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A look back to NWA reward chart 2009 vs Delta 2015 – life is good!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


NWA World Perks award chart from 2009

There is no question that value flyers, that is those who buy low cost tickets, in 2015 will earn a bunch less points on Delta. We do have 9 months to rack up as much as we can and I will be touching on ideas to do this before 31DEC2014.

But you know what, when we look a the NWA chart we see back from 2009, the #SkyMiles2015 chart is really not all that bad. We will, at that point, be 6 years past that NWA chart and yet most of the redemption’s are not all that different. Many are in fact exactly the same. That is remarkable to me!

Think about this. In 2009 the average price for a gallon of gas was $1.89. If you have a big 18 gallon tank it would cost you $34 to fill up from empty. Today, $3.45 is the national average so you would (and I am sure you do) pay $62+ to fill up your tank. Almost a 100% jump. Oh and look what we could earn back in 2009 for a new card NWA bonus!

nwa worldperks card good old days

So for Delta, to charge the SAME PRICE for low level seats round trip for many locations 6 years later is an amazing value. Sure we will earn less flying, but the really kool part is we can still earn FULL POINTS on AMEX spend.

The key for 2015 will be to earn MAX points on credit card spending. For years we have known the value of points cards. In 2015, thanks to Skymiles2015, we are going to see more value than ever before. I am stoked, not just about this, but earning all I can before the end of the year! Stay tuned – René
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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

12 Comments

  1. I’m afraid you will not find a lot of level 1 availability next year. When Delta says more seats will be available at low levels, I think it really means mostly level 2 and maybe a tiny bit of level 1.

    Think about it, with 5 levels, the mid point is level 3. So both level 1 and level 2 are low levels.

    • @AI – we will see. There is not a bunch of low level seats NOW, TODAY, and I find them and show reader how to do that (SEE E7 POSTS). Heck I booked a low level biz seat for this fall just last week! I think it will take some work but will be better thank now!

  2. At first glance your math looks fuzzy – your are paying 100% more for gas (where you earn your points) – yet still spending the same number of points for flights? Either points have decreased in value or they have increased…

    • @GR – Missed my point. We could be paying 2x across the board for award seats. We are not (some have gone up a bunch true but not all like INT biz seats but the product is also full flat now vs what it was then).

  3. I have been able to book one decent award with Delta over the years, a 100K Biz class to London. They are just a pain and don’t need to be. I agree 100% if there is even the same low award level as their is now it’s going to be a big improvement. Most of us earn our points from CC anyways and some will benefit from the new earning structure. Just not my cheap ass unfortunately.

  4. Your assumption with comparing car fuel and jet fuel is wrong to say the least. Jet fuel in 2008 was 180 a barrel compared to now which is 120 a barrel so they are acutally saving money on fuel now

  5. Deltas chart is irrelevant, they never have space,
    Northwest had space.

    And upgrades and food and civility and service

  6. Rene – just found that my next MSP-EWR r.t. tomorrow (a route I’ve been doing 2-3x/month since October) is slated to earn me 1005 miles each way. Interesting that all my previous trips have earned 1008 each way. As far as I know, neither MSP nor EWR airports have opened new runways that would enable a shorter flight route, nor has the earth shrunk.

    Maybe this is a very small way that DL will tighten up mile earning, but shortening all routes by 0.3%. That way it would actually take the equivalent of today’s 25,075 miles to earn Silver, 50,150 to earn Gold, etc. Thoughts?

  7. @mspswede
    United and Continental had different numbers for the mileage between airports, with Continental’s being shorter in nearly every case. Keep in mind runways are 2+ miles long, so if they go the closest point on a runway between each airport I think most routes would be reduced by a few miles.

    It isn’t an apples to apples comparison, many things have had hardly any price change from 2008 until now. Airfare is only slightly up, consumer electronics are hardly up (and in some cases down), fast food prices are somewhat constant, etc.. Inflation doesn’t hit all items the same. And that isn’t even addressing the availability of seats at the saver level.

  8. I took my family of 6 to Hawaii in First Class for 225,000 miles using the old Medallion Award Chart. Ah, the good ole days.

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