Did you get the “congrats” you spent too much on Delta last year e-mail? Not me! ☺

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Wahoo, you paid too much! ☹

As we all know, as of 1JAN15, Delta went revenue based for SkyMiles earnings (but not for elite points that have stayed the same). The result of this change is that most of us are getting FAR fewer SkyMiles per ticket flown and even those spending the absolute most on tickets are now capped at 75,000 miles per ticket. A reader was kind enough to share with me a PR e-mail that was recently sent out (apparently with 10k+, 25k+, 50k+ & 100k+ numbers included).

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I did the math too, Delta. ☺

If you are one of those who has spent (or over spent) a ton of money with Delta in 2015 then Delta is congratulating you for giving them so much and telling you that you have earned more SkyMiles for your “loyalty” dollars. Not just that, but they are making sure you know that YOU are one of Delta’s “best members“! Congrats you are what you spent, not your loyally in always choosing Delta for each flight. Oh, and notice they did not remind you that your upgrade chance has probably tanked, that SDC is limited to fare class in coach, that they hid the award charts, put an end to stopovers on awards, an end of RTW award tickets and on and on but hey, this is marketing mail so let’s look at the rest:

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Gee, this sounds great!

Well this sounds impressive. So many choices. Now they do not mention that some of these partners are not bookable on Delta.com and others are more enemies than partners and HIGHLY restrict award space for SkyMiles making booking these all but impossible. Oh, and when there is an award sale you can score some one-way tickets for under 10k (not sure how you can have a sale when you don’t publish award charts but never mind that part).

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Yeah, really not so much, Delta!

Lastly in this mail we have the kicker with really bad advice to you big spenders who just maybe are gullible enough to blow your points in really bad ways like the SkyMiles marketplace where you can way overpay for hotels when paying cash or some other way is clearly smarter or even a SkyMiles car rental that can really turn out bad. Oh, you can donate your points to charity (compared to earning up to 6% back with your US Bank FlexPerks card and giving charities what they really want, that is, cash).

Clearly I, and I am guessing you as well dear reader, did not get one of these congrats PR e-mails from Delta. My earnings are WAY down this year (and last) and this is due to a combination of the revenue based program and my lower spending than the year before. I am now just weeks away from crossing the 1 million mile mark with Delta and then it is time to decide where to go from here. I know I am not the only one this year doing the same. – René



  1. Nope! Me neither!

    I wonder why they didn’t send a “Hey, you lost out on xx,xxx miles with our new system. Oh, and your upgrade percentage is down xx%. Thanks for flying Delta!”

  2. René you’ve taught me well. No way I’m ever going to see the “Congrats Letter” because I maintain DM status with a yearly spend under $4500.

    Gee whizz. Even I can’t believe my post. But it’s true!!!

    Thank you René

  3. “If you conceive of loyalty through the lens of a transactional interaction, then you’re destined to a commoditized future.”

    – Hyatt CEO, Mark Hoplamazian

  4. Me either Rene. Many year diamond and last week I gave away my Reserve card MQMs to my wife since I’m way up and qualified for the next two years. Starting to try the other airlines, not just because of the dwindling skyvalues but also due to higher prices and fewer DL options. Keep up the good work!

  5. The part that made me the maddest was the, “oh, you can even find a flight for 10000 miles one way.” Really, delta? Where in the h e double hockey sticks is tha flight. One a year to nowhere? I honestly don’t know how the person who wrote this could possible do it and feel good about themselves.

  6. Where as last year I would reap 34-36K miles for a R/T trip to Africa, now it’s more like 14-17K depending on the price. But really, could Delta continue to give me enough miles for a domestic ticket (value of $300) for each of my trips? I’ll take the miles, make DM because of my spending on Amex and bless my extended family with free domestic tickets once in a while. What does get my goat is not being cleared for 1st class up-grade 5 days out when seats are available. Can’t wait until the complementary upgrade will be from Economy to Comfort Plus instead of from Economy to 1st class. It’s coming soon, just like you predicted, Rene.

  7. @Dale – Just wait for next year when REV MGT starts blocking C+ for sale and we can not get those as instant upgrades anymore. Just a matter of time.

  8. Most of the folks getting that email didn’t “spend” much if anything with delta. All those extra miles are due to the high costs their employers incur. Sweet!

    And they’ll need everyone of those skypesos and more for the overpriced, lame rewards on delta. I’m in Pokara, Nepal on an Annapurna base camp trek thanks to American miles redeemed for Qatar Airways A350 business class (a first-class product and service by and large) to Doha and A330 to Kathmandu and return including first class from Abu Dhabi in the Ethiad apartments!

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