Even though I write about travel, points and miles, sometimes I make stupid mistakes, as we’re all bound to do. I almost made a mistake that would have cost us a few thousand miles if I didn’t catch it at the last minute.
I needed to book flights to Atlanta and there are four non-stop options from Orlando. I can choose from Frontier, Spirit, Southwest or Delta. Delta flies between the two cities 13 to 15 times a day, with flights almost every hour. Prices when looking more than a month out aren’t inexpensive but they aren’t much more than the low-cost carriers, considering that we’ll get a free checked bag.
I’m not thrilled about paying $190 for a 90-minute flight but that’s the going price so what can you do?
I looked to see what Delta was charging for award tickets since shorter flights are often a great use for SkyMiles. If I was going to book an award ticket, I’d need to transfer AMEX Membership Rewards to Delta. Sharon has more AMEX points than I do so I logged into her Delta Account.
The same flights cost 13,500 SkyMiles plus $5.60. That would be 1.36 cents per SkyMile, which is a decent value.
Before I transferred the points, Delta reminded me that co-brand AMEX cardholders now save 15% on award tickets. Even though I have fewer AMEX points, I had enough to cover 23,000 points.
Instead of 13,500 points, our tickets cost 11,400 SkyMiles each. That’s a 4,200 points savings for the two tickets. If you put a base value of SkyMiles at 1 cent per point, I saved $42 by having a Delta co-brand AMEX card. That’s on top of what I’ll save on checked-bag fees.
I had to pay $13.80 in fees to transfer Membership Rewards to Delta SkyMiles because AMEX charges a fee to send points to US airlines.
If you’re playing in two-player mode and only one of you has a Delta co-brand AMEX, remember that’s the person who has to book Delta SkyMiles reward tickets to save 15%.
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