There’s a fun (fun? maybe not fun?) debate going on right now on the Twitter between bloggers debating if Thrifty Traveler should have shared a specific deal that highlights the fact that you can still get “old” Delta award pricing to/from destinations around the world if, and only if, you start or end in Mexico City (MEX).
In fact, it’s almost ridiculous in that you can fly Business Class (Delta One) anywhere in the world for 75,000 to 95,000 SkyMiles where they charge many hundreds of thousands of SkyMiles to/from anywhere else (except some cities that Delta doesn’t fly to and a partner does, though those keep creeping up in price).
Now, would I personally fly from NY to MEX just to hop a Delta One cabin elsewhere? Nah. but MANY would, especially if you have tons of SkyMiles.
Here’s the thread (hey, it’s public 😉 ):
OK, time to spill the beans.
We used SkyMiles to book Delta One suites back from Australia next winter. But not the 410K SkyMiles apiece (!!!) Delta charges for its nonstop to LA. No way.
— Kyle Potter (@kpottermn) May 10, 2023
Many are quite mad the deal was shared, saying that Delta will now kill it off. Maybe they will, maybe they would have anyway, and maybe they won’t.
Now, I have no skin in this particular debate, but I have been in the miles and points world for 20 years. That’s a long time. And for 20 years, I have watched this debate play out OVER AND OVER AND OVER.
When Flyertalk was the only real game in town, people would form special offline email groups to share tips and hacks on a small scale to “avoid killing the deal.” Yes, even back then, before sites like the Points Guy, Flyertalk had the reach to kill deals.
That said, with all the large blogs around now, things spread MUCH faster to MANY more people than in the old Flyertalk days. I obviously have no data on what multiple, but it’s many, many, many multiple more. The entire game of miles and points is just so much bigger now than then.
And yet the same debate remains.
Now I did have an internal debate back then.
Do I share this at all?
If I do, surely one day I will lose the opportunity to do it myself.
Now at the time my blog was pretty small and the MilesTalk Facebook group – now approaching 25,000 members – had maybe two or three thousand members at most.
But slowly, people would post Merry Go Round articles elsewhere, like Reddit. And now, do you know any miles/points blog that hasn’t told their readers about it?
The deal has been (slowly) dying.
- Caesars ended the ability to match back and forth with Wyndham
- MGM plans to expire all matches (except the reciprocal matches with Hyatt) June 30th.
And yet, the community keeps finding new end runs to keep things going, even if not quite at the same level.
We found the new on-ramp to the Merry Go Round back in 2020 when Barclays released the Business Earner card.
We know that you can share status within a household with MGM, helping someone on or back on the Merry Go Round if they fell off. And on and on.
If I had never published it, would someone else have figured it out and published it? Maybe? Probably? Maybe not?
And I’d be flexing my casino status cards to…. myself.
Moreover, thousands and thousands (tens of thousands? hundreds of thousands?) have enjoyed the perks of casino and hotel status as a result. That makes me smile.
There is NO DOUBT that sharing deals kills deals. But not sharing deals means people don’t get to enjoy them.
To me, this is a community. We discover something and we share it.
But, I’ll admit there are exceptions even in my book. Not Kyle’s Delta hack (I think that was right to be shared). But sometimes things are so delicate that it makes sense to not blog it publicly.
There have been times I have shared things in the Facebook group that I have not blogged. Why? They toed a line. I wanted to share it but I didn’t want to mass share it.
Does that make me a hypocrite? I don’t know. I don’t think so? I think it means that I find there to be nuances to what gets shared and it’s hard to put that in black and white.
And I’m sure there are people that find their own deals and never share it, not wanting to kill the golden goose. Maybe you found a bank that allows unlimited deposits by credit card and you know that if you share it, it will die – probably quickly.
That’s a tough one – but I’d say you have no obligation to share. You found it. At the same time I’d say that if you feel you’ve gained a lot from the miles and points community, you may want to share to give back.
You know, it’s a funny thing with this topic.
Those that don’t want a certain deal shared nearly always “discovered” the deal via someone else. If that person hadn’t shared it with them, they wouldn’t have known about it.
But there is ABSOLUTELY a “close the door behind me” mentality that exists here and that’s just the way it’s always been and, in my opinion, always will be.
What are your opinions on this “hot topic”?
Share the deal? Or keep it to yourself?
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New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.