bunch of reason, families and friends are never really often where I am. Traveling by train can be very expensive. For years, I have been doing Quebec-New Brunswick, New Brunswick-Quebec, Ontario-New Brunswick and New Brunswick-Ontario I don’t know how many times. Thanks to Gravol pills, I am able to travel on the bus for long hours.

Traveling can get very expensive, even with the bus. A two way ticket Montreal to my XXX town in New Brunswick is like close to $200. And in a year, I can go to New Brunswick quite often, sometimes at least 2-3 times a year minimum if not even more. Calculate it, $200 x 3 times = $600. And that’s for the bus ticket only. It doesn’t include the cost for the Gravol pills !!!, food and beverage among the way. I always bring something to drink and eat on the bus and while I am on my Gravol, I feel sleepy, I am on drug and I am happy that way. I won’t ever feel very much hungry. Among the way, I usually always get a little treat like a piece of pie, ice cream and coffee (extremely delicious after spending a few hours on the bus). And it’s usually the only thing I buy when I travel.

As you can see, the most expensive part is the bus ticket. Thanks to Air Miles, I safe 40% on my bus ticket. With Air Miles, a travel certificate with Orleans Express cost 50 Air Miles.

I use BMO MasterCard that allows me to collect Air Miles. I have the card with no annual fee, so I collect 1 Air Mile per trench of $20 spend on the BMO MasterCard. I do not collect much Air Miles these days since I put a hold on my spending.

To collect the 50 Air Miles needed to get my 40% on my bus tickets, I need to spend $1 000 on my BMO MasterCard! While living frugally, it will take me about 2 and half months to earn my 50 Air Miles. Knowing that I go to New Brunswick 2-3 times a year, I am able to purchase my 40% travel certificate even with my current level of expenses.

Other than BMO MasterCard, other ways to collect Air Miles is to present your blue Air Miles card each time you make a purchase at a pharmacy Jean Coutu. You can also collect Air Miles at IGA (grocery store). However, I find IGA being expensive as grocery store. I don’t shop there very often. Provigo has much better deal. The trick is to earn Air Miles while staying frugal.

Another way to earn Air Miles is through the AIR MILES® Blue Tag Lounge. Ok, at first, you may be tempted to purchase whatever is there, but please don’t. What interests us is the AIR MILES® Blue Tag Lounge - Gift Card Zone. Even while trying to live frugally, I still go to the movies – I couldn’t live without going once in a while (this mean every single weeks!). I cannot live without having once in a while a delicious Second Cup coffee (that one is almost on every day). So knowing that I cannot live without going to the movies and without my Second Cup coffees, I can go to the AIR MILES® Blue Tag Lounge - Gift Card Zone and purchase a $50 Cineplex Entertainment Gift Card. A $50 Cineplex Entertainment Gift Card will provide you 20 Air Miles. You can even get a $25 one and you will get 10 Air Miles.

If you don’t have any original idea what to give to the birthday of your brother or sister, a $50 Cineplex Entertainment Gift Card could do the trick. While giving a nice gift away, you’ll also earn 20 Air Miles.

It is much easier to earn Air Miles through the AIR MILES® Blue Tag Lounge than on any other program. But the trick is, purchases on stuff that are to give as gifts or purchase on gift card for places you already go in your everyday life. I had order gift cards many times and I never have any problem receiving them.

With this strategy, there’s only one problem: it could take up to 120 days to receive the Air Miles points you earn through the AIR MILES® Blue Tag Lounge. So it might be a good idea to use a BMO MasterCard Air Miles on your everyday purchases. That way, you’ll be able to safe on bus ticket or anything else you need and can order from the Air Miles program.


Anonymous said...

I've been doing this for years. Every Christmas, (usually I look around October). I see how many airmiles I have and get myself something good. Or if I'm short, I make sure to watch out for those 10x airemiles at Metro. Now you can turn your airmiles to cash. But it's much more fun with stuff. It's like there really is a Santa :)

I have never redeemed for trips but I've gotten stuff like: PS3, Wii, my digital weatherproof camera, and my mp3 player and never paid a dime.

We use our credit card for all gas, food and retail purchases and always pay off the balance. Never spend what you don't have because the interest rates are fierce. Happy shopping! n Happy Earning! :)

Sunny said...

That's nice.

I mostly use my Air Miles to buy my 40% discount bus tickets, but I also purchase Gap store certificate. Other than that, I am not a huge shopper on Air Miles stuff.


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