Remember back in early July, I posted about wanting to go to the Amalfi Coast for Rob’s 50th birthday next summer? I told you back then, how I took advantage of a limited time offer and got us each an American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles card with a 60,000 Delta SkyMiles sign-up bonus. This was in anticipation of booking flights to Naples on Delta when they became available. (Note, the bonus is now back at the standard offer of 35,000 SkyMiles)
The flights became available yesterday (331 days prior). The miles required were the same as when I looked a few months ago and I do not anticipate a decrease. (I actually won’t even check anymore). So I booked them yesterday! We are going!
Delta flights from New York to Naples (actually the flights are booked on Air France through Delta SkyMiles) in coach were 60,000 Delta SkyMiles round trip. Um, that is the bonus offer that both Rob and I got with our new cards back in July. So for merely getting the cards and meeting the spending criteria I scored some free flights to Italy!
But Rob is turning 50 after all. I decided this may be a good time for us to use some of our American Express Membership Reward points (“Amex points”) for some better seats. (We usually have a lot of Amex points because Rob pays for his firm’s advertising with his American Express Business Gold Rewards card). Better seats, being Business Class seats, were 125,000 SkyMiles per flight……you can transfer Amex points to your Delta SkyMiles account at a 1:1 ratio.
Well, we both had some miles to start before the 60K influx. To my SkyMiles account, I needed to transfer 45,000 Amex points to get to the 125,000 required and to Rob’s SkyMiles account, I needed to transfer 50,000 Amex points. Note, when you transfer Amex points into a U.S. airline frequent flyer program, you will be charged an excise tax offset fee of $0.0006 per point (with a maximum fee of $99). So the fee for my transfer was $27 and the fee for Rob’s was $30. We also needed to pay about $80 per flight in airline taxes and fees.
Before I compute my savings, I want to remind you that we each paid a $195 annual fee when we got the new Amex Delta cards. (I will likely cancel these cards when the annual fee is due next year as I do not plan on us using these cards again-I just got us the cards for the bonus!)
Based on the above, my outlay for these 2 flights to Naples was roughly $607. (195 + 195 +80 +80 +30 +27). Let’s round that to an even $600.
Now let’s see how I got to a $7,200 savings booking these flights to Naples using Delta SkyMiles.
Well, THE FLIGHTS, HAD WE PAID FOR THEM, WOULD HAVE BEEN $3,900 EACH (inclusive of taxes and fees)! So for both flights, the cost would have been $7,800. $7,800 less $600 is $7,200. Yes, I saved $7,200 on our BUSINESS CLASS FLIGHTS to Italy for next summer! I wish I had as good of a plan for our hotels… 🙂