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Old 03-07-2011, 11:33 AM   #196
erinbharris
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Am I doing the math wrong?

Adult entry to the Calgary Zoo is $55 (before tax) or 70 airmiles...that means 70cents/mile. For kids it's $22 or 35 airmiles so 63cents/mile. Is that right? I'm wondering if this is one of those cases where you can often find buy 1 get 1 free tickets...
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:35 AM   #197
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Just thought I'd throw out the idea of flights for Dollar/Air Mile ratio. Most people don't like using AMs for flights, since you pay the taxes/fees, but for me to fly from YYT to MCO (once I take taxes out of the equation) it's about 34.2 cents/mile. Yes, I have to pay a bit ($183.31) but that's a lot better than paying full fare (currently $868.95).

Btw, in case I did my math wrong, here it is.
Full fare = $868.95
Taxes & Fees (through Air Miles) = $183.31
Fare - T&Fs = $685.64 (this is what the Air Miles are actually being redeemed for)
Air Mile cost for Flight = 2006 (I have a BMO gold card, so I get a 25% discount)
Ratio = $685.64/2006 = 0.3418 $/Mile or 34.18 cents/Mile
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:56 PM   #198
Carina
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I am just going to get the waterpark passes.

We are at a wedding in Red Deer in August so I plan to dash up to Edmonton on one of the days we are there, as something fun to do with the kids. I had thought of the Sylvan Lake Water park, but this would make it free, plus I'll pay for one ride on the roller coaster for the 3 of them while we are there.


Normally I would be on the lookout for coupons and deals, but this (airmiles)simplifies it.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:15 PM   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erinbharris View Post
Am I doing the math wrong?

Adult entry to the Calgary Zoo is $55 (before tax) or 70 airmiles...that means 70cents/mile. For kids it's $22 or 35 airmiles so 63cents/mile. Is that right? I'm wondering if this is one of those cases where you can often find buy 1 get 1 free tickets...
FIFTY FIVE DOLLARS to get into the zoo? that seems REALLY high? Are you taking season passes prices and comparing it to one day entry at the zoo airmiles?

When I look at the Calgary Zoo webpage it says General Admission is $21
Airmiles is 70m

that's 30c per mile..... a great deal but not quite what you figured

(I did the apples to oranges thing the first time I checked disney tickets)
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:36 PM   #200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zife View Post
Just thought I'd throw out the idea of flights for Dollar/Air Mile ratio. Most people don't like using AMs for flights, since you pay the taxes/fees, but for me to fly from YYT to MCO (once I take taxes out of the equation) it's about 34.2 cents/mile. Yes, I have to pay a bit ($183.31) but that's a lot better than paying full fare (currently $868.95).

Btw, in case I did my math wrong, here it is.
Full fare = $868.95
Taxes & Fees (through Air Miles) = $183.31
Fare - T&Fs = $685.64 (this is what the Air Miles are actually being redeemed for)
Air Mile cost for Flight = 2006 (I have a BMO gold card, so I get a 25% discount)
Ratio = $685.64/2006 = 0.3418 $/Mile or 34.18 cents/Mile
"Personally" I would not compare it to the full fare price, but what I would expect to get the flight for on a seat sale. Very few of us would travel full fare, so I would not do the math using full fare prices.

Of course that is a personal thing. Some people may have less flexible dates or need a ticket last minute, in which case flights become a better deal.

I look at the airmiles cost then look up several flights on or near the same date. Then deduct what I would pay out of pocket for taxes, on the airmiles flight THEN do the math

Seat sale = $554 (after taxes )
Taxes & Fees (through Air Miles not the seat sale taxes) = $184.
Fare minus airmiles T&Fs = $370 (see reason I took airmiles taxes off below)
Air Mile cost for Flight = 2006 (I have a BMO gold card, so I get a 25% discount)
Ratio = 370/2006 = 18.4 cents/Mile

In that situation still not a bad deal. You need to take the Out of Pocket Expense (Airmiles taxes ) off the seat sale price to figure out the deal, because you are paying that out of your pocket either way. But You KEEP the taxes in the seat sale price when you figure it out.

That gives you the net cost of what you are getting with the airmiles ticket vs what you "would" be paying if you booked it without airmiles.

The Difference in the 2 Costs ( airmiles just taxes or seatsale with taxes included) is the TRUE value of the miles as that is how much you would "save"

Last edited by Carina; 03-07-2011 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:55 PM   #201
erinbharris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carina View Post
FIFTY FIVE DOLLARS to get into the zoo? that seems REALLY high? Are you taking season passes prices and comparing it to one day entry at the zoo airmiles?

When I look at the Calgary Zoo webpage it says General Admission is $21
Airmiles is 70m

that's 30c per mile..... a great deal but not quite what you figured

(I did the apples to oranges thing the first time I checked disney tickets)
I just looked again and found it for $21. I was looking at Gate Pass and am not sure what that is. Will have to keep looking into it!
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:41 PM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carina View Post
"Personally" I would not compare it to the full fare price, but what I would expect to get the flight for on a seat sale. Very few of us would travel full fare, so I would not do the math using full fare prices.

Of course that is a personal thing. Some people may have less flexible dates or need a ticket last minute, in which case flights become a better deal.

I look at the airmiles cost then look up several flights on or near the same date. Then deduct what I would pay out of pocket for taxes, on the airmiles flight THEN do the math

Seat sale = $554 (after taxes )
Taxes & Fees (through Air Miles not the seat sale taxes) = $184.
Fare minus airmiles T&Fs = $370 (see reason I took airmiles taxes off below)
Air Mile cost for Flight = 2006 (I have a BMO gold card, so I get a 25% discount)
Ratio = 370/2006 = 18.4 cents/Mile

In that situation still not a bad deal. You need to take the Out of Pocket Expense (Airmiles taxes ) off the seat sale price to figure out the deal, because you are paying that out of your pocket either way. But You KEEP the taxes in the seat sale price when you figure it out.

That gives you the net cost of what you are getting with the airmiles ticket vs what you "would" be paying if you booked it without airmiles.

The Difference in the 2 Costs ( airmiles just taxes or seatsale with taxes included) is the TRUE value of the miles as that is how much you would "save"
This is an excellent post. You are especially correct about not comparing to a "regular" priced ticket. Airmiles will almost never give you a regular priced ticket. Their availability for flights varies hour by hour and day to day, and they will give you the cheapest possible ticket.

To give an example: A couple of years ago I needed to go YVR-IAH (Houston, TX) for a family wedding by myself. I remembered that I had about 2600 airmiles so I thought I would use those up as I like to save my other mileage program miles for family trips.

I called Airmiles repeatedly over a period of 3 days and the flight availabilty was different each time. They cannot book "any" flight for you; they only have certain seats to choose from-usually the least expensive. I tried repeatedly to get a seat on the only direct non-stop which still had many seats open (AND was showing available on the airline's award booking site- so award seats WERE available). Trouble was this was a $650 ticket before tax. The Airmiles rep explained that Airmiles basically purchases the seat on your behalf and won't purchase a seat above a certain threshhold. They would only give me flights that connected. I eventually settled for that and paid $135 and 2100 airmiles. I looked on expedia after and the flights I had were selling that day for $365. Of course they wouldn't give me a ticket for twice the price- why would they. They are a business.

Another warning: I was offered insurance and declined. I ended up not using the ticket as my benevolent brother in law had Continental miles to burn and flew me down in First class non-stop. I never got my airmiles back, or the taxes. I realize I didn't get insurance, but It would not have covered my scenario anyway. People need to be aware of this. This is another reason why I believe Airmiles is not good value for flights.

I have had to cancel flights booked with my airline mileage program before and was able to get all miles back no problem. I still collect Airmiles (who can resist 100 airmiles for 6 boxes of cereal), but I use them for gift cards, etc.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:52 PM   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aristocat65 View Post
This is an excellent post.
WOW Don't know if I've ever had someone call one of my posts " excellent" before, you made my day!

Also I forgot to say that my $554 seat sale price was 100% fictional. I have no idea where the other person was flying to or even flying from in their example, I just took a random cheaper number and used that to illustrate the math, so people would know how to accuratly calculate the true cost of using airmiles for flights.
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:06 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by cab0899 View Post
I've earned 20,000 airmiles since September
I can usually get 400-500 each week at Safeway. I love Safeway
Ugh... I want a Safeway in London, Ontario... We only have 'metro' (formerly A&P) and the two stores are in really lousy high traffic areas with crammed isles and dark lighting, even after one had a "renovation"...

We used to live in Hamilton and used "the Barn" chain, which had really great produce and meats and decent layouts, we would easily gain from 100 to 200 or so points a shopping trip, especially on the bonus items.

Since we've moved to London, the airmiles have sat at a firm 7000 ... bummer...
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:54 PM   #205
Zife
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carina View Post
"Personally" I would not compare it to the full fare price, but what I would expect to get the flight for on a seat sale. Very few of us would travel full fare, so I would not do the math using full fare prices.

Of course that is a personal thing. Some people may have less flexible dates or need a ticket last minute, in which case flights become a better deal.
This is a good point, and one that I haven't really looked at since I moved. Based off of what I've heard from people, a *really* good price (ie seat sale) from YYT to MCO (mentioned in the original post) is about $650, taxes in. Based off of that, I get about 23 cents/mile.Still a good deal, imo. But yes, you definitely have to take seat sales into consideration if figuring this out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carina View Post
I look at the airmiles cost then look up several flights on or near the same date. Then deduct what I would pay out of pocket for taxes, on the airmiles flight THEN do the math

You need to take the Out of Pocket Expense (Airmiles taxes ) off the seat sale price to figure out the deal, because you are paying that out of your pocket either way. But You KEEP the taxes in the seat sale price when you figure it out.

That gives you the net cost of what you are getting with the airmiles ticket vs what you "would" be paying if you booked it without airmiles.

The Difference in the 2 Costs ( airmiles just taxes or seatsale with taxes included) is the TRUE value of the miles as that is how much you would "save"
I'm pretty sure you just stated exactly what I did. I compared your math and mine, and they seem the same, so I'm not sure if you're correcting something I did wrong that I'm not seeing, or if you're just explaining.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aristocat65 View Post
This is an excellent post. You are especially correct about not comparing to a "regular" priced ticket. Airmiles will almost never give you a regular priced ticket. Their availability for flights varies hour by hour and day to day, and they will give you the cheapest possible ticket.

I called Airmiles repeatedly over a period of 3 days and the flight availabilty was different each time. They cannot book "any" flight for you; they only have certain seats to choose from-usually the least expensive. I tried repeatedly to get a seat on the only direct non-stop which still had many seats open (AND was showing available on the airline's award booking site- so award seats WERE available). Trouble was this was a $650 ticket before tax. The Airmiles rep explained that Airmiles basically purchases the seat on your behalf and won't purchase a seat above a certain threshhold. They would only give me flights that connected. I eventually settled for that and paid $135 and 2100 airmiles. I looked on expedia after and the flights I had were selling that day for $365. Of course they wouldn't give me a ticket for twice the price- why would they. They are a business.
Yeah, AirMiles is different than an airlines 'reward' program (like Aeroplan with Air Canada). Just because you can book something with Aeroplan, doesn't mean you can book with AirMiles, since AM isn't owned by the airlines, only partnered with.

AirMiles now does online booking for flights, and sometimes have several different flights to choose from. Usually, you can look these up on the respective airline websites, and thats what I base my cost off of, making sure that I'm comparing to the same flights. It's still a 'regular' priced ticket, it's just that you only have certain ones to choose from.

For example, for my dates, WestJet has 2 flights available, same price, but AirMiles only offers one of them. It's not so that one is cheaper than the other, it's just that's the one AirMiles happens to be booking (or happens to not be sold out of).

Quote:
Originally Posted by aristocat65 View Post
Another warning: I was offered insurance and declined. I ended up not using the ticket as my benevolent brother in law had Continental miles to burn and flew me down in First class non-stop. I never got my airmiles back, or the taxes. I realize I didn't get insurance, but It would not have covered my scenario anyway. People need to be aware of this. This is another reason why I believe Airmiles is not good value for flights.
This would be just like any flight, even with flight insurance. Some airlines might give you a ceratin amount back, minus a change fee, but generally, unless you buy a full-fare ticket (an actual 'full-fare' ticket, not just a full price ticket) you can't change or cancel flights without penalty, even with Trip Insurance. I don't see how this would affect the value of the AirMiles.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:07 PM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zife View Post

This would be just like any flight, even with flight insurance. Some airlines might give you a ceratin amount back, minus a change fee, but generally, unless you buy a full-fare ticket (an actual 'full-fare' ticket, not just a full price ticket) you can't change or cancel flights without penalty, even with Trip Insurance. I don't see how this would affect the value of the AirMiles.
\]

You are generally correct in that airlines DO charge change fees. My point was that for Airmiles flights, one doesn't even have that option. I wanted people to be aware that if you can't use your Airmiles booking you will lose the taxes and fees and all the miles.

The mileage program I use most to fly with is Alaska Airlines and they charge $75 for a change or you can cancel and get ALL your miles redeposited and a credit for any $ paid to be used in one year. I've had to do this a couple of times and although it wasn't a refund, we fly very frequently so it was no problem to use the credit. I haven't had to do this with Aeroplan, but I believe they charge $90. These would NOT be options with Airmiles; you'd simply lose it all. This does make Airmiles less attractive to me for flight bookings.

I sure do love the Kobo I bought with my Chapters giftcards from Airmiles though
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:24 PM   #207
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Originally Posted by aristocat65 View Post
\]

You are generally correct in that airlines DO charge change fees. My point was that for Airmiles flights, one doesn't even have that option. I wanted people to be aware that if you can't use your Airmiles booking you will lose the taxes and fees and all the miles.

The mileage program I use most to fly with is Alaska Airlines and they charge $75 for a change or you can cancel and get ALL your miles redeposited and a credit for any $ paid to be used in one year. I've had to do this a couple of times and although it wasn't a refund, we fly very frequently so it was no problem to use the credit. I haven't had to do this with Aeroplan, but I believe they charge $90. These would NOT be options with Airmiles; you'd simply lose it all. This does make Airmiles less attractive to me for flight bookings.

I sure do love the Kobo I bought with my Chapters giftcards from Airmiles though
Ah, that makes sense. I don't travel enough to belong to any specific airline point programs since they always date out on me, so that's not something that I would've thought of.

I'm tempted to get a Kobo, or something like it, but I'm still deciding. Do you find the available library with Kobo to have basically everything Chapters proper would?
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:18 PM   #208
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Hi carina, just letting you know, when i shopped at safeway today, they said the airmiles are on AGAIN next week

This month, i spent between 700 and 800 at safeway and got over 2500 airmiles...I so stocked up right now, lol, it is great! Way ahead in everything...wonder how long the crazy deals are gonna continue??? If i put that 2500 in cash equivalent with most of the airmiles, that is over 300 dollars to put towards my ipad!!!

Happy shopping again!
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:29 PM   #209
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Thank-you I was not able to make it this week but hopefully can on Sunday or Monday. I just can't do it every week, I was hoping to get the strawberrys this week with $1 off coupons that were on the cereal from last week.

Hoepfully there will be great deals again next week
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:03 AM   #210
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I'm tempted to get a Kobo, or something like it, but I'm still deciding. Do you find the available library with Kobo to have basically everything Chapters proper would?
Generally any new books that come out at Chapters also come out in ebooks so it is good in that way. I do find the prices for the ebooks very high though, and I haven't bought any yet. The Kobo comes loaded with 100 classic novels so I'm enjoying many that I always wanted to read. I mostly get ebooks from the library though. The Kobo is very easy to download library books with. If you are interested in an ereader there was a thread back in the fall with a lot of helpful info that helped me make my decision to get one.
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