We’re constantly looking for new ways to save money on everyday expenses, scouring the grocery aisles for the best deals, and shopping the latest sales online.
Plus, the more spending-savvy we become, the more we actually get to treat ourselves.
As we’ve come to learn, using loyalty programs, like AIR MILES, is one of the best ways to get the most out of everyday purchases. It’s kind of like having an extra savings account, but this one gradually accumulates Miles as you’re going about your life — until you get to splurge on that special something.
For Julia Hartling, a young marketing professional based in Toronto and longtime AIR MILES Collector, that special item was a round trip flight to Paris, France — pre-pandemic, of course — where she was able to indulge in baguettes and wine to her heart’s content.
When she’s not using her Miles to adventure abroad, she’s using them to save on (or use more rewards towards) everyday essentials, like gas, groceries, or pet food for her two-year-old Yorkie Terrier.
When the pandemic hit, Hartling, like many other Canadians, opted to (temporarily) trade downtown condo life for the serenity of the East Coast. She braced herself for the 15-hour drive from Toronto to Halifax to weather the storm in her hometown with her family.
“I was like, ‘All right, mom and dad, I’m coming [home].’ I drove from Toronto to Halifax. Definitely using my Miles on gas for my car was a huge asset and benefit,” says Hartling.
The marketing manager is among the over 11 million Canadians who are AIR MILES Collectors — a handful of whom are being featured by the brand as part of an ongoing series that is highlighting how AIR MILES is rewarding Canadians every day.
Though she considers herself fortunate not to be included among the growing number of Canadians impacted financially by the pandemic, having Miles to fall back on has provided Hartling with a small, if not significant, sense of security.
“[It’s] a huge help, especially when you need it later if you ever do become in a bind or financially unstable momentarily,” says adds.
Recalling how she first became a Collector, Hartling remembers grocery shopping with a friend while attending university. As they were cashing out, she noticed her friend using her AIR MILES card. “And then I was thinking to myself, ‘wait, why don’t I have that?’ So [from] that moment on, I signed up, and I haven’t turned back,” she says.
Since then, she tells us it’s unexpectedly helped her reach her financial goals — “it does add up pretty quickly.” To date, Hartling estimates she’s saved around $3,000.
“It’s a nice treat where you don’t really think about it until later when you see your AIR MILES balance and all of those Miles that have accumulated over time,” she says.
One thing she finds particularly helpful is her ability to adapt the program based on her needs (or wants) on a whim. At times, she’ll opt to use her Cash Miles to get some of her everyday purchases for free, like stocking her pantry, gassing up her car, and pet food for her furry friend.
Other times, she’ll turn mundane purchases into moments of reward so she can treat herself to bigger personal items, like some quality kitchenware using her Dream Miles. “I’ve gotten a mixer…and then I do have my eye on a Cuisinart pot and pan set.”
By making small adjustments to ensure she’s filling up her cart and tank at AIR MILES Partner locations, Hartling has been able to rack up extra Miles. Plus, between the hundreds of available Partners in store and online through airmilesshops.ca, it’s been easy to adapt her spending habits.
As for what’s to come next, “I’d love to go to Switzerland when travelling does become a thing.” In our books, that sounds like Miles well spent.
Hartling also suggests taking the time to explore and take advantage of all the different incentives being offered that aren’t necessarily advertised. For instance, we’ve outlined a handful of Bonus Miles promotions that are upcoming through airmilesshops.ca below, which all Collectors are able to get in time for the holidays. Make sure to check back on the airmilesshops.ca site during the following days to see what promotions you can participate in!
- Flash Sale: November 7
- Pre-Black Friday: November 23
- Black Friday: November 27
- Cyber Monday: November 30
- Cyber Week: December 1
Before wrapping up our chat, we pressed Hartling for any tips and tricks she can spare us on getting the most out of our Miles.
Aside from downloading the app and keeping a watchful eye on emails, which she describes as “super, super helpful,” her advice is to just keep on collecting. “It’s just one of those things that you collect subconsciously, and then it rewards you in the long run.”
“And if I did have any advice for those who haven’t signed up, it’s not too late and it’s worth it,” she adds.
AIR MILES is always looking for ways to reward everyday Canadians for everyday purchases in a way that accommodates their ever-evolving lives and needs.
Learn more about all the ways AIR MILES can bring you closer to the moments that matter — for less — at airmiles.ca.