Car Rental redemptions have returned to AIR MILES and they retain great value!

When the revamped AIR MILES launched in fall of 2021 one redemption that disappeared, temporarily that is, was car rentals. We are happy to tell you that is option is back, based on a tweet from AIR MILES the car rental option returned on January 19, 2022. The car rental option has been added to the AIR MILES Travel Hub which is the same portal you can use to book hotels.  In the past incarnation Car rentals had typically been one of the best and most valuable redemption options in the program and we’ll test it out to see if it still is.



To begin with, AIR MILES is celebrating the re-launch of car rental redemptions by offering bonus miles when you redeem for a Budget car rental.  You can earn 50 bonus miles on 1-2 rentals or 100 bonus miles on 3+ day rentals that are booked by February 28 for travel until April 30.

So how do the redemptions and redemption value look? Firstly, the booking the process is very easy via the AIR MILES Travel Hub – simply input your location, dates and drivers age and the results come up pretty quick.

 Once you select your car you’ll be provided with add ons like car seats & GPS and then you’ll be taking to to the final booking page to complete all your details. You’ll note on that final page there is a booking fee for using the AIR MILES Travel Hub to redeem for cars, that fee is $10+tax:

In this case I selected the Economy car from the selection shown above and then I went to Budget’s website to see what the same car would cost through them:


So is this a good value to redeem your miles for? Yes it is when you compare it to what you now get for your miles when redeeming for flights or even as Cash Miles. If you take Budget’s total of $297.79 and subtract the $11.67 you have to pay via AIR MILES the 1,920 miles you are redeeming cover $286.12. That works out to 14.9 cents per miles which is higher than the 10.5 cents you get for Cash Miles or our average 9.5 cents when redeeming for flights. In this case the value would actually be even higher at 15.7 cents as you would receive the 100 bonus miles as part of the re-launch promotion. 

Here’s one more example, a rental at Los Angeles LAX in April for 6 days:

This redemption is exactly what we were used to before in the old AIR MILES program! A huge value here as you redeem 2,930 miles for a rental that costs $770.63 ($780.96 – $10.33) which gives you an amazing 26.3 cents per point value! That’s inline with the numbers we would see sometimes in the old car rental program. And again that does not take into account the 100 bonus miles you’d receive.

Wrapping it up

First off, credit goes to AIR MILES for not messing with the car rental redemption option! This redemption option provided and now stills provides the potential for outsized value in the program. I know we only provide two examples but both of them exceed Flight and Cash Miles values, especially the LAX rental. I know I’ll want to revisit this in perhaps 6 to 8 months to see what the values may be as car rentals, especially in the U.S., have become way more expensive than they used to be before the pandemic. Once travel normalizes and car rental companies build up their fleets again it will be time to revisit this topic. You’ll also want to note that AIR MILES only provides Budget at this time so some cities, especially in Europe, don’t show any results when you search for rentals as no other car rental companies are offered. For the time being though if you do have upcoming rentals where there are Budget locations you’ll definitely want to check out this redemption route.

Click here to learn more about AIR MILES Car Rental options


Images via AIR MILES & Budget