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Today we're going to recap some of the exceptional value you can extract from Delta’s frequent flyer program. Delta’s recent history of unannounced devaluations, the lack of a publicly accessible award chart, and a move to fully dynamic award pricing has left many Delta fans with bitter feelings towards the SkyMiles program. But, with a little research and a handsome dose of patience, SkyMiles can still have you sipping Champagne while you relax in business-class on your way to some of the world's most exotic destinations.
The offer on the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is no longer available through this site. You can see a full list of available cards in our marketplace.
The current welcome bonuses on Delta's most popular co-brand cards are:
- Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express – Earn 30,000 Bonus Miles (Terms Apply)
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
- Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express – Earn 30,000 Bonus miles (Terms Apply)
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express – Earn 35,000 Bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) bonus miles (Terms Apply)
If you already hold a Delta Amex card, that doesn’t stop you from applying for other cards in the Delta family of cards. Outside of Amex’s standard application restrictions, nothing is preventing you from holding multiple Delta Amex cards.
1. One-Way Business-Class Transatlantic on Delta for 70K
One of the most common routes traveled by award travel fans, the hop over the Atlantic in Delta One® will set you back 70K each way. Award availability is typically easy to come by, and you can include a partner connection in Europe for the 70K award price, provided you fly Delta on the long haul leg of your flight. For example, Flying Delta DTW-LON, then connecting onwards LON-CDG on Air France. The same award flying a partner over the Atlantic will set you back 75,000 SkyMiles.
2. One-Way Business-Class Japan to Australia or New Zealand on Partners for 65K
One of the best-value routes left in Delta’s international partner network, you can fly a variety of Delta’s SkyTeam partners in business-class from Japan down to Australia or New Zealand for just 65,000 miles and minimal fees & taxes. There is a massive selection of partners to choose from depending on your final destination, with highlights including Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, and China Airlines. While Delta doesn’t allow stopovers, choosing the right itinerary will give you a full day to explore connecting cities such as Seoul or Ho Chi Minh City.
3. Round-Trip First-Class to Mexico on Delta for 42K
Another popular destination for U.S. holidaymakers, Cancún is home to a vast array of resorts, stunning beaches, and a tropical nightlife that can lead to one too many cocktails if you’re easily lead astray. You can grab round-trip first-class flights from Baltimore-Washington International to Cancún for 42K per person.
4. Monthly Delta Flash Sales
Delta’s monthly award flash sales are a chance to save big on award travel using SkyMiles. In past Delta flash sales, we've featured round-trip flights in coach to London for 48K, round-trip Delta Premium Select to Asia for 80K, and round-trip premium cabin awards to Europe for 99K. Each month tends to focus on a different geographic location, and you can save tens of thousands of miles per person on award travel. Check out some of the previous Delta flash sales in the links below, and keep an eye on the blog for future deals from Delta.
- Delta Flash Sale to Portland and Seattle
- Delta Flash Sale to Central America and the Caribbean
- Delta Flash Sale to London Starting at 48,000 SkyMiles
- Delta Flash Sale to Asia
- Delta Flash Sale on Premium Cabins to Europe
5. One-Way Business-Class to North Africa on Delta for 70K
Morocco is one of the most talked about destinations for our Award Travel 101 moderator team, AwardWallet’s thriving Facebook community. You can land a one-way business-class flight from Detroit to Casablanca flying Delta and Air France for 70K plus minimal fees and taxes.
6. Round-Trip Economy Intra-South America for 25K
Trying to traverse Argentina by any method of transport other than air travel is a nightmare. Less than a third of the roads in Argentina are paved, and while the country has an extensive rail network, air travel is the fastest and most comfortable way to get around. It can also be costly. You can redeem Delta SkyMiles for flights on Aerolineas Argentinas, and compared to the cash price of airfare; the rates are pretty sharp. This round-trip fare between Buenos Aires and El Calafate, on the edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, costs over $450 for a round-trip journey, or, you can shell out just 25,000 SkyMiles for a Delta partner award.
7. Minimum $350 Value Using ‘Pay With Points'
One of the highlights of the Delta co-brand cards, and an underrated benefit is the Pay With Points feature. Pay With Points is exclusive to Delta co-brand cardholders, so you won’t see this benefit if you don’t hold one of Delta’s Amex cards. Pay With Points allows you to redeem SkyMiles for revenue fares at a value of a penny per mile, in blocks of 5,000 miles (5K miles is worth $50 against your paid ticket). You still collect Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM) for your fare and have higher priority than award travelers on the upgrade list, and you'll earn redeemable miles on the cash portion of the ticket.
Now, you may be thinking, why would anyone want to redeem miles at a penny a piece when you can achieve higher returns redeeming for international premium cabin awards? There are several instances where it makes sense to redeem for 1¢ value:
- When the cash fare presents better value than a traditional award ticket. If the choice is an award fare at 40,000 miles + $5.60, or a cash ticket for $330, you would be better off paying 30K SkyMiles + $30 for your fare than taking the award ticket.
- If you’re chasing status. Fares paid using Pay With Points are treated as revenue fares in the respect that you still earn MQMs. If you’re trying to achieve Medallion status, it can make more sense to redeem miles at a penny a piece for flights which will earn MQMs than for an award flight that won’t. And as a Delta co-brand cardholder, when you see a Delta airfare sale, you can jump on it knowing you are getting solid value for your miles.
8. Redeeming Skymiles for Drinks in the Delta SkyClub
Redeeming your hard-earned SkyMiles at the bar may not appear like the best use of miles at first glance, but with a guaranteed value of $0.02 per mile redeeming at SkyClub lounges, alcohol may be one of the most consistent ways of receiving top-value for SkyMiles. A great example comes from AwardWallet’s Editor in Chief, Howie, via our Award Travel 101 Facebook community:
Lounge prices can be a little inflated, but a bottle of Louis Roederer Champagne for 13,750 miles (instead of $275) while you relax in the lounge pre-flight, waiting for your business-class flight paid for with miles, is a perfect example of how award travel can change the way you fly.
9. Domestic Hops for 5,000 Miles
Delta's funky award pricing will sometimes dish up award tickets costing north of 300K miles, but you can also find domestic hops between non-hub cities for as little as 5,000 miles + $5.60. With the 70K welcome bonus on either of the Platinum cards, you could take 14x of these shorter domestic flights.
When Delta pulls an unannounced award chart change, I’ll be the first to jump on my soapbox and cry that it's foul play, but there is still exceptional value in the SkyMiles brand when you know where to look. Whether your goal is premium cabin international travel, prequalifying for Medallion status, or a bottle of Dom Pérignon in the SkyClub as a precursor to a romantic weekend away, SkyMiles offers a ton of value.
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