|by Jason Steele|
The more you think about this promo the better it gets. Many bloggers have been doing the math, and have come up with some interesting reward options.
Diner’s Club Huge Reward
If you actually have a Diner’s Club card, you probably already know that they have been offering a 35% bonus for redemption of Diner’s Club points to Delta SkyMiles. When you redeem 30,000 points, you would get 40,500 miles, already a pretty good deal. Add the 150% Bonus, and now you have a whopping 101,250 SkyMiles! Why anyone would have Diner’s Club points in their account at year’s end is beyond me.
Between my wife and I we are approaching 80,000 Starpoints. Many of which were earned through sign up bonuses, by we also put the majority of our day to day spending on our Starwood American Express cards. While we were building these points, we merely hoped for the generous 5,000 mile bonus when we converted them to SkyMiles, leaving us with perhaps 100,000 miles. Now, we are looking at a cool 250,000 miles, a major coup!
Other Partner Bonus
Earn 250 miles just for signing up at Shutterfly, and another 1,000 miles when you purchase $25 worth of pictures. With this promotion, if you earn or redeem at least 10,000 bonus miles, your 250 becomes 625 and your 1,000 becomes 2,500. Actually, it is even better. If you were to charge the $25 on your Delta Amex, the $25 would become 67 SkyMiles by itself! That works out to less than 1 cent per mile, even if the pictures are worth nothing to you! To put that in perspective, my Business Class ticket to the middle east costs $4,000 when it is on sale, but can be redeemed in the “low” award for 120,000. That works out to a value of 3.33 cents per mile.
The language of the promotion specifically includes Delta’s transfer miles program allows you transfer up to miles for 1 cent per mile + a $30 fee. So you can basically transfer 30,000 miles for $330 dollars and the recipient gets a bonus of 45,000 miles. That recipient could transfer back those miles in the same way. Earning both of you a net 45,000 each, or 90,000 total for a mere $660. Again, if you both used Delta Amex Cards, you would both receive 2.5 miles per dollar on the $330, so there is another 1650 miles. In this scenario your miles are being purchased for a mere .72 cents each.
What Are Delta Miles Worth These Days
Because Delta awards are largely service based, as they say, your mileage may vary. It also gets more confusing as Delta offers a tiered award system, with point values varying wildly for “low”, “medium”, and “high” awards. Carefull spending of SkyMiles eleven months in advance on “low” awards can return a value of 1.5 cents per mile all the way to 4 cents per mile.
Delta also offers “cost based” awards called “Pay with Miles”. This relative straightforward program allows you to redeem miles towards any Delta purchase at one mile per penny. So even if you choose to Pay per Mile, your Transfer Miles earned at .72 cents pay for themselves nicely when redeemed for 1 cent each.
Another popular way to redeem awards is on Delta’s partners. A First Class ticket to southeast Asia on vaunted Singapore Airlines from a North American gateway is 140,000 SkyMiles. This ticket can easily cost $12,000, returning a value well over 8 cents per mile, on miles you purchased at around .7 cents a mile, you can go to Asia, First Class for about $1,000, esentially less than the cost of coach! This is how incredible this deal is!
Look at it another way. In theory, you could $2240 worth of flowers from FTD, and earn 62.5 miles per dollar, and earn 140,000 SkyMiles. With those Skymiles you could get first class ticket on Singapore Airlines worth $12,000. Actually, you would put it on your Delta or SPG Amex and still have another 5,600 SkyMiles, and I don’t know what you would do with $2,000 of flowers!
We are now getting into the realm of the Pudding Guy territory!