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December 1st last year was a fun and crazy time for the young Delta Points blog. The first day of the blog I had a few hundred visits. Then, Delta Points was announced as the official outlet for the launch and information regarding the promotion of the 25,000 Skymiles deal for spending $500 at Skymall. That day the views of the blog almost hit 10,000! To say there was interest in the little promotion does not even come close to what happened. Skymall had run the deal twice already, once in 2011, and once in 2010. I can tell you Skymall did not fully expect what “we” would bring to the table in terms of how “huge” this would be. We opened their eyes to the power of frequent flyer points enthusiasts and just what we can do as a group.
So now to the question I have been getting almost every day now; will the promotion be back this year? No! There were unique circumstances surrounding the promotion that I doubt will ever be recreated again. Will there be some kind of promotion this year from Skymall? [edit: wait and see?]. I can also tell you if any other promotion from another vendor comes out, don’t expect to get more than 50,000 points total out of it in one year. Even if the promo says otherwise, I doubt you will see more than 50,000 per Skymiles account again!
Skymall does still have their 5x promo on shopping at their site starting at THIS link for Delta flyers and if you pay with a DELTA AMEX CARD you are talking 6x points for the purchase. They still offer their PRICE MATCH guarantee so you can go check the best price at a major retailer, do all sorts of screen prints, then email them and get the price difference. You need to be careful with free S&H codes etc if you want to go this route as they can sometimes invalidate this offer. But, 6x Skymiles can be a nice deal for the item.
Another total devaluation of a perk of Skymiles was being able to exchange Skymiles for AMEX gift cards. In September of 2011 anyone could exchange 11,000 Skymiles for a $100 AMEX gift card. A good value as you could, rather than pay with points, get gift cards and then just buy a ticket and earn Skymiles. As you can see from the screen print above, the price has gone up by a whopping 95% in just over a year. Not only that, you must either have a Delta AMEX or be a GM+ to even access the Skymiles shopping place now. Hotels and cars have sometimes been a decent value for redeeming Skymiles, but these prices have gone up so much that I rarely ever even check anymore to see if I want to cash out some points this way.
These are truly unique times in the points game. Delta is selling everything it can, as I am sure you have seen on the website and on flights, and continues to make spending your Skymiles harder and harder. The big plus for us who are willing to do the work is we can still enjoy the seats no one can find. (btw I will be going step by step about just how to do this on this week’s Rookie Wednesday). For me, I still see the best way to score the max miles each year is by credit card rounds and looking for normal ways to meet spend. I will review all my credit card round results this year later this week and what worked and where I really failed! – Rene