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DELTA Allowing Purchase of Gift Cards with SkyMiles

DELTA Allowing Purchase of Gift Cards with SkyMiles

Old Apr 15, 18, 8:25 pm
  #1  
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DELTA Allowing Purchase of Gift Cards with SkyMiles

It is no secret that airlines are continuing to build up reserves of unspent miles in their frequent flyer programs. The airlines are well aware of the potential liability this places on them. The idea is always a topic at the earnings calls and investment analyst meetings.

As a result, Delta Air Lines has come out with another method to deplete those massive quantities of unspent SkyMiles.

I wrote an article about all the details, and the pro's & con's of this new redemption offer.

You can read it here, if you choose; no obligation to do so at all... Delta Air Lines Now Allows Purchase of Gift Card Using Your SkyMiles

Basically, Delta is allowing the sale of physical gift cards by redeeming SkyMiles. The redemption rate varies based on the denomination ($50, $100, $250, $500 and $1,000) but it roughly works out 7/10 cent per SkyMile.

It is a terrible redemption rate, however there are a few benefits.

Using the gift card allows the earning of MQD's whereas 'Pay With Miles' does not. In addition, paying with a gift card allows one to earn back redeemable SkyMiles (which is based off the price of the ticket.)

So, a new play. If someone has a ton of SkyMiles but wants to reduce their cash outlay, they could use this method.

It also allows the gist card to be applied towards tickets with partner-operated flights, whereas 'Pay With Miles' is not.

Thoughts?
laptoptravel is offline  
Old Apr 15, 18, 8:37 pm
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Is there an expiration date on the gift cards?
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Old Apr 15, 18, 8:44 pm
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To me the floor is always 1 cent per mile using pay with miles.
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Old Apr 15, 18, 8:46 pm
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was WWads
 
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Anything less than 1CPM is an insult.

If DL is so desperate to get rid of excess miles on the balance sheet, release more award space and let people spend them. Especially on international flights. If a flight regularly pushes with D1 seats empty/filled with non-revs, there should be low-level award space.
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Old Apr 15, 18, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
To me the floor is always 1 cent per mile using pay with miles.
Originally Posted by WWads View Post
Anything less than 1CPM is an insult.

If DL is so desperate to get rid of excess miles on the balance sheet, release more award space and let people spend them. Especially on international flights. If a flight regularly pushes with D1 seats empty/filled with non-revs, there should be low-level award space.
Do keep in mind that if you buy a gift card and use it for yourself, you’d get RDMs on the full ticket purchase versus only the spend after paying with miles if you use Pay With Miles. That levels it back a little more, though one’s status level impacts the calculations though still isn’t all the way up to $0.01/mile. As noted above it would allow one to earn full MQDs though, which could matter to some.
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Old Apr 15, 18, 9:06 pm
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Originally Posted by WWads View Post
Anything less than 1CPM is an insult.

If DL is so desperate to get rid of excess miles on the balance sheet, release more award space and let people spend them. Especially on international flights. If a flight regularly pushes with D1 seats empty/filled with non-revs, there should be low-level award space.

WWads, I totally agree with your argument. Diamond Medallions, although loyal to a flaw and self-destruction, to Delta have taken it on the chin. Delta is so afraid of ‘diluting’ their premium products they would rather do anything than give easy ability for their most loyal flyers decent opportunities to redeem this ever-growing bulk of SkyMiles.

Facing pressure from Wall Street, they are desperate to flush these miles. They are their own worst enemies by hiding the award charts and having some ridiculous redemption values! That adds to the hesitancy of many elites in redeeming their miles.

Flash sales are a symptom and attempt at a solution; but they really need to offer good ‘upgrade with SkyMiles’ options (that way they have cash and get some SkyMiles off the books) but they seem unwilling to make that easy for anyone. They have stated “This is the best real estate on the planet, and while we appreciate the loyalty of flyers, we couldn't continue to give it away.”

The Global Upgrade Certificate, Regional Upgrade Certificates and Non-Revs thrown in your face in DeltaONE seats just wreaks of arrogance towards their greatest asset; their Medallion members.

Here is one example: Remember the Delta Private Jet service? After one flight, highly touted in the press and Delta News Hub spin it’s disappeared!
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laptoptravel is offline  
Old Apr 16, 18, 12:18 am
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Unfortunately, not available to non-US members.
(X) Pay With Miles
(X) Purchase Gift Cards
PayItForward is offline  
Old Apr 16, 18, 9:14 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by PayItForward View Post
Unfortunately, not available to non-US members.
(X) Pay With Miles
(X) Purchase Gift Cards
But the benefit there is non-US residents are exempt from the MQD requirements for Medallion status.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 9:35 am
  #9  
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Delta miles for gift cards is a function that has existed for years. A quick search turned up references back to 2013.

This thread is just a redirect to a blog that is full of sponsor hyperlinks, including to credit cards. I thought FlyerTalk's owners wanted all of that business to itself.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 3:51 pm
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Originally Posted by laptoptravel View Post
But the benefit there is non-US residents are exempt from the MQD requirements for Medallion status.
Well and I can go on with a whole list of Non-US vs US residents e.g. credit cards, promos, limited flight availability, real competition etc etc.
But the purpose of mentioning this "new" benefit is not an all-inclusive is just what it is, a heads up.
Delta assess and makes their own business decisions with regards to profitability / customer relations etc and we can either accept it or walk away from the program.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 4:09 pm
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While not at the Pay With Miles rate, this method also gives those who don’t have or cannot qualify for a DL branded AmEx and thus can’t use “Pay with Miles” an option for “Pay with Mikes” in a round about way by buying gift cards.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 5:10 pm
  #12  
LBJ
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Nevermind. Responding to wrong post.

Last edited by LBJ; Apr 16, 18 at 8:21 pm
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Old Apr 16, 18, 10:25 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Delta miles for gift cards is a function that has existed for years. A quick search turned up references back to 2013.
Hasn't that always been part of the SkyMiles Marketplace in the past?
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Old Apr 17, 18, 6:47 am
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The issue was in the past, the gift cards were physical and you couldn't actually use them online... you had to go to the airport to buy a ticket with it. The gift cards becoming electronic is a relatively new thing.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 8:37 am
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Why aren't you guys happy with this development?

Sure, to those in the know, it's an insult.

But if others want to take Delta up on this and therefor subsidize our better redemptions, what's the problem?
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