Last Ditch Effort For Delta Skymiles

Nothing is currently set in stone, but I'm eyeing a 10 day trip with stops in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles this September. I've deemed it my "Great Western Excursion." I've already got something in mind for the return flight, but we're still in need of a transpacific flight to Beijing.

Elizabeth and I currently have a combined Skymiles balance of 89,904. We earned 80,000 of those from the sign-up bonuses on the Gold Delta Skymiles Credit Card from American Express. We also earned some extra miles for our revenue travel this year to Orlando, New York, and Los Angeles. I didn't really have a plan for these, but I figured I'd take a look at Delta's options to Beijing.

Delta is currently offering some great award rates from Seattle to Beijing. Their Delta One Service is only 70,000 Skymiles one way.  

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As of right now were 50,096 miles short of 140,000. My initial thought was to just fly economy, but then I thought to myself "You don't collect miles and points to fly coach! Let's make this happen." So the gears started turning....

I could easily just buy the remaining miles, but that would cost me $1,820 out of pocket! Then it dawned on me that American Express Membership Rewards Points transfer to Delta Skymiles at a rate of 1,000:750.

While that isn't a great ratio, it's better than paying $1,820. There are a couple American Express cards offering some great sign-up bonuses right now. The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express offers 25,000 points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months.

The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card is also offering a 15,000 point sign-up bonus after only spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months.

Elizabeth is already working on her minimum spend for her Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. I'll be applying for mine shortly once I finish up the minimum spend on my Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express. Our combined bonuses for the Premier Rewards Gold Card will total 54,000 Membership Reward Points.

After that's completed I'll sign up for the Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card to earn another 16,000 points. When it's all said and done Elizabeth and I will have a total of 70,000 Membership Rewards Points between the three sign-up bonuses. We'll transfer those to my Delta Skymiles account at a ratio of 1000:750 and then VOILA...52,500 extra Delta Skymiles!

All In All

Make sure to leverage transferable points currencies, like American Express Membership Rewards points, to top off your award tickets. Elizabeth and I could have easily flown economy to Beijing in September, but with a little extra effort we're going to be able to try out Delta One's service across the pacific!