Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Nov 14

Help, Delta Gave Me Extra Miles And Won’t Take Them Back!

Delta gave me 10,000 extra miles and now I can’t get rid of them. While that may sound like a bank error in my favor, I happen to have found the one circumstance where it isn’t. At least for now, I seem to be stuck with them.

Here’s What Happened

The first set of miles

As you may know, Delta offers an American Express card* that gives you 10,000 miles after you spend $25,000 annually and another 10,000 miles after you spend another $25,000. They call it the “mileage boost,” and what’s interesting about these miles is that they also count toward elite status. You can get most of the way to Silver status before you even step on an airplane. So how could more Medallion Qualifying Miles (miles toward elite status) be bad?

The second set of miles

It’s actually because of a second benefit which, ironically, was added to help flyers. If you achieve at least Silver status (25,000 MQM), any elite miles that you earn above your current level but before your next one carry over to the following year. For example, Silver status starts at 25,000 MQMs and Gold status starts at 50,000. Let’s say you end the year with 45,000 elite miles. You’re not quite Gold, but that’s okay because when the counter resets in 2018, the 20,000 “extra” MQMs that you earned will roll over, and you will start with 20,000 MQM on January 1, 2018.

You can see where this is going. I was supposed to end the year with 47,000 MQM. There isn’t much difference between Gold and Silver, so I was happy to carry over the remaining 22,000 toward my 2018 status. Now, I’ll only be carrying over 7,000.

So I called Delta, and they referred me to American Express. I called American Express, but they told me that they didn’t have any record of a duplicate mileage transfer. I’m sure that it will eventually get sorted out, but how can I not appreciate the irony of this situation. For once, the airline makes a mistake in my favor, just at the time that I didn’t want one.

 


*It’s a good card and I have it but, unless you have an immediate need for it, I’d wait on getting it until they offer a better sign-up bonus than the standard 35,000 miles. They have promotions for the card every few months.

 

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