Best Winter Sun Destinations for Your Air Miles

Jane Switzer
by Jane Switzer December 27, 2016 / No Comments

With Air Miles reversing its massively unpopular points expiry policy, the clock’s no longer ticking to use up your years of hoarded miles. Even better news: most flights to sun destinations assessed by RateHub are actually a better value in high season, when plane tickets are more expensive.

The value of an Air Mile depends on your destination and when you travel:

  • High season: Dec. 16 to Jan. 7, March 1 to 31, and June 1 to Sept. 15
  • Low season: Sept. 16 to Dec. 15, Jan. 8 to Feb. 28, and April 1 to May 31

You’ll also get greater dollar value for your Air Miles when you book a last-minute flight. Although the ticket price gets more expensive as the departure date approaches, the required number of Air Miles and taxes stay the same.

As of this writing it’s the beginning of the December-January high season. Luckily (if you consider glass half-full), Canadian winters last until April, so you still have some flexibility when choosing a time frame and destination for your vacation.

Better value in high season

Here’s the average dollar value per Air Mile during both the high and low seasons, with the better value per mile for each destination:

Destination Low season High season Better value per mile during high season
Punta Cana $0.0965 $0.1044 $0.008
Jamaica $0.0896 $0.1306 $0.041
Cancun $0.0879 $0.0944 $0.0065
Puerto Vallarta $0.0719 $0.1476 $0.0757
Los Angeles $0.0984 $0.1282 $0.0298
Miami $0.1085 $0.1312 $0.0227
Honolulu $0.0713 $0.0823 $0.011
Maui $0.0714 $0.0863 $0.0146
Melbourne $0.0751 $0.0985 $0.0234
Auckland $0.0777 $0.1145 $0.0368

Getting there

You probably have at least a few stores where you regularly swipe your blue, gold, or onyx rewards card, but it’s useful to check out Air Miles’ sponsor directory for a full list of partners in your province to maximize your earning potential. You can also get hyper-local and make note of retailers around your home or work that accept Air Miles using the Sponsors Near You feature.

If Air Miles is your main rewards program and you’re looking for sign-up bonuses and accelerated earning opportunities, compare Air Miles credit cards side by side to see if you could be getting a better deal than what your current credit card gives you.

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