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Deals This Year That Are Better Than Turkish Miles & Smiles – Share Your Deal Of The Year

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What Is The Deal Of The Year In 2019? Share Your Thoughts

I wrote a contrarian post a week or so ago saying that the Turkish find is not the deal of the year and that it actually sucks.  Now that was probably a little over the top and the deal itself has value, a lot of it actually.  I just think the process sucks for it being almost 2020. That turned me off and made the deal a non starter for me.

This argument actually started behind the scenes between Ian Snyder and I.  He of course followed up with a post essentially calling me lazy, I can’t disagree with that much 😂. Nick at Frequent Miler, who discovered the deal, also chimed in and said I am crazy.  He also he would like to hear which deals I think are better. Well challenge accepted sir 😁!  Just remember people that this is all in good fun and because we all like a good discussion.

What Makes A Deal Great

Before I get started on sharing deals that I thought were better than the Turkish deal we should discuss what defines a great deal.  Also how do you judge what makes the best deal?  Is it whichever one offers the most value? Or is it the deal that works for the most people? What about the ease of use, should that be measured?

To be honest there are many ways to measure what makes a deal the best deal.  And none of them are wrong.  What matters most is that the deal works best for you.  Because the answer to this question is very personal. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. So I will share my thoughts on what deals were the best and I encourage you to share yours below.  Hopefully Nick and Ian will weigh in below as well!

My Favorite Deals of 2019

Here are a few deals I thought stood out this year:

The Delta Vacations Deal

If you remember the Delta Vacations Deal let you book pretty much anything travel related for 2 cents per Delta Skymile. This included hotels, cars, cruises, Disney tickets, excursions etc. Basically most anything you could think of while traveling.  That offered instant value and far exceeded just award flights that the Turkish deal offers.

Nick pooh-poohed this deal in his response saying the value was only 2 cents per Delta Skymile.  He said that is nice but it doesn’t offer the redemption rates that Turkish bookings can.  And that is true if you look at this from a value per point perspective Turkish is the better deal.  But I want to look at it another way.

Skypesos No More

Delta Skymiles are called Skypesos in our hobby because they are valued very lowly.  Close to 1 cent per mile by most.  That means this deal essentially doubled the value of a these miles.  So if you had Skymiles in your account they instantly became worth twice as much.  Can I say that about Turkish miles and Citi ThankYou points? Nope! It also made all of those 80,000 Delta Skymiles welcome offers worth $1,600.  That would make them the best welcome offers on the market this year if you used them all on this deal.

Don’t get me wrong this Turkish miles deal makes Citi ThankYou points more valuable for sure. But does the deal double their value? I can get similar valuations with their other partners like Lifemiles.  So I would say it increased their value but far less than double.

Cash Is King

Also the Delta Vacations deal turned Skymiles essentially into travel cash.  You could keep money in your pocket for tons of different activities you would normally have to shell out cash for.  Tours, tickets, cruises etc.  These are all things that are hard to book with points and pretty much impossible to do them with airline miles for more than 1 cent a piece.  Cash is king and the Skymiles deal put more cash back in your pocket in a way other miles and points just can’t.  You could also use the bookings to re-qualify for elite status if you played it right.  The point is the options were more vast with this deal.

The view of Queenstown, New Zealand from above.

American Airlines 10K-12K Deals To Hawaii, Australia & New Zealand

Let’s say you don’t buy the double valuation argument above and are still sticking to your offers more value guns.  Well I will give you a deal that blows the value of the Turkish bookings out of the water.  You like spending 15K to got to Hawaii, how about 10K instead?  Last I checked 10K was less than 15K!  Let’s take it a step further and go to New Zealand or Australia for less than 15K.  That is value in bundles. Not only that but you didn’t have to call, write or sacrifice your third born child to book it.  I call that a win-win!

There was a downside to this deal, it had a limited time frame that it was offered. That could be a reason you rate it lower than the Turkish deal.  It also had a more limited scope. I would still say this deal trumps Turkish in value overall though if you are aiming for the best redemption.  Moving on…

Transcon & Domestic Flights For 10K Round Trip On American Airlines

You say you want more longevity or a deal that works for more people do you? Then look no further than the American Airlines web specials.  The AA web specials do have a dark side but they offer tremendous value too. You could fly NYC to LA for 10K roundtrip one week.  Then you could fly almost anywhere in the country for 10K roundtrip the next week.  These deals are still out there today, weeks later, and appear like they may be here to stay.  At least for a while that is.

This deal works for almost everyone and once again it is simple to find, book and easy to enjoy. It offers a better rate than Turkish and American Airlines miles are some of the easiest out there to earn.  So you have the earn and burn side down plus the ease of use when booking.  Plus the value is better too!  Sounds like the trifecta to me.

But it could go away since it isn’t in their award chart, as could Turkish if they decide it is costing them too much. You could argue that it is more likely that American’s award space goes away before Turkish though. So let’s move on to the next one.

SoFi Money Making Opportunities

I think all of the deals listed above have been a better fit for me than Turkish and that is why I think they are more valuable.  But they each have holes in them, as does Turkish, so you could argue against them too.  It all depends on which factor you weigh heaviest when deciding what deals you like the most.  But this last one it doesn’t have a ton of holes.  It is the best deal of the year in my opinion, the SoFi opportunities were and still are vast and very profitable.

We have been writing about SoFi and their accounts for a while now.  And if you took advantage of them and played it right then you are hundreds or thousands of dollars richer.  That is more than I can say about any Turkish deal.  You have to book a lot of flights to get to these numbers.

First you had SoFi Money which gave you an easy $50 ($25 now).  Which you could turn around and refer people for $100 (now also $25).  If you play a two player game that is $200 right there.  If you got your extended family and friends on board now we are talking thousands of dollars.

But it didn’t stop there.  They were offering $50 for the SoFi Invest account (now $100).  There was another $150 in easy money or more.

Then SoFi offered $100 for setting up direct deposit.  They are also giving you 20% off Lyft which even stacks with other Lyft promos.  The Lyft promo tops out at $1000 in savings which some people will actually hit.  They also have a personal loan bonus that could net a two player system $400 if you play it right.  I mean the opportunity was/is massive.

I had people at my Detroit meetup telling me they made business cards with their SoFi referral on it and handed them out everywhere.  Hey bartender here is your tip and here is a way to make $50 too, pure genius! Others took out an ad on Facebook for a few dollars.  They shared them on social media and in Facebook Groups.  If you have any social skills at all and a network you should have pulled in a few thousand dollars.

This deal checks all the boxes. It was simple, it was available to EVERYONE and the value was extraordinary.  Who doesn’t like a few thousand dollars in profit?  This was hands down the deal of the year in my book and I think it will be hard for anyone to refute.

Final Thoughts

I had a lot of fun with these articles.  When I came to Miles to Memories I told Shawn I would like to offer differing views from the norm and I think I have been able to do that from time to time.  I enjoy debate and discussion when done properly.  I can’t thank Nick and Ian enough for joining in with me on this and I look forward to hear their thoughts on what I wrote.  Please share your thoughts below as well.

Just remember there really is no wrong answer.  Whichever deal worked the best for you is going to be the deal of the year.  We each will have different experiences and weigh the valuations differently.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. I did the Delta deal and went to Hawaii for 5 days with very little out of pocket. I booked the Air and hotel in less than the time it takes to log in to Turkish.

  2. Agree about those great AA deals. And as for longevity, rumor has it the 7,500 HI deal has disappeared from the redemption chart?

    The Sakura $200 ppd Visa deal was sooo much better than the SoFi deal imo, because you didn’t have to give them any cash & didn’t have to involve anyone else for a very attractive $ amount. And I haven’t even heard from them since they pd out (no annoying emails or texts).

    I was in NYC & stopped on the street for literally a minute to sign up & my card was waiting for me when I got home! Never got the extra $50 referral email, but that woulda been even more amazing.

    Thx to this website for the heads-up on that Sakura deal. Would do any day, every day if I could, truly effortless.

    • I think the “domestic” section of the chart disappeared. So according to the modified chart, both domestic and international awards within North America would price out at 20k RT – rather than domestic at 15k and international at 20k.

    • I thought about Sakura but the overall value was limited to $200 so it didn’t make the list because of that. Still a bizarre and amazing deal though.


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