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As my twitter followers have seen, I have been out west in Denver enjoying “bluebird” ski days and have been trying via my phone to stay up to date and post. But, much of what we are learning, due to the fact that it was clearly NOT to be out this soon, is pouring out and my guess is some of it will change.
The bottom line of all this is Delta only loves you if you are spending money on TICKETS. No government fees count toward your yearly spend so just because you pay $500 for a ticket don’t expect to get $500 credit toward you MQD’s. Take a look from THIS LINK at the Delta.com web site:
What spend counts toward Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs)?
MQDs are the total of the SkyMiles member’s spend on Delta-marketed flights (flight numbers that include the “DL” airline code), inclusive of the base fare and applicable surcharges, but exclusive of government- imposed taxes and fees. Flight spend for travel on other airlines ticketed through a Delta channel (featuring a ticket number beginning with “006″) will also be included in MQDs. Certain specialty tickets, including but not limited to unpublished, consolidator, group/tour and opaque fare products will not count toward MQDs.
Do bag fees, seat purchases, etc. count toward earning Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs)?
No. Ancillary purchases or fees including but not limited to checked baggage fees, Economy Comfort™ seat purchases, Priority Boarding, Delta Sky Club® memberships, Wi-Fi passes, in-flight food and beverage purchases, in-flight entertainment, unaccompanied minor fees, pet travel fees, Mileage Booster™, ticket change fees, Direct Ticketing Charge (DTC), Same Day Confirmed Fee, Administrative Service Charge (ASC), External Reissue Charge (ERC), and Standby Upgrades purchased at the gate, do not count toward earning MQDs.
You have got to be kidding me! So all the other money we pour into Delta they do not care about! Also, and I have a big post on the way soon, they are telling us to PLEASE STOP paying for EC, bags, wifi and ANYTHING ELSE Delta is trying to sell us as NONE OF IT will count toward your MQD’s. (the total accounting FOOL who recommended this to the airline should be demoted to the mail room – IMO)! Think about this, and a question that has not been answered, will your spend to BUY MQM’s each year count toward your MQD’s? My guess is NOT – but why not. This is just a stupid statement from Delta and I hope they change this.
Most of what Delta has done has some logic. The above does not. Delta should 100% understand that ALL Delta revenue is good for Delta and therefore should be rewarded and count toward your MQD’s! Am I way off base or what do you think? – Rene
Also I have added a new MQD poll on the blog – please vote!
EDIT: Delta has made it official and had massive Q&A info HERE!
If you have missed it, FlyerTalk has posted what appears to be a accidental post by Delta of what is on the way for Skymiles. The good news is: it is nothing like the horrid changes to discounter or consolidator fares from September. I have not been able to have DELTA CORP confirm ANY of this but my guess is there will be news out soon. The basics from FT is:
Beginning January 1, 2014, Delta Air Lines SkyMiles members residing in the United States — excluding Guam, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands — will qualify for Medallion status based on an additional threshold: how much the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program member spends annually with Delta Air Lines, which will be measured by Medallion Qualification Dollars, or MQDs.
Members must also meet the existing Medallion Qualification Miles or Medallion Qualification Segments qualification criteria. The threshold ranges from $2,500.00 to $12,500.00 Medallion Qualification Dollars, depending on Medallion elite level — although details on the exact threshold amounts per Medallion elite level remains to be seen. Alternatively, Delta SkyMiles credit card members can be waived from the new Medallion Qualification Dollars requirement if their eligible purchases total a minimum of $25,000.00 within the calendar year.
For flights marketed by Delta Air Lines, the bonus of Medallion Qualification Miles for First and Business F and J fare classes will double from 50 percent to 100 percent. Economy M fare class will no longer earn a bonus 50 percent of Medallion Qualification Miles, which will apply to tickets purchased on or after March 1, 2013
So are these changes good or bad. Overall I would say good for “US”. Who are “US”? Delta Points readers who:
A) Earn a ton of MQM’s already on Delta AMEX cards
B) Fly mileage runs as we will still get full MQM’s for LUT class flights
C) Those willing to spend a bit more for higher class fares.
What this will do is lower many “normal” flyers from DM down to PM and PM down to GM. I think you will see a great increase in the lower ranks if this comes into affect. I constantly get gripes from DM & PM that there are too many of them. This will change that. I look forward to an official release and as soon as my CORP contact can give me information to release I will get it out.
If this is close to the final draft, Delta has been smart. They are not changing “Skymiles” for the most part, just how we elites earn our ‘wings”. Most of the public will just ho-hum about medallions and could care less. As long as Delta does not make it any hard than it already is for them to earn and burn miles they will not jump up and yell.
For me, I am happy I will be able to run $60,000 on my AMEX Reserve again this year and will from now on be looking to do just that for many years to come. What do you all think? Do you like what seems to be on the way? – Rene
There are so many good deals out there right now that if you have the time you can get the MQM’s at a steal. If you are thinking of a Delta status match challenge, you MUST earn the miles via BIS according to the T&C. (but you can still get a Delta Reserve card to add to that total after)!
I have my upcoming Chicago to Istanbul trip booked and there are still a bunch of dates open if anyone needs an extra 12,000+ MQM’s for under $600 with 2 days in the air and 1 overnight in AMS or CDG or IST!
But if we look over at FlyerTalk’s mileage run board, there are MANY more choices even some STARTING IN Europe no less:
- DL: MKE-ATL-LAX-ATL-MKE $257 RT (5200 mqm)
- DL: AMS-GRU $643 a/i r/t 3.5cpm
- DL: LAX-JFK-SJU $406 RT (8144 mqm / 4.9 cpm: purchase by Jan 14)
- DL: San-PVD, ai $263.30 4.1 cpm
- DL: SEA-OKC/BNA/DAY/MKE/STL $242 AI RT either direction 4.1 CPM
- DL: PDX-MCI $223 AI as low as 3.9 CPM either direction
- DL: MCI-SAN $216 AI RT Either direction 4.2 CPM
Want to learn more and how to put together your own mileage run? Check out this rookie post to do just that HERE – René
▲Delta▲ SkyMiles® Credit Card
from American Express®
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It seems like everyone is saying that it is a done deal and that Delta will switch over the Skymiles program to a revenue based earning model with similarities to the new discounter ticket award model that took place September 1st of last year. Others are even saying they will go to a distance based awards model making the cost to spend your points for long distance reward trips even higher.
To me, there are many reasons this is NOT going to happen this year! There are also reasons it may not happen next year or ever for that matter. Why? I have a rather long list. See what you think.
- Profit. There would only be two reasons to switch over. The most important, to Delta, would be money. Could they make MORE money with a revenue based (RB) system? Doubtful as you will see below. The only other reason would be if flyers wanted it and would be more happy with it. We know a majority would not be!
- MQM’s are a HUGE money maker to the company. AMEX must pay a bundle for the ones they give away each year. Also, this is year two for selling MQM’s. (see much more on my guest post at PM&M today on this topic).
- Skymiles program is a money maker. Again AMEX buys a bunch. Delta gives them out for every kind of issue because they have value to us. If they become worth ½ what they are now, the “point” of the program begins to go away. Also, right now, with the award calendar broken, and most flyers uneducated on how to get low level awards, most just redeem at mid or high. Thus, the program right now, “works” for the company. If it ain’t broke, don’t break it!
- Partners. Think about Skyteam. AF is already upset at Delta over award space. If now, they make it even harder for the rest of Skyteam to get Delta seats, the French Revolution part deux may be on the way. AF/KLM needs to get their labor and other costs in line and make money. Delta is now making nice money. Upsetting the rest of the children at this point would not be good!
- Promotions. We have seen e-Miles and e-Rewards exit from promotions with Skymiles. White board is new and we are sure to see many transatlantic bonus Skymiles deals as the market tightens up and other airlines giving away points as well. If the points become worth much less, these promotions will also be worth much less. Being able to give away something that costs you basically nothing to earn real money is great biz when you can get it. Why make it harder when it is so simple now?
- Social media. Delta is uber aware of “us”. Not just Delta Points that so many at the company read each morning, but you and me. With Twitter, Facebook, MilePoint & Flyertalk – we can make a lot of noise. Back when SSM, that is Save Skymiles, happened so many years ago there was no social media to drum up attention (back in 2003). Can you even imagine what a full court press could do now? The bashing would NEVER end or letup. People would come unglued!
- Legal. With the uproar from flyers, some jumping ship and going to other airlines, like the new AA/US AIR, who I am sure would LOVE to get upset Delta flyers over to their program, spending money they will need, to everyone who stays deciding to get the Feds involved or other ways if they can. I am not saying this will work, but Delta is PROUD that there have been so many less complaints to the Feds in 2012. This would ensure a never ending stream of litigation, complaints and red tape. That sounds like a great way to mess up a money making machine that now is Delta!
- Selling the kitchen sink. Right now, you can bundle everything. Everywhere you turn Delta is selling “stuff”. You in the seat are like a captive viewer for the “Home Shopping Network”. Drink, Food, WiFi, movies, Sky Mag within reach of every flyer. This is a marketing GOLD MINE. Think of each of these flyers tuning OUT due to the fact they feel they are being ill-treated by Delta. Would I get stingy with my flight dollars if a RB system came into effect? You had BETTER BELIEVE IT! And I think I would not be the only one to feel the same way. Why would Delta kill the cow that is giving them the milk to make the best cheese this side of Wisconsin.
So there you go. Now I do not put it past my beloved airline of doing something totally and utterly stupid and self destructive like making the jump to RB, but I would like to think that the money right now is way too good to just mess it all up! – René
▲Delta▲ SkyMiles® Credit Card
from American Express®
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According to many at FlyerTalk, rollover Delta MQM’s have begun to post today as expected. Last year, they started to pour in on the 3rd so it looks like Delta “IT” has improved over last year.
My account still shows big FAT zeroes, but as I talked about in last week’s rookie post, there is no reason to stress out – your MQM’s are on the way! – René
EDIT: 3:PM 03JAN2013 – As you can see below, my rollover has posted!
▲Delta▲ SkyMiles® Credit Card
from American Express®
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Today’s date is a fun one as early today DeltaPoints hit 1000 followers via Twitter. DeltaPoints is also closing in on 2000 subscribers to the 1x daily e-mail blast for the blog. Speaking of fun stuff, be sure to check the blog both Saturday and Sunday as I will have some sweet giveaways both days!
Now some bad news for today’s date. If you have not yet checked your inbox, you will soon see the above letter from e-Miles telling you that if you want to redeem your e-Miles for Delta Skymiles you MUST do so by year end. They normally give 250-500 points just for joining and it looks like you can still do so with your Skymiles number:
This may present an opportunity for some extra points that could be used for other things next year as per the above letter they are giving bonus points next year to Skymiles redeemers to keep them happy and as of today you can still JOIN with your Skymiles number. So, if you have not yet played with e-Miles, today may be a good time to join! – René
In this week’s Rookie Wednesday we cover the topic of collecting Skymiles. There are truly an overwhelming number of ways to amass Delta points if you pay attention and get used to a moderate change in lifestyle and thinking.
First some caveats. Delta points blog, and especially Rookie Wednesdays, is focused on Delta. There may be “better” or more lucrative ways to get other points, but this is all about Skymiles. There are always choices about what points you value most or, more importantly, need most for an award.
Let’s start with the obvious. You can look back at THIS post where I review the different Delta credit cards from American Express. Having one of these is a must to get maximum Skymiles each year.
Next, here is a long list that I will break down.
- Shopping portals & toolbar
- Hotel and cars
- Bonus deals
- Transfers, Buying points & Award builder
- Segments & distance with Delta
- Skybonus for business
- Retention bonus
This is a basic list. If you are an online shopper, and who isn’t, starting at Delta’s shopping portal to buy “stuff” is the place to start Skymilesshopping. They have a plug-in tool bar that will direct you and help you earn max points. I do not use the latter and advise against it as for me there are times I want other points and don’t want to fight this tool bar. In addition to this shopping site, there is also SkyMall (this was the old NWA site and is very good) that gives you 5x Skymiles for each dollar spent (6x when you pay with your Delta AMEX). They will price match most major stores if you can find a lower price so they are worth checking out.
The next one, partners, is really a huge topic so I will not go over it point by point, but you should now and then check to see what deals they have with partners. From Fedex shipping, to cruise ship bonus booking points, to Delta’s travel agency ( Delta Vacations ), to investments and on and on!
Now hotels and cars. So many of these options you have to be careful with. You can select with most hotels and car rentals to earn Skymiles as the default setting. This does take the thinking out of the equation, but there are many times where you can double dip both kinds of points. So try to make the time to check for bonus deals. Another warning, especially when it comes to car rentals, there can be surcharges to earn Skymiles that may make it not worth the cost.
Now we look at bonus deals. SkyMall etc. You need to keep on the lookout for deals. Last year, Skymall had the great spend $500 and get a whooping 25,000 bonus Skymiles. There have been other ones like the pet store bonus and others that come along. Sometimes these are long lasting, but most times they go quick so just keep an eye out and you can naturally expect that I will put up any ones I find on the blog!
Next we have a tri-fecta of points from Delta with Transfers, Buying points & Award builder. Please understand, value wise, most or all of the time, these are very poor value ideas. There are often deals where Delta will give you 50-100% bonus points for these transactions and then the price becomes tolerable if you need a few more points for a trip. You can “pay” for extra Skymiles for each flight you take, but again there, check the value/cost. You can maybe get your employer to give out Skymiles as a bonus perk for good work with the Skymiles Incentives program and getting your boss to pay for your Skymiles is great for you anyway!
There are two major survey sites that give you Skymiles for your time and both are free to join. They are E-Rewards and E-miles. If you have the time to fill out surveys you can get a nice amount of points each year with them. There is also Audience rewards, but you are only looking at a few points per year. Too much effort for me.
On to segments with Delta. This is one of the most missed ways to get extra points with Delta. When you go to book a flight, and you have say for the same fare class, a choice of connecting via one hub or the other, look at what route gives you the most MQM’s & RDM’s! Also, following that same advice, maybe a triple connect can score you a bunch more points over a double connect. You can use CWSI.net‘s SkyCalc to check what route gives you the best deal.
Skybonus. You need to have a business. If you do, you can earn yet another kind of points from Delta that can be redeemed for free tickets or Skyclub day passes or many other perks. This is a revenue based earning program so the more you spend the more points you get. It is a simple thing, once you setup your account, to enter your Skybonus number into your Skymiles account and then earning is just about automatic. The other kool part about this program is that your employees, when they fly, will help YOU earn more Skybonus points and it will not affect their ability to earn their own Skymiles!
Complaints. Never underestimate the power of both commending those who work for the airline and also complaining about something that has gone wrong for points. You can, if you fly even moderately, and things do not go well, complain your way to tens of thousands of points each year!
The last one is almost too easy and goes back to yet one more reason to have the Delta branded card and to USE it. If you do, you can call AMEX’s retention department each year and be given thousands of points to remain with them!
So there you are. This is by no means a 100% complete list but I hope this shows you that you can, with just a little work and maybe a bit of a mindset change, earn free tickets each and every year. Skymiles may be the hardest to redeem but they sure are the simplest to collect! – René
At this point I will end the year with 115,000 MQM’s including a Personal Reserve card before year end and roll-over 40,000 MQM’s. Just about perfect as it would only take me 10k for GOLD the following year or, if I want to push it, 35k more for PM until FEB2015! I will make GM without question from flying and I will not allow myself to drop down to FO again unless the draconian rumored revenue based system materializes next year.
So on to what I touched on both Friday & Saturday. Delta has recently started selling upgrades at the gate. Now if you have not looked at yesterday’s post please do that now as you will understand more. The flight where they sold an upgrade I cleared as a silver on a T-class fare in the upgrade window. I hope you see my point. Plus, the basketball player who did pay for the upgrade, $75 for the 1+ hr flight, he and his wife did NOT have any status with Delta (yeah I snooped and looked at his boarding pass that he held for the flight while he slept).
So is Delta selling a seat that a medallion should have got? I have been assured by the Delta corp. rep that this will NOT happen. You may be yelling at the screen: “this has happened to me!” I ask, was it on an international flight? Keep in mind we medallions don’t get free upgrades here. If there ever is a case where you have not been upgraded, domestically, and they sell an upgrade, you had better check you were on the upgrade list. If lastly you know of a case where a non-medallion could buy an upgrade over you as a medallion, show me and I will let corp. know. The standing policy is to only sell when ALL medallions have cleared first. To me this is just smart business. I hate to see business seats on any flight go empty as THAT is revenue lost to our airline.
Next on to the impact of the group sales change to MQM’s earnings on flyers. I sat behind the comic Steve White from a Carnival crusie ship on his way back home (yeah funny I know). Carnival pays for Steve to fly back home and they have a negotiated rate much lower than the public prices for you and me and keep in mind they fly staff back home all over the planet all the time. Steve overheard me talking to my seat mate about points and miles (shocking I know) and started asking questions. He had been hit on his latest Skymiles statement with the lower MQM’s and he did not think THAT was funny at all (oh I could do this all day). I talked to him about the change and here is the bottom line. I told him he could negotiate to have Carnival buy a fare class that will earn full MQM’s for him. Also, if you are reading this Steve, keep in mind
many companies keep all the Skymiles etc. for themselves and use them [edit: not possible with Skymiles]. They do not have to give you anything other than the flight home. I also suggested he get a Skybonus account so he can earn some more points that way. So, I still stand by the statement that MOST will not be affected by the group sales change, but oh I am shaking while I type this if this is the shape that the new rumored revenue based Skymiles program will be. I think it will hurt Delta more than they have ever dreamed if they force this on us. We will see.
Next on to a few more fun topics. I saved my GoGo info on my laptop. Every single time I went to a Skyclub I would connect, on the ground, to a plane nearby with GoGo apparently still on. I did not try to log in with my info to see if I could (now I wish I had) to see if it was in fact active while on the ground. If it is, it could be a way to get wifi in the airport when you are not in a Skyclub. If anyone has tried this let me know as officially GoGo should just turn on and off at 10k!
More musings and bits. I got my GOES free from when I had my Platinum Membership Rewards card as they rebate you back the $100 fee. The one day I left the airport to meet my friend I had to go back into the airport. The line was long. This trip I used my GOES ID card for everything and also I have entered all my GOES info into my record at Delta.com. So, when I hand the TSA “kid” (he had to be all of 20) my card and boarding pass I get 3 beeps. Then the interchanges goes like this:
TSA kid: Did you hear that
TSA kid: Do you know how lucky you are
TSA kid: Yes you get to go that way
Me: OK thanks
I smile at the little TSA twerp and went on my way. However, I wanted to say (but DID NOT):
“I get how all this works and btw, you dimwit, I handed you my GOES ID card! Don’t you think I already have all my TSA PRE info in at Delta.com?”
Oh the things that pop into your head some days after 36 hrs of non-stop flying! Naturally I kept all that in my head so I am not sitting and blogging in an LA jail right now as that would have been much less fun to write about!
I end this little adventure with many of the same feelings I had going in. Those who work for our beloved airline, from gate agents, to FA’s to flight crews to you name it, they are all great! I, like most of you, dislike the TSA more and more each trip. I love airports and we all should have lounge access (hello AMEX Reserve card) and spend time NOT running from gate to gate but enjoying the time between flights. I start trip two later this week then get some time off. When I land I will be GOLD Medallion. In two weeks I get my AMEX MQM dump. Then after another run in November, when I land, I will be Platinum. Thus, during my last run, my trip to Sweden, my trip to Grand Cayman, my trip to Denver, my trip to Utah – Lisa & I will BOTH be Platinum Medallion. Our trips to Sweden in spring and summer are already in biz on points so all good there and I booked them with MY miles so I will get free changes all I want very soon (I booked as FO but once I hit PM I get free changes ). Am I the only one who plans his trips a full year out? – Rene
PS – don’t forget to comment on yesterday post
for a chance to win free Delta coupons!
This has been a unique week. Has it been fun? Yes. Was it work? Yes. What it hard work? No. Would I do it again? (Well since I have a few more of these runs booked) Yes! Would I book this again next year? Maybe!
How is that for an intro? I know DeltaPoints readers are at all levels of travel experience so I will try to keep this simple but some of this will come across as, “what? why? how?”. I also will toss in some personal psychological musings now and then that hit me during the run.
Let’s start with some of the technical stuff first as I have had many questions on that. This one was an add-on after the $137 killer deal that I booked the other runs with. It was still a good price but I totally get the argument that compared to getting the AMEX Reserve card this was a waste of time since it also gets you 10,000 MQM’s with your first dollar spent (to be fair I plan to do that too so I still needed/wanted this).
I booked PIT-ATL-LAX-ATL-PIT but thanks to the mighty schedule change rule, and calling and asking for a change to SBN, was told, NO, but pick any airport in Ohio (I loved that response btw). So, I picked the closest one, Cleveland. I did two days back to back. The total cost for the AIR part was $338.40 so my net for the 10,000 MQM’s was 3.39 CPM. My gas/toll/parking price added almost $100 to the bill but I also netted 12,504 RDM’s so that has value too of at least $125 (I value my Skymiles at 2-3 cents each for Sweden trips in business class). I also will net some nice Skybonus points on top of all this. My next runs were cheaper and I used a $400 ETV so my real cost will be MUCH lower for those. While we are talking about cost, I parked at the Marriott CLE and you can just park anywhere in their lot, walk in, tell them you want to park-n-fly, and it costs just $5/day. I did tip the driver $2 so all-in $6/day cost! They give you a business card and you call the moment you land and they are then waiting to pick you up. Great service!
I have been struggling how to cover all the points and not make this post ridiculously long. Today I will cover the journey and tomorrow some things I thought I knew, but now have confirmed by my experience and also confirmed with my Delta corporate contact regarding Delta’s selling of upgrades etc.
This may come as shock to many of you but I dropped down to Silver status at the end of March, not February, this year (I will give a free amenity coupon to the first one to correctly guess how this happened). My wife is Platinum now and I always want one of us to have that level of status each year. So, next year is my turn. In 1 month I will move from Silver to Gold to Platinum with flights and my next 15,000 AMEX Reserve dump of MQM’s. Thus, my upgrades were just about what I expected. I scored 2 of 8. One of them was in the 1 day upgrade window (the last leg of the trip – thank you Delta) one was battlefield upgrade. I was “told” over the PA I would get one more but it was an “oopsee” so the rep gave me my own row of economy comfort to make up for it and the FA’s were also very nice to me after they found out what happened. I was totally fine with it and really it was funny. I did not expect any on the ATL-LAX or LAX-ATL and on one of the segments I was 80th of 84 with 1 seat open for battlefield upgrade. My guess is I was basically 4 ahead of all the other T-class FO’s with no AMEX Reserve card!
On to my seats. For anyone who thinks FO is worthless I laugh in your face. Here is why. IMO, if you want leg room (WAY MORE THAN 1st class on this aircraft), then I had the best seat on the 767-300 domestic product hands down. I mean look a the photo above and below here.
As a Silver I picked row 26 each trip. 25 AB & FG is not bad bulkhead legroom but 26 AB & FG are the best as full recline (slider seat) and both a seat back tray table AND an armrest one. IFE, GoGo WiFi, USB power in the seats, near lav – just wow! I would pick these over EC seats if you want legroom. The only negative is they are a bit hard on the tushy! SeatGuru says the middle bulkhead is good too. I would say NO and not just for the reason below.
I spent a lot of time in Skyclubs. I went straight for the new F concourse Skyclub for my showers as it is all new and nice.
One big gripe was that I could not find a hair dryer in the room. In LAX they have them on the wall just like hotels but not in the F. What is up with that Delta?
It was fun, after 1.5 days of running, to look up and see all these people, each and every one of them on a phone, tablet, PC and the like. I saw only ONE person reading a real, paper magazine. Times have changed.
One day I went to Chili’s on the upper level of concourse A, right next to the Skyclub that no one seems to know about, and had a killer lunch of the appetizer sampler menu and a priceless view of the airport. Each bite was better than the next and I cannot wait to have it again.
But I will stick to water and have my beer in the Skyclub as over $8.00 for a beer? C’mon Chili’s give me a break!
I also mentioned money well spent. Since I got such a good deal, and my back was a bit sore from so much time in coach, I splurged on a table massage at the XpresSpa just below the Chili’s and Skyclub in “A”. It was amazing and took away all the pain. I will always plan for 3-4 hour layovers for this 45/min treatment when running from now on and really should add that into my CPM but maybe that is just silly as I would have one at home anyway even when not flying. I digress – sorry!
I also wanted to talk bumps for just a second. Delta does not have a “give up your seat” that can be put in for the total trip. You must ask at the gate and sometimes if you use the kiosk at check-in or throughout the airport you will get the bid for giving up your seat (that just means offer $400 and you will be on the list maybe). Both my LAX flights were VERY oversold. I was promised I would be needed – 100% – by the agent on trip one but at the last second put on the plane. Result was my laptop was no where near my seat (I have a complaint in to Delta about this). The second time, I again offered and came to the gate 1 hr before flight. The lady in front of me (grrrrrrr) had a party of 4 and they all got $400 each. (grrrrrr). I know I have publicly said I will only take cash from now on, and I stand by that, except for when running as a rebook to “Y” will just about guarantee an upgrade for me and that alone is worth the bump! So if you want to bump, be sure to get to the gate EARLY and be first in line!
There was also a reason for this trip other than just points and miles as I did meet a friend in LAX but will keep that private until a later date. I promise to tell you about that one day, just not now. How do I feel after a total of 6hrs driving and 24 hrs flying? Tired. Exhausted? No. Was it fun? You bet. The funny thing to me was I had planned to get a TON of work done in Skyclubs and on the 5 hr transcon segments. Even the CLE-ATL was 1+hr long. The reality was it went by so fast that I got almost nothing done I wanted. I only had time for one film and most of the time in the Skyclub I relaxed and did a few e-mails and such.
So what do you think. Would you try one of these 2 day runs? Be nice in your comments but am I crazy? Leave any kind of comment – ON THE BLOG – for a chance to win 1 of 4 Delta Points luggage tags and a Delta amenity coupons (I will use random.org tomorrow some time)! – René
I am financially conservative. I know that sounds funny coming from someone when churns credit cards and gets 10-20 cards each year but there is the issue of spend. In my “Rookie” tab I plainly state you “DO NOT buy things you do not NEED”. So how can I do this and meet my goal to get to $60,000 in spend on my Delta AMEX Reserve card to get 30,000 bonus RDM’s & MQM’s for the year. The answer is simple but will require dipping into savings for a few months.
We all have monthly bills like our phone, cable, gas, electric, food, etc etc. Have you ever thought about prepaying for a 3-6 months these bills? Now keep in mind I am giving up some points as using other cards WILL earn me more points but short term I value my MQM’s more than the points I am giving up. Not only that, there are some small fee’s I will pay to pay some of these bills with a credit card. Check out what I have done as I still need to spend $10,000 by year end.
$500 – My cell bill. I paid it and prepaid $500 more.
$500 – My Comcast bill. I paid it and prepaid $500 more.
$400 – I prepaid my USAA car insurance for the term
$100 – Forever stamps are going up soon so got 2oo+ of them
$1000 – Walmart gift cards that I will use to shop at Sams Club that does not take AMEX
$1000 – Martin’s grocery store gift cards where I shop for food
$3000 – AMEX gift card (just buying myself time will use for gas & other stuff)
$6500 – is my grand total so far.
My gas and electric company’s don’t take AMEX and the fee’s to buy VISA & MC gift cards are too high (my local Officemax ended my fun of buying them with OfficeMax gift cards). There are other things I may send some money to. Ebay will let me prepay and I do sell stuff for about $50-100 in fee’s each month. I could also buy a gas card but I already have my $3000 AMEX gift card for that. I already pay my homeowners insurance with my AMEX card in full so that one is done (I use Ameriprise as they are the cheapest and take AMEX).
There are some words of caution with this. The biggest is only do this is you have some savings you can tap. YOU DO NOT WANT TO CARRY A BALANCE on your credit card. Just not ever worth it. Next, if you plan to later say buy an iPad or TV with a AMEX gift card – DON’T. If you do buy these things with the DELTA AMEX you will in most cases get an extra year warranty from AMEX that you will not if you pay with a gift card. Also you will miss out on some interest from taking money from savings to cover these prepaid bills but since my budget will be much smaller for the next few months it will be simple to put funds back. Again, worth it to me for the points I will get.
Notice all of these things are for normal bills that I must pay and I am just paying them early so I am not just spending on things I do not need. I am still looking for more creative ideas so would love your input on what you do to meet your spend. Let’s do this today. Give me a suggestion that we can use and I will give one of you a $50 Mariott gift card. Note the T&C of this one will be HARD so please READ this. I will DQ (disqualify) you for breaking any of the rules. The rules are this:
- You must give a suggestion we can all use
- You may NOT comment just buying a TV or a Computer etc.
- The idea must be for things we normally pay for that we can pay with AMEX card (buying Visa & MC gift don’t count)!
- You can not use the ideas I have already posted above.
- Since I am looking for real payments, Amazon payments etc don’t count.
- If two people comment the same idea (like buy a gas card – the one who comments first counts).
- Anything with fee’s must not be more the 1% MAX total
- You may comment more than once if you you have more than one idea for us.
- I am the judge of this and my decisions are final.
- I will then use Random.org to pick from the approved list a $50 Marriott gift card!
- The drawing time will be tomorrow at
6:PM. EDIT: 10:PM
There you are. I want NEW and outside the box ideas we can use. I want this post to be one we can save an look back to with good ideas. So get to work and comment on the blog below! – René