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

Apr 11, 2012

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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?

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.