As I touched on yesterday in the month end Delta Points newsletter, there are some HUGE Delta changes about to be inflicted upon us. There are a number of things you simply MUST do before the clock strikes midnight on the 31st (as after that it will be too late) and some things that will happen even before the end of the month. Let’s look at this top 10 list I am thinking about.
1) Please, do Not Purchase MQM’s from Delta – This week, (that is very soon this week I have found out), Delta will again offer MQMs for sale. These MQMs were last year offered at ridiculous prices and if last year is any kind of pattern for Delta to follow, those who are the most valued elites will pay MORE than those who Delta values less. PLEASE do not do this. As a more cost-effective option, take a look at a Delta AMEX Reserve personal card or business cards as for the $450 non-waived free for one year you get 10,000 MQMs after your 1st purchase. Apply ASAP to make sure you are approved and the MQMs count on this year (if you need them this year that is, if not wait). Then you can also enjoy the other perks of the card for a year as well.
2) If you happen to have the non-Delta Platinum AMEX card, keep in mind the $200 per year travel credit that you must use before year end. If you select Delta at AMEX as your preferred provider and then you can, if you want to, buy 4x$50 Delta gift cards before the 31st and again after the 1st of January 2015 and get credit for all of them as your airline credit. Now this perk is once per calendar year so if you have already taken it, as some other credit, you must wait till 1JAN to go again. Also, if you don’t want Delta as your perk provider, you can pick a new one after 1JAN for the next year.
3) Booking RTW awards. Don’t forget that the Delta Round the World award tickets, both in coach for 180,000 and business for 280,000 will no longer be bookable after 1JAN2015. If you want one of these call the RTW desk (ask for them on the phone with Delta) and plan for many hours on the phone with them. Or, a better idea, just have ADAM do all the work for you
4) Booking stopover or open jaw award tickets. These also end in a few short weeks on 1JAN2015. We all know this was one of the best uses for Skymiles so book up now if you want to take advantage of this amazing value that will soon be lost!
5) Meeting spend to be MQD exempt or get bonus MQMs. If you have any of the 3 personal or business Delta AMEX cards, and you have POSTED charges on or before 31DEC2014 it will count on this year’s MQD exempt spend $25,000 number. Be sure you have that and the right number of MQMs for whatever medallion level you wanted to reach. Keep in mind all flights scheduled to take off by 23:59PM on 31DEC count on this year, that is 2014, even if they land in 2015.
6) If you do not have a Delta AMEX card, both your MQD number & MQMs are all important. Again, like the above, it is the scheduled departure time of your flight that matters when it comes to earning MQD’s and MQM’s. For example, if you have a trip that spans New Years and the return flight is in 2015, you WILL NOT get 2014 credit for the return portion.
7) Expiring bump vouchers. This is not year end specific, however consider this good to peek at your vouchers and see if now is a good time to book a ticket before they expire. You have one year to spend them once you get them, but one further year to fly on them beyond that so check if you need to book something. You will earn points i.e. Skymiles and MQMs under whatever year you fly them, NOT under whatever year you book them. Clear?
8) HOOU & Skybonus points & a warning. I have had at least one reader e-mail me just furious as he redeemed Skybonus points for HOOUs last month and they expire on 31DEC2014 yes THIS YEAR. If you want HOOUs that are good for a year you must wait till 1JAN2015. But keep in mind Skybonus points do expire every 3 years EVEN when you earn more points so check if you have any going away at the end of 2014. If you have points going away this year and do want HOOUs for them I would request them on 31DEC as I cannot see they would send you pre-expired ones in January 2015!
9) Check your spending on all your travel cards. This one is twofold. First, look at your quarterly bonus categories for cards like the Discover IT or Chase Freedom cards, but another important thing to consider are your new cards that you are trying to meet minimum spend for. Believe it or not once (and yes I am still upset about it) I made a mistake and missed the spend on a new travel card and missed out on the bonus points. Talk about a stupid move on my part. Nowadays I just go to Kroger and get VDGCs and meet the spend on new cards in the 1st week to be safe.
10) This last one, is again sorta not year end specific, but you should take the time to check when you need to do your retention calls for your cards. Do you have an annual fee coming up in the next few months? It could be worth a call to see what they are willing to offer to keep you (that is if you have been using the card and not just used it for the bonus points)!
So there you are. I think I have hit on the most important ones we need to think about, but if I have missed any please comment below on the blog. I know it is Monday and you have a lot going on after the holiday weekend but take the time please to check these one by one as I want to make sure you don’t miss out on all the perks and points that are coming your way! – René
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