✈️ Delta just got... better?

Delta continues the rollercoaster ride. Plus, one of our favorite programs introduces milestone rewards.

Estimated read time: 5 minutes

✈️ American Airlines is expanding its international presence by introducing new flights to Australia and Mexico, including the carrier's longest nonstop flight from Dallas to Brisbane starting on Oct. 27, and enhancing its peak-day flights to Mexico to over 105 in 2024. Read more here.

Good morning, and welcome back to Daily Drop, the “Thanksgiving dessert” of newsletters. Even when you think you’re completely full, there’s always room for a little more.

And today's content is going to have you going in for seconds… or thirds:

🏡 Bilt introduces milestone rewards

Many of the best loyalty programs out there have something called “milestone rewards,” which give you… rewards.. for reaching certain… milestones.

A gif of chris Pratt "knowing what things are"

For example, one of the reasons I love Hyatt so much is because of their milestone program, which offers valuable rewards for staying with them, even if you don’t earn elite status.

Bilt has decided to hop on the bandwagon by introducing some of their own milestone rewards that can only be described as… meh. 🤷🏼‍♂️

A screenshot from the Bilt app showing an example of the Milestone Rewards Tab

These new rewards are based on how many points you earn with Bilt, whether you have the Bilt Mastercard or not. If you DO have the Bilt card, however, you’ll have more options to choose from.

For every 25,000 Bilt points you earn, you’ll be able to choose from a set of rewards, most of which are not very exciting…

Here is the breakdown of your options at each milestone:

25,000 Bilt points earned (and again at 50k)

  • Double points on Bilt Dining for 7 days

  • 1,000 points for the Bilt Collection

  • 2X at grocery stores for 30 days (Bilt Mastercard cardholder exclusive)

  • 2X at gas stations for 30 days (Bilt Mastercard cardholder exclusive)

  • 2X on sports & concert tickets for 30 days (Bilt Mastercard cardholder exclusive)

75,000 Bilt points earned

  • All of the Milestone Rewards at prior Milestone

  • 10X on your next 3 Lyft rides

  • 2X on digital wallet purchases for 7 days (Bilt Mastercard cardholder exclusive)

100,000 Bilt points earned (and again at 125k)

  • All of the Milestone Rewards at prior Milestone

  • Get 5,000 points closer to the next status

150,000 Bilt points earned (and again at 175k and 200k)

  • All of the Milestone Rewards at prior Milestone

  • $10 towards your next fitness class

225,000 Bilt points earned

  • All of the Milestone Rewards at prior Milestone

  • 7,500 points for the Bilt Collection

250,000 Bilt points earned (and at every milestone thereafter)

  • All of the Milestone Rewards at prior Milestone

  • 4X at grocery stores for 30 days with your Bilt card (up to 3,000 bonus points)

  • 4X at gas stations for 30 days with your Bilt card (up to 3,000 bonus points)

Choosing your rewards is as easy as pie. When you hit a milestone, you simply open the Bilt app and navigate to the following page to claim your prize. 👇

A screenshot showing how o navigate o the Milestone Rewards within the Bilt app

Look… don’t get me wrong… It’s great that Bilt is adding more value to the program without taking away any value.

My issue is that they take what are potentially amazing perks (like 4x earning rates) and limit them to 1,000 or 3,000 points…

Spending tens of thousands of dollars on the Bilt Card in order to earn a few dollars worth of points is difficult to justify when there are so many other ways to maximize spending perks.

For example, if you have this hotel credit card (which has a crazy offer right now), you’ll earn a Hyatt Category 1-4 free night award after spending $15,000 on the card.

You could use this award on a property like this one in Washington, D.C. that would otherwise cost many hundreds of dollars…

An example of a Hyatt booking that's porssible with a Category 1-4 Free Night Award

If you spent the same amount on everyday purchases with the Bilt Card, you wouldn’t even reach the first milestone reward… 😬

So here’s the bottom line:

Bilt is a GREAT program with valuable transfer partners, and earning extra value from your Bilt activity is not a bad thing at all.

At the same time, milestone rewards are meant to entice us to engage with a program, and these options simply aren’t exciting.

💳 Delta revamps their credit cards (and it’s not bad)

I know there has been a LOT of card talk going on lately. And I’m super duper sorry about it. But when it rains, it POURS, y’all. 🤷🏼‍♂️

In an interesting twist to the credit card world, Delta has made some changes to their lineup of credit cards that are actually… well… quite good.

A meme showing a very excited person. The joke is that Delta makes a ig change o their program and it's actually good, which is rare for them.

I’m in a Chris Pratt kind of mood today, I guess…

Here is a summary of what went down:

  • All of the cards’ annual fees have increased (don’t worry)

  • All cards now have credits and rebates (similar to the famous “coupon book” card)

  • Some of the existing perks have improved

One of the main additions to the cards is a credit to use toward hotel bookings through Delta Stays (a.k.a. normal hotels booked through Delta’s website).

Example hotel booking in Rome, Italy

The amount of each credit varies by card, but overall, this is a great addition to the set of benefits since it’s so easy to justify using.

In some cases, the addition of this credit outweighs the increase to the annual fee, allowing you to wring a bit more value every year.

Another fun new perk to the cards is the addition of rideshare and dining credits on the more premium cards.

That means that if you regularly order Uber or Lyft rides, you’ll definitely be getting more value from holding the cards.

But one new addition in particular will probably make a lot of you happy…

You may remember that last year, Delta blew up its elite program by drastically increasing the requirements for earning elite status.

A screenshot showing the recently changed requirements for Delta Medallion elite status

It’s still so hard to look at this graphic…

Well, they’ve softened the blow a bit by adding “MQD Headstarts” to some of their cards, which will give you a boost toward elite status every year you hold the card.

To be totally honest with you, it’s difficult to give you a comprehensive overview of all of the new changes and benefits since the big-boy banks don’t like it when I talk about them in Daily Drop…

So if you’re a Delta fan and this topic is at all interesting to you, I encourage you to check out the details around these cards over on our website.

Oh, and you’ll be pleased to know that all of the welcome offers on these cards are currently elevated… 🤗

🤓 Travel Trivia Tuesday

Can you guess which country is launching a digital nomad program in March?

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That's right—one of my favorite countries is gearing up to launch a six-month digital nomad visa by the end of March, as reported here.

The program will target eager travelers looking to combine work with exploration in a new country... I mean yeah, sign me up! 

A photo of Tokyo, Japan

Eligible applicants, hailing from 49 countries (including the United States and Australia), must prove an income of at least 10 million yen ($67,308) and secure private health insurance.

Notably, this visa doesn't permit traditional employment within Japan.

Although details on the application process are not yet clear, this initiative coincides with efforts by airlines like United Airlines and American Airlines to increase flights to Japan, indicating a growing interest in travel to the country.

It's a clear sign of Japan's commitment to welcoming remote workers and fostering a dynamic international community.

Looking for a landing spot in March? Read more about the initiative here.

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…or you can just buy these prizes from our website if you want to keep us all to yourself. 😉

Phew, that was a long one, huh? I’ll let you go now. Have a good day!


Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

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