Category Archives: Delta Skymiles

Delta Platinum Challenge… Go for it or not?

Do I really need the Delta Platinum?  I have not flown on a Delta plane in about a decade. But I have Delta miles, not a lot. I had 22K from long ago that the magazine people wanted me to trade in for magazines and led me to the idea of points and miles travel. I went to the Delta Airlines web site and was amazed that once I started typing I had a natural recall of my rewards number. This is strange because I cannot remember passwords I set in the past day! I am constantly locked out of my accounts.

I signed up for the American Express Delta Premier and earned 50K miles on top of that. Using that card to pay utilities got the balance to around 88K, it was one of those accounts that just sat there.  New to the MS game I was too nervous to run the bill up to the $50K usage to get the MQM boost and I couldn’t think of a reason I needed the boost because I still had not used Delta. Between the Southwest Companion Pass and my new American Advantage Platinum, we had enough status for travel to keep us very busy for the year. There were no Delta flights in my near future.

Then there was the sale last summer for winter in Europe for 45K for Business class! (this sale was probably for people with the Delta branded credit card?) I found a good flight and booked my husband and I on an angled lie flat product that sounded great. I was about 1000 miles short. I quickly transferred over American Express MR to Delta. I needed the one-way ticket because I had booked a round trip from Oslo, Norway to Chicago for under $300. As winter approached, I realized I was not in the mood for Oslo in January. When my annual fee popped up on the American Express card, I realized that for me it was not worth $195 year because I was not using the benefit from it.

My first stroke of luck was a flight change on the Oslo routing and I was able to cancel that ticket. I was stuck with the Delta tickets, which I really wanted to use, but at a more optimal time. I started watching the Delta flights for ant changes.  There was only 1 small change and it didn’t qualify me for a refund.

Panic begins to set in about 7 days before the flight. The decision has to be made, pay $300 to cancel 2 tickets and save my 88K Delta miles or forfeit my miles to the Delta Universe. Even though I did not need the Delta miles, they were mine! I may have mile and point hoarding tendencies.

Then a brilliant idea…. Delta waives award and redeposit fees for  Platinum and Diamond members.  I could possibly save my points and $300 with a STATUS MATCH!  I don’t need status with Delta because I haven’t been on a Delta plane in over 10 years! Last year I had Alaska MVP Gold75 which I turned into a challenge with American for Platinum this year. Ideally I would wait until next year to have Delta, but I really wanted my points with no fee involved.  I whipped up a quick e-mail to Delta asking for a match to my American Advantage.

Two days later Delta responds, ‘Welcome to Delta Challenge’. With only 5 days before my award flight I was granted temporary Platinum status. I call up Delta and ask to cancel my award flight. No problem they say. They redeposit the miles into my account and just like that. I am Platinum for 90 days. I can keep Platinum the remainder of the year if I fly 18500 miles. At least with American it was only 12500 for platinum, which I did last fall. Then again with American I had to pay a fee to do the challenge.

Now what? This is the tempting part. We do have a flight to Europe scheduled in about a month on Delta, but I don’t know if it counts because it is Delta ticketed and Air France flight. It would only be about 4200 of the 18500 miles needed. If the challenge gave me 2017 status this would be a no brainer, but honestly 2016 is a quarter over and I don’t see that many more flights coming my way.

I could have done the Johannesburg for 22K miles and some crazy butt in seat hours in economy, the thought makes me cringe, and makes my butt numb just thinking about it.  If I can find a shorter flight that fits with my spring travel then I may want to just to say I had it. Do I need it? Is it less financially to simply book business class tickets? Maybe now I need another American Express. I have been looking for good Delta deals that can get me 14500 miles. Time is running out to make this decision.

I am based in Washington DC and Delta is sometimes an option.

Are you Delta elite and love it?

What would you do? Go for it or not? Any good Delta mileage run ideas?