09/12/2012 08:51 EDT | Updated 09/09/2013 11:52 EDT

Funeral Home Offers Deal For Customers Dying To Travel

A North American funeral home chain is hoping the offer of a trip of a lifetime will convince some people to plan for the end of their life.

Dignity Memorial services is offering thousands of reward miles for people who pre-arrange their funeral.

Ian MacDonald, who does funeral pre-arrangements in Halifax, said it's the first time funerals are coming with a bonus offer.

"I'm not sure what your bucket list would be, but for many people, it's that special trip and so part of this would be to get it done."

He said the chain is hoping the promotion will get families thinking and talking about their funeral plans.

People who pre-arrange their funerals qualify for up to 5,400 Air Miles. That's enough to travel to places such as Belgium, the Netherlands or the British Virgin Islands.

Funeral homes in B.C., Manitoba, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are offering the deal.

"Our families are asking us for this, let's offer it to them as a way of one, giving back; as a way of promoting why this needs to be done, and rewarding people when they do it," said MacDonald.

To collect all the points, a person would have to spend about $15,000 on funeral services. MacDonald admits that would be a high-end package.

Incentive to switch companies

The promotion also has a competitive twist. Those who have pre-arranged their funerals with another company can switch to a Dignity Memorial location and earn a 1,000-point bonus.

"Most people are going to switch not necessarily because Air Miles are being offered, but because they realize the services and the range of services that we offer," said MacDonald.

The deal expires Sept. 30. MacDonald thinks there may be a rush of customers who have been considering their options.

In Halifax, some people who saw advertisements for the 'dream vacation' promotion responded with a laugh.

"It's morbid, but I mean, it's an incentive," said Chantelle LaFitte.

One thing the points won't be able to buy: a ticket to heaven.

"That, as they say, is priceless. This though, will help you have that dream vacation," said MacDonald.