Showing posts with label Delta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Delta. Show all posts

February 5, 2017

10 Free GoGo Passes With Amex Business Platinum

The Amex Platinum offers a number of perks that offset the $450 annual fee.  The business version of the card has a few different perks that are worth considering in your valuation of the card offering.

One of the benefits is 10 free GoGo internet passes per calendar year.  So if you get the card in 2017, you'll get 10 free passes in 2017 and 2018...all for one annual fee.

To get the passes added to your GoGo account, you'll need to go to this website.  Enter your card information, GoGo account credentials, and the 10 passes will be instantly added.  This will take you two minutes max.

I flew Delta last week and was able to use 2/10 free passes during the trip.  The internet would have cost $9.95 per flight so if you use that as your benchmark, this is a $200 benefit associated with one Amex Platinum annual fee.  Add the $200 annual travel credit, (typically) large sign-up bonus, Amex centurion access, and Global Entry fee waiver, and you can get a ton out of value out of the $450 annual fee.

January 22, 2017

Amex Platinum Delta SkyMiles $100 Statement Credit

In the past year or so, Emily and I have picked up 6 Delta SkyMiles Amex cards.  With the miles, I was able to book a roundtrip business class award to Seoul and we'll have north of 200,000 miles leftover for another trip in the future.

All of the Delta Amex cards come with a Delta statement credit of sorts.  The Gold cards offer a $50 statement credit (first year annual fee waived) on a Delta purchase while the Platinum cards offer a $100 statement credit along with a $195 annual fee.

I figured that I'd need to make a $50 or $100 purchase to trigger the credit in each case.  I found out last week that I was wrong.  For the past credits, I've bought gift cards which triggered the credit and then used them for Delta flights.  So no big deal.

Taxes and fees for my award ticket came to around $88.  I put the charge on Emily's Platinum Delta card figuring the fees would be fully refunded and I'd find something in the future to trigger the remaining $12 credit.  To my surprise, the entire $100 statement credit posted to the account.

So if you don't value the statement credit as cash, buy something small on Delta (lowest gift card denomination is $50) and you'll get the entire statement credit.  That makes this a moneymaker on the gold cards where the annual fee is waived for the first year.  Wish I would have known this on card number one vs. six!

January 15, 2017

I Booked My First Ever Delta Award Ticket

And I was impressed!  Everyone says Delta is so great operationally but many in the travel community affectionately refer to SkyMiles as SkyPesos.

I've been stocking up on Delta SkyMiles over the last year given increased sign-up bonuses from Delta American Express co-brand cards.  Between Emily and I, we were approved for 6 cards last year netting a total of 380,000 SkyMiles from sign-up bonuses alone.  Add in a bit of flying and minimum spend on the cards and we currently have 410,000 SkyMiles.

Delta doesn't publish an award chart which is super annoying.  But I found their online search engine to be quite intuitive and actually pretty easy to find the "cheapest" award ticket.

As I eluded to last week, I'm headed to Seoul later this year for a long weekend solo.  I wanted to use some of my Delta SkyMiles stash so begin looking for options.

Delta options to Seoul
While the cheapest ticket I could find was 185,000 SkyMiles for roundtrip business class, I did see some one-ways as low as 80,000 SkyMiles.  Now you can fly one-way to Seoul on United metal in business class for 65,000 MileagePlus miles and 80,000 on Star Alliance partners or 80,000 on United metal in first class.  You could probably rack up 410,000 United MileagePlus miles fairly easily but I'm out of Chase/United card options since I've had all of them recently.

I ended up spending 210,000 SkyMiles for a bit more comfort.  That's a ride on the upper deck of Delta's soon to be retired 747 to Seoul.  On the way back, Skyteam partner Korean Air's 777-300ER new business class prestige suites which even in a 2-2-2 layout offer everyone direct aisle access.

Korean Air new business class
I was quite pleased with the searching/booking experience and am happy to have a stash of Delta SkyMiles saved up for the next trip.  Stay tuned for all the details about this trip over the next few months.

October 23, 2016

Return to Al Maha: Introduction

Planning & Booking
British Airways First Class 747-400 Denver to London
British Airways Concorde Room
British Airways First Class 747-400 London to Dubai
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa Dubai
Park Hyatt Dubai
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class 777-200LR Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles

I'm still in the middle of writing trip reports from our RTW adventure in August, I'm getting excited about our next trip and wanted to get the introductory post out.  We spent a couple of days at Al Maha  last year and vowed to return as soon as possible.  Of all the hotels we've been around the world, Al Maha is the most unique, special, and we've both lusted after returning for a year.

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa Dubai

June 26, 2016

Why I'm Going Big With Delta

I've stayed loyal to United for the past 16 years given that I've lived in United hubs (Boulder then DC and now Denver) and they can generally get me to where I need to be nonstop.  But without higher elite status (currently a lowly United Silver) it just doesn't matter all that much.  I can essentially replicate Silver benefits with the United Explorer Visa card.  So I have begun diversifying my paid travel based on schedule and price vs. solely based on carrier.

As it relates to award travel, I've been playing the field for awhile.  Since I'm generally flying in a premium cabin, elite status within a given alliance doesn't impact the experience.  Despite that, I have yet to fly within the Skyteam (led by Delta) alliance during the last four years of heavy international travel.  As of a month ago, I had less than 1,000 Delta SkyMiles in my account.

One of the challenging things about applying for loads of credit cards is that eventually you start to run out of options.  Amex has a "once in a lifetime" signup bonus restriction and Chase/Citi let you receive signup bonuses every 24 months.  So when there is a compelling offer that I can take advantage of, I usually do.  And that is why I am going big with Delta.

June 4, 2016

Delta Gold SkyMiles Amex 50,000 Mile Offer

I'm not a regular Delta flyer but am working on diversifying my point balances a bit. In April, I was targeted for a 60,000 miles bonus after spending just $1,000 on the Gold SkyMiles Amex.  The offer also came with a $50 statement credit for making a purchase on Delta.  I bought a $50 gift card and resold for $40.

Delta's out with referral program this year that offers 10,000 miles to the cardholder.  The bonus on the Gold SkyMiles card is 50,000 miles after spending $2,000 along with the $50 statement credit.

If you're interested in applying for the card, I'd be most appreciative if you applied with this link.  Note that the card comes with an annual fee of $95 which is waived for the first year.

If you received the 60,000 mile offer, definitely go with that one but keep in mind the 50,000 mile referral offer is far better than the previous public offer of 30,000 miles.

April 16, 2016

Starwood Double Delta Miles Promotion

I don't write a ton about Delta as it's not a great option for me out of Denver.  But that may start to change as I finally begin to rack up Delta SkyMiles (or Sky Pesos) thanks to a rich targeted credit card offer from Amex.

Starwood and Delta partnered a few years ago to the offer the "Crossover Rewards" program where Starwood elites earn SPG points on Delta flights and Delta elites earn Delta SkyMiles for spend on SPG hotels.

Crossover Rewards Overview

This quarter (through 6/30/16) Starwood and Delta are offering double Delta SkyMiles for SPG stays in the US and Canada for all members (not just elites) which is pretty cool.  This is in addition to standard SPG earning rates and according to the terms, there isn't a limit on the number of bonus miles you can earn.

Crossover Rewards Q2 Promotion

While not the most lucrative promotion out there, if you are a business travel with 4 nights per month at $250 a night that will amount to $3,000 in quarterly spend or 6,000 bonus Delta SkyMiles.

Registration is required and it's worth registering (takes 30 seconds) even if you don't have a stay planned quite yet.

April 2, 2016

60,000 Mile Bonus (Targeted) for Gold Delta SkyMiles Amex

We are really on an airline credit card roll over the last few months.

And just last week, I received another direct mail piece but this time from Delta.  The offer provide 60,000 Delta miles for spending $1,000 on the Gold Delta SkyMiles Amex.  

Annual fee waived for the first year and a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase (I'll see if it will trigger via a gift card and report back).  

I've only flown Delta a handful of times over the past 5 years but figured picking up 60,000 miles (standard bonus is 30,000) would get me a jumpstart on my Delta mileage balance.  And if we do fly Delta, there are a handful of "elite status light" benefits that come with the card.

Plus with the Alaska Emirates devaluation, it's a great time to diversify!

I was instantly approved for the card and it arrived in my mailbox two days later.  The minimum spend threshold is pretty low so I'll be on to the next card in no time.  All in, that is 235,000 in airline miles from four targeted bonuses over the last four months.

Did you receive a targeted offer from AA, United, or Delta?

March 11, 2014

Delta Frequent Flier Program Changes

Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last few weeks, you probably have heard about the changes Delta recently rolled out to their frequent flier program effective next year.  The just of the changes involves migrating from awarding miles based on miles flown to awarding miles based on spend.  So the best customers (from an elite status perspective) will be customers that spend the most on their tickets even if they don't fly the most miles (think business people paying full fare for premium cabins).

This is called a revenue based frequent flier program and for non-elite members, earning rates have essentially been cut in half.  For elite members, earning rates (on an average priced ticket) will be cut by nearly 50%.

I'm not an expert on the Delta SkyMiles program so I'm going to leave it up to The Points Guy and One Mile at a Time who posted extensively on the subject over the last couple of weeks.  If you are a Delta flyer and want more details on the changes, definitely check out these posts.

At the end of the day, frequent flier programs in the US are moving towards revenue based programs. United instated minimum spend requirements starting in 2014 and I wouldn't be surprised to see them continue to chip away at the value of the program.  Once the American/USAir merger is complete, they will likely make a similar move.

All that said, frequent flier programs offer tremendous value and many of you will earn your miles through credit card spend, bonuses, online shopping and other non-flying related activities.  My flying has declined for several years in a row yet I've been able to rack up many millions of miles through non-flying activities.  And doing so has paid for multiple long haul premium cabin trips per years.  So the future of these programs remain bright...behavior just needs to evolve to meet the new industry reality.