Yes, I know they are often compared to Mexican pesos (as in close to worthless), but my post is referring to something else entirely.
So, about a year ago, my family went on a grand European adventure that included Iceland. We all enjoyed this particular stop tremendously, despite the obscenely high costs on everything.
I like to have some local currency on hand, just in case. So upon landing, I went ahead and took out some Icelandic kronas (technical term “kronur”) from an airport ATM. Before we left the country, I made sure to spend most of it. Or so I thought. When we got to US, my husband found about $75 worth of Icelandic currency in his wallet. Ugh.
It’s not a ton of money, but still annoyingly high to qualify as a souvenir. At this point I have three options. I can just keep the money with the hopes of visiting Iceland in a near future, where it will come in handy. Unfortunately, I don’t see it happening in the next few years, by which point this currency may devalue. It has happened before.
I can also find a friend who is planning to go to Iceland in a near future and who would be willing to buy it from me. This would be an ideal scenario, but I don’t know anyone in my immediate circle, and I would not be comfortable mailing it to an acquaintance. The third option is to simply exchange it for US dollars at an airport. Yes, I would likely end up with $50 due to poor exchange rate, but something is better than nothing. This is likely the option I’ll end up pursuing.
But until I do, this money is basically worthless. It made me think how Delta currency (and any mile for that matter) is similar to my Icelandic leftover stash. It can be extremely useful or basically useless. The reason I’m comparing it to SkyMiles in my post is because I’m actually a big fan of this specific currency. Now that my SIL moved to Detroit, I can’t have too many Delta miles. They are extremely useful for my particular situation. We have plans to visit her next year and possibly the year after that, and Delta rules in that area of Michigan. In fact, if right now you offered me 60k Delta or 60k Alaska miles, I would pick the former in heartbeat. It’s not that Alaska miles aren’t valuable, but they just aren’t that useful when it comes to my travel plans over the next few years. As they say, YMMV
If you don’t live near a Delta hub, don’t plan to travel to one and insist on flying only business class, Delta SkyMiles is just about the worst type of currency you can invest in. And just for the record, there is nothing wrong with only wanting to fly business class. But my point is, if you end up applying for Amex Delta card bonus, you will likely be very disappointed.
In that case, I recommend trying to find a friend or relative who can use this currency to their advantage. I’m not talking about selling miles, but working out an arrangement where everybody wins. Maybe you are planning a family reunion where everyone has to chip in for a rental house. Perhaps you can offer to cover someone’s airfare instead and let him/her take care of your lodging portion. It certainly beats letting your Delta miles collect dust, proverbially speaking.
Flying domestic economy is not a deal breaker for my family, and something we do 99% of the time. Not because I enjoy it, and sitting in a middle seat next to a stranger on my recent flight certainly wasn’t fun. But it is tolerable, as I view flying similar to taking a bus. Economy class is almost always the only reasonable option for where we need to go/when we need to go, so we suck it up.
Jumping on pre-approved Delta Gold offer (no lifetime language)
A few days ago, I got this offer in the mail, immediately applied and was approved:
Yes, the bonus was 70k miles not too long ago, but since I already had this card in the past, it was not something I could take advantage of. I’ll gladly take 60k miles, plus 15% off on award redemptions. This mailer came in at a perfect time, as I’m getting ready to redeem my Delta stash for a trip to Michigan. Plus, now I will hopefully have another 60k miles coming my way. This will allow me to redeem them on an evening Friday flight to Detroit, after we pick up the kids from school. Originally, I was going to use my Southwest stash, but they only fly to Detroit on Saturdays.
So, this will give us an extra night to spend with my SIL and her new husband. Plus, in case something goes wrong, I would prefer to fly an airline that has flights out of Florida every few hours or so, instead of only once a week.
Another minor win: rebooking several Delta award tickets from Seattle to Orlando at a lower rate. This is the last leg of our trip to Japan next month, and I absolutely insist on having a direct flight. Fortunately, Delta had the best deal for this route, with the only other option being Alaska Airlines. The latter was 20k miles per person, compared to 17k miles on Delta. Both can be canceled for free. On top of it, thanks to 15% discount I rebooked my husband’s and MIL’s tickets and paid 15k miles per person. I’m happy. The departure time is similar to Alaska flight, and we will get a free checked bag thanks to my new card. Worthless SkyPesos? I beg to differ.
How does my family travel so much? We use miles and points from credit card bonuses. See my Travel Hacking 101 post as well as current credit card offers here.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.
I feel the same. We live in a delta hub, are fine with flying economy in the USA or to Mexico, and depend on direct flights! I can find flights for 1.2-1.3 points per mile too and that was before the 15% discount. But you have to be flexible and wait around for them to show up sometimes too.
Anyway I hope I get that mailer!
@Tammie You might want to check this link https://www.deltaamexcard.com/ I got the same exact offer there as the actual mailer.
Delta miles are very valuable for me. We’re in a hub, and nonstops are important to us. I routinely get 1.25 cpp for domestic economy flights, and that was before the 15% discount. That’s not “outsized” value but… they’re not exactly difficult to acquire, and I think that is an aspect of any program’s value gets overlooked.
@projectx Nonstops are very important to me as well. I hate the hassle of connections, so much can go wrong. This is especially important during weekend trips when my kids need to get back to school the following day. Delta program is terrible for many situations, but it’s hard to argue with getting 1.25 cpm on a flight that you actually want to take.
For your 10000 ISK note, you might consider leftovercurrency.com, especially if you’ll be in London in the near future.
@Rich Thanks! Never heard of this website. We actually hope to visit London next summer.