MQM

I just burned 20,000 Delta SkyMiles coach Pay with Miles (PWM) ticket to test earnings!

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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.


spending 20000 skymiles on rt coach pwm ticket

Not that long ago I was challenged to test if burning Ultimate Rewards (UR) points from Chase Sapphire, Freedom and other cards would earn all Delta points when flying. So, I spent just under 20k and flew around all day on Delta jets (mostly on CRJ200s I hate to say) and was vindicated with my stand that they would do just that.

I have also each year flown US Bank FlexPerks points on Delta and they earn full Delta points and just like UR points you qualify for upgrades etc. I have even this year earned full points under SkyMiles 2015 (lots of MQMs and clearly very few SkyMiles under the current system) for positioning flights and got $25 credit for buying a $50 Delta e-Gift card for my incidentals during the trip.

Clearly, simple cards like Barclays Arrival and Arrival+ cards will earn you Delta points and Medallion perks as you just buy the ticket and then up to 120 days later pay yourself back with points.

Also I posted, just like in 2014, and I showed a ticket purchased this year with Pay with Miles from any of the Delta AMEX cards in 1st class will earn you ALL Delta points and FULL points including fare class bonus MQMs as well as whatever “X” SkyMiles times your Medallion or SkyMiles level. As one bit of interesting follow up, my Skybonus points did NOT post for this trip and I have put in a request for the missing ticket. However, many others have also had Skybonus points go missing this year so it could be a result of that bug not a PWM issue.

But what about coach? Many readers have offered feedback but I wanted to test for myself being a blogger – that is what I do. So, I have booked a ticket that cost $207.60 and applied 20,000 SkyMiles to the ticket and paid $7.60 with my AMEX card. Now just what Delta points will I get from this adventure?

Time for some speculation. 🙂

With the 1st class PWM we earned all points even when spending so many points that the points ended up with a “negative” ticket price, that is, the points paid not just the ticket price but part of the tax. The same thing, as you can see from the screen shot of my coach ticket, will be the case for my coach PWM ticket. But do I expect that same points? No!

Now both the 1st class and coach class PWM SkyMiles earnings drop to ZERO on Delta.com when you are pricing it out but we now know, thankfully, 1st class is like last year and earns full points (unless they fix it for some dumb reason). We also know as I blogged in the end of December that coach tickets now qualify for points just like the 1st class ones did last year and Delta confirmed this. But the wording is all squirrely and frustrating. Thus, I expect coach NOT to act like 1st class tickets unfortunately but time will tell.

I expect that I will earn ZERO SkyMiles for this ticket as stated when pricing out. I did after all spend more points than the value of the ticket. I would love to be wrong on this, but reader input tells me this is what I should expect. Frustrating? Sure and really DUMB of Delta IMO. Now when it comes to MQMs, all that really matters, I think I will earn full Delta points for them as stated on Delta.com when I purchased the ticket. As far as upgrades and such, that should work fine also as stated on Delta.com for Gold Medallions and higher. I have already picked Comfort+ seats so that works just fine as it should.

Lastly, you will not have to wait long for the results as I am doing this in a few weeks and will have the results up by this time next month! I can’t wait. – René
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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.
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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.

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