Until the end of September, Delta is offering to double SkyMiles that are transferred from one person to another. This is the perfect time to make use of little pockets of miles in different family members’ accounts by consolidating all in one place, and doubling miles as you do so. Unfortunately, transferring miles isn’t free: Delta charges a penny per mile plus a $30 transaction fee (up to 30K miles per person per transaction). However, the result is that by shuffling miles around from one person to another you can effectively buy SkyMiles for just over a penny each.
Is this a good deal? It definitely can be if you know you’ll use the extra miles. Recently, when I looked into a few potential personal trips (to Europe and to Central America), I found that if I used this trick to buy my way into First/Business class, I would pay about the same as the best coach ticket I could find with a similar itinerary. Or, I could use half the miles to travel in coach and pay far less than I would have by buying tickets outright. Note that if you use SkyMiles awards to book your travel you won’t earn miles or status from the flight so you need to factor that in to your situation to determine if it’s really a good deal.