Four of the Best Ways to Use Delta SkyMiles

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DELTA SKYMILES OFFERS REFERENCED BELOW ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE!

There are just a handful of days left to get in on the increased welcome bonuses from the line-up of Delta Amex credit cards. While I don’t recommend hauling through a ton of rewards credit cards every single year, strategically adding cards to your wallet while the sign-up bonuses are at their peaks is a very solid strategy that my family uses pretty regularly to travel more of the world for less.

 

DELTA SKYMILES OFFERS REFERENCED BELOW ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE!

These increased bonuses of up to 70,000 Delta SkyMiles each are only valid until April 11, 2018, so I highly recommend not missing out on getting at least one of the cards. I really don’t think you can go wrong with getting one of these cards with the increased bonus, but of course, you will do better earning your miles with an idea of how you will spend them. Today we are going to look at the sign-up bonuses that are wrapping up next week as well as explore four of my favorite ways to use Delta SkyMiles to stretch your miles and explore the globe.

OFFERS EXPIRED! Increased Delta Amex Offers Ending on April 11th: OFFERS NO LONGER AVAILABLE!

DELTA SKYMILES OFFERS REFERENCED BELOW ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE!

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months + additional 10,000 bonus miles after you spend an additional $1,000 in first 6 months + $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months + additional 10,000 bonus miles after you spend an additional $1,000 in first 6 months + $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express: 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months.

Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card: 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the card in the first 3 months. Included Delta Sky Club Access

Offers expire on 4/11/2018. Terms apply.

Four of the Best Ways to Use Delta SkyMiles

1. Book during flash sales to stretch your SkyMiles.

If you really want to stretch your Delta SkyMiles, I highly recommend using them during their monthly flash sales, such as the recent flash sale of 12,000 mile round trips to Mexico, the one in January when you could book Caribbean round trips from 9,000 miles round trip, or the one back in December when you could book round trip business class awards to Europe from 98,000 miles each.

Booking quickly during one of these flash sales is how we booked our Delta award flights to the Bahamas last year during fall break. It allowed us to get a ton of value from just one Delta Amex welcome bonus!

Say yes to a Delta SkyMiles flash sale to the Bahamas

2. Book inexpensive Delta domestic award flights from 5,000 miles each way.

It’s not just during flash sales that Delta has very favorable award rates, but you can often find Delta domestic awards available for a very reasonable number of miles each way. We have flown Delta within the last year to Salt Lake City, New York City, St. Kitts, Nassau, and Atlanta for fewer miles than any other airline wanted for a similar flight. To put some real numbers to that, here are ten different Delta award routes I recently found available for under 10,000 SkyMiles each way.

  • LaGuardia – Orlando 5,000 miles
  • LaGuardia – Miami 5,500 miles
  • Seattle – San Francisco or Los Angeles 6,000 miles
  • Houston – Atlanta 6,000 miles
  • Dallas – LaGuardia 6,000 miles
  • Salt Lake City – San Diego 7,000 miles
  • New York City – Salt Lake City 7,500 miles
  • Minneapolis – Austin 8,500 miles
  • Seattle – Anchorage 9,000 miles
  • Houston – LaGuardia 9,500 miles

3. See the world in economy for a reasonable number of miles.

I can find flights in economy from the United States to Europe for 30,000 SkyMiles each direction at almost any time, which isn’t bad given the high good level of availability. Or, you could head to Japan for 35,000 SkyMiles, Sydney for 45,000 SkyMiles, and the list of places you can get to within that range of miles each direction goes on and on. Economy seats may not be fancy or exceedingly comfortable, but the ability to get around the globe for a realistic number of SkyMiles is a positive component of the SkyMiles program and a very solid way to use your miles.

4. Stretch out in business class.

The (unpublished) Delta award chart isn’t fantastic for business class travel, but it isn’t always terrible. I’m currently seeing a fair amount of business class awards from the United States to Europe for 70,000 SkyMiles each direction, which is the same number of miles that United charges for travel on their partners to Europe at the saver award level. It isn’t the best deal out there for business class award travel to Europe, but it isn’t out of line with other options.

Of those four referenced ways to use Delta SkyMiles, my family personally uses our SkyMiles most frequently in the first two ways in order to stretch them to the max without flying too far in economy. However, all four of those ways to use SkyMiles would be a great redemption and all remain ways that we might use our miles in the future. Regardless of how you want to use your SkyMiles to travel more for less, padding your SkyMiles account with a welcome bonus is a very smart way to be ready to book the award you want when the time is right.

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. My new favorite way to use my Skymiles is ATL-Southeast Asia using the TPE connection trick that was blogged about on millionmilesecrets. I recently booked ATL to MNL in business class for 95K points.

    But my story gets a little better. The award price dropped to 85K roughly a week after I booked my flight, so I called Delta about the difference in points. They noted my account and asked me to call back after the trip was complete, and they committed to add 10K Skymiles back to my account.

    So ATL-SFO-TPE-MNL all in DAL and CAL business class for 85K SkyMiles + 5 bucks and change in fees. Roughly 20 hours of flight time in a relaxing seat.

    I make this trip multiple times per year, and the award rate on this route looks to be stable with good availability throughout the year. Discovering this award actually changed my points strategy for the year.

    • I prefer 50k Alaska miles in business class on Cathay. Delta has just been so awful so often over the past five years that I’ve gone from a rabid partisan to avoiding them like the plague. i avoid them nearly at all costs unless I want a protracted fight with my wife because I booked Delta again. Partner flights can be solid.

  2. I made a massive error and quickly booked SEA-NYC using my Delta miles for Thanksgiving. 40k per person and I didn’t have the cash at the time, figuring I’d cancel and rebook as things changed. Didn’t realize the $150 change fee per person for redeposit. Oops. Learn from my fail.

    • Oh bummer, but the honest truth is that flights for very peak times can be brutal whether with cash or dollars so just be glad you kept cash in your pockets.

      • True enough! Thanks for all that you do in keeping us connected to the news in the points world! You have the best site. Happy Weekend.

    • Yes. There are some reports of folks getting approved for two on the same day, though often one will get approved and the other processed five days later.

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