Before I get to today's post, I want to mention that my responses to e-mails and comments have been a little bit uneven the last week or so since I'm having some computer trouble. I plan on buying a new Macbook in October, when "online shopping" is a 5% bonus category with my Discover More (now "Discover it") card, and I'll get another 5% back by clicking through the Discover shopping portal. Apple products for 10% off? Yes, please! Meanwhile if I somehow missed your question feel free to leave another comment or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earlier this month, I posed the question, "What do you do with SkyBonus points?" My problem was simple: on the one hand, you can redeem Delta's small-business rewards points, called SkyBonus, for roundtrip domestic airline tickets. On the other hand, you can only redeem them for tickets in the cheapest fare buckets, so it's difficult to find situations where you'll get more value than you would redeeming for Skyclub lounge passes or amenity vouchers, for those unfortunate moments when you aren't upgraded to First Class.
Last week I took a look at my elite status re-qualification pace, and figured out that I had only a few remaining trips coming up this year that I hadn't already booked, including a flight from Boston to Chicago in late November. But I ALSO was cutting it pretty close with my Medallion Qualification Miles to re-qualify for Platinum Medallion with Delta next year. Thanks to their award chart devaluation I'm going to be crediting my Delta flights to Alaska Airlines next calendar year (hopefully after a status match gets me to MVP Gold or MVP Gold 75K), but in the meantime Platinum Medallion is absolutely priceless for the ability to rebook awards – for free – from the "medium" and "high" levels to the "low" level as award availability appears. I do this probably 10-15 times a year and it saves me tens of thousands of miles each year.
Then I saw this FlyerTalk thread about $480 round-trip flights to Lima, Peru from Boston, one of my nearby airports. That helped me do a bit of mental accounting: a paid flight to Chicago (on a T fare – eligible for Skybonus ticket redemption) would cost $295, but net me just 2,264 MQM and 4,528 Skymiles. Instead, I could pay $480 and earn 8,526 MQM and 17,052 Skymiles. The difference in fares, just $185, was made up for by the difference in earned Skymiles ($188, valued at 1.5 cents each), but I'd also earn 6,262 MQM, more than enough to put me over the line for Platinum Medallion status next year, in case some of my later trips come in under expectations.
A paid ticket to Peru and a Skybonus ticket to Chicago...do I need any vaccines to spend 90 minutes in the Lima airport?