Here is the key to finding more AIR MILES redemption options on their website

This post is now part of our Guide to AIR MILES expiry. Find that guide here.

We have received emails and comments from many of our readers about the lack of rewards on the AIR MILES website for those looking to use up their miles before they expire. One of those emails that we received this past Friday reads as such:

After collecting 3200 Air Miles over the last 15 years, I finally decide to use them, especially since the recent media coverage regarding their new expiration policy.

I spent a couple days going through ever page on the dream merchandise site and finding very little that I would even want. Finally I decided on a coffee grinder for around 1800 points. I checked out and got my notification that the item was ordered and my points dropped the 1400.

Going back on the reward site I now noticed a lot more items listed under my 3200 point level. And things that I would really like to have.

I immediately called Air Miles and was on hold for just under 2 hours. I explained what happened to the agent, and was assured that Air Miles does not hide items based on someones points.

– why do I then have to provide a collector number before the items are visible?

She cancelled my order and credited my account back to the 3200. I then went back online and everything I could afford and want, had disappeared.

Am I going crazy??

I randomly selected a collector number and found a client with under 1000 points.

Wow, no surprise but that member had a lot more selection under 3000 points then I did.

Please test and verify for yourself this activity by Air Miles as soon as possible since I’m sure with the recent media coverage, many people are trying to receive what is owned to them for years of collecting.

Can it be so? Can the system show potential rewards to collectors as enticement to those who have very little miles and in reality know they won’t get to that level while not showing rewards that someone can actually redeem for so they don’t and also not show them ones that those collectors are close to being able to logically achieve?

We decided to try this ourselves by using our account and also the random account number that our reader provided us. The results are surprising. Also note, the way the AIR MILES website works is that you can input a collector number without a password so you can see the account balance but not do anything else in the account hence the ability to see what awards are available.

I inputted my membership number that has over 8,000 AIR MILES Rewards Miles and chose the computer/tablet rewards section. Here is what came up for me:

I then inputted the random number as our reader above did. That account had less than 300 miles in it and low and behold here is what it shows:

I don’t see the Samsung tablet and many of the other items in my list!

And now Tools & Automotive. In my account with a larger balance AIR MILES shows me 9 items that I can redeem for using miles only while the account that has less than 300 miles has 13 items including a 3D printer and GPS that does not show up for my account:

My account:

and the account with less than 300 miles:

No GPS, no Samsung tablet. Nothing. Those did not show up as options for me.

While crafting this piece yesterday our reader wrote back with the following:

Just to let you know, I followed up with AM (AirMiles) again.  I called
the service center and waited for a call back.  After 90 minutes I was
contact (sic) by an agent who insisted I just needed to log in correctly.
Which I did again and had the exact same results.  I then had my 18 year
son set up an account and used his as an example and told the agent to
escalate my complaint to a supervisor.

I was then transfer (sic) but put on hold for 55 min. 

I finally got through, this person then tried to tell me that it was
based on my account but only for random balancing of inventory by
another 3rd party company.  I then told her it as a load of crap and
that I had documented proof that AM was trying to hide merchandise to
prevent members from cashing in their points by limiting their
selections. She then asked for the item I wanted and then completed the
transactions from the list of items I found through my sons account, as a
special exception.

Also in that time I did reach out to AIR MILES to discuss this potential issue. They also told me that I should see more rewards if I do a full log in to the system. That is, not only inputting your member number but also your password/PIN. So I did just that, clicked on my account and did the full log in. It was at that time that I was able to see many more reward options become available to me. I saw the Samsung tablet, the GPS and more. For me personally,  I was unable to now reproduce our reader’s situation but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen to you. AIR MILES explained to me that the reward catalog is in fact dynamic. Different members will see different reward options depending on how they use the program. If you are more engaged with the program and earn more miles chances are you’ll get more reward options. How you navigate the AIR MILES website and also your personal interests will also affect which rewards you see. Is this ideal? I don’t believe so. But if that is the case why are accounts with lower balances which perhaps indicates lower engagement seeing more rewards? Doesn’t make sense. Everyone in the program should see the same rewards so they know what they can potentially redeem for. I get it if there are ‘specials’ for people who may be Onyx or Gold members, all programs do that. But in general the main reward catalog should be available to everyone not select members.

That also brings me to the question of what rewards show up before you complete a full log in. I know many of our readers and myself as well, use the AIR MILES website by simply inputting our membership number on the homepage without completing a full log in. By inputting that number the system should recognize at least to some extent, the engagement of the member but it does not. Why show more rewards to someone who has less than 300 miles in their account than someone who has more than 8,000? That’s what started this post in the first place. My options were limited before doing a full log in and to many people this may have been their last step. They may believe that there is nothing they want to redeem for when in fact there could be. This is definitely misleading and what I believe to be the major source of the confusion as many of you have written to me about the lack of rewards. There is a simple fix here, AIR MILES should do away with the ‘half’ log in with your membership number only. Either make the entire reward catalog open to everyone without logging in or have everyone complete the full log in with PIN. Simple as that and the confusion goes away.

For example, you go to the AIR MILES website and click on Dream Rewards, they don’t give you a full log in option, they give you this:

That’s what I used and most members will use thinking they will be fully signed in and see all the rewards available to them. It even clearly states “Sign in below to see the range of rewards available to you” But that’s not the case, using that screen above is what I used for this post and I got the short list of rewards.

I had to go to ‘Your Profile’ on the navigation menu on the top right and click on ‘Your Transactions’ to get the following where I could do the full log in:

Now I can really see where the confusion lies! Most everyone, including myself would think that the first log in option that comes up when you click on ‘dream rewards’ means you are logged in fully and you should see the full catalog. Nope, not that easy.

So the key is to fully log in to your AIR MILES account. Do not just input your membership number on the home page. Go to Your Profile, Your Transactions and enter your number along with PIN. And AIR MILES, do away with the non PIN half log in. You are creating a whole bunch of confusion and frustration which brings me to this part of the email from AIR MILES today:

Who wrote that?? The company is frustrated? Seriously? I know what they mean, it really should read ‘Your frustration is our problem’ but no company is going to state they have a problem. But to basically say that they are frustrated? Come on AIR MILES you can do better than that.