A bunch of folks are taking advantage of the current amazing Delta AMEX card promotion and picking up 50,000 or 60,000 points or twice that much with Delta AMEX business cards as well. The result is, after minimum spend requirements, their SkyMiles accounts have swelled. If a husband and wife / +1 are each doing this you are possibly talking 1/4 million points. That is a bunch of points. But there can be a real downside to this sudden inflow and becoming “point rich”.
Delta is clearly having a bunch of issues with the roll out of C+ as a fare when it comes to award tickets. I mean we all should know Delta.dumb is a horrid site to search for awards to begin with and this addition has made a bad situation even worse. Just look at some of the bat crazy results you can find now and then.
Oh and it is not just limited to award searches but you can at times find the same silly results when searching for a purchased ticket as well.
So what is the point of today’s post. It is a simple one but a hard one to convince some readers to follow. That is, just because you now have more points does not mean you should “over pay” for any awards. But just what is over paying?
First things first – how to find your awards. I do not do award searches for readers. I provide the tools (or direct you to Adam for help). Here on the blog you have access to the old award charts that Delta does still use. They hide them from us but they are still a great guide to check the value of the award you are booking, that is, are you, ideally, getting a Level 1 award (or lower if a sale) or at MOST paying Level 2 due to the “perfect” flights for your needs (i.e. family, vacation time etc.). The next step, if you are willing to put in the time, is a painstaking search leg by leg, flight by flight as I show you in the E7 posts here on the blog that still works just fine.
Next, consider ALL of your options. Some folks may lament they can only find Level 1 or 2 flights one direction for a trip. OK, if you are really trying to find value, consider two one-way tickets. Consider using points one direction and cash the other (if a better value / deal). Or, as I have done many times, fly Delta one direction and use another airline to fly the other way to get the lowest point price round trip.
Also think about open jaw tickets as well, that is, flying into one city and out of another city say in Europe to find that Level 1 or 2 award price (this way you also avoid the higher tax for a one-way award back). Sure you have to maybe take a train or short flight between the cities, but you may find a day or two in some other city a great way to round out your trip!
Lastly today the small fee Adam charges to help you can really pay off. If you, like me as someone who does fly on Delta a bunch, values a SkyMiles 1.5-2 cents each, then the math is really simple to see if you are saving more by paying him to help find your award at a much lower level than over spending at Level 3+ for an award. It really is just that simple. – René