Delta... re-values SkyMiles?

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💡 Did you know: There is an island in Micronesia where people use rocks known as “Rai” as local currency? Learn more about this unique place.

Good morning and welcome back to Daily Drop, your morning routine for all things travel hacking… with a few surprises thrown in.

It’s like the those old cereals from the 90’s where you’d find a toy at the bottom… except we’re *significantly* healthier for you.

I’ve got some good news and some bad news for y’all today… I’ll start with the good news since it’s only Monday:

  • ✈️ Delta makes up for past misdeeds with a game-changing benefit

  • 🍪 Tiny travel tidbits

  • 🤦‍♂️ Marriott… I’m not mad, I’m just… disappointed

✈️ Delta offers 15% discount on award tickets for anyone with a Delta credit card

People have been hating on Delta in recent years due to their continual devaluation of SkyMiles… I mean, what’s the point of trying to earn miles if it costs you 4 million of them for a 1-hour domestic flight?

That is, of course, a hyperbole. I’m just trying to get you riled up so I can blow your mind when I tell you this next part…

Last week, Delta announced that anyone who holds a co-branded Delta SkyMiles credit card will now get a 15% discount on award tickets. Period.

If you need to take a hot sec to pick your jaw up off the floor, please do so.

This might not sound like a huge deal, but let me learn you something, kid.

This isn’t just some one-time promotion or a feature that applies to elites or ultra-premium credit card holders. Delta has made this discount extremely accessible.

Even if you only travel with Delta a few times a year, it might be worth picking up one of these cards.

Here’s why:

Delta SkyMiles are worth about 1.4 cents each. So saving a few thousand miles here and there with this discount can easily add up to saving hundreds of dollars worth of miles every year.

For example, if you book this ticket from Detroit to Mexico City, you’d normally pay 46,000 miles. With the discount, you’re looking at just over 39,000 miles.

Those 7,000 miles you save are worth about $98, already justifying the annual fee for one of the credit cards that earn you this perk.

If you travel on even longer routes like New York to Tel Aviv, you’d normally shell out 60,000 SkyMiles (on a good day).

Saving 15%, or 9,000 miles, is worth about $127.

So you can see how over the course of a year, this benefit is much more valuable than it sounds on the surface.

This is a pretty impressive move from Delta. They’ve been on fire lately between their recently-launched “free wifi for all” service and the cornucopia of new long-haul routes.

Overall, Delta is starting to feel more and more appealing as a proverbial basket to put more of my proverbial eggs into.

If you want the lowdown on which Delta credit cards offer this perk and which one might be the best fit for you, click the shiny button below:

🍪 Tasty travel tidbits for your reading pleasure

  • YIKES: another near-miss happened this weekend when a FedEx plane nearly landed on top of a Southwest plane…

  • Alaska Airlines becomes the latest player in the race to offer wifi on its entire fleet, including on short-haul, regional flights.

  • Roasted: Saturday Night Live takes a stab at Southwest’s holiday meltdown… and it’s pretty hilarious.

🤦‍♂️ Marriott… I’m not mad, I’m just… disappointed

So remember that time that I told you about this awesome hotel brand in Africa called Protea Hotels? I hope you do, because it was literally less than two weeks ago.

If you don’t remember, I understand… I, too, have the memory of a goldfish.

Anyway, I am sad to inform you that I will be retracting my statement about said hotel brand, because Marriott has just made some pretty gnarly (in a bad way) changes to Protea Hotel stays.

Effective March 1st, the following changes will take effect:

  • Members will now earn 5 base points per dollar (previously 10 base points)

  • Members will earn 1 elite night credit for every 2 nights stayed

That’s right folks. We all got “Bonvoyed” again…

To be clear, this means that in order to earn a single night of elite credit, you must stay two nights, and no partial credit will be awarded. So if you have a 1-night stay, you’ll earn zero nights. If you have a 3-night stay, you’ll earn 1 night.

It’s a pretty devastating devaluation to a brand that dominates an entire continent.

Sadly, this is just the latest devaluation in what has been a tragic couple of years for Marriott loyalists. Protea joins a growing list of Marriott brands that have seen similar devaluations and earn 5 points or less per dollar:

Between their program turning dynamic and award prices shooting through the roof, it looks like Marriott has no plans to try and balance out these negative changes…

So, my friends, be on the lookout when searching for Marriott hotels to ensure you’re still getting quality perks and benefits for your hard-earned dollars and points. And keep your fingers crossed that this doesn’t pour over into any other brands.

Well that was rollercoaster of emotions, eh?

While we’re on the topic of hotel chains, I’m curious to know:

What is your favorite hotel loyalty program?

Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.

By the way… how cool are those new one-click polls? 👆️ I’m tempted to do a poll to ask you what you think of the poll feature, but I’ll hold myself back. 😉

Anyway, thanks for tuning in today, and I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow.

Love you all,

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

52°22'35.4"N 52°15'17.4"W

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