Is it wrong to redeem miles for magazines?

A few days ago, I received my renewal notice for my subscription to the Economist which reminded me that I’d subscribed last year using Delta miles.

I just checked and it’s still available for 3,200 miles from Delta, US Airways, American, or United. I checked Southwest and saw no sign of magazines for miles there.

While I generally consider redeeming miles for anything other than airfare with suspicion, this is a reasonable deal in two regards:

  1. It’s such a small increment that it’s great for running down small accounts.
  2. It can actually be a good value if you’d subscribe otherwise! A good paid rate for the Economist is around $50/year if you hunt a bit which makes for a respectable $.0156/mile.

Good deal? I think so!

Bonus Reminder: Redeeming small numbers of skymiles for car rentals can be a bargain too! I believe however that there are limits on who can do this, based on your status with Delta. I working from memory here and and can’t check easily since I know both my wife and my account have access.




  1. Magazines are my guilty pleasure redemption:

    I just renewed my Economist early this month and now see Hilton HHonors has been added as an option. At 5200 HHonors points it is an even better to me than the 3200 AA/DL/UA miles.

    1. Excellent suggestion. I didn’t consider the hotel programs and generally agree that 5200 HH would be worth less than 3200 DL though I happened to have a 3500 mile DL account which this slotted into perfectly. Perhaps next year! Very nice coverage of these options in your post!

  2. thepointsguide · · Reply

    For me I think its a waste of miles but if you have a few thousand sitting there and you can’t do much with them, then why not! 😉

    That is what my wife and I did a year ago. We hardly use Alaska Air and had a few thousand miles so we got a few mags with them.

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