Lyft is Killing Off a Reward “Double Dipping” Opportunity
What’s better than earning rewards for your various purchases? Earning even more rewards for those purchases! That’s why I’ve loved discovering “double-dip” opportunities, such as redeeming offers from two different apps/platforms at once or combining coupons. However, these lucrative loopholes typically don’t last forever — as evidenced by Lyft’s latest move.
Since 2017, Lyft customers have been able to link their Delta SkyMiles account to the app and earn miles for each ride they took. Specifically, most rides in the U.S. earn 1 SkyMile per dollar spent while airport rides earn 2 miles for each dollar spent (excluding taxes, fees, tolls, and tips). Then, in 2019, Hilton announced that Hilton Honors customers would be able to earn points via Lyft. In this case, Lyft users can earn 3 points per dollar spent on most rides.
Alas, the days of being able to take advantage of both of these offers at once are coming to an end. Earlier this month, customers were alerted that they’d now need to select one of the two travel brands. If a preference is not selected by June 30th, then the program they linked first will serve as the default. The good news is that riders can quickly switch between the two rewards programs by selecting Rewards in the app, scrolling down to “Change travel partner,” and making their pick.
So, given the choice between Delta and Hilton points, which should you choose? Well, that will obviously depend on how often you frequent these two brands. But, from a mathematical and maximization standpoint, you might assume that 3x Hilton points bests 1x miles for Delta. As it turns out, that is true… but it’s a bit more complicated than that. According to The Point Guy’s valuations, Hilton Honors points are typically worth about 0.6¢ each while Delta SkyMiles are currently worth around 1.1¢ each. So while Hilton may be the better value for most rides, the Delta miles earned from airport rides may actually be the better pick — which is why it’s nice that you can toggle between the two as needed. There’s also the chance that either program may launch limited-time enhanced offers, so that’s another thing to watch out for.
Although it’s obviously disappointing that you can no longer double-dip on these rewards programs, it is possible that this change is being made ahead of other programs joining the line-up. This is pure speculation on my point, but it would make sense that Lyft might want to add more partners while avoiding conflicts of interest or just giving away too much. On the other hand, it could also be as simple as a cost-cutting measure with no upside. Of course, Lyft is still ahead of game when it comes to travel rewards partners as Uber only recently added the ability for riders and food orderers to earn Marriott Bonvoy points by linking their accounts. In any case, if you plan on taking a Lyft anyway, it’s definitely worth adding your Delta or Hilton account to earn whatever bonus rewards you can.
Also published on Medium.