How to turn your Delta Miles in Delta Dollars

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by Bikeguy, Feb 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Bikeguy
    • Original Member

    Bikeguy Silver Member

    This idea will not be for everybody.

    However, I have been frustrated with Delta's award availability.

    WIth what Delta wants to charge me to go where I want, it makes more sense to convert my Skypesos to Delta dollars and book the exact (direct) flights I want and earn miles flying them, versus spending 50,000 miles to fly coach in the US on a connecting flight.

    To do this, one needs a Delta Gold or Platinum Delta SkyMiles or Delta Reserve Credit Cardmembers Amex card. The Gold card has the membership fee waived the first year.

    Then, after you have aquired the necessary CC to convert DL miles to cash, book a refundable ticket.

    Cancel the ticket within the same billing cycle. The cash over the amount funded with miles comes back on your card, but the miles used are refunded as a DL e-cert, good for 1 year. Your miles have now been converted to a Delta e-cert at a rate of 1 cent per mile.

  2. Does it make a difference whether or not I cancel within the same billing cycle?
  3. Bikeguy
    • Original Member

    Bikeguy Silver Member

    If you cancel within the billing cycle, you don't need to pay anything on your credit card for the ticket.

    If you cancel the next billing cycle, I think you'd need to come up with the money charged and then get credited one month later.

    You can convert the points to miles either way.
    gomike likes this.
  4. Italy98
    • Original Member

    Italy98 Silver Member

    It is better then to minimize the amount of $$$ used when paying with miles? Correct?
  5. Bikeguy
    • Original Member

    Bikeguy Silver Member

    Ideally, you'd find a fare slightly above the amount that your miles would convert to. Even if it is more, you will be getting the "extra" cash you paid back on your credit card.

    So, if the total amount is a little or a lot more than the miles are worth, you will get the total cash outlay back eventually.

    If I couldn't find a refundable fare close in about 5 minutes, I'd just get whatever fare I could find and make sure I got the ticket refunded in the same billing cycle on my credit card.
    Italy98 likes this.
  6. Blue Skye
    • Original Member

    Blue Skye Silver Member

    apologies for this obviously "dumb" question, but how does one know or make sure the ticket is refundable? is that something i can define in my search for a pay with miles ticket? TIA

    i like this idea and am anxious to give it a try, if i am understanding it correctly.
  7. Tkey
    • Original Member

    Tkey Silver Member

    Check the "refundable" box on the booking page. Make sure the booking class is Y.
  8. Blue Skye
    • Original Member

    Blue Skye Silver Member

    thank you. i will be giving this a try when i get my mileage up again.
  9. bringer
    • Original Member

    bringer Silver Member

    How long after canceling does it take to get the e-cert? Thanks
  10. Wings
    • Original Member

    Wings Silver Member

    Would it not be a lot easier to just convert the miles into AMEX gift cards? you would only get .009 cents per miles instead of .01, but a lot less hassle. Also you would earn miles...I don't think you wuld earn miles in your scenario?
  11. turnpike17

    turnpike17 Active Member

    You would earn miles if using an e-cert to pay for a flight.
  12. I cancelled refundable ticket booked with Pay-by-miles recently.
    During first week after cancellation I had a e-credit for the full price of the ticket and (presumably) with all the restrictions of PbM ticket attached.
    Approximately 7 days later I've got a $$ portion refund on AmEx cc. The e-credit disappeared.
    A few days later I called DL and asked for the rest (miles/e-cert). CSR checked the files and said something like "It will take 3 to 5 days for the refund to be approved". OK, I decided to wait and finally (in about a week) got Miles back, not a e-cert.

    Since I didn't have the aim to convert miles into Delta $, it was OK for me, but definitely not in accordance with T&C of Pay-by-Miles booking.

    WRT AmEx gift cards. If you can get 100$ card for 10500 miles it's definitely very less headache than booking/cancellation + calls to SC, waiting time (7 days for CC, 14+ days for miles/e-cert), etc.

    If you will use e-credit, you will not get miles in this scenario, because e-credit is linked to the previous ticket and all the limitations of the old ticket would apply.
    If you will be patient enough to wait until e-credit will be converted to CC refund + e-certificate (and demand e-cert, not miles back), then you will earn miles on flight booked by using the e-cert, - that's the point of OP message.
  13. DiverDave
    • Original Member

    DiverDave Gold Member

    I'm a Diamond with a Delta Plat Amex, and I get quoted 11,000 miles for the $100 card. Who's getting them for 10,500 miles, or did the price go up?

  14. Wings
    • Original Member

    Wings Silver Member

    I believe the price went up sometime back in Mid-Dec....I have only seen 11K for $100 since.
  15. I just checked before posting this. I can see 19000miles per 50$ (or 36000SM/100$) "anonymously", but after log in I've 5500SM/50$ and 10500SM/100$.

    I'm GM with DL AmEx card.

    I can guess, DL believe you just have too many miles, so they can fleece you a little bit more. [​IMG]
  16. Indiana Delta Diamond
    • Original Member

    Indiana Delta Diamond Silver Member

    There are a lot of non Y fares that are refundable....notably in markets that DL competes directly with WN.
  17. theforester

    theforester Active Member

    I just checked too. 11k for $100 card. I am DL Plat.
  18. Tkey
    • Original Member

    Tkey Silver Member

    Yeah, but the quick and dirty way is to pick Y fares.
    Indiana Delta Diamond likes this.
  19. Blue Skye
    • Original Member

    Blue Skye Silver Member

    sorry to revive this rather old thread, but have a question loosely related to this "pay with miles" and "e-certs".

    scenario: bought a non refundable (yes, i know it was a mistake) ticket with the pay with miles. had to cancel the flight/trip and was given a refund/ecert minus the $150 change fee. (ouch!). i did not get any miles back which i guess is how they roll and was probably in the fine print.

    what i want to do is just get the residual $$$ amount of the ecert back from that ticket. the person to whom the credit was issued is probably never going to use the ecredit before it is expired.

    in theory, i was thinking i could buy a fully refundable ticket, use the ecert to pay for some of it, and then after a bit of time, request a refund. however, i am concerned with the fine print about not being able to get the value of the ecert back should i cancel. which of course defeats the whole purpose of trying to get my money back. especially since i can't get any miles back, i would just like the money back.

  20. MSPeconomist
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Has anyone actually done this to completion, flown, and gotten MQM and bonus miles?

    What's the difference between an ecredit and an ecert?
  21. icurhere2
    • Original Member

    icurhere2 Gold Member

    Starting with the second: the delineation is described in the refunds/reissues component; if I tried to succinctly re-describe, there would likely be more confusion. ;)

    On the first, I have indeed (once) after I found a refundable itinerary for an uncertain trip that was cheaper than redeeming miles. Effectively, I was locking in a trip at a PWM multiple because the redemption value was otherwise "high" (50,000 miles domestic) for my preferred flight times. After refunding this trip as a less restricted credit and booking other itineraries, I had a multi-week discussion with DL via e-mail to get the MQM and bonus miles posted per the published terms. Given that was the treatment for a "Charter" DM who was able to cite published policy, I figured the opportunity cost was simply too high to intentionally attempt such in the future.
  22. bringer
    • Original Member

    bringer Silver Member

    I actually did this early last year..booked a refundable trip to it my CC charge back and eventually my certificates which I used for myself and family on future flights..I did get MQM on my later flights....Overall.. it was worth it for me however it took a LONG time to finally get my certificates/miles refund and have everything sorted out.

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