My Delta Bonus Plan…. make sense?

I’m still trying to sift through all of the details of the Delta promotion, and won’t be pulling the trigger on anything for at least another week, since we seem to have more and more ideas by the day.

View from the Wing has several good ideas for the promo, which he blogs about. My issue is that I don’t have a lot of Delta miles to start with, since I don’t really find their miles to be worth a whole lot. My mom has 23,000 and I have about 3,000, so here’s the plan:

Transfer about 70,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points to my mom’s Delta account, which already has 23,000 miles. Right now there’s a promo good through December 31 for a 30% bonus on transferred points. Also, I hope I’m reading the T&C’s correctly regarding:

“Members will receive a 30% mileage bonus on all miles transferred during the offer period. Bonus miles will be posted one (1) week from the transfer receipt by Delta.”

If I understand this correctly, the bonus miles will indeed post shortly after the actual miles post, so this should be easy to accomplish with the time we have.

For this we should be earning 75,000×1.3 miles, which comes out to 97,500 miles. Add that to the 23,000 miles she already has, and we’re looking at a total of 120,500 miles.

— The plan then is to transfer 120,000 miles from her account to my account. Since the miles have to be transferred in chunks of 30,000, that’ll cost a total of $1,320, which will net us a total of 300,000 miles, plus my existing 3,000 miles, bringing us to a grand total of 303,000 miles.

Have I missed anything obvious in my plan? I’m thinking of holding off for another few weeks before doing this, but it seems to make enough sense. 75,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points and $1,320 for 300,000+ miles can’t be beat, even if they’re from Delta. That’s three business class award tickets to Europe, or two Singapore Airlines First Class awards.


Filed Under: Advice, Delta
  1. I’m not familiar with Delta’s ff program. Could you please explain how you get 300,000 miles? My calculation: 120,000 *1.3 + 3,000 = 159,000

    What am I missing?

  2. I am kind of wondering what Delta’s rationale for this promo is. Or for some of their other recent promos, e.g., the 7500 (?) miles for a budget rental.

  3. Give up on trying for a credit card signup bonus on this one? I know there was some uncertainty about it on FT…

  4. Lucky –

    Read a lot about this on FT and other boards, but I still can’t find in the T&C’s where it says that the bonus is valid on mileage transfers.

    I see…

    “Then, between November 13 and December 31, 2008, you’ll earn up to a 150% mileage bonus for doing business with a partner, converting partner points into miles, or buying miles.”

    Nothing about transfers, and Delta isn’t listed as one of the partners. Can you point me to it?

  5. Thanks for explaining that, Brandon Worrell. It is indeed 23,000(what’s currently in my mom’s account)+75,000×1.3(the AMEX transfer bonus)x2.5(the DL transfer bonus), which comes out to 300,000.

    Same here, DiscoPapa, but for this kind of a deal I’ll find a creative way. The way I look at it the 75,000 mile conversion is for a business class ticket to Europe (which is a fair deal, in my opinion), and then it’s basically like buying two business class tickets to Europe for $660 each. That’s really quite a deal.

    Oliver, that’s a great question; I wish I knew the answer. It seems to me like DL must value their miles really really low, since they have so many tiers of awards and relatively speaking, awards are difficult to get. I’m willing to bet that a majority of people burn their miles on domestic tickets at the standard level, so DL’s cost is next to nothing.

    So to answer your question, it seems to me like DL is “absorbing” the cost of the 150% bonus, and just happy to be getting the revenue from partners like SPG for the transfers, bonuses, etc. I would be really curious to know how much DL sells their miles for to partners.

    Andy, I’m still working on that. More to come on that shortly.

    Alex, hmm, have I been reading this wrong all along?

    It seems to say:
    “Shopping and Others:
    1-800-FLOWERS.COM; Aquasana; Bose; Bosley; Buy/Gift Miles; Clear; DHL Express; e-Miles; e-Rewards;; getAbstract; Gourmet Center (Biscoff); Hartmann Luggage; Hartwick & Grove Wine Merchants; Java City; LATHER; LimoRes; Network Solutions; Organic Bouquet; Organic Style; Samsonite; SkyMall; SkyMiles Clothing Care;; SkyMiles Shopping UK; The SkyMiles Store; Teleflora; Transfer Miles; Vinesse Wine Clubs. ”

    The second to last one says “Transfer Miles,” so wouldn’t it be safe to assume that’s transferring between accounts?

  6. Ben —

    Now perhaps you can start to understand some more why some of us NW elites are less than thrilled by the DL takeover. They print miles like candy, and devaluation is right around the corner!

  7. “It is indeed 23,000(what’s currently in my mom’s account)+75,000×1.3(the AMEX transfer bonus)x2.5(the DL transfer bonus), which comes out to 300,000.”

    Lucky – where are you getting a factor of 2.5? I believe the bonus Delta will provide is 150%.

  8. hobo13 — point taken. 🙂

    Ace, to be clear, it’s a 150% bonus, not 150% of the total miles. So a 150% bonus is the same as multiplying it by 2.5, which is the base plus bonus.

  9. Lucky – one hitch with your plan: AMEX Membership Rewards is not included as one of the eligible partners.

  10. Transfer miles work BUT not Membership Rewards transfers.

    One thing to note though is the ability to XFR Starwood points… You can transfer Membership Rewards to Starpoints then Starpoints at a 1 : 1 into Delta Miles….

    PLUS with a 20K Starpoints XFR you get a 5K bonus. So you could XFR 80K Membership Rewards to Startpoints then to Delta earning 100K Delta Miles.

    Then transfer those over to your account.

  11. Even worse is that DL claims to have terminated this promo. Customer svc reps claim to have no knowledge of this promo. Many people have transfered SPG pts & are now trying to retrieve them.

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