Medallion Choice Benefit: SkyMiles vs. DL giftcard

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by Blue Skye, Feb 23, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Blue Skye
    Original Member

    Blue Skye Silver Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    325
    Status Points:
    520
    I have procrastinated in making the decision for my 2010 benefit. I am torn between two choices and would like some advice.

    20K skymiles
    or
    $200 giftcard for DL (don't use Marriott, can't see me buying something at Tiffany's either.)

    aside from being difficult at times to use DL miles for award tickets i wouldn't mind just getting the miles but am not sure that is the right choice just yet.

    so, basically, i have a question about the DL giftcard.
    is there anything i really need to know about this DL giftcard? i cannot find details that describe said card, for instance, can you only use it to book DL only flights or any flights listed on the DL site? are there only certain fare classes that can be chosen? any words to the wise on choosing this benefit?

    TIA

    things to note (why the other benefits are not for me):
    SWUs are of no use to me. i realize many here like and use these.
    SkyClub passes. a benefit for some, not really something i need.
    Bestowing Silver onto someone, again, family or friends don't fly enough for this benefit either.
     
  2. DisneyDude
    Original Member

    DisneyDude Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    24
    Status Points:
    95
    basically you get $200 credit which can be used next time you book a flight, AFAIK, no restrictions on class, etc. Have to use within one year. It is easy to use, even if you book online., just remember to attach it to your booking when you make the reservation. your credit card will be charged flight cost - $200
     
  3. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Are you confident that you can spend SkyMiles on trips you want or would otherwise pay to take at one cent per mile?

    Note, however, that flights paid with miles (award tickets) don't earn MQMs or miles, while paid tickets using gift cards do, so even for equal value, I would go with the gift card.

    If you pick the gift card, be sure to use it before it expires. If you can't trust yourself to remember to do this (must be applied at time of ticketing), you might be better off picking the miles (which no longer expire).
     
  4. TheMadBrewer
    Original Member

    TheMadBrewer Silver Member

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    158
    Status Points:
    420
    I echo the folks above -- the only time to choose the miles is if you are short some for a desired award. Otherwise the gift card is the better choice.
     
  5. icurhere2
    Original Member

    icurhere2 Gold Member

    Messages:
    21,694
    Likes Received:
    27,682
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I agree with "gift card first" for a PM choice; for a DM choice I would go with "miles first" (25,000) due to the conversion potential for those with an DL AmEx. ;)
     
  6. techguru
    Original Member

    techguru Silver Member

    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    376
    Status Points:
    520
    No doubt gift card...
     
  7. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Her's another thought: Suppose that if you can't find an award ticket that you want for a reasonable price in miles and then would instead use miles for a pay-with -miles ticket. (Not generally a good idea, but please stay with me.) Up to rounding, the conversion is one cent per mile, but the pay-with-miles ticket earns absolutely no miles itself and is at the bottom of the totem pole within your elite level for upgrades. So in this scenario, the DL gift card clearly dominates.
     
  8. ffI

    ffI Silver Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    15
    Status Points:
    130
    I mostly go with miles. My paid travel is work / company mostly.
    Also I get a great AF C for 120k - this is 1/6th the price in miles.
    I can never get a C seat to Middle East or India for 1200$.
    Now the miles do not expire (though value may decline)
     
  9. Blue Skye
    Original Member

    Blue Skye Silver Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    325
    Status Points:
    520
    thanks for the input everyone. i appreciate the advice. :) it does help to hear all the reasons behind your choice. i think i will just do the giftcard for this year and see how easy (or not) it is to use.

    what am i missing here? there is a special conversion deal for those with the DL AmEx? are you mainly talking about the ability to use miles and cash? or something else?
     
  10. icurhere2
    Original Member

    icurhere2 Gold Member

    Messages:
    21,694
    Likes Received:
    27,682
    Status Points:
    20,020
    $200 in prepaid AmEx for 22,000 miles through the SkyMiles Marketplace - the amount of miles required varies by status, possession of the DL AmEx card, etc. At the Diamond level, the 25,000 miles could become $200 in prepaid AmEx with 3,000 miles remaining - I consider that better than a $200 travel voucher (the voucher is really the same amount for DM).
     
  11. Blue Skye
    Original Member

    Blue Skye Silver Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    325
    Status Points:
    520
    okay, so doesn't sound like this Plat would benefit from that then. will have to give it a look anyway. thanks for the info.
     
  12. TheMadBrewer
    Original Member

    TheMadBrewer Silver Member

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    158
    Status Points:
    420
    While I realize money is money (i.e. fungible) , the Amex Gift cards can't be used to buy Delta tickets, (can't be used online at all, is my understanding), has to be mailed to you and it's another card to carry around and remember how much money is left on it. I'll forgo the extra 3000 miles just for the simplicity :) But of course, to each his own.

    If you are going that route, done't the brand cards (e.g., Macy's, LL Bean, etc.) give you an even better rate? I think it is 21K miles for $200 if you have a Delta branded Amex. But I may be remembering that wrong, so don't quote me :)
     
  13. icurhere2
    Original Member

    icurhere2 Gold Member

    Messages:
    21,694
    Likes Received:
    27,682
    Status Points:
    20,020
    One does have to remember the remaining balance (some store POS systems note the amount on the receipt) but can indeed be used on many websites. Specifically, I've been using them online for Groupon and paying off my T-Mobile bill.

    Of course, my PM choice for 2012 was the $200 travel credit ;)
     
  14. TheMadBrewer
    Original Member

    TheMadBrewer Silver Member

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    158
    Status Points:
    420
    Good to know they can be used online. Thanks.
     
  15. wanderwoman
    Original Member

    wanderwoman Silver Member

    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    152
    Status Points:
    395
    For ease of use and flexibility, I vote for the $200 credit. It is an electronic e-cert and can be used in less than a minute towards a flight.
     
  16. Exactly, 10500 miles per 100$ AmEx gift card (for GM with DL AmEx).
    Just checked a few minutes ago.
     
  17. DiverDave
    Original Member

    DiverDave Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    1,818
    Status Points:
    1,095
    Interesting that as a DM with the Delta Plat AmEx, I am quoted 11000 miles per $100 gift card.

    David
     
  18. As I wrote, I'm a GM (-2 grades:) and have the DL Gold AmEx (-1 grade:).
    It would be interesting to check if there is any reason for such a difference. As far as I remember FTers reported different prices between 10.5kSM and 14kSM for 100$ card (when they are logged into their SM accounts).

    Inno
     
    DiverDave likes this.
  19. DiverDave
    Original Member

    DiverDave Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    1,818
    Status Points:
    1,095
    Mom always did like you best. [​IMG]

    David
     
  20. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,507
    Likes Received:
    57,455
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I chose miles and SWU's. The SWU's are worth a lot to me because I fly long routes. Either way you're down to a couple of hours so choose something now! Assuming you've not yet done it.
     
  21. Blue Skye
    Original Member

    Blue Skye Silver Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    325
    Status Points:
    520
    sorry, hadn't been back to post what i picked (right like everyone was hanging on a thread waiting. LOL )

    i ended up going with the DL $200 voucher/giftcard thing. i have until next year to worry about my benefit choice for last year. if i can use the gift card for the flights that i want to book, then i will consider doing it again. if i decide i can use the miles creatively in the future then i will pick those next time.

    thanks everyone for your input. :)
     

Share This Page