Middle Age Miles

New Delta-Ticketmaster Partnership – Why It Matters Until August 31 and Why It Shouldn’t Matter After That

delta ticketmaster partnership program earn skymiles for ticket purchases strategy analysis
Use Ticketmaster to purchase tickets to all sorts of sporting events and concerts, like the Chuckwagon Races at the Calgary Stampede!

Today, Delta and Ticketmaster announced a partnership where you can earn Delta miles when you purchase tickets through Ticketmaster:

  • Earn 3 Delta SkyMiles per dollar on your Ticketmaster purchase from now through August 31, 2019 (initial promotion period)
  • Earn 1 Delta SkyMile per dollar on your Ticketmaster purchase from September 1, 2019, going forward

To earn Delta SkyMiles for your Ticketmaster purchase, you must first go to the special Delta-Ticketmaster portal website, www.deltaticketmaster.com, then enter your SkyMiles number, agree to the Terms & Conditions, and click through to the Ticketmaster website.

Here are some key terms & conditions of the partnership:

  • It applies to tickets for events in the US and Canada only
  • Earning rates are based on applicable dollars, whether US or Canadian
  • Miles are awarded based on the ticket price only
  • Taxes, service fees, parking and other fees are excluded
  • SkyMiles are credited after ticket purchase (this presumably means that you don’t have to wait for the actual event to take place)
  • You have to go through the special Delta-Ticketmaster portal website for each purchase (that is, earning is not automatic; it doesn’t allow you to just link accounts once to enroll in the program)

Why This Partnerhip Matters Until August 31

During the initial promotional period, you can earn 3x SkyMiles per dollar on your ticket purchases from Ticketmaster. Our baseline value for Delta SkyMiles is 1.2 cents per mile. That gives you an effective mileage rebate of 3.6%. There aren’t any other portals that can beat that rate, to our knowledge (except for resale tickets; see below).

Why This Partnership Shouldn’t Matter After August 31

After August 31, 2019, the Delta-Ticketmaster partnership will offer 1 SkyMile per dollar, which is an effective rebate of 1.2%.

Ebates’ regular offer for presale and regular sale tickets from Ticketmaster is 1%. If you’ve been keeping up with points-and-miles news, you’re aware that Ebates recently kicked off a partnership with Amex where you can set up an Ebates account that earns Amex Membership Rewards (MR) points instead of cashback, at a rate of 1% cashback = 1 MR point. We’ve written about the Ebates-Amex partnership, and you can find the details here:

Using the Ebates portal to access Ticketmaster and using the Delta-Ticketmaster portal are mutually exclusive – you’ll have to choose one or the other; no stacking.

And our baseline value for MR points is 1.5 cents per point, higher than our 1.2 cpm baseline value for Delta SkyMiles. We’d much rather have a MR point than a Delta SkyMile, and we’re pretty sure virtually every other commentator would say the same.

We believe the only people who should prefer a Delta SkyMile are those who don’t have any MR-earning Amex cards at all. If you have a MR-earning Amex card, you should set up an Ebates account that earns MR points, we think you should prefer it to a cashback account, and we think you should go through Ebates to purchase tickets from Ticketmaster.

Finally, remember that if you earn MR points and want to use them on Delta, you have the ability to convert them to Delta SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio (with a small excise tax of 0.06 cents per point, capped at $99). Thus, even when you earn 1 MR point, you’ll still have the option of turning it into 1 SkyMile (subject only to the small excise tax and the minimum transfer threshold of 1,000 MR points). And, you’ll have options with many more transfer partners, plus the ability to use your MR points to Pay With Points.

Special Note on Resale Tickets

If you’re buying resale tickets through Ticketmaster, you should always prefer Ebates (or Top Cashback) to the Delta-Ticketmaster portal. This is true even during the promotional period, and regardless of whether you earn MR points or cash back through Ebates. Both portals have standard offers of 5% cashback (or 5x MR points for your MR-earning Ebates account) for resale tickets. That return beats even the initial promotional period’s 3x Delta SkyMiles earning.

We hope this helps you understand the new Delta-Ticketmaster partnership and when it is and isn’t a good deal. As always, check portal rates at Cashback Monitor to determine where to get the best deal before you buy.

Hat Tip to Doctor of Credit, where we first saw the announcement of the new Delta-Ticketmaster partnership earlier today.

Do you have any further thoughts or strategies for the new Delta-Ticketmaster partnership? If so, please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!

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