Skymiles

Is Delta Pay with Miles #KeepClimbing or #KeepDescending – Gosh some clear info would be nice once in a while from Delta!

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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.


pay with miles delta

Back in late December Delta announced on Delta.com a HUGE change that Pay with Miles (PWM) a perk of the Delta AMEX cards for coach tickets would earn points. How huge was this change? Really big as I outlined in THIS post that it was a ground shift of how we look at spending our Skymiles.

This change was one of the few really good “enhancements” to Skymiles in a very long time. We know from past experience that 1st class travel with PWM does earn full points, that is Skymiles, MQMs etc. I even had a Delta CORP rep confirm that PWM in coach would earn ALL points in the same manner after this latest change.

But now it seems, and I am still waiting for confirmation on this, we are moving from a positive change to yet another in a never ending string of #KeepDescending devaluations of the program and that information may have been incorrect. Why?

First off, we know Delta loves to play with prices of tickets. Recently on FlyerTalk more flyers are seeing the joyous bait-N-switch or “price jump at checkout” bug hitting them. Now let’s take a look at the updated wording as of last Thursday’s Delta.com update when you go to spend PWM points:

RED BOLD LINE ADDED!
RED BOLD LINE ADDED!

So according to Delta.com, ONLY the part you are paying for with cash, after you spend points, is going to earn you Skymiles. Strangely, and you can test this yourself, no matter how many points you spend you DO earn full MQMs (at least this is good news for elites who care about MQMs)!

Page two PWM Delta-com

Sadly, the next page does NOT have the updated wording about PWM and reverts back to the wording that you will NOT earn any points with PWM in coach (nothing like clear info on your best source for Delta info that is Delta.com)!

earnings with pwm from delta-com feb15 display

The really frustrating part is this could be a devaluation from last year’s PWM with 1st class. If, and again I stress if, the Delta.com final page of booking is correct and Skymiles earned (and MQDs) is only on the cash part paid – welcome to #KeepDescending 2015 once again!

So where does this leave us now? As so many times with Delta, we are in limbo yet again. We have lots of conflicting and contradicting payment / earnings info on Delta.com. I have received no updates from Delta after repeated emails for clarification on this. All we can do is fly, see what posts, and then maybe use that as guide as to earnings. Sad? You bet! Welcome to Skymiles2015.

I will tell you I have a trip using PWM in 1st class in a few weeks and I will be sure to tell you all about how earnings go on that flight! – 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.

4 Comments

  1. John DELTA Reply

    René-

    This has been one of my biggest fears with the advent of this new pay with miles program.

    As you may remember, I just completed an eight segment test with Pay With miles. My concern was when you use pay with miles and use enough miles to drop the base fare to zero dollars that the indicator at the time of booking stated you would not receive any MQMs.

    So at the time I bought down the two itineraries which included the DFW to DTW to Las round trip itinerary, and I have received full MQM’s for all of my segments.

    Again, I was not willing to buy down the base price to zero for fear that I would not receive any MQM’s. However, booking a flight yesterday which was a practice in buying down the fare I see that DELTA has adjusted their read out that is interactive to how many miles you buy down the fare against how many miles you will earn it shows that even if I buy the entire fair base fare plus taxes and fees to zero I would still earn full MQMs. This is an enhancement by Delta’s IT Department to the pay with miles option. Prior to that if you bought the base fare down to a point of zero it would display 0 MQMs semicolon now regardless of how many pay with Miles you use the display clearly shows full MQMs.

    I spoke with someone from the Diamond Medallion desk and the SkyMILES program and they told me that the information displayed is now correct. Prior to that there had been a glitch and it has been corrected. So, with my pay with mikes experience , which covered 8 segments, I got full MQMs on each and every segment.

    I expect now that any passenger who utilizes Pay With Miles should get full MAN’s with every flight.

  2. FNT Diamond Reply

    I booked a pay-with-miles domestic economy-class for FNT-ATL-MKE. While the booking page had the old language, as you highlighted, it did display how many miles I would receive; both qualifying and redeemable.

    I also just received an e-mail confirmation of upgrades clearing.

  3. John DELTA Reply

    What’s the rationale for pulling all Award charts on Delta’s website? This is #JustWrong We want a transparent relationship with our airline!

    This could be the last straw!

    Now we have to trust their pricing engine or their telephone agents to properly price an award ticket? I don’t think so!

  4. If there are no advantages to belonging to a frequent flier program then I, for one, will look for the cheapest ticket. Period. They earned my loyalty and they can make me move elsewhere.

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