|by Jason Steele|
Delta is an airline I love to hate, but some deals are too good to pass up, especially if you are already a committed Delta customer. The Frugal Travel Guy has the details on the frequent flier equivalent of a quadruple word score in Scrabble. To get it, you have to sign up for two different promotions between Amex and Delta, get the Amex Platinum card, and do a couple of other minor tricks.
Yes, 90,000 Delta SkyMiles SkyPesos aren’t worth that much, but it could earn you a “medium” award for a domestic round trip in First Class, or a trip to South America in coach. Delta’s award chart lists “low” “medium”, and “high” awards, but I don’t really consider “low” awards to be reasonably available. I would never count on finding anything other than Medium or High awards 99% of the time.
What is really interesting is that this strategy will earn you 25,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles, good for Silver Status in the SkyMiles program through February 1st, 1013. Let’s just say that Silver status is a little tarnished these days. They will waive your baggage fees, but you unlike the other Medallions, you Silvers must still pay fees for same day confirmed changes, ticket change fees, and award ticket redeposit fees.
While Silvers get priority check in and boarding, they are still excluded from the priority security line for reasons no one can fathom. Where the 25,000 is really good is if you were already a Medallion and this will add to your totals. You will either get bumped up into a more valuable medallion level, or have the miles to be rolled over so that you can re-qualify next year.
What Is The Downside
You will have to apply for and receive an Amex Platinum card, which comes with a hefty $450 annual fee that is not waived the first year. Holders of other Amex cards might see a discount equal to their existing annual fee. For that $450 annual fee you will get several benefits that may pay for themselves. Amex will credit you up to $200 for fees incurred by airlines including baggage fees, change fees, and in flight food and beverages. Furthermore, your Platinum card will give you lounge access at American, Delta, Continental, and US Airways business lounges. You also get status at rental car agencies such at Avis, Hertz, and National as well as Gold Status at Starwood Hotels. Finally, you get a free companion ticket on a full fare business or first class international flight. This may sound worthless, but there are some Asian carriers that are offering reasonably priced tickets that qualify.
So brush up on the details of this offer. If it works for you, and you execute it correctly, you have the potential to save a significant amount of money and gain status at the same time.