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Delta just introduced the ability to pay for your checked bag fees using SkyMiles. Delta is testing this new feature at some U.S. airports. The Atlanta-based airline plans to roll this functionality out to almost all U.S. airports in the future.
How To Pay Bag Fees Using Delta SkyMiles
Delta offers the ability to use SkyMiles to pay for your checked baggage fees by going through the check-in process, the Delta app, the Delta website, or an airport kiosk. As you go through the check-in process, Delta will offer you the option of redeeming 3,000 SkyMiles in exchange for a free checked bag.
Current Program Limitations
Delta expects to expand the program functionality over the coming months. For now, it has some limitations:
- You can only use SkyMiles to pay for your personal bag fees. Delta plans to allow you to pay for up to 9 people traveling with you.
- You can only pay for your first checked bag using SkyMiles. Delta plans to expand this functionality, although the date and pricing are yet to be determined.
- Oversize bags are excluded, and you still need to pay cash/card for them.
- Overweight bags are excluded. You will still need to pay cash/card for them.
Is redeeming Delta SkyMiles for bag fees a good deal?
If you take a quick look at the Delta checked baggage fees page, you find that typically the first checked bag will set you back $30 and the second one costs $40.
Paying 3,000 SkyMiles instead of $30 means you use your miles at a 1 cent per mile value. That's the redemption rate that Delta typically offers for direct cash-replacement purchases. However, you can get much better value from your SkyMiles.
In recent AwardWallet user redemptions, Delta SkyMiles provided 2.18 cents per mile. If you redeem miles for long-haul, premium cabin travel, the value of Delta SkyMiles averages 3.2 cents per mile. Comparatively, a 1 cent per mile value is poor.
If you're looking for a better redemption for your SkyMiles, check out our 9 Best Ways to Use Delta SkyMiles.
On the one hand, it is good news to see more options to use your Delta SkyMiles. The redemption rate is set at a rate (1 cent per mile) that doesn't make it seem like an obviously bad deal. However, you can get much better value by holding onto your SkyMiles and redeeming them for an award booking.
The only cases where it makes sense to redeem Delta Skymiles for bag fees is if you only have a few thousand SkyMiles and need to save the cash — or you're terminating your relationship with Delta and are trying to burn through the miles in your account.
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