Based on the recommendation of a very smart MMM forum contributor, I decided to start looking into Air Miles a little more this week. Especially with their latest promotion called Shop the Block. If you don’t already have an Air Miles account, this new promotion might convince you to start collecting.
It’s available across Canada. However, from what I’ve read, it’s very easy in Ontario to qualify but a little more difficult in other provinces.
How to get 2000+ (almost) free Air Miles with Shop the Block
This promotion gives you the opportunity to earn a 2000 Bonus Air Miles if you use 7 of their offers (from over 50) between November 14th and December 14th.
Here is the link and list of offers: Shop the Block
What is 2000 miles worth? Well you can get a $10 gift card for every 95 miles (if earned them as cash rewards). These gift cards are available for a lot of stores and businesses. From Metro, Sobeys, Rexall, Via Rail, Air Transat and various car rental companies. So in essence, every mile is worth 10.5 cents. So 2000 miles is worth $210.
Easiest Way to get to 7
When I consider the cost / reward of a program like this, I have to account for the spending that I would not otherwise do. I will explain in the 7 offers I did. Here are the 7 offers I am taking advantage of, which will cost me almost nothing.
- Sign up for the Hudson Bay rewards program and auto convert your points to Air Miles. COST = Free
- Sign up for the Best Western Rewards program and choose Air Miles as your preferred earnings method. COST = Free
- Gas up at Shell between now and and November 27th. You have to spend $50 with at least 25L of gas purchased. So if your car only needs like $40 of gas, then just purchase one of the many gift cards in the store that you plan on using in the next couple months. This could be for $10 or $20 or whatever amount you need to get to $50. COST = Pretty much free because you could probably use at least 25L. If Shell is not the cheapest gas that day or a little out of the way, then allocate $5 to this promo.
- Do the same as #3 between November 28th and December 14th. There are 2 Shell coupons to use and they both qualify as one of the seven offers. COST = Free or $5
Offers 5 to 7:
I did 3 offers yesterday at Sobeys. Here is how I did it.
5. I purchased 2 Herbal Essences products (1 offer). These are $3.99 each at Sobeys. There is currently a coupon on the P&G website which you can use and get $1.50 off when purchasing 2 Herbal Essence products. I wasn’t sure if they would let me use both the manufacturers coupon and the Air Miles coupon, but they did. We use this shampoo all the time, so the only added cost on this item was the difference between buying it at Sobeys vs. Walmart which has it for $3.18 /bottle. So the cost is $1.83 for the added price of 2 bottles including taxes. However, by doing this promo, you get 30 additional Air Miles and based on the math I did above, this is worth $3.15. So these shampoo bottles end up being a lot cheaper than buying them at Walmart. Additional Cost = Free
6. I purchased a Tia Rosa soft taco kit (1 offer). This was $4.99 but the promo gave an additional 10 Air Miles, so the total cost is $4. I wouldn’t normally buy a soft taco kit or one that was this expensive. We will eat it though, so it has some value. I estimated, it’s worth $2 in our household. So the cost (above what it’s worth to us) is $2. Additional Cost = $2.00
7. While buying the shampoos and soft taco kit, I purchased additional items to bring my receipt to over $60 (1 offer). By spending $60 at Sobeys I qualified for the 7th promotion item. In order to spend $60 at a store I don’t normally shop at, I only purchased things that were a really good deal. Here’s how I got to $60 this week.
a. I bought the largest box of Huggies diapers they had. The Huggies were on sale at Sobeys and I was able to claim a $4 cash back offer on Checkout 51. The diapers ended up costing me just under $0.14/diapers which is lower than I would normally pay for the Walmart brand diapers.
b. Bags of onions and carrots were on sale for $0.99 so I bought 3 of each.
c. I bought a large bag of Huggies wipes and used Checkout 51 again to get a $2 cash back. Even with the discount, they were slightly more than Walmart brand, so there is a lost cost here.
d. I bought various other things on my grocery list while trying to just go for sales.
Overall I would say that my “additional spending to get to $60” resulted in a loss of $5 compared to prices I would normally pay at Walmart (based on their prices and ability to do price matching). By spending $60, I also qualified for an additional 20 Air Miles so that’s worth $2 which helps off set any additional cost I incurred.
Additional Cost = $5.00
So in total I would say that you can do 7 promotions and get your 2000 miles just by spending $5 more than you normally would. And really you don’t need to go to 7 stores. Just gas up twice in the next month, sign up for 2 loyalty programs (mark them as spam mail in a couple months once you have all your points) and 1 strategic trip to Sobeys. You can do a similar grocery trip at Foodland as well. They have similar coupons/promos you can qualify for.
I’m actually going to do this again on D’s card next week and we should be at 5000 Air Miles pretty quickly (with Shop the Block X 2 plus what we already have).
Let me know how you did on Shop the Block or if you have any other tips on earning this bonus.