Paranoia will destroy ya’.
Or at least put you out a few bucks a month.
Despite repeated reassurances here and elsewhere, members of now-bankrupt Delta and Northwest are fretting abut the future of their miles, and at least one credit card company is cashing in on those fears.
American Express cardholders in 38 states can now sign up for Air Miles Protection, an insurance policy for frequent flyer miles.
The program offers two levels of protection. For $5.40 a month, Amex will guarantee reimbursement of up to 60,000 miles for frequent flyers of American, America West, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United and US Airways. The fee covers miles in multiple programs, theoretically reimbursing 60,000 miles each in different programs should more than one airline fail.
For $9.00 a month, coverage increases to 100,000 miles.
Should one of the covered airlines liquidate, or for any other reason terminate its program, and the miles are not transferred to another airline’s program, Amex will credit the policyholder’s Amex card account at the rate of $50 for every 3,500 miles lost, up to the maximum number of covered miles, when an airline ticket is charged to the card.
While we salute American Express’ entrepreneurial spirit, we stress again that the likelihood of a major U.S. program shutting down and taking all its members’ miles with it are slight. Still, we also understand the fanatical zeal of many members, and would suggest taking Amex up on the offer if you’re losing sleep otherwise.
Overall, the “price” of the policy is fair, as it essentially values miles at about 1.43 cents each, regardless of whether you take the 60,000 or 100,000-mile option.
Interested members need to take a Xanax, then call 1-877-294-6103 for details.