You may have read about the ability to buy 100,000 US Airways miles for $1478 when they ran their 100% mileage purchase promotion over the summer. I won’t buy frequent flyer miles (though lots of others will), and if you would have otherwise had to pay $5,000 for a business class ticket to Europe, that certainly seems like a steal.
If you’re looking for a similar deal from Delta, they have a program called SkyMiles Incentives that allows you (well, really your busienss) to purchase miles to give away to customers or employees as incentives. After a $75 setup fee, you can buy miles for $.022 cents per mile, with a 60,000 mile minimum. That’s no great shakes, but through November 30th, they giving a 10% bonus for purchases up to 164,999 miles; a 20% bonus up to 249,999; and a 30% bonus for purchases over 250,000 miles. In short, you can buy miles for $.0169/each. That’s a bit more than the US Airways deal, but $1690 for 100,000 miles (ie, a free business class trip to Europe) is a great deal if you were going there anyway.
That’s even better than the 100% bonus Delta is offering through September 30th – that works out to $.0175/mile, but you’re limited to gifting or buying 60,000 miles. With the incentives program, there is no limit, so you can buy enough miles to get your whole family to Europe for $1700/ticket.