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AIR MILES® 101: Everything You Need to Know to Start Collecting Reward MilesTM


Welcome aboard! If you’re reading this, you’re either a first-time collector or considering joining the AIR MILES Reward Program. Either way, we’re happy you’re here. In this article, we’ll talk about how and where to get AIR MILES Reward Miles, the types of Miles and types of offers, and how to collect even more Miles. After all, you have to collect Miles to redeem them.

We’re sure you have lots of questions, so let’s jump into it.

What is the AIR MILES Reward Program? 

Over the last 30 years, the AIR MILES Reward Program has become Canada’s most recognized loyalty program, with millions of active collector accounts. Collectors can earn Reward Miles at more than 300 leading Canadian, global, and online brands and at thousands of retail and service locations across the country. The program allows you to redeem the Miles you earn in a flexible way, whether that’s on Dream Rewards like merchandise, travel, events, and attractions, or instantly on everyday essentials, in-store at participating partner locations or online, with AIR MILES Cash Rewards. We’re all about helping Canadians get rewarded, so much so that in 2021, we issued our 100 billionth Mile.

How Do I Get Miles?

Those rewards sound exciting, right? To get to your first reward you need to start getting Miles and, simply put, you can earn Miles almost anywhere. From gas to groceries, pharmacy items to your favourite retail stores, there are many ways to earn. But let’s dig a little deeper into that. Here are the five main ways you can collect AIR MILES Reward Miles:

smiling woman dressed in red using her phone at the grocery store


While you’re out and about shopping, running errands, or filling your car up at Shell, show your AIR MILES card or have your digital card in the AIR MILES app scanned at checkout at our participating partners and get Reward Miles on your eligible purchases.

Online Through

Who doesn’t love shopping from the comfort of their couch? With, you can do that, and still earn Miles from all your favourite stores. Log in to with the Collector Number on your AIR MILES card and your account PIN. Then, browse through hundreds of online stores. Click “Store Info” to see the store’s standard AIR MILES offer and click “Shop Now” to be directed to the store’s online site. Complete your eligible purchase to get Miles, plus you can get even more Miles with time-limited offers.

Card Linked Offers

Relaxing at Sunday brunch, enjoying some retail therapy, or streaming the big game all have something in common: you get access to more offers and Miles when you pay for eligible purchases at participating brands with a Canadian-issued Mastercard that’s linked to your AIR MILES card. You can link your card online anytime to start earning more.

AIR MILES Credit Cards

The benefits just keep on coming. With a BMO® AIR MILES credit card or an American Express AIR MILES credit card, every purchase means more Miles and faster rewards (up to 7.8 times faster). And—what’s even better—when you show your AIR MILES card at participating partners and also pay with your AIR MILES credit card, you earn Miles from both.


You probably already know about redeeming Dream Miles toward flights—we have an airplane in our logo, after all—but did you also know that you can earn Reward Miles on flights, stays, car rentals, packages, and more? Just pay with your credit card when you book your travel to earn Miles (and we recommend then saving those Miles up to use toward your next vacation). While you’re at it, make sure to take advantage of the offers coming from our travel partners to really sweeten the deal.

AIR MILES® Receipts

Your grocery shopping just got more exciting with AIR MILES Receipts! Check out the available offers in the AIR MILES App to find out what is available for Bonus Miles and add them to your grocery list before you shop. You’ll find everyday grocery essentials in there — from fruits and vegetables to pantry staples to sweet treats — to complement your meal planning. And the best part is that you don’t need to change where you shop, the participating products can be purchased at most major grocery stores. To ensure a seamless experience, remember to scan your receipts within 14 days and consult the Terms and Conditions for eligibility details.

Dream MilesTM vs. Cash MilesTM

When you join AIR MILES, you’ll be asked to set your balance preference. This allows you to choose how you want the Miles you earn to be allocated and what types of rewards you can redeem. You can set up or change your balance preference by moving the slider from 0% to 100% in increments of 10%, towards either AIR MILES Cash Miles (for Cash Rewards) or Dream Miles (for Dream Rewards). You can collect all Cash Miles or all Dream Miles, or a mix of both.

AIR MILES Cash Miles can be used instantly towards in-store purchases at participating partners, like Metro, or online for eVouchers. 95 Cash Miles = $10 towards your purchases.

Dream Miles can be redeemed for rewards in our Dream category, which include merchandise, events & attractions, and travel. If you choose Dream Miles, you’re all about rewarding yourself. Book that trip you’ve always wanted to go on, grab the latest gadgets, or go to a one-of-a-kind experience. Dream Rewards start from 250 Dream Miles.

How Do I Collect Even More Miles?

Even with all those ways already mentioned, there are more ways to collect AIR MILES.

AIR MILES Gold® and Onyx® Collector Status

Let’s call this levelling up. As an AIR MILES collector, you have the chance to get even more out of your card when you qualify for Gold or Onyx status. Here’s a quick rundown of our three tiers:

Blue. This is where you start when you join the AIR MILES Reward Program and this tier offers base-level access to the AIR MILES Reward Program and exciting surprises.

Gold. You reach this level once you earn anywhere from 500 to 4,999 Miles in a calendar year. As a Gold collector, you have access to exclusive online and social media contests where you can get chances to win prizes, you can use fewer Dream Miles to book flights, you’re eligible for merchandise discounts, and you have an additional payment option on AIR MILES Hotels.

Onyx. You’ve reached the top tier! You get here after collecting 5,000 Miles or more in a calendar year. When you’re an Onyx collector, you get enriched benefits plus priority care when you call customer service and access to our Personal Shopper Service.


Talk about tapping into greatness. The AIR MILES app is one of the best ways to earn. Easily access offers from your favourite brands, receive exclusive offers only in the app, and track where you’re at in the program. Plus, if you don’t always remember to carry your AIR MILES card, you’ll have a digital version right in the app ready to be scanned in-store.

There you have it, a crash course on the ways you can collect and redeem AIR MILES Reward Miles and get the most out of your membership. Sign up for the AIR MILES Reward Program today to start your journey towards your first reward. Happy collecting!

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