Shopping Discussion

Does Airmiles Gold Program worth it?

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 13th, 2017 5:33 pm
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 28, 2006
9384 posts
1286 upvotes
I did, nothing for July yet.
fortunekitty500 wrote:
Feb 19th, 2010 9:33 pm
There really aren't any flight sales for gold members. Just keep an eye out for regular sales - up to 40% off, depending on how popular the route is. The more popular the least likely there is a sale. Ever since they got rid of the old Westjet./gold Mosaik program, lowest rate of return on your miles.

Why don't you login online and look at what's on offer?
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2006
2089 posts
651 upvotes
Have been a gold member for years. Very few benefits. Once in a while there are flight specials with 20%/40% off with gold members getting the 40%. Only a few times have I been able to use this benefit. Two years ago at this time Calgary/Kelowna was regularly on sale for gold members at 450 points. The same flight today is 1200.

Recently points needed for flights have gone up making Airmiles less of a bargin. Really do miss the BMO gold card....
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Aug 10, 2008
3190 posts
1096 upvotes
olp79 wrote:
Feb 19th, 2010 11:06 pm
I need to find a better credit card rewards program.
About 5 years ago, I spoke with a friend who was analyzing the rewards power of the various cards/programs (as part of one of his job assignments), and Airmiles was near the bottom of the list, considered one of worst to accumulate points versus redemption. At the top was the PC MasterCard, considering that you can actually use the card for things you really want (eg, food!!). I'm not sure of the specifics, but I've long dropped collecting Airmiles as a primary form of collection, and only show he card when I cannot apply my purchases to one of my other rewards programs.

Does anyone have info on more up to date comparisons of the different rewards programs? Excuse me, what? Google for it...oh. Well, if anyone knows and can save me the effort, thanks in advance.
Newbie
User avatar
Nov 6, 2008
62 posts
10 upvotes
Moncton
Hey,

I am not a big collector of Air Miles but I always thought the reason to try to get gold was the standardized discounts for Gold status. An example that has occurred numerous times for me is a flight from Moncton, NB to St. John's, NL is 1125 Air Miles (non Gold Member)
Where as at any time my Father in Law who is always a gold member gets the same flight for Approx. 850. I have no idea if that works right across the country but I know he's booked 3-4 flights of that nature with that discountin the last 2 years.

Hope this helps in some way.
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
13862 posts
4422 upvotes
bizee-bee wrote:
Feb 20th, 2010 5:38 pm
Does anyone have info on more up to date comparisons of the different rewards programs? Excuse me, what? Google for it...oh. Well, if anyone knows and can save me the effort, thanks in advance.
When it comes to gas/grocery purchases I don't think there is anything that can beat the MBNA SmartCash card. You get 3% cash back for all grocery / gas purchases (up to a limit of course).

As for normal purchases, there are many 1% cashback cards (which is equivalent to PC Mastercard) out there. I know there are some tiered 2% cards as well, so depending on how much you spend, you can get 2% cash back.



For rewards, I really don't think they're worth it in comparision. With cash back you get the cash. With rewards you wait/hope to redeem, and risk the chance that by the time you redeem the redemption amounts have gone up. You also will find the urge to "buy" things with your points you wouldn't have otherwise just to use up your points.
Member
Jun 1, 2004
279 posts
16 upvotes
In the old days, I found the fastest way to accumulate points. Years before, Sears Club point, Petro-Point, President Choice point, and Cathay Pacific Airline's Asia Miles are all exchangable. These 4 type of points give you the most rewards and flexibility.

What I did was, always fuel in Petro canada and use Sears Club card, for each pump, I would get 3x Petro Points, because 1 sears club point = 2 Petro Points.

And for any other shopping/paying bills, use PC mastercard to earn President Choice point. Also shop in RCSS, sometimes there are bonus points. if shop in Sears, use sears card to get double Petro points.

Points added up very quick.

Since they are all exchangeable, when need to redeem for air ticket, I would put them all to Cathay pacific's Aisa Miles; when need to buy staff, I could convert them to either PC points or Sears Club points.

but good thing always last shortly, year ago, PC point and Petro point are not exchangeable any more. Sears Club point's reward is bad since they change the amount of points for a $100 Sears certificate.

Since then, I can't find any better way to accumulate points and with this kind of flexibility.
Newbie
Dec 18, 2016
1 posts
Is that still true? Just reached gold status and have been looking forward to receiving a new gold card
Jr. Member
Nov 11, 2016
125 posts
76 upvotes
Halifax
fly wrote:
Feb 19th, 2010 11:55 pm
Seems rare these days.. ever since westjet ended their partnership with bmo with the gold mastercard.
Yes that Westjet deal was pretty sweet.

Today I see the "Potential " for cheaper flights... but they are NEVER there.

I only see more expensive ones... grrrr... even when I try to fly their odd days and times... book ahead by MONTHS...
Jr. Member
Nov 11, 2016
125 posts
76 upvotes
Halifax
bizee-bee wrote:
Feb 20th, 2010 5:38 pm
About 5 years ago, I spoke with a friend who was analyzing the rewards power of the various cards/programs (as part of one of his job assignments), and Airmiles was near the bottom of the list, considered one of worst to accumulate points versus redemption. At the top was the PC MasterCard, considering that you can actually use the card for things you really want (eg, food!!). I'm not sure of the specifics, but I've long dropped collecting Airmiles as a primary form of collection, and only show he card when I cannot apply my purchases to one of my other rewards programs.

Does anyone have info on more up to date comparisons of the different rewards programs? Excuse me, what? Google for it...oh. Well, if anyone knows and can save me the effort, thanks in advance.
We have the BMO World Elite Card... it is pricey but ALL flights are there, anywhere anytime...
It is good for insurance on purchased items, car insurance etc...
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Aug 10, 2008
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AlexanderS262620 wrote:
Dec 19th, 2016 1:32 pm
Is that still true? Just reached gold status and have been looking forward to receiving a new gold card
Whoah...way to revive a 6 year old thread! :)
No, Airmiles Gold status is pretty useless. Better to aim for Onyx status, and then you get some good discounts and status-only offers.
rdiamond1 wrote:
Dec 21st, 2016 6:34 pm

We have the BMO World Elite Card... it is pricey but ALL flights are there, anywhere anytime...
It is good for insurance on purchased items, car insurance etc...
I've "grown up" a lot since my inital 2010 post. I did try the BMO WE MC when it was FYF and offered 30K points back in 2014/2015. I can see it being a good card to hold for the long term and to devote all your spending onto it, plus coupled with the BMO Premium (?) chequing account that waives the annual fee, it is a modest rewards travel card to keep in the wallet.

But starting around late early 2012 I discovered the churn for points game, and since then I've been churning the daylights out of several different cards. It's far more lucrative and quick to accumulate points from welcome bonuses than to fly on planes and spend on CCs. This made the BMO Rewards program annoying and too distracting, getting in the way of my game vs Aeroplan...it didn't help that I don't bank with BMO, so I had no intention to keep the BMO card beyond the FYF, so I had to cancel after 1 year, and at that time I found it difficult to find good value to book at the BMO Rewards site. Even the 4 annual Priority Pass lounge credits were useless for me because we had booked several Business class redemptions with Aeroplan, so we didn't them, and I ended up gifting the Priority Pass to a friend instead (opened the membership under his name instead of mine).

I will admit that I'm one of those who cursed the Airmiles and Aeroplan programs and had emptied the accounts back in 2011 and determined to never rejoin their membership, but the game changed with all the free Aeroplan points from several sources through churning various CIBC, TD and Amex cards. We expect to NOT fly whenever we want on a whim, and that getting from A to B will involve a layover in C and even D. But we save most of our Aeroplans for Biz class and it's a new adventure for us, after having sat in cattle class for so many years. And even though Airmiles is less value for us, we also managed to grow our family account up to over 17,000 Airmiles in just over 2 years, with relative ease, also by churning free or FYF cards.

Anyways, it's good that you find value in and can enjoy the BMO WE MC. I do understand that churning can't be for everyone, and some will prefer to accumulate relatively slowly in these spend-based programs (RBC Avion, I'm looking at you too). But for our family it's out of the picture now, and likely won't be re-visited unless another FYF offer comes available. :D
Jr. Member
Nov 11, 2016
125 posts
76 upvotes
Halifax
bizee-bee wrote:
Dec 21st, 2016 8:45 pm
Whoah...way to revive a 6 year old thread! :)
No, Airmiles Gold status is pretty useless. Better to aim for Onyx status, and then you get some good discounts and status-only offers.


I've "grown up" a lot since my inital 2010 post. I did try the BMO WE MC when it was FYF and offered 30K points back in 2014/2015. I can see it being a good card to hold for the long term and to devote all your spending onto it, plus coupled with the BMO Premium (?) chequing account that waives the annual fee, it is a modest rewards travel card to keep in the wallet.

But starting around late early 2012 I discovered the churn for points game, and since then I've been churning the daylights out of several different cards. It's far more lucrative and quick to accumulate points from welcome bonuses than to fly on planes and spend on CCs. This made the BMO Rewards program annoying and too distracting, getting in the way of my game vs Aeroplan...it didn't help that I don't bank with BMO, so I had no intention to keep the BMO card beyond the FYF, so I had to cancel after 1 year, and at that time I found it difficult to find good value to book at the BMO Rewards site. Even the 4 annual Priority Pass lounge credits were useless for me because we had booked several Business class redemptions with Aeroplan, so we didn't them, and I ended up gifting the Priority Pass to a friend instead (opened the membership under his name instead of mine).

I will admit that I'm one of those who cursed the Airmiles and Aeroplan programs and had emptied the accounts back in 2011 and determined to never rejoin their membership, but the game changed with all the free Aeroplan points from several sources through churning various CIBC, TD and Amex cards. We expect to NOT fly whenever we want on a whim, and that getting from A to B will involve a layover in C and even D. But we save most of our Aeroplans for Biz class and it's a new adventure for us, after having sat in cattle class for so many years. And even though Airmiles is less value for us, we also managed to grow our family account up to over 17,000 Airmiles in just over 2 years, with relative ease, also by churning free or FYF cards.

Anyways, it's good that you find value in and can enjoy the BMO WE MC. I do understand that churning can't be for everyone, and some will prefer to accumulate relatively slowly in these spend-based programs (RBC Avion, I'm looking at you too). But for our family it's out of the picture now, and likely won't be re-visited unless another FYF offer comes available. :D
Yes... that is the way we do it... linked to the BMO account- covers the cost of the card plus everything else.

I have not been organized enough to do the churn and only had this card and the Westjet Gold for the past 10 years.
As you said... we pay EVERYTHING... I mean everything...
from Dental, Pharmacy, Heating Oil, Phone, Cable, Mobility, Gas, Groceries...
The only thing we don't pay are CRA, Electricity, University Tuitions, Municipal tax and Water bills... where there is no option to.

I remember once when we had to replace a card how difficult it seemed to be to change all the payments over. Numerous phone calls and holds etc...

I do not participate in Aeroplan... I remember how guffed I was when the points expired. Since then we don't even have cards.... I should probably think about this again.. but the expiry issue was not great for us- so we backed out with no intention of going back.

I am not sure what a card would have to offer to get us to change....

What I really liked is the few times we did travel was the travel insurance, health, cancellation, car rental insurance all wrapped in...

Also once my daughters computer broke... and they replaced it ASAP- that was an incredible benefit.

Plus I love the double warranty on electronics and all items... makes you feel safer about not buying the extra time.

The Priority Passes - it seemed whatever airport we were at - did NOT have an affiliated lounge... so these have never been used and are not of value to us.

On the BMO Rewards site... I find it similar to the cost of the Airline ticket online but with a 10 % add on perhaps. The problem is that if an Airline is having a promotion using a code... you cannot enter it there. So in some cases it is better to just book thru the Airlines page using the Promo code.

I think that 17 K is huge for two years with Airmiles- we are not there... and the problem is the lack of credit card points as it all goes to the BMO WE card. It is difficult to do well straddled between two programs. We do the promos with AM's and the Mega days etc... it does help.

The other AM's collection problem is that we live very close to a Superstore- not Sobey's. I have visited Sobey's this season and do see a huge improvement in the store and prices in general. We may actually go there more often. I was surprised. Also our proximity is closer to SDM than to Lawton's - and I am an Optimum point junkie.

On the AM Gold Cards : We do have Gold cards- I just wonder about Onyx- but if you are still dealing with such slim pickings on flight selection I am not sure it would be worth it.
Member
Mar 21, 2008
312 posts
33 upvotes
Calgary
I don't currently have Air Miles Gold status, but I had it for many years in the past. You need to earn 1,000 Air Miles within one year which is not hard at all. Especially if you live in western Canada where you can go to Safeway and take advantage of the bonus offers and end up with 100s of Air Miles for relatively little spend on things you need anyways.

There are not very many benefits to having Gold status though:

UP TO 30% less Miles required for SELECT flights - The reality is these select flights are very few and far between

UP TO 50% less Miles required for SELECT Merchandise and Event Rewards - We all know that merchandise is a poor value for redeeming your Air Miles and even with this discount it is still crappy most of the times

Exclusive Events and Contests - contests are just that, contests. Nothing guaranteed, events were mediocre too :(

Now, it's been a while since I was Gold so don't know what it's like today but i'm sure it's gone downhill
Sr. Member
Jan 9, 2011
742 posts
359 upvotes
Vancouver
I had gold for years and never found any benefit to it. Pretty useless. I lost my gold status when I cancelled all my air miles credit cards and switched to cash back.
Member
May 14, 2013
323 posts
233 upvotes
Edmonton
Gold status is a marketing gimmick to get people to accumulate more Airmiles. There is very little REAL incentive to work towards it. Approximately every 2-3 months, they discount some ghetto products that no one ever redeems for in the hopes they can sucker some people into using up their hard-earned points.

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