Through September 30, 2011 Delta is offering a 100% bonus on purchased and transferred miles. Admittedly Delta miles aren’t all that valuable, though this can still be a good deal.
Delta SkyMiles usually sell for 3.5 cents each plus the 7.5% federal excise tax, so through this promotion they end up costing 1.75 cents each, plus the 7.5% federal excise tax, for a total of 1.88 cents per mile. You can purchase a maximum of 60,000 miles per year, so through this promotion that would be a total of 120,000 miles.
The better deal is transferring miles, where the cost is one cent per mile, plus a $30 transaction fee. You can transfer a maximum of 150,000 miles per year, though only a maximum of 30,000 miles per transaction. That means the cost to transfer 30,000 miles miles would be $330, or about 1.1 cents per mile. If you transfer 30,000 miles you would get a total of 60,000 miles in the other account.
While Delta miles aren’t especially valuable, $1,650 for a net gain of 150,000 miles isn’t half bad. That’s enough for a business class award on V Australia to Australia in business class, or on Air Tahiti/Air France to Tahiti in business class. 100,000 miles, at a cost of $1,120, would also be enough for a business class award to Europe.
In all cases a pretty good deal, though if you were only going to go for one promotion, I think US Airways’ mileage sale at 1.48 cents per mile is a better deal. That being said, I’m very tempted by both offers…
(Tip of the hat to Gary)