Delta Pay with Miles (PWM) in 1st class 2015 SkyMiles & MQM update – All is perfect!

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pay with miles on delta-com pre purchase page

rules 1 on delta-com earing points

I have some great news. First off, and maybe it is just me, but don’t you all think the strange and conflicting Delta wording for using Pay with Miles (PWM) from the Delta AMEX card is just a little bit like a Rube Goldberg machine? Plus, other than the MQMs, what they are displaying is flat out wrong, but more on that in a bit.

pay with miles fare rules

Oh and it gets worse to begin with. Seriously Delta – you make my head just want to explode! If you try to click on the fare rule when trying to use PWM you get the screen above. Ugh. If this were not so sad, and typical Delta, it would be laughable. But enough of this – on to the good news!

base fare for my pwm ticket

Two weeks ago Monday I had the distinct privilege of flying in 1A on the first scheduled 1st class Delta service from my home town airport South Bend Indiana or SBN. The choice to book it was simple. I could either spend 50,000 points for a LEVEL 1 award in business class (plus $11.20 in tax) or I could, since I do have a Delta AMEX card, use PWM and pay 50,000 points plus $16.20 for the ticket and hopefully EARN all points for this historic trip.

First some background on this if you just found this post months after today’s publish date. You see, in 2014 Delta made the amazing change to allow those who book with PWM in 1st class to earn points. It really did not matter how you got in first or how many points you used, you earned just like paying cash. Then, at the end of December 2014 Delta dropped the truly  SWEET  news that coach tickets would also earn points with PWMs. Amazing. I wrote how this really was a complete game changer for those of us who care about earning MQMs for our elite status. Then Delta updated the wording on Delta.com with what you see above and confused everything once again. So, as a blogger, time to test what the facts really are.

full points for PWM 1st class ticket including bonus mqms for fare class

I can now report that all is GOLDEN and we are 100% good to go and that is truly great news (at least for booking in 1st class with PWM). I ended up getting as a Diamond Medallion:

  • 11x points for the MQD
  • Base MQMs for distance
  • 50% MQM fare class bonus
  • MQSs for each segment

Keep in mind the screen shot from above is just my outbound and the return posted with the same correct results. Other bits. Do notice from the fare class that my total ticket price, officially, was a negative number as I used so many points that some of the taxes and fees were paid with points and only $16.20 was billed to my AMEX card (for bonus points there too)!

Now just to be clear as many readers are not chasing status and MQMs. The SkyMiles earned I really don’t care about as with the 2015 revenue based earnings flying is just a STUPID thing to do to earn SkyMiles. If you care one bit about the fact that you are earning 5x or 9x or whatever you are not getting it and need to wake up. Delta destroyed SkyMiles earned from flying and none of us should care how much they pay out anymore. However, they did NOT destroy how many MQMs we earn thankfully (yet).

What is next? I hope some readers can chime in but I would love to know if you have had a partial or full PWM in coach and how your totals broke down in 2015 as far as earnings. Did you earn just like me that is whatever “X” SkyMiles based on the MQD ticket price and did you earn the correct MQMs? Either way I plan on booking a PWM coach run myself just so I too can blog the results. – René
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Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.

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