Air Miles Can Save You a Fortune on Baseball Road Trips
Friday, February 17, 2012
Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer)- With my apologies to our friends of the USA right off of the bat, this blog is geared towards Canadians who are familiar with Air Miles. You might still want to read this since you probably know someone north of the border, or could score free ticket vouchers for the ‘Rogers Center in Toronto.’ For years I have traveled on heavy discounts from collecting Air Miles@ http://www.airmiles.ca. How do you do this you ask?
It is simply achieved by shopping at their best valued sponsor. This sponsor is Safeway. www.safeway.ca. You can collect Air Miles on many items each week by shopping for merchandise Air Miles that could get you hotel gift certificates from Best Western Hotel Chain (denominations of $100 and $150) or airline vouchers. The better value is to use them for hotel gift cards. So how do you determine how much an Air Mile is worth? This is easy. We look at the price right now for $100 gift card at the Air Miles Website. This item costs 750 Air Miles in the reward category. The $150 gift card costs 1125 Air Miles (which is the same value). This would make each mile worth 13.3 cents. This can be applied to every purchase you make at Safeway. Keep in mind that you should be shopping for a deal on these Air Miles already. It is not unheard of to save enough Air Miles in one year to take care of all lodging costs for all of your baseball road trips in the summer.
I will give you an example: There is a deal for 32 ounce Coke bottles (3 for $3 at Safeway.) For every 6 bottles you buy, you receive 40 Air Miles. An Air Mile is worth 13.3 cents each when you redeem them for Best Western Hotel Gift Cards. So you buy (6) 32-oz Cokes for $6, in exchange you receive 40 Air Miles at 13.3 worth for $5.32 in return. You can assess each deal like this. I have always bought deals like this for advance shopping, but if you are afraid of carrying too much inventory at your house, make sure you are going to use the items within six months at the time of transaction. Sit in your house with a calculator for each week’s flyer. Crunch the value of the Air Miles in connection to the products listed. In some instances the value of the air miles might even be worth more money than the product itself. As most of us know, grocery chains in Canada do let you use multiple coupons on the same item like they let you do in the USA, so this is a smart way to achieve great value in buying groceries.
Hotel Gift Cards at Best Western will be given in Canadian Funds. Here is why I like traveling with the Best Western Hotels; they have more hotels than any other chain in the price demographic and most of them serve free continental breakfasts. If you are traveling in a party of 1-4 people, having breakfast already included can net you savings of $30-40 for the morning meal daily. You can reasonably stay from $65-$120 a night in most travel cities. There are four ridiculously valued bargains for baseball cities; (Oakland, CA, St. Petersburg. FLA, Fredericksburg, Virginia and Chula Vista, CA. The prices per night go for about $50 a night in these locations.
Another thing you can do is sign up for the Safeway Email Direct Promotion by putting your Safeway number and Air Miles Collector number in at http://cc.safeway.com/EmailDirect/signup.asp. Just give these guys a valid Email and you will receive 100 free Air Miles. This dollar value towards a Best Western Hotel Gift Card is worth $13.33 right there.
The second best redemption for baseball fans of Air Miles is cashing in your Air Miles for Toronto Blue Jays Voucher tickets. These vouchers are good for any game throughout the given season. All you have to do is redeem this voucher in person at Gate 9 at ‘The Rogers Center.’ You can even pre-buy future games by showing up there during regular business hours. Here is the price point for last year’s voucher prices. Keep in mind that you are given the best available seat left for the section at time of redemption.
500 Level Bleacher Tickets (Air Miles Cost-were 50 Air Miles per ticket,) were selling for $12 plus service charges at Ticketmaster last year. So for two tickets you could buy for $30 at best. If you choose to redeem with Air Miles, you could make your Air Miles worth 3o cents per mile by saving $30 on tickets for just 100 Air Miles redeemed. If you sign up at Safeway Email Direct you would receive 100 Air Miles for free, so you in essence you could scoop two 500 level tickets to any Toronto Blue Jays Game. If you are a USA Citizen, don’t be afraid to have your Canadian friend sign you up for a card in your name by sending it to their Canadian Address for you. You don’t need to make one purchase at all in order to redeem the 100 Air Miles either. They give you for the E-Direct Sign Up.
100 Level Outfield Tickets (Air Miles Cost-were 110 Air Miles per ticket,) were selling for $35-$44 based premium seating at given Toronto Blue Jays games in 2011. Again the value is quite high. The same rules apply. The value of each mile on these Air Miles voucher tickets were 30-40 cents
Field Baseline Tickets (Air Miles Cost-were 165 Air Miles per ticket,) were selling from $56-$70 based on premium seating at given Toronto Blue Jays games. The value on these Air Miles voucher tickets were 35 to 45 cents per Air Mile.
If you are feeling good about this process, there is money to be made by redeeming these vouchers for Toronto Blue Jays games. I made a nice living for a few years by selling them on E-bay, keep in mind that it is only legal if you re-sell the vouchers for under face value prices. You would have to include this disclaimer. You would put in a buy it now price that would not exceed the prices set forth by the ball club.
It is a matter of doing the math value of the redemption divided by the Air Miles redeemed. I would not advise on using Air Miles for flying, car rentals or single night hotel stays. The reason for this is that you are still obligated to pay several taxes on each of the redemption’s. I will be divulging other secrets in coming Fridays.
*** Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Douglas “Chuck” Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports. To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and click here for Chuck’s website, fastestthirtyballgames.com***
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Posted on February 17, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged airmiles, baseball road trip, Best Western Hotel, canadian, car rental, Chula Vista, gift cards, hotels, oakland, safeway, Safeway Email Direct, St. Petersburg, toronto, toronto blue jays. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.