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Renting a car for the weekend is one way to use your Air Miles before they start to expire at the end of 2016. (iStockphoto)
Renting a car for the weekend is one way to use your Air Miles before they start to expire at the end of 2016. (iStockphoto)

carrick on money

Reader-tested ideas for using your Air Miles before they expire Add to ...

A few weeks ago, I asked for your help in figuring out what to do with my Air Miles points before they start to expire at year’s end. The response was tremendous – more than 100 people e-mailed to suggest ideas for using my points, and to vent a little at Air Miles for not letting them keep their points indefinitely.

Here are four suggestions I’m going to consider for using my points. Note that my choices are limited because I have been accumulating Dream Miles as opposed to cash miles, which are more versatile.

1. Rent a cool car for the weekend: I like this one a lot. One reader said he has used Air Miles to rent cars as many as 10 times over the years.

2. Book a hotel room: Many people were frustrated by their attempts to do this, but some reported that they have managed it in places like Ottawa, Houston and even Venice. One person e-mailed me from the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, where they were staying in a room booked with Air Miles.

3. Resort packages: Not my thing, but somebody mentioned using their points for Disney passes.

4. Merchandise: Readers pointed out that you get less value from your points with this option, but it’s still worth a thought. One person used roughly the same number of points as I have to buy a watch they are quite happy with. Others bought vacuum cleaners and a deep fryer.

HowToSaveMoney.ca says the best redemption values for Dream Miles like I have are hotels, flights, car rentals, events and attractions. Here’s some additional guidance from Rewards Canada.

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The question: “Should I be managing my own investments, or let my adviser continue to invest in a set of mutual funds and bonds? My spouse and I are in our mid-40s, we both have steady jobs, a large-ish mortgage, and are busy with kids activities and volunteer stuff. I am somewhat financially literate, but with only a little spare time.”

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