Alternate ways to use skymiles

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by Gargoyle, Feb 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    22,015
    Likes Received:
    96,543
    Status Points:
    20,020
    As we all know, it can be very frustrating to use SkyMiles to book flights. However, this does not mean that they are useless.

    Two other worthwhile ways I've found to use SkyMiles are Gift Cards and Hotels:
    • Gift Cards:
      The cost in miles for gift cards depends on your elite status and whether you have a Delta AMEX credit card. As a PM with the card, I'm still seeing the $100 AMEX gift cards for 11,000 miles, and $50 Panera gift cards for 5,500 miles. Some of the store specific cards have better rates, but only useful if you're going to patronize those stores. For example, I can get $100 Footlocker or Appelbee cards for 10,500 miles. These rates are slightly below the optimal 1 cpm (1¢ per mile) rate, but considering the inflation and devaluation of miles they can be a reasonable exchange.

      Note that different people are finding widely variable pricing on these cards. What I'm quoting seems to be the best rates they're offering.

    • Hotels:
      I'm seeing lots of hotels in major markets for 6,000 to 12,000 miles a night. You won't earn points on your hotel program, but since I normally only stay about 15 nights a year in hotels that isn't a big issue for me.

    • Car Rentals:
      I've never tried this- anyone want to reply with their experiences?

    • Sky Miles Marketplace:
      Generally not a good deal, you're usually buying stuff at 1/2 cpm, a lousy rate.
     
    Biu likes this.
  2. RSSrsvp
    Original Member

    RSSrsvp Silver Member

    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    154
    Status Points:
    420
    I redeemed 105k SM for $1,000 in AMEX gift cards over the holidays. At the same time I transferred over 50k AMEX MR points to my SM account and received 75k SM plus FO status. All in all I felt they were excellent deals!
     
    piqaro and Gargoyle like this.
  3. Grace
    Original Member

    Grace Silver Member

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    389
    Status Points:
    500
    I'm quite happy with my sky miles TV. Sometimes when you have sky piles and no vacation time it doesn't matter what the redemption rate is.
     
    Gargoyle likes this.
  4. Good for you, spend those miles !
     
  5. RSSrsvp
    Original Member

    RSSrsvp Silver Member

    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    154
    Status Points:
    420
    The gift cards are already spent! [​IMG]
     
    Gargoyle likes this.
  6. GUWonder
    Original Member

    GUWonder Silver Member

    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    116
    Status Points:
    375
    Gift cards and hotels and some straggling award tickets creatively booked and re-booked are about the only uses I have for DL's SkyPesos.
     
  7. RSSrsvp
    Original Member

    RSSrsvp Silver Member

    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    154
    Status Points:
    420
    BTW, in the past I only used my miles for international travel but the AMEX gift card exchange was too good to pass up!
     
    Gargoyle likes this.
  8. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    22,015
    Likes Received:
    96,543
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I generally used mine for two things, Int'l F and Y tickets for family members. But I've been using them for gift cards and hotels lately.
     
  9. Indiana Delta Diamond
    Original Member

    Indiana Delta Diamond Silver Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    164
    Status Points:
    420
    My rate is 13,500 but there are times it would be better to redeem the cards instead of redeeming the regular award and just buying the ticket with said AMEX cards. My SkyMiles balance is pretty high and I may be getting some of these cards soon.
     
    Gargoyle likes this.
  10. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    22,015
    Likes Received:
    96,543
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Do you have the DL Amex Plat card? Cardholder seem to get a better rate.
     
  11. Indiana Delta Diamond
    Original Member

    Indiana Delta Diamond Silver Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    164
    Status Points:
    420
    No. What in the world do I need more Delta miles for? :) I don't exactly want to say my balance here but suffice to say I have a lot.
     
  12. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    22,015
    Likes Received:
    96,543
    Status Points:
    20,020
    We know you have a gazillion. I meant that the optimal rate is 11,000 miles for a $100 card, but they're charging you 13,500.
     
    Indiana Delta Diamond likes this.
  13. Indiana Delta Diamond
    Original Member

    Indiana Delta Diamond Silver Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    164
    Status Points:
    420
    Yeah, I got that. I just don't know if I want the card just for that. I am shopping around for a new rewards card, though.

    It's less than a gazillion. I am still in the millions. :)
     
    Gargoyle likes this.
  14. Flyer_Esq
    Original Member

    Flyer_Esq Silver Member

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    86
    Status Points:
    210
    That's a lot of gift cards!
     
  15. secretsea18
    Original Member

    secretsea18 Gold Member

    Messages:
    7,729
    Likes Received:
    44,584
    Status Points:
    14,020
    I have used SkyMiles lately to purchase AMEX gift cards. These were great for Christmas presents.

    Also I have booked two hotel stays with my SMs in Manila. No problems with the booking, I entered by Hotel card # on the form for special requests and both times it was relayed to the hotel. Very convenient, and quite close to the hotel rate at 1 cent/mile.
     
    Gargoyle likes this.
  16. diver90
    Original Member

    diver90 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,162
    Likes Received:
    3,250
    Status Points:
    1,970
    I've been using mine exclusively for flights. At the rate of devaluation that's occurred over the last 5 years along with the merging of my old DL FF miles and the loss of those sweet, low mile award flights to Hawaii and other legacy DL awards, it makes no sense for me to keep too many in the bank.

    Just cashed in for trips to AUA in F for later this year and still have 100's of thousands to burn
     
  17. Mike1625
    Original Member

    Mike1625 Silver Member

    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    353
    Status Points:
    460
    I like to keep about 200,000 skymiles in my account, so when my account gets higher, and I don't have award travel coming up, I redeem for the Amex gift cards. I keep miles for a few airlines, and it seems like my award travel usually ends up on American, so the gift cards seem to be a great option.
     
    Gargoyle likes this.

Share This Page