A couple weeks ago I had my dad apply for the American Express PRG card, because he was offered 50,000 points with only $1,000 spending and no annual fee the first year. At that time, I searched for award flights on Delta.com for next year because my parents are coming home for a wedding. There was 1 flight available for 25,000 miles. Perfect! I’d hurry and complete the spending for my parents so they could collect their points and book their Delta award flight. Now when I look for flights, almost every flight is going for 25,000 miles.
Could it be possible that Delta is actually going to start releasing more award seats for less miles? It looks like it! That’s not without saying that you will actually be earning less miles per flight since Delta is switching to revenue based starting January 1, 2015. So even though it takes 25,000 miles for a level 4 free flight, it’s going to take more spending on Delta to earn this number of miles.
What about those who don’t rely on earning miles based on flights, but spending through their credit card? Next year I plan on earning most of my Delta miles through credit cards. This is excellent news for people like me! The Amex PRG offers 3x points on flights book directly with airlines and 2x points at gas stations and supermarkets. You could then transfer these points to your Delta account and book a level 4 flight for only 25,000 miles. This actually means those who rely on earning Delta miles via credit cards will have to spend less to earn free flights! To be completely honest, I like this much better since it’s easier to swipe vs. flying.
I’m looking at Delta’s award chart for 2015, and it looks like there’s only 5 levels now for booking Economy tickets within the Continental US. The two most common award levels will be 4 and 5.
Just take a look at how many 25,000 flights are wide open for next year. My parents have plenty of options to choose from! What’s even better is they’re all non-stop flights! When I looked a few weeks ago, the 1 award flight had a layover for their outbound flight.
There were 3 pages of award seats available. I went to the 3rd page and scrolled all the way down to the bottom and there was only 1 flight available for 42,500 miles. The rest of the results were either 25,000 miles or 32,500 miles. I remember looking for flights this summer and Delta was asking 60,000 miles for an economy ticket! I was absolutely disgusted. For christ sakes! I can fly to Europe round-trip with American Airlines for that amount of miles. It’s nice to see Delta actually turning things around!
1 last thing I’d like to bring up. In the beginning of my post, I did mention that those who earn miles through credit card spending will benefit the most from this change. Delta did put a cap on how many miles you can transfer into your SkyMiles account. Delta is allowing customers to transfer up to 250,000 miles into their SkyMiles account per calendar year. For non-Delta branded credit cards like the Amex PRG and Amex Platinum, you’ll be capped. I don’t see this being a problem for me since I would never put that amount of spending on my Amex credit cards.