I’ve written in the past that I expect Delta and Northwest to allow members to transfer miles back and forth between their Skymiles and Worldperks accounts at will, prior to the two programs combining into one. This is similar to what America West and US Airways permitted members to do, outsourced to Points.com to handle the transfers.
Randy Petersen predicts that this will go into effect in February, and offers some inside baseball details on how this is being accomplished, via in-house technology.
This will allow members to combine their points form the two programs towards an award ticket, access partners of one program that may not be partners of the other, and utilize the best award chart or award rules for their situation.
Sadly, they’ve taken steps to limit the opportunities for arbitrage across accounts. Starting January 15, many Northwest awards will be going up in price — to align the Worldperks program with the Skymiles award chart. No more 35,000 coach awards to Hawaii with Northwest, since Delta charges 40,000… no more 50,000 mile coach awards from the US to Europe with Northwest, since Delta charges 60,000.
The January 15 timing of the Worldperks award chart inflation suggests that Randy Petersen’s prediction of a February launch of points transfers between the two programs makes good sense.