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Go Curry Cracker => Travel hacking => Topic started by: mountaintown on March 25, 2018, 09:05:53 AM

Title: Delta miles
Post by: mountaintown on March 25, 2018, 09:05:53 AM
Given our central location and mostly midwest travel we end up needing to use Delta the most. We are new to travel hacking and started with Delta cards. We have about 100,000 miles on my account and 40,000 on hers. Unfortunately in my early days I did stupid 1:1 valuations and effectively wasted 50,000 miles on her accounts. Now I see that the real value is in getting $1500 tickets for 50,000 miles.

My first question is does anyone have any other ideas on how to rack up Delta miles after the cards are used up? Is it worth it to go Chase to transfer the points? I assumed there were some fees there.

My second question is how far ahead do you search for redemptions? Can you ever be too far ahead? The reason I ask is I had gotten pretty excited when we were booking some tickets to Lisbon and I saw that there were tickets with a price of $1500 with mileage redemptions of only 60,000 miles!! I even found one that had short layovers and ideal departure times. I was a few miles short as I didn't realize what a pain it is to transfer miles from account to account(though I could move my wife's miles over without expense). Long story short--now those seats are gone and the ones available are less attractive.

Given that I am looking almost 9 months out right now....am I looking TOO far ahead? Does it pay to just keep an eye on that timeframe as they may actually add more redemptions? Or....in the land of redemptions do you really need to be booking 10-12 months ahead? I have noticed some will say "just 2 seats left" and I am surprised at this time horizon.

Hopefully my question isn't too rambling but I guess I am just looking for strategies on searching for the redemptions. My second question would be any strategies on getting delta miles...so far we have done two gold cards and a starwood card. We will do one more starwood card soon but wasn't sure if we could use Chase for delta miles?
Title: Re: Delta miles
Post by: Jim on March 26, 2018, 06:43:04 PM

I'm mostly posting to follow along as I would like to rack up some more Delta miles.  I'm based in Minneapolis and MSP is a Delta hub.  A few things I have done in the past is link my Lyft account to Delta so I can get miles for when I use a ride share (primarily going to the airport for work travel) and I have used the Skymiles dining program.

I haven't really looked a redemption options too far out in the future. Chase cards have generous and great sign up bonuses, but they don't transfer directly to Delta Skymiles.  Last time I googled it, you would have to do 2 (or 3) transfers and ended up losing a ton of value in the process.  That said, the Chase cards can still be good for international travel if you have connections with a different airline other than Delta.

Hope that helps, but I'm really hoping a true travel hacking expert tells us other ways to get Skymiles easily besides the cards and SPG cards.
Title: Re: Delta miles
Post by: mountaintown on March 26, 2018, 07:43:35 PM
Thanks Jim. Yea...makes sense as I am mostly flying to Minneapolis or connecting through Minneapolis to other midwestern cities(both my wife and I live in the Mountains but are great lakes babies).

There is quite a bit of info on redemptions out there. One interesting one that I found and verified to be true...you might be interested in it. It's the new Airbus...delta is offering special 99k redemptions still(connecting from Detroit). The delta one experience is more expensive but the airbus offers way more comfort than your usual economy fair(more space, drinks, food, etc).

Check out  https://www.rewardexpert.com/blog/deltas-airbus-a350-900-how-to-book-deltas-new-flagship-with-miles/

I verified they are still doing flights out of Narita. Unfortunately for me it's a bit more complicated as just to get to MSP can be an ordeal. I would definitely do this if I lived in MSP and wanted to hit up Japan though!

It sounds like you have a good earning strategy. Again...I don't use Lyft much here and there are no restaurants participating in that program since we are a smaller metro. Thanks for the Chase info--I am surprised to hear that they don't transfer to Delta. Discouraging for us! Oh well
Title: Re: Delta miles
Post by: MrWheat on March 27, 2018, 06:11:52 PM
"My first question is does anyone have any other ideas on how to rack up Delta miles after the cards are used up?"

Do you have business cards for yourself and sig other? I have found amex bus cards very easy to get for consulting or businesses like selling art.
Title: Re: Delta miles
Post by: gocurrycracker on March 27, 2018, 07:20:58 PM
Amex Membership Rewards points can be transferred 1:1 to Delta with a small fee (I think $60 on 100k points.)

You can get both the regular and business versions of each card.

Also, Airbnb has a partnership with Delta.
Title: Re: Delta miles
Post by: Jim on May 28, 2018, 07:44:13 PM
Mountaintown - Thanks for the link.  I'm definitely checking it out as I'm planning our next trip.  Sorry I didn't respond sooner as it's been a busy couple of months for me.  Have you tried any of the Amex cards that Jeremy suggested?