Not good – AMEX is now “Saying” a Delta SkyMile is worth 1 cent each!

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Tweet from @The_StyleAgent

This is not good folks. Those of us who fly Delta and are well versed in the SkyMiles program have seen this coming for a while with great dread. Delta was the first of the major airlines to flip from a distance based reward program to spend based reward and a multiple depending on your status.

Then they did something truly shameful – that is, hiding the award charts (that they still mostly use). The response has been to trust the award booking page and / or the price is the price displayed. We should know that is not really true and there are many ways to find the lowest price SkyMiles awards (See E7 & E21 posts for example).

But this morning @RenesPoints twitter follower @The_StyleAgent sent me the photo you see above of a targeted offer for a Delta SkyMiles AMEX card. Do you see what is so scary about it?

  • AMEX is stating 1 SkyMiles = 1 cent value.

That is really scary wording. Why would they do this when for a very, very long time they, and their airport reps you pass by, say things like “that is enough points for a round trip ticket“.

To me this is something we should take note of and could be that SkyMiles 2017 changes (that have not yet been announced – if there are any) will simply move to 1 SkyMiles = 1 cent value when going to book a ticket.

Now understand that what AMEX is stating here has been the fact for awhile now with the Delta “Pay with Miles” program, so that really is nothing new. I like PWM as when you fly on such a ticket you earn full elite miles for your status or MQMs. Depending on the price it can be a great way to get from A-B and earn a few status points along the way. But this is not the ONLY way to spend your miles and award tickets in business class can yield much better value than just 1 cent each.

What to take from this? This could be nothing or it could be a message of what is just around the corner. Either way I wanted you to see this. What do you think? Is AMEX sending us a message of what is on the way? – René

Is AMEX sending us a message about Delta SkyMiles 2017?

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  1. I’m thinking maybe this is just marketing spin from Amex? I’m sure FFP novices have found much frustration in finding award availability at the advertised “low” levels, so this is just a way for Amex to compare the DL card against Chase and Citi’s own points cards where they advertise that a signup bonus of Ultimate Reward or Thank You points can be worth $XXX toward travel.

  2. You know after thinking about it for years I’m not sure that the devalue is entirely Delta’s fault. AMEX is a big partner for them and AMEX is very cheap on points or miles earnings. They will pull back points or miles any chance they get. They don’t even award membership reward points until like a month or so after you should actually earn and have them. It’s like a partnership of two organizations that don’t value customer loyalty or want to try and cheap on those valued customers any chance they get.

  3. If they ever go completely 1 mile = 1 penny then no one will ever use a cobranded airline card again unless the earning rate goes up significantly per dollar spent.

    They better give you an earning premium over chase reserve or the Amex plat. I would not mind if $1 = 1 mile on the award side as it would be more transparent than awards which are no longer published. Specially if you could earn mqms using miles as a cash equivalent.

    Of course for this to work they would need to earn 4 to 5 miles per dollar spent. Why would I stash all my worthless miles with delta when I could go chase, Amex plat, spg, and have multiple transfer partners?

    All cobranded airline cards need to give elite members additional skymiles because all the benefits overlap. Aside from the mad waiver I have no reason to use my delta Amex cards.

  4. I’m guessing/hoping this simply refers to redeemng MR’s for DAL flights on the AMEX travel site for the usual $.01/mile. Unless AMEX eliminates the ability to transfer MR’s to Delta(or partners) getting far above $.01 is quite easy.
    Now if both companies simply flat out reconfigure both travel programs that might as well spell the end of FF programs as AA and UA will immediately follow.

  5. The points have always been like that. 100.00 off per 10,000 points.

    Ad says…
    50,000 = up to 500.00

    Depends on the flight.

  6. This is not a major issue for me.I fly or use American airline carriers is when I am in America. I really don’t need the miles and I really do not need the American Express card with that being said I can cancel anytime and use my Gulf Airlines carriers like I have been done for the past 10 years.

  7. I was looking at booking some award travel for a friend sometime in the month of April and between MSP and SFO. Using the 5-week view, I can book many days as low as $336, or 22,000 miles, so that is 1.53 cents per mile. Incidentally, I have rarely seen similar fares below the 25K level, so (I think) this is an example of Delta pricing below the award charts.

    By the way, there are also a lot of First Class fares at the 50K level, with those tickets selling at $841, so that is an even better deal at 1.68 cents per mile.

  8. More devaluation to come in 2017, that’s to Government that keeps approving mergers and restricts competition from foreign carriers.

  9. I think it should have said “at least” rather than “up to”. The pay with miles rate should be the floor for the value of miles. Someone in the marketing department goofed. Whether they goofed and announced a change to the mileage program or just chose their words poorly for the advertisement remains to be seen.

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