Well, this is an interesting development.
As of this morning, Delta.com and Delta’s SkyMiles Marketplace advertised that SkyMiles could be redeemed for Delta gift cards.
But it seems gift cards can’t be purchased using SkyMiles. Is that an ominous sign?
SkyMiles = A Delta Currency
Delta has championed SkyMiles as a form of currency. Members can redeem points for trips, upgrades, gift cards, premium beverages in Sky Clubs, magazines, and more. René covered a few months back that if your loved one dies you need to move fast to spend the SkyMiles before Delta coldly takes them away from you and that there were many kinds of gift card you could buy (most at very low value — but it was at least an option).
Buying Delta Gift Cards with SkyMiles
Both René and I experimented several times this week purchasing Delta gift cards with SkyMiles.
We were unsuccessful each time and get the error page you see below.
We did reach out to Delta but they did not respond to emails we sent asking if this was simply an IT glitch — or gift cards were off the marketplace for good.
Before, when you went to shop at the marketplace, you had a tab (see above) for Gift cards that now is no longer visible as an option.
So What’s the Big Deal?
The nice thing about Delta gift cards is they’re considered “cash” toward flights and they never ever expire. In other words, you receive full MQM, MQD, MQS, and redeemable SkyMiles when you spend a Delta gift card. You can now use them with Delta Vacations giving you even more choices. Again, we are not stating that 9/10th a cent for your SkyMiles is a good value, but at least it was an option.
Plus, Delta and American Express have a multi-billion dollar deal in place for their co-branded Delta Amex cards. But if Delta doesn’t honor its own “currency” for its own product, then SkyMiles is reduced in value.
Delta Air Lines has just announced massive cuts. Like almost every airline right now, Delta (and most of us) is hurting because of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s understandable and obvious.
But Delta not accepting SkyMiles to purchase even their own gift cards that we can spend with them and their partners is, sadly, a sign of no confidence all around. It is scary to me that they are this focused on preserving cash to stay viable as an airline.
Let’s hope this is just a glitch or that we get more info from Delta soon.
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