Pay with Miles, Investing, and Credit Cards

Posted by Madison on November 5, 2009

We’re planning a big family vacation for next summer. Scott, me, the kids, and my parents are all headed to Seattle for a friend’s wedding. We decided to make a week out of it and make it a vacation.

Gone are the days when Scott and I could book 2 tickets on Northwest with our miles in under 10 minutes. Have you ever tried to coordinate booking 7 plane tickets using frequent flier miles from 2 different accounts for 4 tickets, getting reasonable prices for the remaining tickets, getting good flight times for traveling with 3 kids ages 3 and under, and getting decent seating for traveling with a lap baby? Don’t forget to throw in the Delta/Northwest merger of our frequent flier miles, and all of a sudden, booking the flight got really complicated.

Pay with Miles

Luckily, I discovered Delta’s “Pay with Miles” program. While the conversion ratio isn’t that great, it looks like a cheaper option than using miles outright for the dates we need. You need to have one of the American Express Delta cards to use the Pay with Miles program:

We each applied for a card, since you get 25,000 bonus SkyMiles after the first purchase (good for $500 off with the Pay with Miles program for 2 cards). After we get our new cards, even after paying the annual fee, it should make booking our trip much easier… and cheaper!


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Comments to Pay with Miles, Investing, and Credit Cards

  1. Do I have to fly 25,000 paid miles on Spirit and pay annual fee to get a “free” ticket on Spirit?

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  2. There are definitely a lot of really nice airlines credit cards out there but I personally prefer to just use my cash back credit card because it sometimes just makes things so much simpler and I can use the cash for whatever I want.

    Credit Card Chaser

  3. It’s worth ALWAYS spending your miles within a year. Don’t let them expire. It’s like the time value of money. Use it, or watch hit’s value disappear.

    Financial Samurai

  4. Last year my sister and I pooled our miles and a friend of our brother donated miles and we were able to bring my niece and her family for a visit from CA. My niece was in a serious car accident and was very depressed so we thought a visit would cheer her up.
    I was on the phone with USAIR for almost 90 minutes, but the woman I was working with was on the ball and anticipated our every need. It was a very difficult task to source non-stop or only one-stop flights where we could make seating arrangements and have my niece’s special needs handled. I had no idea that I would be so emotional planning a trip, but I was in tears at the end of the phone call.

    I hope everyone gets a chance to USE their miles, but if you don’t need them, consider donating them to your favorite charity. It did us ALL a world of good to have the whole family together. Instead of making trips to see her, we’d been sending money for her multitude of expenses.


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