The annual Shop The Block Air Miles promotion has returned with the opportunity to earn up to 1200 bonus miles. It looks fairly promising this time, in my opinion. With a little effort and planning, most members should be able to get a nice bonus to add to their Air Miles balance.
The Shop The Block promotion follows last year’s version with these 3 bonus offers available:
Complete offers at 3 different partners, earn 300 bonus miles
Complete offers at 5 different partners, earn 800 bonus miles
Complete offers at 7 different partners, earn 1200 bonus miles
When you select your province from the drop-down menu it will display all the partners participating in that province with the individual offers for each. There are always some offers that are easier to complete along with a bunch that will only be relevant to a very small number of people (and those folks likely won’t even be aware of Shop The Block).
Here are some that stand out as reasonably doable as a Nova Scotia resident:
Sobeys Atlantic – Spend $75, get 5x the miles (maybe stack with this week’s Max-A-Miles)
Foodland Atlantic– Spend $75, get 5x the miles (Max-A-Miles here this week as well)
Irving – Opt in online, fill up with at least 35L, redeem Cash miles, get 25 bonus miles
Shell – Opt in online, fill up with at least 30L, get 5 bonus miles
Lawtons Drugs – Spend $60, get 10x bonus miles (FYI – Blue Friday Nov. 20th)
Pharmasave – Spend $30, get 3x bonus miles, redeem 95 Cash miles, get 10 bonus miles, buy 5 Pharmasave brand products, get 20 bonus miles
Sobeys Express/Needs – Opt in online, spend $20, get 10 bonus miles
Timber Mart – Spend $60, get 25 bonus miles, spend $300, get 150 bonus miles
Global Pet Foods – Spend $60, get 15 bonus miles, spend $100, get 35 bonus miles
airmilesshops.ca – Spend $100 online in a single transaction, get 30 bonus miles
Rewarding Your Opinions – Sign up and complete a survey, get 20 bonus miles (this offer is one time only so if you’ve never done it previously, it’s an easy one)
BMO Air Miles Mastercard – Opt in online and spend $350 or $700 at select Air Miles partners to get 100 or 250 bonus miles, respectively
Amex – [Disappointing update] Spend $300 on qualifying food and drink with your Amex Air Miles Reserve credit card, get 300 bonus miles
In a somewhat complicated promo like this, it’s wise to consider all the things that occasionally trip people up and try to ensure that you won’t have any such issues:
Opt in online – A number of the offers require you to opt in online. I suggest you go ahead and opt in for any of the contenders so you have that out of the way. Others will need a bar code to be scanned and the remainder require no action.
Different partners – Remember that while you can earn all the individual bonuses at a single partner that has multiple offers – only one will count toward the big Shop The Block bonus – you need to complete 3, 5 or 7 offers at different partners.
Read offer terms closely – It’s important to know the specifics of each offer. For instance, watch for those valid only for a limited time within the promo period such as the two Children’s Place offers.
Shop carefully online – Make sure you click through airmilesshops.ca and take special note of excluded categories. For example, Wal-Mart is a new store on airmilesshops.ca with a number of exclusions. Note that gift cards are expressly excluded by most retailers but two that I’m aware of that do qualify are Indigo and Rona.
Earn some Cash miles – If you don’t currently have any Cash miles, change your earning preference from Dream to Cash now so you can earn some in time to do any offers requiring them, like the Irving one. You can go back later to restore your setting to Dream miles if you prefer the STB bonus be deposited into that category when it eventually posts.
Join forces – If you have friends or relatives in a province with different partners, you can use their Air Miles number to help them out or vice versa.
Stack offers – In some cases, you can combine offers to knock off two or three in one go. The BMO Mastercard offer could be combined with the Staples and airmilesshops.ca offers as long as you remember to add your Air Miles number on the Staples website before completing the purchase.
Save your receipts – These multi-offer promotions are notorious for glitches so be sure to keep all your receipts in case you need to follow up with Air Miles to get a missing bonus.
BMO Air Miles Mastercard – If you don’t want an Air Miles credit card with an annual fee, consider applying for the no-fee version to make completing these promotions a little easier. It’s likely that if you applied now you’d have the card in time to achieve the spending requirement for the BMO offer. Unlike regular qualifying purchases for Air Miles, just buying a gift card at a participating partner would work.
As is often the case with Air Miles promotions like Mega Miles and Shop The Block, some of the minimum spend requirements are quite high, but if you’ve been holding off on a big purchase it might work out for you. The product-specific offers tend to be tougher as well. And the offers for buying a vehicle or moving are just ridiculous.
On the plus side, Shell is indeed on the list for Nova Scotia even though it was missing from the partner previews. And I see that although this week’s Foodland Atlantic flyer mentions spending $100 for Shop The Block, it’s actually only $75 which is the same as the Sobeys Atlantic offer.
With a few exceptions I actually think this is a pretty decent set of offers, especially for people in the Maritimes. Even so, it always takes some planning and strategy to complete the promo without overspending. Hopefully all the keen Air Miles collectors out there will be up to the task and able to safely take advantage of this promotion to some degree as this wretched year comes to an end.