This past weekend, I spent some time making holiday travel arrangements. Yes, that’s six months away, but both my wife and I had quite a few Delta SkyMiles, we found decent airfares, and the airline industry isn’t going to be slashing fares anytime soon given the pain that they’ve been feeling. As such, we bit the bullet.
While booking our tickets, I learned something interesting about the SkyMiles program, as well as Delta’s frequent flyer credit cards. As it turns out, Delta has introduced a program where you can “Pay With Miles” even if you don’t have enough miles for a ticket. This is actually a reasonably solid deal, as 10k miles knocks $100 off the price of your ticket.
In our case, we needed six tickets total. My wife and I had enough miles for one free ticket apiece, and I was within a few thousand miles of another free ticket. Upon learning about the ability to pay with miles (and because I’m too lazy to read the fine print myself) I clicked on the button on their website to chat with a customer service rep (CSR).
When I asked about how to go about paying with miles, I was informed that you have one of their credit cards — either the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express or the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card — in order to be able to do this. Bummer.
While I’m not a huge fan of airline reward cards in general, this is a nice feature of the Amex/Delta offerings. It’s also worth noting that these cards come with some pretty juicy signup bonuses that can be used toward travel. Note that tickets are “free” aside from government taxes and fees that may apply to travel. Conditions and restrictions apply.