Delta Offers 50% Bonus Up To 60,000 Purchased Miles


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Delta is offering a 50% bonus on purchased miles from now through June 30, 2012. This basically means you can purchase up to 90,000 SkyMiles at the price of 60,000 SkyMiles. The big question is whether this offers a good value proposition.

50% Bonus On Purchased Miles

The bonus miles are received after purchasing a minimum of 2,000 miles and a maximum of 60,000 miles. The chart below illustrates sample bonuses provided.

Promotion Details

  • Purchase miles at Delta’s website
  • Minimum/Maximum mileage per transaction, per recipient: 2,000 / 60,000
  • Mileage increments: 2,000
  • Rate per mile: $0.035
  • Applicable Taxes

Example Purchase For Domestic First Class Low Award

Let’s assume you wanted enough miles for a domestic coach class award at the low award level. The low award level for a domestic first class requires 25,000 miles. This means with this promotion only 18,000 miles need to be purchased. The 18,000 purchased miles will cost $630 + taxes. After your purchase, you’ll receive a bonus 9,000 miles, enough for a domestic coach class with 2,000 miles left over in your account. But does this offer value at $630 + taxes? The answer is probably not, but it depends.

Let’s say for example you wanted to fly from Atlanta to Los Angeles in the fall. The direct flights on Delta are pricing out at about $360 and award availability is wide open at the coach low award 25,000 level. So the option to purchase miles at $630 for this award doesn’t make sense at all.

Let’s assume for example that you wanted to fly from Los Angeles to Washington DC in the fall in First class. Prices for first class on the direct flights on this route are going for $1,570. But you could purchase miles for $1,050 and redeem a low First class award on Alaska Airlines for their direct LAX to DCA flight. This option would only require 45,000 miles. So in order to get enough miles you could purchase 30,000 miles and receive a 15,000 mile bonus.

Now, I’m not saying this will make sense for most people. There are other carriers with purchase miles options out there. But this is an instance where the value of purchasing SkyMiles is greater than the value from purchasing a ticket. The example above excludes the calculation of earning miles on the flight, so let’s add the value of the miles you would earn on a purchased ticket into the equation.

If you purchased a ticket for $1,570, you would earn ~4,622 miles + 50% bonus on First class ticket for a total of ~6,933 miles. Let’s also assume you were at least a Delta Gold and would earn 100% mile bonus for a total of 13,866 miles. If you value your Delta SkyMiles around $0.015 per mile, you would miss out on $208 worth of miles if you used the purchase miles option. But the value proposition of purchasing miles still makes more sense because $1,050 is < $1,362 ($1,570 – $208.)

Terms And Conditions

  • Eligibility: This offer is open only to the recipients of original email. Offer is not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offers. Transaction must be completed between now and June 30, 2012 to receive the 50% mileage bonus. The 50% mileage bonus offer expires at 11:59 pm CST on June 30, 2012. Offer does not apply to miles transferred under the SkyMiles Transfer Miles program. The 50% mileage bonus will post to the account within 24 hours of purchase. Offer is not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offers.
  • Buy Miles and Gift Miles may only be received into SkyMiles accounts that have been established for at least 10 days and have earned at least one automatically posted mile since enrolling in the SkyMiles program. This program may not be available in all markets or geographic areas.
  • Taxes and Fees: Miles may be purchased for $0.035 USD per mile (minimum 2,000 miles) plus a 7.5% Federal Excise Tax. An additional 5% GST and/or other applicable taxes apply to purchases by Canadian residents. Purchased miles are not refundable and are applicable toward all SkyMiles Awards.
  • Award Travel: Taxes and fees for Award Travel are the responsibility of the passenger and must be paid at the time the ticket is booked. Award Travel seats are limited and may not be available on all flights or in all markets.
  • Miscellaneous: All Delta SkyMiles program rules apply. To review the rules, please visit delta.com/memberguide. Offers, prices and rules are subject to change without notice. Offers void where prohibited by law. Additional restrictions may apply.
  • Promotional Reference Code: Please refer Delta customer service representative to 970607.

Bottom Line

This is a targeted offer so only some may receive this offer. The miles purchased through this option are expensive but may add value to gimmicks. Make sure you evaluate your individual value proposition before purchasing any of these miles.

If you need help booking a SkyMiles award ticket, consider using the Points, Miles & Martinis travel award booking service.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This post was accurate at the time of posting, offer may be unavailable on this site at a later time. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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