Delta SkyMiles Now Worth More Toward Vacations Delta SkyMiles Now Worth More Toward Vacations

Delta SkyMiles Now Worth More Toward Vacations

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As of last month, Delta now offers an improved way to redeem SkyMiles for vacation packages. Instead of booking flights and hotels separately, you now have the opportunity to book these together, and you can pay for it all with Delta SkyMiles. Delta claims members enjoy up to 15% more value from their SkyMiles for booking vacation packages than they did before. Is that enough to make it a worthwhile SkyMiles redemption?

The New Delta Vacations

Delta boasts three improvements to the existing Delta Vacations experience, spelled out in a very straightforward graphic:

What is new with Delta Vacations, shown in an infographic

  • 15% Greater Redemption Value: Compared to redemptions prior to July 10, 2023, SkyMiles go 15% further towards vacation packages. That lets travelers take costlier vacations for the same price as before — or take their next trip even sooner.
  • Earn More: Members now earn more SkyMiles and qualifying activity toward Delta Medallion status, as long as flights are included with the vacation package. Once again, this helps SkyMiles members get to their next travel redemption even quicker.
  • Better Booking Experience: The new booking interface creates a modern shopping experience, regardless of device.

All three improvements sound great on the surface. Earn more miles to spend at a better redemption rate, all with an improved booking experience.

Related: Delta Is Making It Harder to Earn Status in 2023. Here Are Some Shortcuts.

Understanding the Changes

There’s no real way to measure the redemption value, now that changes have been implemented. Before these changes were implemented, I expect that redemptions hovered around 1 cent per point. Based on this assumption, a reasonable expectation for redemption value is roughly 1.15 cents per point.

Thankfully, Delta clearly shows how members now earn more — in two ways. Previously, members could earn up to 5,000 bonus miles per person on a Delta Vacations package. Delta now offers the chance to earn up to 10,000 bonus miles per person on the same package. The total cost of the booking determines the amount of bonus miles earned.

Graphic for bonus miles earned through Delta Vacations

Members earn Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM) and Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD) towards Medallion status just as they normally would, as long as the vacation package includes flights. Booking additional aspects of a trip through a Delta vacation package means earning more MQMs.

In terms of the user experience, what better way to measure than to look at an example booking?

Delta Vacations Booking Process

While I am not intimately familiar with the previous process for booking a Delta Vacations package, I can confidently state that the updated process flows seamlessly. Similar to flight searches, members input details about their prospective trip to initiate a search. The example below explores a trip from Milwaukee to Seattle for one week later this year:

Delta Vacations search from MKE to SEA

Once submitted, search results populate quickly. For the Flight + Hotel package option selected, members choose their hotel first. Below are just two of the many hotel options available as part of the Delta Vacation package.

Hotel search results for Delta Vacations package from MKE to SEA

Results populate with per-person pricing, showing both cash and miles pricing. A toggle at the top right of the page switches pricing between the two:

Hotel search results for Delta Vacations package from MKE to SEA in miles

Both of the above options imply a redemption value of 1.15 cents per SkyMile. Interestingly enough, this lines up exactly with my expectations!

The next step of the booking process requires members to choose their flights. The “baseline” option shows up as “+ $0” to indicate it does not add to the total trip cost. Any other flights increase the price of the trip per person:

Flight search results for Delta Vacations package from MKE to SEA

Once all travel components are set, travelers have a chance to review the trip summary before completing the booking:

Summary of the package price and details before paying

For what it's worth, stepping through the process was just as easy using my laptop as it was using my phone. Regardless of personal preference, the booking process for Delta Vacations offers an efficient and seamless experience.

Bottom Line

Delta improved its vacation package booking experience in three distinct ways. SkyMiles now go 15% further than before, and members earn more SkyMiles and qualifying activity toward Delta Medallion status when booking through a modern booking platform. Couple that with the improved ability to track your elite status progress.

All of these upgrades help enhance the user experience. For frequent Delta travelers, vacation packages represent an excellent way to earn more and enjoy a “one-stop shopping” experience for their travels. However, even when SkyMiles go 15% further than before, members should think twice before making such a redemption. AwardWallet users redeem Delta Skymiles at 1.38¢ on average, so a redemption of just 1.15 cents per mile leaves value on the table. Members with excess SkyMiles might feel differently, but there are better redemptions available.

Related: 7 Best Ways to Use Delta SkyMiles

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