Are Delta & other points worth more or less to you today and moving forward?

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go-around landing at RSW due to birds

I have been somewhat consumed by points for a number of years now. There is a euphoria that comes from a big coup of points that give you that tingly feeling just like when a roller coaster hits the apex and starts its downhill run! This has only increased since I became a travel blogger.

But points are more that just the “rush”. They have real value to us even though they take some work to redeem for the perfect flights we want. Those of us who have collected and have millions in our accounts have the freedom to, if we should want to, fly to South America, Japan or Australia (I need to do these soon btw) for a few days if we suddenly decide this would be fun.

But have you maybe noticed that gas prices are going up just a tiny bit this month (at least I am getting 5% UR points back with my Chase Freedom card and next 3 months at my grocery store)? Have you read about just how many airline fare increases were attempted and “stuck” last year ( 22 attempts 9 worked)? Have you see this year how many times the airlines have raised prices  (3 if you are keeping score)? Do you think this will stop if gas goes to say $6/gallon?

To me the value of points is more than a firm fixed number as my fellow Boarding Area blogger the Frequent Miler points out very meticulously in this post so I am not looking at a debate over an exact number. Whatever number you pick, there is no doubt to me that our points are becoming more and more valuable as each tick at the gas pump goes higher.

So keep on the lookout for every chance to build your balance. For example start an e-Miles account NOW so it can be used as a free US AIR grand slam hit (we hope) this fall again. Use the card that give you MAX points like the 5% on the Chase Freedom Card for gas and Amazon this month (they have a FB giveaway going on btw)

Keep looking for chances to buy some points cheap with some work like the SKYMALL deal in December that will be talked about at the Chicago DO coming up in October. Look at chances to churn cards when your credit score will support it. I know I will be doing my next churn in either late March or early April depending on what new card deals we see over the coming weeks after my 170,000 collected from my last 100% successful round! – René


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  1. I am reading this post this early AM in the Atlanta airport and couldn’t help but think I wish my miles were appreciating but I don’t this is quite true….I am not an economist by any means but frequent flier miles are like money in a sense. Over time the same amount of money buys less (like gas ouch!) as the cost o things go up (inflation). The same can be said for frequent flier miles. As airlines raise redemption levels to mirror their costs and add fuel surcharges to redeeming award flights the value of your frequent flier goes down.

  2. @Lan – txs for your viewpoint! It is funny I feel the other way. DL for the most part (BE transcon seat points inflation) had NOT raised the point cost while std cash tickets have gone up. To me this makes my points worth more and more each day. – Rene

  3. I agree with you. I used to value my points at a flat 1 cent/mile (based on what I could use UR to pay my bill or MR to get a gift card). After redeeming 15k Hyatt last weekend to get a room at the 48Lex that, after being upgraded due to my Hyatt Chase Visa, cost $550 a night including taxes, I have to really give that math a re-think!

  4. Yea I see your point Rene!! Either way I love the points and great blog! Gotta jet, pun intended 🙂

  5. In general, the value of miles and points has been decreasing for years and the pace has accelerated over the last two years. To think otherwise, in my own opinion, is delusional!

  6. As far as points from the Chase Sapphire card goes, what is the best value for redemption? Do they ever have bonus redemptions like Amex does from time to time?

  7. @Randall – they have not yet. Value it up to you. If you need some say United great the are 1:1. But as I am sure you well know spending from UR to say buy a ticket gets you 1.25 value. I plan to use all my points to buy a cruise next year. But that is just value for me! – Rene

  8. @gpapadap – thanks for you opinion but I guess I am delusional as I see my points worth more and more each and every day! And as ticket prices keep going up they will become even more so! – Rene

  9. I totally agree with you, Rene. As ticket/hotel/train prices go up and I am less able to afford traveling, it is even MORE valuable for me to accumulate miles/points with credit card bonuses and routing my normal spending through portals that earn me miles/points.

  10. Delta miles for where I use them have went way down in value. I used to be able to go to Hawaii for 35,000 miles no problem. Now it is double. Yet I can still get free trips to Hawaii on United and AA no problem with 35,000-40,000 miles. There is a reason they are called skypesos. By far the worst airline to redeem for value awards.

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