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Although Delta miles can sometimes be hard to use, you can book award flights on many routes where your miles are worth over 2 cents each.
This means you can get more value with the limited-time increased sign-up bonuses of 50,000 Delta miles on the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express personal and small business cards and 60,000 Delta miles on the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express personal and small business cards.
If you consistently get 2+ cents per mile on Delta award flights, a 60,000 mile sign-up bonus is worth at least $1,200!
I’ll show you how to book US award flights to get the most value for your Delta miles!
Benefits of Booking Delta Award Flights
Although Delta doesn’t publish an award chart, there are perks to using Delta miles like:
- Book award flights on SkyTeam partner airlines
- Delta miles never expire
- Easy to book on delta.com
- No fees for last-minute award flight bookings (United Airlines charges $75)
Also, if you enter your departure and arrival airports, it’s easy to find the cheapest Delta award flights using the 5-week calendar view.
For example, here’s a 5-week view of one-way award flights from Atlanta to New York (JFK).
You can use these tricks to help get the most value for your Delta miles!
How to Get More Than 2 Cents Per Mile on Delta US Award Flights
If you’re an AMEX Delta cardholder and don’t want to worry about finding available award seats, you can easily use Delta miles towards paid tickets at a rate of 1 cent per mile.
But you can often get a much better value by booking award tickets!
To figure out how much value you’re getting for your Delta miles you can calculate airfare cost / award flight cost.
For example, if you book a $200 flight using 10,000 Delta miles, you’re getting ~2 cents per mile ($200 airfare / 10,000 Delta miles). Keep in mind, you should subtract the taxes on an award ticket from the paid airfare to get the most accurate calculation.
Here are 3 examples of using Delta miles to get more than 2 cents per mile.
Round-Trip Atlanta to New York (JFK)
If you’re thinking of a trip to New York this summer, I found a round-trip award flight in July from Atlanta for 20,000 Delta miles plus ~$11 in coach.
This same round-trip flight costs ~$471 if you pay cash.
Subtract the taxes on an award ticket from the paid fare to calculate how much your miles are worth. In this case, ~$471 – ~$11 = ~$460.
This means you’ll get ~2.3 cents per mile (~$460 / 20,000 Delta miles). If you used the 60,000 Delta miles sign-up bonus from the AMEX Platinum Delta for 3 of these flights, you’d save ~$1,380.
One-Way San Francisco to Los Angeles
If you’re flying along the California coast in June, you can book a one-way award flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles for 5,500 Delta miles plus ~$6 in coach.
The same flight costs ~$124 if paid in cash, so you’d get ~2.1 cents per mile ((~$124 – ~$6 taxes on award ticket) / 5,500 Delta miles).
Round-Trip Seattle to Minneapolis in Business Class
If you’re booking a last-minute flight, you can get more than 2 cents per Delta mile booking a Business Class award ticket on Alaska Airlines.
For example, here’s a round-trip Business Class trip from Seattle to Minneapolis for 50,000 Delta miles plus ~$11.
If you paid cash, this flight costs ~$1,101. So, you’ll get ~2.2 cents per mile ((~$1,101 – $11 taxes on award ticket) / 50,000 Delta miles).
You can use the limited-time increased sign-up bonuses from the AMEX Delta cards to get more than 2 cents per mile in value. This means the 60,000 Delta mile AMEX Platinum Delta personal or small business sign-up bonus can be worth more than $1,200.
Although Delta miles can be hard to use, there are no fees for last-minute award bookings, they don’t expire, and you can use them for award flights on partner airlines.
How do you like to use Delta miles for award flights?