A good friend of mine passed away suddenly last week (see video below). Just like when I flew to see my dying dad, I needed a plane ticket asap. Instead of buying a ticket for $1,102, I used Delta frequent flyer miles that I have been saving. Delta frequent flyer miles never expire.
I suggest that all adults have frequent flyer miles in reserve for such emergencies.
Don’t compound a huge personal loss with a huge financial loss. An airline “bereavement fare” is only a slight discount off the expensive ticket. Bereavement fares are for close family who must be there – not friends. Basically, if you aren’t mentioned in the obituary or married to someone who is, don’t expect to get the discount. Airlines have requirements that must be met and they call the funeral home to confirm. Even if I qualified to get the bereavement fare, Delta told me that it would still cost an even $1,000.
You can quickly earn 30,000 Delta frequent flyer miles (more than enough for a free flight) with a Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex card for Personal as well as one for Business use. You can get BOTH and end up with 60,000 bonus miles.
Click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on these cards and more. Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation. Here’s how to fill out the business application.
All you need to do is spend $1,000 on the card in the first three months from account opening. You will also get a free checked bag for you and up to eight more people on your reservation. That is a savings of up to $50 per person round trip. $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 if you keep the card.
If you try out the card, earn miles, and decide not to keep the card after your free year, you can always cancel it. The miles are yours to keep – forever.
How to meet the $1,000 spending requirement – QUICKLY
Pay someone some money you owe them by using your credit card. It’s not a cash advance. Pretty sweet! Do it that way, and you will meet your $1,000 spend instantly.
Or, charge your phone bill, internet and TV to the Delta SkyMiles Amex cards, and you will meet your spending requirement lickity split.
If it were me, and I am me, at the very least – I suggest that you and your significant other get the Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex card for Personal use. Once you do that, go back and get the Business card. Meet the spending requirement and keep those never expiring miles until you need them for emergencies. It could save you thousands of dollars.
Remember, you can use your miles to get a plane ticket for someone else, in their name. It’s very simple. When you are booking a flight using miles, fill in that person’s info when they ask who will be flying.
As readers know, I charge everything possible on my credit cards, so I can earn frequent flyer miles, cash back and other rewards. Then I pay off the bill in full every month.
At the rehearsal dinner before their wedding, I kidded Nancy that I went to high school with all the guys she dated and was her husband’s college roomate. So I observed her mating habits like Marlon Perkins watched the Ruby-throated Warbler. In college, she managed my french bread Pizza Shack biz in 1985-1986. Here she is in-action with fellow Pizza Chicks Julie & Pam, and cutting a rug at a college formal with future husband Mike.
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How many miles did you need for the ticket?
Were 25,000 enough?
I was able to use only 25,000 miles on Delta to get a ticket the morning of the flight to see my dad in January 2011. Still being summer travel season, I expected this ticket to require more miles. It was 32,500 miles on Delta. Remember, if you got just one of the Delta SkyMiles Amex cards, you will not only get the 30,000 bonus miles for spending $500, you will also get a mile per dollar spent. You will have a year without paying an annual fee. Plenty of time to add thousands of miles to your 30,000 signup bonus.
Very sorry for the loss of your friend, Chip.