The value of Delta SkyMiles® has gone down in recent years, and with the elimination of its award chart in 2015, flyers have been less i
nterested in the carrier’s loyalty program.
See our best credit card bonuses here.
That said, there’s still value to be had in the SkyMiles program with Delta’s user-friendly booking tool and its vast network of partner airlines. Let’s take a look at the best ways to redeem your Delta SkyMiles below.
|Best Redemption Options||Delta flights|
Delta SkyMiles Important Rules & Fees
Before we get into the meaty part, let’s cover some important SkyMile redemption rules and fees. Keep in mind:
- You can’t book First Class awards, on Delta or its partners.
- Stopovers and open jaws are not allowed.
- There are no surcharges when the flight takes off within the United States. But if you fly Delta or its partners from outside the U.S., you’ll have to pay surcharges.
- There are no last-minute booking fees.
- Delta does not charge a fee for booking flights by phone.
Click here for their Membership Guide & Program Rules.
One of the best ways to use your SkyMiles is on award flights with Delta. As mentioned before, Delta’s award chart is cost-based. That means there’s no set mileage for routes and travel between regions. Instead, pricing depends on the cost of fare, date, number of people booking and other factors. To get an accurate mileage cost, you’ll need to search for your award on Delta’s website or call customer service.
Flexibility can save you a bunch of SkyMiles. Make sure to search for all times for the best available price.
Best Ways To Redeem With Delta
SkyMiles Deals give incredible discounts on Economy Class and Delta One tickets. These limited-time offers cover destinations all over the world. So they’re perfect for both a quick weekend getaway or an adventure abroad.
SkyMiles Deals are often between specific city pairs, so you might have to book additional connecting flights.
In recent months, we saw amazing sales to destinations worldwide. Including:
- 5,000 miles for a roundtrip domestic flight
- 10,000 miles for a roundtrip flight to the Caribbean
- 20,000 miles for a roundtrip flight to Europe
- 30,000 miles for a roundtrip flight to Japan
- 86,000 miles for a roundtrip Delta One flight to Europe
If you’re vigilant enough, you can grab an award flight for half the SkyMiles you’d normally pay.
Sign up for SkyMiles Promotions and the Fare Sales & Last-Minute Deals newsletters to get email alerts on the latest flash sales.
Delta offers short flights within the continental United States for as little as 4,500 SkyMiles, plus just $5.60 in taxes and fees each way. If you often fly between two nearby destinations, you’ll want to always keep a few thousand Delta miles handy.
We recommend booking far ahead of your flight so you can snag the lowest-priced SkyMiles award space. Also, keep in mind, flights in and out of major Delta hubs (ATL, MSP and SLC) are harder to get at low prices due to Delta’s hub penalty.
One of our favorite ways to use SkyMiles is for flights between the lower 48 states and Alaska. You can easily find nonstop, roundtrip flights from cities like Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Anchorage (ANC) for just 35,000 miles. Sometimes, for even less. Considering a one-way flight to Alaska takes at least six hours, that’s a pretty good deal.
Book a roundtrip ticket to Mexico or the Caribbean in Economy for just 30,000 SkyMiles. With flights during peak season priced at $500 or more, this is a solid deal for a winter escape.
Delta’s new Premium Select is a great deal when you’re flying to Asia. For just 90,000 SkyMiles roundtrip, you’ll enjoy more legroom, better food and improved service compared to Economy Class. It’s everything we’d want on our long flight across the Pacific Ocean.
We collected the above information through public sources. The cost redemption cost is subject to change. Please check with Delta Airlines for updated information.
Delta has plenty of SkyTeam and non-alliance partners, which means you can use your SkyMiles on a variety of carriers and routes all over the world.
SkyTeam partners include:
Other airline partners include:
Avoid using your SkyMiles on award flights with Air Europa, China Airlines, China Eastern and Kenya Airways because they typically have high surcharges.
Although SkyMiles does not publish official award charts for partner flights, tickets are priced the same for travel with the same origin and destination – regardless of date. For example, a flight from New York to Shanghai will cost 85,000 miles, whether you’re looking to travel on March 10th or Dec 24th.
That said, because there are no published charts, Delta can raise their rates at any time. To get exact pricing on an award ticket, you’ll need to do the search on Delta’s website or call them directly.
Online, Delta will display partner awards and most can be booked from the site. However, they’re not great at putting together mixed cabin itineraries and will often direct you to book Delta-operated flights. To get around that, you’ll need to search one segment at a time.
You can’t book award travel online with Air Europa and Kenya Airways. Instead, call Delta Reservations.
Best Ways To Redeem With Delta Partners
Below are some of our favorite Delta partner routes in Economy:
|Europe (Roundtrip)||Air France / KLM / Virgin Atlantic||50,000|
|South America (Roundtrip)||Aerolineas Argentinas / GOL||60,000|
|Seoul (Roundtrip)||Korean Air||80,000|
|Australia (Roundtrip)||Virgin Australia||90,000|
|Short-Haul in Asia (One Way)||Any Partner Based In Asia||15,000|
|Within Europe (One Way)||Any Partner Based In Europe||25,000|
But if you want to squeeze more value out of your SkyMiles, you’ll want to save them for a partner award flight in Business Class. Our favorites include:
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class offers Upper Class Wing and Clubhouse access, top-notch amenities (including super HD screens, WiFi and even pajamas), an extensive variety of food options that you can order using your inflight entertainment, and Virgin Atlantic’s infamous quick and friendly service.
Route: U.S. to Europe
SkyMiles: 86,000 for a one-way ticket
The KLM Business Class experience includes lounge access, comfortable and spacious seats, great inflight entertainment and an exceptionally warm and friendly crew.
Route: U.S. to Europe
SkyMiles: 75,000 for a one-way ticket
Fly Air France Business Class and enjoy delicious meals and snacks, a huge entertainment selection and a free Message Pass to communicate with others via WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WeChat.
Route: U.S. to Europe
SkyMiles: 75,000 for a one-way ticket
China Airlines Business Class provides lounge access, fantastic, reverse herringbone seats, plenty of entertainment, a walk-up bar, efficient and delicious meal service, and a polished and refined crew.
Route: U.S. to Taipei (TPE)
SkyMiles: 85,000 for a one-way ticket
Earning SkyMiles: Co-Branded Personal Credit Cards
There are many way to earn Delta SkyMiles but the easiest way is by signing up for a co-branded Delta SkyMiles card. These cards from American Express offer generous introductory bonuses that will give you a nice start to earning SkyMiles. Here are the 3 consumer credit cards.
Earning SkyMiles: Co-Branded Business Credit Cards
Turn your everyday business expenditures into SkyMiles! This is a great option for business owners and their associates. Like their consumer card counterparts, these business credit cards offer generous signup bonuses and earning rates, giving you an easy path to racking up points.
Yes, Delta SkyMiles has lost value over the last few years, but you’ll still be able to find great deals if you know where to look. Especially if you set your sights on premium-class awards on partner airlines. We also recommend going for SkyMiles Deals to get the most bang for your miles.
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