Delta recently announced a 100% bonus on purchased and transferred miles through September 30, 2011, as I blogged about here. This brings the cost of a purchased mile down to about 1.88 cents per mile, while it brings the cost of a transferred mile down to 1.1 cents per mile.
On one hand I had a hard time justifying taking advantage of the offer because Delta miles just aren’t all that valuable in my book. Even at 1.1 cents per mile, it’s a borderline case. But then I realized the other huge benefit of this promotion.
Late last year my family acquired several hundred thousand Delta miles thanks to the Suntrust debit card deal, offering 25,000 Delta SkyMiles per debit card (don’t expect this deal to come back, folks). After some redemptions we have 43,000 miles in one account, 25,000 miles in another account, and about 133,000 miles in another account.
While the last amount is useful, the first two amounts aren’t enough for premium cabin redemptions.
So through this promotion you pay one cent per mile to make a transfer, plus a $30 transaction fee for every chunk of up to 30,000 miles you transfer.
Therefore my plan would be to transfer 25,000 miles to the account with 43,000 miles, at a cost of $280 (one cent per mile plus the $30 transaction fee). Then there would be 93,000 miles in the account (43,000 miles that were in there, plus the 25,000 miles transferred, plus the 25,000 mile bonus). Then I would plan on transferring 90,000 of those miles at a cost of $990 to the account with 133,000 miles in it.
I would then have 313,000 miles in the account (133,000 miles that were in there, plus the 90,000 miles transferred, plus the 90,000 mile bonus).
My total out of pocket would be $1,270, and I would gain 115,000 miles. In and of itself that’s not a bad deal, though more importantly my miles would be better positioned for redemptions. Instead of having miles in three different accounts, I would have over 300,000 miles in a single account, more than enough for two business class tickets to Australia on V Australia (or to a ton of other destinations).
I’m very tempted, though haven’t actually pulled the trigger yet. Thoughts? Does anyone else have the same thinking?