Scary Thought: Someone Spent $230,000+ On Delta Last Year

Filed Under: Delta, Starwood Preferred Guest

The past few years Starwood has published a “Year In Review,” whereby they share some fun statistics with member highlights.


There are the facts that seem believable. For example, the Sheraton New York Times Square was the most popular hotel that members redeemed Starpoints at in 2014:


And 86 is the most number of SPG properties visited by one member this year:


In terms of slightly more shocking statistics, one member earned over 21 million Starpoints this year (I’m guessing they spend a lot of money on credit cards, but even so, that seems high):


But perhaps the most painful statistic? Someone earned 230,000+ Starpoints through (the now-defunct)Ā Crossover Rewards, whereby elite members earn one Starpoint per dollar spent on Delta:


Spending $230,000+ on Delta in a year? Ouch!

(Tip of the hat to Mac)

  1. 230000 / 50 weeks = $4600/week. Not inconceivable an exec living in a delta hub city commuting every week in C to an overseas destination. Lowest Sunday night to Thursday night fare for VS (JV with DL since DL is pulled from EF) is $6400. $4600 would be a reasonable corp discount off of that.

  2. I just spent on medwest US to Sydney round trip first/business class refundable, $14,000. That is as high as soneone can go on Delta on a flight i think. May be not. Dunno. But that would be about 18-19 of this trips a year to pay $260k.

    I think C level execs do these a lot. Or could be a congressman/senator on my buck.

  3. Why is that scary? I know it’s fashionable to hate on Delta, but they’re arguably the best domestic airline at this point. Furthermore, perhaps they live in the southeast. Obviously if you’re spending $200K+ you don’t care much about poor redemption rates. Hell, at least they get PDBs regularly.

  4. $230,000 spent on Delta in a year is scary but pretty doable. Had friend of mine that commuted for business from JFK to GRU for 45 weeks out of 52 in 1 year. He was an AA guy and always flew business class paid by the bank he used to work for. JFK-GRU-JFK has one of the most ridiculous fares sometimes reaching over $10K/ticket. I you assume $6,800 average times 45 flights in 1 year he easily spent $300,000 on AA per year. As for the SPG that must be some Corporate person that organizes events and conferences booking hundreds of guest in SPG hotels. When my company promotes those events I do not get any points since it is considered “group booking” but I am sure someone in my company gets tons of SPG points.

  5. Yeah this isn’t absurd when a company is paying for it. I know people that consistently flew fully refundable business class fares on United to Hong Kong for $15,000 round trip. I once booked a RT from Chicago to Detroit (45 minute flight) that was $1000 an economy Y fare class. Lots of those international business class fares plus domestic fares all fully refundable adds up fast.

  6. @ Charles — To clarify, the “scary” part isn’t specific to Delta, but rather to spending $230K+ on a year on a US airline.

  7. Good chance that the $230k spent on Delta is mostly through a Delta Private Jets card. But yeah, the spend is conceivable either way.

  8. Oh, my bad. I guess I put an extra “digit on my bid for a DELTA First Class Suite” (ref Gino) and ended up spending $230,000+ on Delta last year…

  9. I guess when your job is to game the miles/points system, you forget that some people actually pay to fly in premium cabins! As others have said, $230,000 really isn’t that much for a busy flyer, especially on a corporate account.

  10. One thing you forgot to mention those are actual dollars spent on the fare that doesn’t include taxes and fees which amounts to an extra 15% which in this case could be an extra 30k. Doesn’t include luxury taxes at some airports… Very nice. For that diamond member under the new system that will equate to roughly 2.5 million redeemable miles. Where can I marry that member?

  11. Re: 20 million Starpoints. At Chicago Seminars I learned SPG gives millions to tens of millions of points for timeshare purchases.

  12. Its funny that Delta gets bashed all the time. I take no sides although I am AA lifetime Plat and Delta Diamond. Look for major changes in 2015 second half or 2016 on American and their programs. AA already made many changes to redeeming miles-pushing for British Airways flights with huge fuel surcharges for example. And weird award routings. I checked the DFW to HKG flights from South Florida. Instead of flying MIA to DFW to HKG, AA wants you to go to Tampa first on the way to Dallas. Why? They have a million flights per day MIA and FLL to DFW. Why in the world would they through in a domestic stop in Tampa? Are they afraid of giving up a seat or two to Dallas on miles?
    And I still say as AA Plat the benefits are minimal. Even as A delta Plat I got some domestic upgrades. None from AA unless using stickers.

  13. I suspect ua1flyer is spending a lot more than $230k per year on a US airline (United). 1 million BIS miles each year for the last couple of years — almost all, afaik, in full international F.

  14. No one earned 21miles, the metric is slightly messed up. If I book w 40k point reservation and cancel it late, it I’d recognized as +40k points earned.

  15. @Arcanum, the official answer is “independent consultant and sales trainer for automobile dealerships”. Frequently in Australia. Google “Tom Stuker” for more info (he also has his own thread on the Flyertalk’s United forum).

  16. The DL website says any “Delta Marketed” flight qualifies, so a serious road warrior who can fly business (and can control their bookings well) could get to that spend with little or no international travel on DL metal, albeit with a few drawbacks…such as the pit of despair that is CDG.

  17. And I thought the 8M in spg points I earned last year was a deal breaker but I guess I am far from that dude. I book a huge amount of rooms for conferences in primarily spg hotels. I earn all the points and usually make a deal with the hotel, since its against the T&C to earn the points for large number of rooms. Usually they give me the points given how much dollars I throw at them(or rather taxpayers).

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