One million AIR MILES? Most Canadians would opt for travel

    - Canadians weigh in on Mile-ionaire dreams as AIR MILES launches
    historic giveaway -

    TORONTO, April 24 /CNW/ - Given the opportunity to spend one million AIR
MILES reward miles the majority of Canadians (86%) say they would opt for
travel, according to a recent AIR MILES survey. However, at a time when
stretching dollars is important, many Collectors are thinking about sharing
their million miles with family and friends (45%) and others are looking to
redeem for merchandise (35%). To give Canadians the opportunity to turn these
dreams into a reality, the AIR MILES Reward Program is conducting the biggest
miles giveaway in its history and will give a lucky Collector ONE MILLION
reward miles to redeem for a virtually endless array of options, making them
Canada's first Mile-ionaire.
    The survey results uncovered that Atlantic and Western Canadians are more
likely to redeem their miles for a journey (91% each) while Quebecers would
redeem their miles for merchandise (46%) or on everyday items like gas or
groceries (26%). Other uses of AIR MILES reward miles included giving a
percentage to charity. Traditionally associated with travel, AIR MILES reward
miles can be redeemed for many products and entertainment options, including
electronics, gift cards, spa getaways, sporting events, amusement parks across
North America and more. Collectors can also choose to donate reward miles to
AIR MILES charities of choice including Special Olympics Canada, Kids Help
Phone and WWF-Canada.
    "We asked our Collectors to dream about what they would do with one
million AIR MILES if they were to win the title of Canada's first
Mile-ionaire," said Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Neil
Everett of the AIR MILES Reward Program. "While many Canadians still dream
about that once-in-a-lifetime trip to a far away destination, we were not
surprised to see more practical choices such as gas, grocery, entertainment
and merchandise as popular choices, especially during these economic
conditions. Whether they are dreaming big or closer to home, we are excited
about making those dreams come true for one lucky Canadian."
    Canadians still have visions of luxurious accommodations and five-star
treatment. This resulted in vacation being the most popular choice for 86 per
cent of collectors surveyed. With one million reward miles at their disposal,
those collectors could:

    -   Travel twice a year for life(*)
    -   See the Seven Wonders of the World
    -   Cruise around Europe in a rental car for five years
    -   Spend 3.5 years in InterContinental Hotels(TM) around the world

    One in four collectors (27 per cent) was also likely to redeem their miles
for extraordinary amounts of everyday items such as gas and groceries. This
could mean:

    -   13,333 car washes
    -   134,447 litres of fuel from Shell(R)(xx)
    -   21 years of groceries for the average Canadian household(xxx)

    Almost half of collectors (45 per cent) stated they would share their
winnings with friends and family. To entertain those nearest and dearest, a
collector could:

    -   See more than 11,400 movies at the theatre - snacks and drinks
    -   Bring 50,000 friends and family to the Rogers Centre(TM) five times
        for Toronto Blue Jays(TM) games
    -   Invite 7,400 guests to enjoy Galaxyland or World Waterpark at West
        Edmonton Mall

    The AIR MILES Mile-ionaire contest is open to all Canadian AIR MILES
Reward Program Collectors. The contest will run from May 6 to June 12, 2009
with over 1,000 prizes to be won throughout the contest ranging from 100 to
50,000 reward miles with one grand prize of one million reward miles.
Collectors are entered to win in four different ways:

    -   Shopping through
    -   Using coupons from the Mile-ionaire Giveaway coupon book (available
        in store or online)
    -   Paying with their BMO Debit or BMO Air Miles Mastercard
    -   Sharing their 'what I would do with a million reward miles' story at
        the AIR MILES Community forum at

    Additional contest information, or information on how to sign up for AIR
MILES, can be found at

    About the AIR MILES Reward Program

    Founded in 1992, the AIR MILES Reward Program is Canada's premier
coalition loyalty program. More than 9.5 million active Collector accounts,
representing approximately two-thirds of all Canadian households, actively
participate in the Program. The AIR MILES Reward Program allows Collectors to
indulge in leisure, entertainment, merchandise, travel and other lifestyle
rewards quickly, simply by doing their everyday shopping for products and
services at AIR MILES Sponsors. AIR MILES reward miles can be redeemed for
more than 800 different rewards, such as movie passes, family attractions,
electronic merchandise, sports and recreation, travel and more.
    Collectors can shop and collect AIR MILES reward miles at more than 100
brand-name Sponsors across the country, representing thousands of retail and
service locations nationally, including RONA, Shell, SportChek (Sports
Experts), The Shoe Company, BMO, Metro, Sobeys, Safeway and IGA, and The AIR MILES Reward Program's website is

    About the Survey
    These results are based on 223 online interviews with Canadians, 18 years
of age and older. Interviews were conducted in March 2009. The sample size
used ensures, with 95% certainty, that the overall results are within +/-1.8
percentage points of what they would have been had the entire Canadian
population been surveyed. The margin of error will be larger for sub-groupings
of the survey sample.

    (*)   Redemptions based on reward values from unless
          otherwise noted
    (xx)  Based on a fuel price of $0.85/L
    (xxx) Based on figures from 2005 Statistics Canada survey noting that the
          average Canadian household spends $6910 on food.

For further information:

For further information: Sarah Daly or Lisa Richards, Veritas
Communications, (416) 955-4583/(416) 955-4586,; AIR MILES Reward Program,
Corporate Affairs, (416) 552-2346,

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