I’m really starting to wonder at what point a promotion becomes the norm. Through March 31 Delta is offering a 100% bonus for purchasing miles. There’s no stopping Delta when it comes to selling miles without sufficient opportunities for redemption, but don’t they at a certain point lose all mileage “credibility?” When you offer 10,000 miles for a car rental, constantly have 100% bonuses when purchasing miles, offer 150% bonuses when making transfers, and offer generous bonuses when transferring from American Express Membership Rewards, is a mile really a mile anymore?
I got an email this morning asking whether this transfer rate was a good deal or not, and in general I’d say no. You’re paying 2.75 cents per base mile, which means with the 100% bonus you’re really paying about 1.38 cents per miles, plus 7.5% tax. That means purchasing 50,000 miles (for a total of 100,000 miles after the bonus), which is enough for a business class award ticket to Europe, would cost just under $1,500. That’s definitely not a bad value for business class, but you’ll see much more tempting Delta promotions. Still, if you have a specific flight that shows as being available for award travel and the price works out for you, it might just be worth it. Delta award availability to Europe isn’t that bad, even at the lowest level.