Rookie Wednesday: What should you redeem your Delta SkyBonus points for before getting kicked out of program by year end!

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RenesPoints Rookie

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.

skybonus ad in sky mag delta

skybonus brags about bad new rules starting soon

The above is an ad for SkyBonus that I have fixed for Delta and the notice most of us got via email over the past few weeks reminding us that we are soon going to be dumped out of the program no matter how much we spend with Delta.

I decided to write and voice my dissatisfaction that the changes were not small business friendly. My response from Delta was:

“Dear Mr DeLambert,

Thank you for your response. If the dollar amounts are not matching up, it is because those tickets are missing from the Skybonus statement. I recommend you look at your SkyMiles statement and compare it to the Skybonus statement. Any missing tickets need to be added in on the ADD TICKET page. Of course, since you understand that each company must have 5 or more employees and your company may not qualify, it is up to you to decide if you want to take the time to add in tickets when the account will most likely close at the end of the year. Our policy is not changing and will go into effect Jan. 1st 2016. – BOLD MINE

We regret that you may no longer qualify for our program, but encourage you to continue to participate in SkyMiles as an individual. Thank you for contacting SkyBonus. We appreciate your business and continued support.

SkyBonus Service Center”

Well thanks yes, I am not going to add my sister, mom or others as “fake” flyers to my account so I can stick in this program and honestly as badly as it is run I don’t care one bit. After all, the spend totals i.e. MQD on never matches up for me with SkyBonus and it takes forever to get credit for flights and I almost always have to go back in and request missing credits. Thanks but no thanks Delta!

no credit before kicked out last 6 weeks of year delta skybonus

In fact, I am not expecting my flights, from this point going forward to count anyway (takes 6-8 weeks for credit) so the total I now have is what I will have to spend by the end of the year before they go “poof” and are gone (kinda like your SkyMiles when you die).

screenshot from delta skybonus page what rewards to order

So we are down to crunch time. This is a rookie Wednesday post that will be valid only until 31DEC15 so if you are reading it after that time, disregard. But for the rest of us what should we pick?

First off HERE IS THE LINK for a PDF file of current choices and the point totals for each one. The minimum you can spend is 10,000 points for 10 drink HOOU or ‘Have One On Us’ coupons. If you are going to go for these please wait until the end of December to redeem them as if you redeem them NOW you will likely get coupons that expire 31DEC2015 not the new ones that expire at the end of 2016.

Next we have choices on what to get. Keep in mind Skybonus is VERY different from SkyMiles and that award program. SkyBonus has their own rules. For example, one very nice award is the “SkyBonus Certificate – US/CA – One-Way Select Fare Upgrade”. However, unlike Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Diamond Regional Upgrade certificates this certificate is good ONLY on “K” fares or higher so do be aware you will have to buy a much more expensive ticket than the other discounted coach fares we normally buy a.k.a. LUTXV class ones. Plus available space can be an issue.

So flight choices are what they are. If you have a ton of points, look at what is open and decide for yourself if the value of the points for the upgrade, or free ticket, is worth it for where you want to fly.

The other, IMO, outstanding choices to burn up your points are the following options.

SkyMiles® Silver Medallion® Status (Valid for 12 months). This is so sweet because the clock starts the day of the upgrade. You can, for 120,000 points, have anyone you want enjoy all the perks of elite status for nothing. Sure Silver is not what it used to be but it is still so much better than no status. It can also be a nice stepping stone to higher status if you are going to fly a bunch in 2016 on Delta.

Delta Sky Club Individual Membership – One Year or Delta Sky Club Executive Membership – One Year. Either of these two, for 100,000 or 160,000 can have great value if you are going to fly Delta a bunch especially so if you are in and out of Atlanta or JFK with the upgraded food choices at the Sky Clubs. Last year, I would have turned my nose up at this choice – not now. Delta has really made this a much more valuable choice than before.

So there you are. There really is not much more to it than that. Just be sure, before the clock strikes midnight on the 31st of December, you have your points out if you did not have 5 folks flying in your SkyBonus account and have spent, according to SkyBonus, $5,000 net with Delta. – René

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  1. Why not SkyClub day passes? These seem a better choice to me than individual as you can bring in friends & family. AFAICR these are also valid even if you are flying a different airline.

  2. @Vicente – Keep in mind DAY pass is no longer a DAY pass. It is 1x use 1x club. I think there is little value there now.

  3. I would love to get the upgrade certs if I knew I could use them. I got the full fare ones and so far no luck using them as the only time I get that high of a fare is last minute travel. Any Idea of select fare availability?

  4. I know it is limited to T fare but why not 85000 points for a domestic ticket. Issue now, use within the next year

  5. In the last few weeks, I’ve checked my account and added a few missing tickets. They took literally 24 hrs to post!

    I have 129,999 points. Had been saving for redemption to Hawaii until that award went up w/o notice, so that’s out now. So trying to figure out what to get before I’m kicked to the curb. Only $4k spend with 5 employees. Leaning towards a Caribbean/Mexico flight and a some HOOU coupons.

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