Welcome to a regular feature on the Renés Points blog. This blog series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this featured topic.
One of the hands down best ways to rack up a boatload of points (and MQDs credit) with Delta is via their partners. However, one great partner AeroMexico, is notorious for sending over the WRONG fare class information to Delta often due to Y-UP fares (#ProTip – Want a custom mileage run from your home airport? We have a team ready to help you).
But take a gander at the screenshot above from the Delta.com page about requesting missing credits. I was waiting for one of this year’s AeroMexico runs to post and wanted to hurry it along. Thankfully, I looked closely and did not take it to the next step. Why? Notice the indicated fare class in the screenshot? Yep – “Q” – when I had flown and paid for “I”. The difference between the two fare classes in earnings is MASSIVE. So I just waited and the correct numbers did post. This is one simple “don’t” but let’s look at some others today.
- Don’t set a simple password on Delta.com. If you use the same password for Delta as other sites you are asking for trouble. Oh, and please make your password REALLY hard and long. There are currently any number of threads on social media about folks’ Delta accounts being hacked and drained to zero!
- Don’t upgrade Delta Amex cards. Over the 8 years while I was full-time blogging I loved answering literally thousands of reader emails – other than one kind – that asked if they should upgrade (or downgrade) a Delta Amex card. NOOOOOOO! Never ever do this as you burn your 1x lifetime shot at a new card bonus. Apply for a new Delta Amex card THEN close the old card if you wish to do so.
- Don’t pay for checked bags! OK if you have a steam trunk you may not be able to get it through the TSA machine but many bags do fit. Why pay Delta when you can take the bag to the gate and then get them to check it for free!
- Don’t board if 1st or C+ seats are open. Let’s face it folks, #TeamBoardLast is the law of the land with Delta. If you are the last one to board, even in an E BASIC fare ticket, you may end up in 1st class or at least a good C+ seat. Learn this – Know this!
- Don’t cancel a Delta Amex card too soon. Please please please never ever cancel an Amex card short of 365 days since you were approved. The reasons why are many. First off, they can claw back the new card bonus. Next, in the case of the Delta Amex Platinum Card (learn more here) or the Delta Amex Reserve card (learn more here) you get a BOGO cert year 2 (and thereafter) of card membership. Once loaded to Delta.com it does not go away even if you cancel the card. So if you are going to cancel wait till it loads in before you close an account.
- Don’t let a Delta Amex BOGO go unspent. With the above in mind, you can book tickets for any two people you want with your BOGO cert and you can pay for the tickets with ANY Amex card (not just the card you got the cert from). So check the fly by expiration date and make sure someone enjoys the savings of a free +1 ticket (free plus tax that is). See post E22 in the Essentials tab for more help with this.
- Don’t ever buy MQMs from Delta in December. I hate, I mean really HATE, when folks do not plan ahead and end up donating money to Delta Air Lines. Please take the time to look now what points you think you will need and plan accordingly. Either buy up to 1st class if the price is right to earn extra points or book a mileage “fun run” somewhere. Do not give free cash to Delta!
- Don’t buy Delta tickets with a Delta Amex card. Wait – what? But I can earn 2x and help reach my spend goals for the year. Yeah, well, you can earn 5x much more valuable Membership Rewards points if you pay with the (non-Delta) Amex Platinum card (learn more here). You can send those instantly to Delta if you wish and you can see that 5x is clearly better than 2x. Find other things to reach spend goals with your Delta Amex cards.
- Don’t assume a flight is not oversold due to open seats in the Fly Delta App. There is so much we do not see plus the day of flight things are always changing. Other flights can cancel and roll to yours and a wide-open flight could be oversold in a moments notice. Always print an extra boarding pass and ask the gate agent if the flight is oversold (and give them the extra paper copy to hold).
- Don’t let extra $100 GOES credits go unused. There are so many high-end travel cards that come with the $100 Global Entry credit (that includes TSA PreCheck) every 4 or 5 years like the Amex Platinum card (learn more here). But what if you already have it and are not 364 days out to renew yours? At the final payment page, you can use your card to pay for anyone you wish and it will trigger the credit. So why not help someone in the family (or a good friend out) and pay for their 5 year travel perk!
These are my major “don’ts” when it comes to being a frequent Delta flyer. I bet I have left a few out and sharp readers can help us out. Are there other Delta don’ts that you always cringe when people do? Please let us know in the comments below! – René