I just booked my FlexPerks positioning flight out to LAX for my Swedish mileage run (one of two this year). It is amazingly simple to “earn” your way to a very inexpensive reward ticket with FlexPerks personal or business cards. The new card bonus is nice on top of that as well (that you can get multiple times even if you already hold the card btw). But when it comes to spending your FlexPerks points, there are little things to be aware of to get the best perks.
The first one I have already blogged about and that is working with phone reps to get the highest fare class seat to get as close as you can to the each price level for points that is say $400 per ticket. This way, for upgrades, you are in the highest fare “bucket” possible to hopefully jump ahead of some other medallions.
Anther way is finding flights; if you are maybe working on paying for either a mileage run or a positioning run – understand the search engine. There are times Delta.com will show routes that the Travelocity search engine FlexPerks uses will not. Once you find what you want on Delta.com and it does show at the price you want, you can search point to point with FlexPerks. The result, much like Delta with an award ticket, the two legs that both show 20,000 point availability, when you combine them, will net out at 20,000 as a total.
Lastly, be sure, the day you fly, to buy on Delta.com a $50 e-Gift card with your FlexPerks card and then after the trip call US Bank to get your $25 credit back for “airline allowance” for incidentals the day of travel. Unless you want to buy something else on-board like food & drinks for $25 that is.
The only other thing to always think about is to only consider FlexPerks for a ticket at least $300-400 to get MAX value for your points. If you are only looking at say a $200-ish ticket it is much smarter to just pay with your Arrival points. Also, if you are short Arrival points at the time of purchase it does not matter as you have up to 90 days to earn enough to “pay your self back” for the ticket you got. A sweet Arrival perk.