Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
Here is another reader request for this week from reader “Smoke”. This is a great question and a good one to breakdown in a rookie way. First off, as we have seen in the past few years, Delta is changing what does and what does not count so if you are reading this NOT on 28MAY2014 you will want to verify nothing has been, as we say, “enhanced” away.
To be 100%, now and moving forward, you should start at Delta.com (or call Delta as all do not show up always – then ask for phone fee to be waived). Does that mean starting at other sites will earn you zero points? No but some that did in the past now risk either falling into a reduced earnings bucket or even no points. So tread carefully moving forward.
Another point to consider from this point on is that you should try to book what is called a “code share” flight that is one that starts with DL (then a number) like DL2536. Flying on a KLM or other partner or Skyteam flight? Again, try to see DL in front of it. A must? No, but YES if you are booking Korean air if you want to earn points. You see my point and I think we are going to see more of this going forward – unless Delta is getting a cut you will not earn points.
Speaking of Skyteam vs. partners what is the difference? Delta is so ridiculously confusing it has not one, not two, not three but FOUR partner earnings charts. It is truly crazy. When you need a Ph.D. to comprehend how many points you will earn there is something wrong with the program. Oh yes there are many things wrong with Skymiles and under #Skymiles2015 we just don’t know what is to come with partners. If this makes you mad, yeah, me too!
Let’s touch on 3rd party sites. We have found that many sites can end up as what Delta calls a “consolidator fare” that is one Delta has deemed to earn less points since they earn less money. AMEX Travel in the passed earned FULL credit but no longer as there is real risk you will not earn full points. Same goes for Delta Vacations. They do earn full MQMs and Skymiles but NO MQD’s. You see the point, I hope, there are some many outs nowadays so it is hard to say you are good to go unless starting at Delta.com.
But is that the perfect solution? NO! When it comes to earning ALL points don’t forget about SPG CrossoverRewards points. There are many flights that are NOT eligible. So to make sure you earn those too you need to see the logo above on Delta.com to earn those guaranteed.
Lastly you DO earn points when you book with “Pay with Miles” in 1st AKA business class on Delta. If you start with coach and then spend, at the time of booking, miles to upgrade then you do earn as well (but don’t do it – costs way too much). There are only very rare occasions it is smart to spend points to earn points. But know it is possible. Just avoid coach if you want to earn points spending points.
What should you take away from this as a rookie post? It is not easy for a rookie to, in an easy way, make sure you earn 100% full credit for:
- Medallion Qualifying Miles
- Medallion Qualifying Dollars
- SPG CrossoverRewards
Like all things Delta, points are really no different. The mothership is going to make it hard for us to earn all we should unless we carefully read the rules and know what we should get and took the steps to get them. Having said that, if things do go wrong, and we did all this, Delta is outstanding at awarding the points we are due if we complain and did all the steps right. – René
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.
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.