BOOK NOW: Business Class Award Space For 9 To Australia On Delta!

Well, it's been quite a while since I wrote anything here as I've been writing a ton for One Mile At A Time recently. However, today I noticed something odd when searching for award space to Australia with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

In the past, we've seen Virgin Atlantic show award space on Delta flights even when Delta wasn't showing saver award space. I haven't seen a pattern to how this plays out but it's definitely made me double check with Flying Club even if Delta doesn't show space.

Well, today's search took things to a new level. I searched for and found one business class award seat on Delta between Los Angeles (LAX) and Sydney (SYD). It's rare to find even one seat and I usually only see that within a week of departure.

Just for kicks, I decided to search for 2 people. Success. So, why not search for 3 seats at that point, right? Success again!

At this point, I just kept adding a seat until I reached the max number of seats for which Virgin Atlantic would let me search. That's 9 freaking seats!

At 75,000 Flying Club miles per person for a one-way business class award on Delta, that's easily better than the 94,000 SkyMiles Delta requires for its own flights. Of course, Delta isn't showing any saver space on August 7, 2018. 

Even better, I'm seeing several dates with award space via Flying Club in August 2018. I've never seen Flying Club show phantom award space so I'm really curious how this would play out. I don't have 675,000 points I want to burn on myself and 8 friends/family to test, but this is nuts!

You can also book with Air France-KLM Flying Blue but the rates won't be nearly as good.

Considering the fact that you can transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points and SPG Starpoints to Flying Club, this might actually be possible for some of you.

Of course, I wouldn't just transfer points. If you're thinking about booking, please call Virgin Atlantic (1-800-365-9500) to put your award on hold -- they'd hold it for 48 hours -- while you transfer your points as it can take a day or two.

There are a couple things to remember when searching with Flying Club. You won't be able to search for award space to SYD if you select SYD as your destination initially. First, you'll want to enter LAX to a destination where Virgin Atlantic flies such as London Heathrow (LHR). Once you've done that, select Pay with Miles and to show flights within 5 weeks.

At this point, you can change LHR to SYD and run the search. Also, make sure you select "Show advanced options" so you can search for Upper Class (business class) space. Once you have all that set up, you can run your search. Keep in mind that adding a connection will require more miles.

If you want to book a flight to Australia and this works for you, let me know how many seats you book! Could be a great opportunity to take your family or book a fun trip with your friends!

 

Fee-Free Rent With RoomiPay For Straight To The Points Readers

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of using RoomiPay to pay rent with a credit card. While they've had some growing pains, they seem to be moving quickly to build a reliable way to pay rent with a credit card and earn tons of miles and points.

Each month, they offer 50 fee-free slots to pay rent with no fee. Today, I've partnered with RoomiPay to offer 20 readers of Straight To The Points fee-free rent payments. Additionally, 20 more readers can pay rent with a 2%—the standard fee is 2.5% just like Plastiq.

To get one of these fee-free or 2% slots, you must be on my email list which I will email at 2pm ET on Wednesday, April 18. Sign up below so you can one of the fee-free or reduced-fee slots!

If you're new to RoomiPay, check out my complete guide to using the service to see the step-by-step process and how you can earn the maximum points when paying rent.

One thing to remember is that this month, Roomi has moved to an ACH-only payment method rather than allowing you to pay rent with a check. While you can still use a credit card to earn points, I hope they will bring back both options for those with landlords who only accept check payments.

In the meantime, if you can pay your rent via ACH, then this is the deal for you. It's a great way to hit a minimum spend or even just earn some valuable points.

Now, sign-up for the email list!

RoomiPay Removes Ability To Pay Rent By Check, Will Require ACH Payments

Frustrating news from RoomiPay, today. I heard a rumor from MilesTalk about changes possibly being made to how RoomiPay will make rent payments this month. I then confirmed the rumor with Roomi's leadership.

Check out my complete guide to earning miles and points by paying rent with RoomiPay.

While you will still be able to pay your rent via credit card, they will now only submit ACH payments to your landlord.

If you live in an apartment complex, this might not affect you too much. In fact, you can continue to pay your rent with a credit card as usual if you have access to the necessary ACH info. However, those who pay rent to an individual and don't have ACH info, this could effectively ruin RoomiPay.

I don't know about you, but I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable asking someone for their ACH info so I could send them rent. I imagine landlords would be less than thrilled with the idea of giving tenants that info.

One underrated aspect of RoomiPay has been the ability to schedule your rent to be delivered. This might not seem like much of a benefit but many of us in the miles and points community travel a decent bit. I love being able to have a check cut on my behalf both for the points and so I don't have to figure out check delivery while I'm traveling.

Now, Roomi isn't set on sticking with this ACH-only policy going forward so I recommend reaching out to them if you'd like to continue to have the option to pay rent via check with RoomiPay. I've found their Twitter team to be quite responsive to DMs. You can reach them at @roomiapp.

I wish they'd announced this immediately following last month's round of rent payments to give everyone a chance to figure out their next steps. Obviously, rent is a large expense for most people and we need to be able to count on RoomiPay's service to be as expected.

Going forward, I hope we can get some consistency from them. I've already seen a few issues with timely check deliveries but I think they've handled those missteps quite well, all things considered.

I still remember Plastiq's stumbles a few years ago so hopefully this nothing more than growing pains from a startup trying to provide a new service.

If you're planning on using RoomiPay this month, I'd start figuring out if you can get the necessary ACH info. Remember, RoomiPay offers the fee-free payments for a limited number of people each month then reduced-fee payments for more users. Here's the exact breakdown:

  • First 50 people: No fee
  • Next 150 people: 2% fee (better than Plastiq)
  • Next 100 people: 2.5% fee (same as Plastiq)
  • Everyone else: 3% fee (worse than Plastiq) until the 22nd of the month

If I hear anything else about what you can expect from RoomiPay, I'll get an update posted quickly.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear what you think about the change. Will you continue to use RoomiPay without the option to pay by check?

Delta Reduces Mileage Cost Of Partner Awards To Europe, Business Class Down To 75K

Only a few weeks ago, Delta reduced the price of partner awards to North Asia in economy and business class from 40,000 miles to 35,000 miles and 95,000 miles to 85,000 miles, respectively. The timing had everyone thinking it was an April Fool's joke. Today, while doing an award search for a client, I stumbled upon something interesting.

Delta is charging 75,000 miles for business class awards to/from Europe on partners such as Virgin Atlantic, Air France and Aeroflot. Sure, this is still more than Air France-KLM Flying Blue charges for its own flights at 62,500 miles, but it at least seems like a positive development.

But, it's 10,000 miles less than the egregious 85,000 miles Delta has been charging for partner awards to Europe. I'm also seeing economy awards for 32,500 miles—2,500 less than the previous 35,000 miles.

I'll admit, if we hadn't seen Delta reduce mileage requirements for partners to North Asia already, I would have assumed this was a simple IT mistake that they would rectify quickly. Besides, Delta is notorious for jacking up award rates without notice.

Anyway, I was looking for award options this summer found a ton of saver level space in both business class from Washington-Dulles (IAD) to Amsterdam (AMS).

I didn't see any non-stop award space on KLM but there was some on Delta. What caught my eye was the one-stop option for 75,000 SkyMiles plus $26.20 in taxes and fees on Virgin Atlantic. Not only was there space, but some days had 4 business class (Upper Class) spots available with connections on KLM.

There's also a bunch of economy award space on these same dates and flights. Though, for an economy flight, you might prefer the nonstop on Delta for 30,000 SkyMiles—and there's plenty of space there too.

One interesting (and disappointing) bit I found is that nonstop awards to London on Virgin Atlantic still price out at 85,000 SkyMiles for business class and 35,000 miles for economy. On top of that, I was seeing fewer dates with award space—ahh, married segment logic.

I'm not sure if Delta is intentionally keeping nonstop awards on Virgin at the higher redemption rate or if the system is just in the process of updating. Nonstop partner awards are available for 75,000 miles though. JFK to Paris (CDG) on Air France next January 22, for example.

For those on the west coast, don't feel left out. I did a quick check for San Francisco (SFO) to AMS and found Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for 75,000 miles on the long-haul segment. Of course, a nonstop to Manchester (MAN) required 85,000 miles.

One thing to keep in mind when you search for these awards on Delta is that the search often buried business class partner awards at the end of the search results—sometimes 3 pages. Just scroll to the bottom and select "Show All" to speed up the process.

If Delta is reconsidering how it prices partner awards, I welcome the change. I still have a huge issue with their lack of public award charts and transparency, in general. I hope the reduced partner award prices to Europe and North Asia are a sign of good things to come—at least a mileage calculator like Flying Blue—but I'm going to need to see more to believe it.

I get the sense that I'm going to end up searching partner award prices to other regions now.

Have you noticed any other partner awards at reduced rates lately?