Well about a year ago a friend of mine was braggin how he had bought a bbq using his airmiles. I didn't give it much thought at all as I already have an amazing bbq and carry a wallet in my back pocket so full of plastic cards that I have to walk like a cowboy to keep from splitting the ass out of my pants.
However as fate would have it, I was searching for a new credit card and comparing the different rewards options when I happened across the BMO mosaic airmiles mastercard. The card had a pretty good deal available for those who like to travel, so I selected it from the myriad of other cards which were available. A week later and the shiny new plastic was in my hands and I was ready to go about collecting airmiles.
Now as anyone who knows me can attest to, I like to research stuff, pretty much anything, and airmiles became the next subject of my investigation. What I discovered was that there were many ways to gather airmiles, but that most of them were a poor return on the effort to collect them or required that you alter your purchasing patterns significantly. What I discovered was that there were was a fairly simple strategy which we could use to maximize the amount of airmiles we could collect. Here is what we discovered.
In the past year I spent about $10k at visions electonics, the results a couple hundred airmiles.
I spend around $15k at totem building suppllies (rona), the results were less then a couple hundred airmiles.
I bought several tanks of fuel at Shell gas stations, the results were less then a hundred airmiles.
The bunk of our airmiles came from one source, Safeway. We used our airmiles platinum card provided by safeway to get 50 airmiles everytime we spent $40 at safeway, plus we used the safeway airmiles coupons which arrived by email whenever there was a coupon for an item which we regularly consumed. For example, on one specific trip to safeway we purchased 5 boxes of Vector cereal, 4 kraft items, and a couple cases of diet coke. The groceries totaled about $40 and gave us 100 bonus airmiles for the cereal, 50 airmiles for the Kraft stuff, and 25 airmiles for the coke, plus an additional 50 airmiles for having the platinum card and spending the $40. Total for the purchase was 225 airmiles.
For those who dont know it, the cost of an airmile is 30 cents. So we basically were awarded $67 worth of airmiles for spending $40 on groceries which we would normally have purchased anyways. I would do that 3 times a week if the opportunity presented itself, and throughout the past 10 months it happened multiple times. So many times that my total airmiles reached 8500 in November. To put that in perspective, that is over $2500 worth of airmiles just for taking advantage of the program. Now we have spent those airmiles and are taking our family to Cuba for Christmas and got credit towards the cost of our trip by redeeming the miles.
Another advantage that we didnt plan on was due in part to us visiting the grocery store twice a week instead of doing one big shopping trip once a month, was that we ate much more fresh food. Fresh fruit, vegetables, and unfrozen stuff was much easier to buy and consume, and I am sure it was much healthier then the buy and freeze food we normally would stock up on.
So overall, I am now a big fan of airmiles collecting. However, one must know where to go to collect them and how to maximize the amount you receive. If you think your ever going to amass a significant number of them by getting gas at Shell or by shopping at Totem/Rona or Visions or one of the other associated retailers, you will be disappointed. The majority of the miles are available via airmiles coupons and through retail promotions at Safeway.
Happy collecting to those who already take advantage them, and hopefully I will see you on an airplane.
Robert May is the broker and owner of Rainbow Realty of Lethbridge Alberta. He is also a licensed mortgage associate and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta. He has been in the real estate industry since 1993 and offers full MLS real estate services to Lethbridge and surrounding area, as well as mortgage financing, refinancing/renewals, preapprovals, and home equity financing to Lethbridge and Southern Alberta. He can be found online at www.LethbridgeLoans.com
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Robert May is a Realtor, as well as the broker and owner of Rainbow Realty of Lethbridge Alberta . He is also a licensed Lethbridge mortgage broker and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta. He has been in the Lethbridge real estate industry since 1993 and offers full Lethbridge real estate services to Lethbridge and surrounding area, as well as Lethbridge mortgage financing, mortgage refinancing , preapprovals, and Lethbridge loans financing to Lethbridge and Southern Alberta. He can be found online at this link: mortgage broker Lethbridge
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