Delta Miles for ~2 Cents with Mileage Booster Add On – Worth It?

by on April 11, 2012 · 18 comments

in Delta

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When I checked in for my Delta trip to North Carolina to see my grandmother for Easter this weekend, the Delta Mileage Booster screen popped up on my reservation, offering me the chance to purchase an extra 1,000, 2,000 or 3,000 miles, even though I was on an award ticket that wouldn’t be earning me any miles normally.

The Mileage Booster offer on my flight from Miami to Atlanta

As you can see from the image, the cost breakdown was:
-1,000 miles for $29 = 2.9 cents per mile
-2,000 miles for $39 = 1.95 cents per mile
-3,000 miles for $59 = 1.97 cents per mile

Delta SkyMiles usually cost 3.5 cents each to buy plus 7.5% in taxes, so this is a significant discount, especially if you get the 1.95 cents per mile rate. Still not great–and I personally didn’t hop on it since it wasn’t that many miles, but if you have a particular redemption in mind coming up and you need a few thousand extra to top up your account, using the Mileage Booster on your next Delta flight could be a good way to get to the number you need for less money than buying those miles outright. I know SkyMiles get panned a lot, but I have often found redemptions that wring much more than 2 cents of value out of each and every mile, so I would consider it under certain circumstances.

For example, it is 100,000 miles to fly SkyTeam partners Air France, KLM and Alitalia from the US to Europe in business class roundtrip. Through solely buying miles via Mileage Booster, you could achieve that award for just under $2,000. Would you pay $2,000 for a roundtrip business class ticket to Europe? I know many people who would, so in that circumstance it could be worth it. On the flipside, most Delta domestic coach awards are 40,000 miles, so buying miles through this promotion for $800 to get a domestic roundtrip award probably wouldn’t make much sense since the average domestic roundtrip ticket is much less than $800. Do the math and see if it makes sense to you before hopping in on this promotion.

Also note that these are not Medallion Qualifying Miles, so they won’t help you with elite status. If they were, I’d hop on it in a second!

Have you used Delta’s Mileage Booster, or a similar program on other airlines, such as American’s Mileage Multiplier, or United’s Award Accelerator? If so, why, and was it worth it?

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Jayson Liddle

    I to passed on it for a recent booking, but would have, had I not just purchased the 7000 needed for SM at the cost of $175.

  • Pete

    Will these qualify for the $200 Amex Platinum airline credit? That might be a good way to use that since last year I ended up buying day passes at the Sky Club and I still don’t know what to do with them.

  • PJ

    Many readers here would certainly PASS as me – a last class traveller

    would it be worthwile to take the targeted signon bonus 40K + $100 statement credit..? I am drooling over on this one coming to my wife who is so so against “too many credit cards”

  • Richard Anderson

    I believe the T&Cs say that award flights aren’t eligible for MB. The offer showed up on my itinerary page for a recent award flight, but the T&Cs didn’t allow me to take advantage of it. Not that I would, as Skymiles aren’t that hard to come by ordinarily.

  • Gsmart

    If you’re flying into RDU, let me know. The RDU Mileage Ninjas would be glad to give you warm welcome.

  • Riceoven

    wow, did they change these rates? I remember the first week mileage booster came out, the last rate was 3,000 miles for $49, which is about 1.6 cents per mile. was that just a promo rate?

  • Andrew

    Link to this promotion?

  • Carberrie

    Aren’t Delta Skypesos about to become even less valuable?

  • richard

    Booked 7 segments @ the $49 / 3000 mile rate. And yes the price increased to $59 / 3000 mile rate.

  • Gordonparker1

    Flying to rdu on Monday. What am I missing?

  • Gsmart

    We have a group of mileage accumulators here that meets every few months. For ‘celebs’ like Brian, we’d call a special gathering…..

  • Nicholas Kokas

    GREAT QUESTION!!! Anyone know?

  • Jason

    Yes, I can confirm that this worked for me. I initially did the 1000 point level for $29 to see if it would work, and I was reimbursed. Just did one for $59, but that hasn’t posted yet. No reason to believe that one won’t be reimbursed as well.

  • Jctheee

    Normally, a platinum Amex has Sky Club access as one of the benefits. Is this not the case with the Delta Amex?

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  • Bobgoes

    I have the Delta AMEX Reserve card. If have $10,000 in spending towards my $30,000 mileage boost. If I pay $20,000 in taxes, I would get the boost and the cost would be about $450. The boost would give me 15,000 bonus miles, the 20,000 regular miles and 15,000 MQM. Is that worth it? Bob

  • D Nelson

    Thanks! This post was very helpful. :)

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