Delta’s SkyMiles Marketplace — a shopping site allowing members to redeem points for merchandise — has been suspended.
Perhaps not too coincidentally, Bloomberg reports Delta is “preparing to issue new debt backed by [the SkyMiles] program, the latest [airline] to use miles to help boost liquidity amid the Covid-19 pandemic.” United did something similar in June.
A Delta spokesperson told us, “Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our business, we have decided to pause SkyMiles Marketplace. Existing SkyMiles Member Marketplace purchases will be honored.”
We generally haven’t been huge fans of the SkyMiles Marketplace. Why? We’ve seen some redemptions valued at 1/5 of one cent. At the bare minimum, we’d rather redeem them for travel,. even if it’s for a penny each, such as through Pay with Miles. (That’s five times better than some of the SkyMiles Marketplace redemptions.)
But, hey, they’re (sort of) your miles — spend ’em however makes you happy.
Is this bad news for Delta and SkyMiles? It’s certainly not good. But Delta has bigger fish to fry than buying merchandise — even at crazy discounts — to sell for miles and points.
Maybe if people don’t miss the SkyMiles Marketplace, it won’t return — and SkyMiles may be worth more at some point. (Hey, a guy can wish.)
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