The (Unofficial) Delta SkyMiles Award Chart for Flights from the U.S. The (Unofficial) Delta SkyMiles Award Chart for Flights from the U.S.

The (Unofficial) Delta SkyMiles Award Chart for Flights from the U.S.

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Getting the most value from your Delta SkyMiles can be a little challenging. Delta infamously does not publish an award chart. This makes it extremely difficult to know if you're making the right decision when using miles to book a flight. However, we're taking some of the guesswork out of booking SkyMiles award flights with our unofficial Delta SkyMiles award chart.

Updated for fall 2021, the award charts included in this post feature the lowest award rates when redeeming Delta SkyMiles. Each chart includes award rates for Basic Economy (when offered), Main Cabin, and premium cabins. Premium Economy is not included in these charts at this time.

Hopefully, with these unofficial Delta SkyMiles award charts, you won't have to go into the booking process blindly.

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Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
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Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
Annual Fee$250
Welcome Offer Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • You can receive a domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Take a friend or family member when you fly Delta. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Earn more miles on big purchases with 1.5 miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (that's an extra half mile per dollar), up to 50,000 additional miles per year. If your purchase qualifies for a category that has a higher mileage accelerator, only the higher accelerator will apply (ex. you would earn 3X miles on purchases made directly with Delta and Hotel Stays instead of 1.5X).
  • Delta Sky Club® Access - enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • With Status Boost®, earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to 2x per year getting you closer to Medallion Status.
  • Terms and limitations apply.
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  • 3X miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta
  • 3X miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases with hotels
  • 1.5x miles on eligible purchases over $5,000 (up to 50,000 bonus miles annually)
  • 1X miles per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

A Note About This Project

Delta isn't keen to advertise its award prices and has made it harder for SkyMiles members to find saver-level award space. But alongside other points and miles publications, we are doing our best to keep Delta's award pricing transparent. We have historical records of Delta’s pricing, and when we see changes, we’ll update this page to give you an idea of what a flight should cost before you redeem your miles.

Keeping our unofficial Delta SkyMiles award charts updated can be somewhat of a challenge. Delta utilizes a dynamic pricing structure. That is, there is no fixed rate for award travel for the majority of Delta's route network. Luckily, partner award flights tend to feature a more set pricing structure.

For flights sold and operated by Delta, however, factors like the actual ticket price (in cash) and current demand lead to fluctuations in the SkyMiles needed for award travel redemptions. That being said, our SkyMiles award chart shows the lowest rate for award redemptions.

The (Unofficial) Delta SkyMiles Award Chart for Flights from the U.S.
Redeem SkyMiles for travel in Delta's DeltaONE Suites. (Image via Delta Air Lines)

Delta SkyMiles Award Chart for Flights From the U.S.

DestinationBasic Economy (Lowest)Main Cabin (Lowest)Premium Cabin (Lowest)
North America (US & Canada)4.5K5K11.5K
Mexico & Central America5K8.5K21K
The Caribbean5K8.5K21K
Northern South AmericaNot Offered5K18K
Southern South AmericaNot Offered25K95K
EuropeNot Offered At This Time35K120K
Northern AfricaNot Offered37.5K85K
Southern AfricaNot Offered50K115K
The Middle EastNot Offered37.5K85K
Indian SubcontinentNot Offered45K120K
North AsiaNot Offered At This Time50K120K
Southeast AsiaNot Offered62K165K
Southwest PacificNot Offered55K120K

A Few Notes About Our Unofficial Delta SkyMiles Award Chart

We'll do our best to update the chart above. With Delta Air Lines being notorious for devaluing its frequent flyer currency without notice, this can be somewhat tricky. Additionally, the rates shown in the table above may include flights operated by partner airlines. Tip: Redeeming Delta SkyMiles for flights operated by partner airlines tends to be a better value. This is especially the case for flights to Asia and parts of Europe.

At the moment, Delta has scaled back its Basic Economy product. Due in part to COVID-19, Delta appears to have removed Basic Economy fares from flights between the US and Europe and between the US and Asia. This is likely a temporary move.

Updates to Delta SkyMiles Award Chart Since April 2017

We've done our best to keep this list up to date, but many of the changes to Delta's award pricing aren't picked up until late after the change happens. There are plenty of changes that also appear gradually, as the lowest saver-level awards disappear over time and the price increases. Below, you can see the major changes we've caught at the time they were adjusted.

Best Credit Cards to Earn Delta SkyMiles

It may be difficult for frequent flyers to ensure they are truly getting the most out of their SkyMiles. However, Delta does make it quite easy to earn SkyMiles. Delta currently offers four co-branded consumer credit cards and three co-branded business credit cards. One of these cards is the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card which features a current 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.

You can also earn SkyMiles via any of Delta's seven co-branded American Express cards:

If you prefer collecting rewards that can be used across multiple airlines and alliances, Membership Rewards points transfer to Delta at a 1:1 ratio. This means that any American Express card earning Membership Rewards points will effectively earn Delta SkyMiles. Additionally, you can also transfer Membership Rewards points to other airlines and hotels. Cards that earn Membership Rewards include:

Delta SkyMiles Partner Award Pricing

Delta's partner award redemption pricing can be just as convoluted as the pricing of its own flights. However, as a whole, redeeming Delta SkyMiles for travel on partner airlines is typically a better value. That is, on most routes, partner award redemptions are a better value. Additionally, booking partner awards with SkyMiles less than 60 days out can also lead to a reduction in the value you get from your SkyMiles.

For example, here's award pricing on flights in late 2021 between Los Angeles and Tokyo-area airports:

  • Delta economy: 40,000 one-way
  • Delta business: 180,000 one-way
  • SkyTeam partner economy: 50,000 one-way
  • SkyTeam partner business: 120,000 one-way

In this case, booking an award flight operated by a Delta partner is a better value when booking in business class. Occasionally, even economy class award redemptions require fewer points when flights are operated by partner airlines.

Here's a second example. This is award pricing on flights in late 2021 between New York City and London Heathrow (LHR):

  • Delta economy: 56,000 one-way
  • Delta business: 245,000 one-way
  • SkyTeam partner economy: 35,000 one-way
  • SkyTeam partner business: 120,000 one-way
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
Fly on Virgin Atlantic in its new Upper Class cabin using Delta SkyMiles. (Image courtesy of Virgin Atlantic)

Nevertheless, some SkyTeam partners may prove to offer a better value when redeeming for international travel between the United States and other countries. Here are a few examples.

US-Europe Round Trip in Business Class

  • Delta SkyMiles: 210,000 round trip
  • Delta SkyMiles Partner: 150,000 round trip
  • Korean SKYPASS: 80,000 round trip
  • Aeromexico Club Premier: 160,000 round trip (works out to 100,000 Membership Rewards points)

US-Australia Round Trip in Business Class

  • Delta SkyMiles: 220,000 round trip
  • Delta SkyMiles Partner: 230,000 round trip
  • Korean SKYPASS: 195,000 round trip
  • Korean SKYPASS: 185,000 round trip

Trying to book an award on Aeromexico has been known to leave a person on the precarious edge of sanity; however, Korean SKYPASS is another story.

While Delta has gone out of its way in recent years to destroy the remaining value in the SkyMiles program, Korean Air has improved its frequent flyer experience. It has added functionality for English speakers and enabled members to book partner awards online.

SKYPASS is sometimes a better alternative than SkyMiles for flying internationally on SkyTeam carriers. it offers a number of sweet spots, a high-quality hard product, and even a US credit card (although you’ll get better value using a card like Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card that earns Marriott Bonvoy points and then transferring those points).

SkyMiles Partner Awards More on Flights Less Than 60 Days Away

One important thing travelers should note is that the price of partner awards increases the closer you get to the departure date. This greatly reduces the value you get from your SkyMiles.

As a result of new program devaluations, Delta partner award redemptions could now cost you 160% more than before. If you book outside of this 60-day window, you can still maximize the value of your SkyMiles. Remember: the closer you are to departure, the pricier the award is.

For example, you may be able to book award travel on a Delta Air Lines partner between New York City and London for 75,000 in business class when booking more than 60 days in advance. However, this redemption can jump to as much as 195,000 miles one way just days before the departure date. That's an increase of 160% from the original amount required to book that flight.

That being said, if you plan on booking a partner award flight, be sure to do so sooner, rather than later. The sooner you book award travel using Delta SkyMiles, the more value you'll get from those miles.

The Bottom Line

It's been a few years since Delta did away with award charts. This has made maximizing the value of your Delta SkyMiles somewhat of a challenge. However, using our award chart featured in this post, you should have a better idea of the value you're getting from your miles. Earning miles is a bit easier. With seven co-branded credit cards, there is no shortage of ways to earn bonus Delta SkyMiles.

Finally, Delta’s consistent devaluation of the SkyMiles program is a nice reminder to focus your efforts on flexible rewards programs like Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy points. These give you the freedom to choose the airline that offers the best value, rather than the one whose miles you are stuck with.

What's your favorite Delta SkyMiles award chart sweet spot? How do you plan to use your SkyMiles in the near future?

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card (Rates & Fees)

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Comments

  • Does anyone smart know why Delta flight awards are not available to Nairobi from some cities in the U.S. like AUS or MCO? Maybe due to SkyTeam partners flying direct to Europe from those cities?

  • Donald Worlledge says:

    I need to up-date my address and phone number in order to use my awards.

    I tried on the web but it would not allow me to change.

  • Can I use miles for flights from the same alliance? Have the chart for South American flights?

  • Thanks! We earned a bunch of Delta miles a while back (flying China Airlines) as Delta had the most generous expiration policy. However, being Delta newbies, I wasn’t able to figure out what we could do with the miles we earned. Very helpful article!

  • I hope that the partner availability will be the same for quite a long time.

  • This is a great resource and the hard work is appreciated, but this chart isn’t even remotely accurate for US-Japan Award Tickets. Delta Economy awards are consistently between 100,000-150000 miles depending on the airport and Delta One is something ridiculous like 600000. This is a route I fly very often so monitor it closely. I don’t waste my time with Delta when it comes to award redemptions on that route.

  • Geraldine Gagnon says:

    It used to be fun to keep up with all these changes, but now it’s becoming an anxiety filled full-time job!

  • Thank you very much for this! I had no idea the default miles cost was higher for flying a partner, or that it made a difference if the first international leg was delta or a partner. I’m now wishing I’d paid closer attention to this on my last award flight :/

  • It makes me sad that this is a necessity of life with Delta. They have such Great service otherwise =/

  • This is super helpful. Many thanks for your tireless research.

  • Thanks for the info. Feels like getting harder to use delta mileages though.

  • seems like skypesos are better utilized on partner awards.

  • Interesting to note that the Partner awards from US to Europe and Africa require less points than Delta awards. And the amount in business class to South Africa is 320,000 points less!

  • Thanks for this helpful information. Great for planning purposes.

  • Luciano Stinchi says:

    Is there a chart for AA e UA?

  • Incredibly helpful. As someone who travels with kids, the variability in pricing is that much worse because I’m often looking for 4 tickets — so a 5-10K difference multiplied times 4 can be hard to plan for.

    • Hey Leslie, one quick tip: If you travel with two adults, you might try booking two separate reservation to save on miles.

      For example, if you search for 2 passengers, you might find 25k for a round trip. Then if you search for 2 more, the price may be 35k for a round trip. So you could end up with 120K total. But if you just search for 4 travelers, you’ll pay 35K x 4 or 140K total.

      If for some reason you can’t book the second set of tickets, you can always cancel within 24 hours.

  • thanks for the comprehensive guide!!!

  • Stacy Y Liu says:

    This chart is fantastic and super convenient! Thank you for this post!

  • Thanks for this. We’ve got some Delta miles to use!

  • Heather Armstrong says:

    This is helpful to understand their award pricing. I sometimes struggle to find good award pricing on the website, but have also found that Delta has some really great promotions. If you can book your flight as soon as the promotion is announced, you can get some great deals!

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    I found this chart to be very helpful. I wish it would remain static.

  • Great guide though as we have seen with Delta this may change at literally any second.

  • This is a great planning guide for Delta miles. I hope AA doesnt follow suite.

  • Sorry I have become skeptical of all point schemes since the race to the bottom started…..

  • Difficult to know how many Delta Miles to save when the dynamic pricing is involved. Cash is so much more versatile.

  • There is no such thing as a “best” card to earn Skypesos. They are all crap, befitting a crappy program

  • weak chart to asia from US, there are better redemptions out there

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    Well it seems after reading this that the best strategy is to redeem Delta SkyMiles early and as often as possible, because they will likely be worth far less in the future. .

  • It is funny how most DL awards are chart based but DL does not admit it.

  • I wish they kept things simple like before with an award chart. They are decent airlines though.

  • To me it is quite interesting that Delta charges less Skypesos to travel on a partner airline than on Delta itself! But then numerous foreign carriers require you to pay to reserve a seat. Any thoughts on the Skypesos differential?

  • Thanks! This is helpful. I wish it wasn’t necessary.

  • Thanks for posting this. As mentioned, sometimes you do just need to get lucky, but it is good to know what to expect.

  • We should have periodic updates on the unofficial award charts.

  • Thanks a lot. As a cheepskate (or seeker of the best value, to be specific, finding the lowest mile redemption is exactly what I am looking for. This is useful in comparing how many miles a destination will take with other mileage plans also.

  • The future of miles. Gradually worth less and less…

  • I think the easiest way to avoid partner award pricing is to credit the miles to those partners from the get-go. I credit Delta miles to Virgin Atlantic or Korean Skypass, American Airlines to Etihad and United to Avianca or Turkish and I don’t have those issues. The only domestic airline I credit to and maintain status with is Alaska.

    I used to maintain status on the other ones as well and was a Global at United but found the value of that having become too diluted.

    I remember once looking for a mileage ticket with Delta from DCA to LGA and they quoted 68,000 miles. Hahahaha.

    It frightens me when I think that people involved in the administration of these programs could run for public office and start devaluating the pension trust fund, our currency or treasuries the way they manage their own programs. That would be an unparalleled national disaster.

  • “out of touch”….yeah a bit =/

  • Flying to hawaii using korean miles is a nice option but can be challenging to execute at times.

  • The good part about SkyMiles is that they never expire.
    The bad part about SkyMiles is everything else, pretty much.

  • It seems extraordinary that Delta still won’t provide accurate details to it’s loyalty members… Very telling as to their appreciation of their loyal customers.

  • Great post! Looks much better that the click-bait articles from bloggers about DL “charging 135k to Europe”, like that was now the new minimum redemption threshold.

  • Thanks for putting this together! I live in a Delta hub, so I’ve been looking to get another Delta card and take advantage of some of these routes.

  • I wonder why it’s cheaper for economy to Europe on partners (25 k) instead of on Delta metal (30 k). At least according to the award chart above.

  • Delta skymiles are good, but definitely need to know how to use them. At least there is no expiration date, so i dont feel so bad leaving them dormant between redemptions!

    • Yes, kudos to having no expiration date. However, and it’s a big however, you’ll see from many comments here that you’re still not safe from devaluations. That’s why many of us try to earn and redeem points as soon as possible to protect ourselves as best we can.

  • I’ve a lot of Delta miles ad I think i’s time to burn them. 10 years ago I was much happier with rewards programs

  • This is nice information, it helped me in analyzing

  • ron_vaughn@hotmail.com says:

    very handy stuff. Can we see a similar chart for domestic/Delta, and maybe UAL?

  • skypesos at work. With AA and United copying delta with “dynamic” pricing, i guess its only a matter of time before their award charts tries to beat this one

  • Thank you. This will be very handy.

  • The Arts Traveler says:

    This is very helpful on understanding the current reality of Delta Skymiles. In November I am flying from Boston to London on Delta in Delta One. I used Flying Blue miles.

  • I’m currently waiting for a Delta flight right now. The article is a great reminder that I need to find a good redemption to enjoy my Delta points before they devalue again.

  • Thanks for the effort with this!

  • This is great – even unofficially, this is a really helpful planning resource.