Delta Now Lets You Redeem Miles for Private Jet Travel

Delta has told us the future of SkyMiles is 1 cent per point in value — but only that much when you’re buying products from them.

  • Delta wants you to redeem miles at a penny apiece for Stella Artois beer. Never mind that what they’re telling you is that beer that’s free in their clubs — the clubs whose membership prices they raised — isn’t as good as Stella Artois.

  • They want you to redeem miles for Dom Perignon in the club, for a penny apiece against Delta’s inflated prices. A $140 bottle has a $250 sticker price and costs 25,000 miles. Make no mistake, that’s really less than 6/10ths of a cent per point.

  • You may be able to spend miles for a haircut in the future.

If you have a lot more points than a haircut would cost, you can now use your SkyMiles — again at just a penny a point — for private jet travel with Delta Private Jets.

For travelers, cashing in miles for a private jet flight won’t be cheap. A Delta frequent flier would have to redeem 2.5 million miles to get a $25,000 jet card, the lowest-level jet card available. That’s enough to fly about five hours on a light jet like a Cessna CJ2 or CJ3, which can seat six to eight passengers.

Credit: Delta

Somehow they think this will encourage spend on their co-brand American Express cards.

Delta Private Jets COO David Sneed expects the chance to redeem SkyMiles for private jet travel might even prompt some Delta American Express card holders, such as small business owners, to change their spending habits to earn more miles.

But that would be dumb. Anyone earning 1 mile per dollar on a Delta card, and using those miles at 1 cent apiece, would be much better off with a 2% cash rebate card. Then those private jet redemptions would cost only $1.25 million in spend rather than $2.5 million.

And of course the $25,000 in cash rebates can be used for anything else, not just Delta products. Why oh why would anyone spend on their Delta credit card with an intention of using points at 1 cent apiece?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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