We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
For some folks, the best travel deals don’t require learning complicated airline award charts or searching for available award seats.
That’s why the welcome bonuses on the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, and Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express are a great deal!
With these cards, you can book paid Delta flights using a feature called “Pay With Miles” to redeem your miles for 1 cent each worth of value. So by earning a single AMEX Delta welcome bonus, you’ll have hundreds of dollars in guaranteed Delta flights. With NO blackout dates and NO scrounging for available award seats!
Pay With Miles won’t always get you the most value. But it’s an easy way to redeem miles for free or discounted flights!
Who Should Use Delta Pay With Miles?
Folks who worry about (or simply hate) hunting for award seats will love Pay With Miles. No award seat searching necessary!
When your schedule isn’t flexible, Pay With Miles is a perfect solution. There are NO blackout dates when you redeem your miles with this method.
If you want to be prepared for last-minute travel, Pay With Miles is your best friend. As long as a seat is open on an eligible Delta flight, you can book it with Pay With Miles!
This is an especially good deal if you usually book cheap coach fares, or if you like jumping on Delta’s flight sales. Plus, if you don’t have enough Delta miles for an award flight yet, Pay With Miles will let you redeem miles for a portion of the ticket price.
If you don’t fall into any of these categories, you must own a private jet. 😉
So What Is Pay With Miles Exactly?
American Express Delta SkyMiles cardholders have this exclusive perk that allows you to redeem miles at a rate of 1 cent per mile for paid (NOT award) Delta flights. Eligible cards include:
- Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
- Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express
As you can see, you’re guaranteed to save hundreds and hundreds on Delta flights with these welcome bonuses when you redeem your miles through Pay With Miles for 1 cent each. It’s an easy way to get Big Travel with just ONE card bonus!
How Does Pay With Miles Work?
To use Pay With Miles, you must book on the Delta website. Only Delta and Delta Connection-operated flights are eligible (NOT partner flights).
Your AMEX Delta card must be linked to your frequent flyer number for Pay With Miles to appear as a booking option. And you can only redeem in 5,000 mile ($50) increments.
You can use Pay With Miles to fully or partially pay for the ticket. And because these are paid (NOT award) tickets, you’ll earn miles and elite qualifying dollars for your flight!
Step 1. Log-In to Your Delta Account
First, sign-in to your account on Delta.com.
Step 2. Search for Paid (NOT Award) Flights
Search for your flight as you would any paid flight. Be sure to select “Show Price in Money” because you’re NOT searching for an award ticket.
Step 3. Choose “Pay With Miles” Eligible Flights
Select the flight you want from the list of options. Pick flights that have “Pay With Miles Eligible” written under the price.
Step 4. Choose the Number of Miles You Want to Use
On the payment page, you’ll see a pull-down menu with options for the number of miles to redeem. You can use miles to partially or completely cover the cost of the ticket.
Remember, you must redeem in 5,000 mile ($50) increments. So, for example, if your ticket costs $309, it makes the most sense to only redeem 30,000 Delta miles ($300) and pay the rest in cash. Because otherwise you’d have to redeem 35,000 Delta miles ($350) to cover the whole ticket, and you’d waste 4,100 Delta miles!
Step 5. Complete Booking
Continue booking like normal. You’ll see the discount applied at the final payment screen. When you finish the booking, the Delta miles will be deducted from your account.
How Much Value Will You Get From Pay With Miles?
Again, Pay With Miles is a terrific option for folks who:
- Don’t want to fuss with searching for available award tickets
- Are NOT flexible with travel dates, or traveling at peak times when award flights are harder to find
- Are looking for cheap coach tickets
- Find a sale fare where paying with miles would cost less than an award ticket
While the biggest draw of Pay With Miles is how easy it makes to book free travel, there are situations where Pay With Miles does NOT make sense.
For example, expensive First or Business Class flights that would cost thousands of dollars will set you back hundreds of thousands of miles using Pay With Miles. It’s usually a much better deal if you book as an award ticket.
This one-way Business Class award flight between Minneapolis and Paris costs 75,000 Delta miles plus $9 in taxes and fees:
The cash price for similar flights is $8,000. Using Pay With Miles, you’d have to redeem ~800,000 Delta miles to cover the cost of the ticket (~$8,000 cash price / 1 cent per mile). That’s more than 10X the number of miles required for an award flight!
You’ll get a much better deal if you book inexpensive tickets using Pay With Miles.
Note: If you use miles to fully or partially pay for your ticket, you will NOT get the miles back if you cancel your trip except if you cancel your trip by midnight the day after you booked it.
If you otherwise receive a refund, the dollar value of the Pay With Miles portion will be credited to your account.
By earning the welcome bonus from any of the offers on the AMEX Delta Gold personal and small business cards or AMEX Delta Platinum small business card, you’ll earn hundreds and hundreds of dollars in Delta flights.
If you’ve had one of these cards before, you can NOT earn the welcome bonus on that particular card again. But you CAN earn the bonus on all the cards you’ve never had!
Delta’s Pay With Miles is a flexible and super easy way to get Big Travel on paid Delta flights. You’ll earn miles for your ticket. And there are NO blackout dates.
Only American Express Delta credit card holders are eligible. Using Pay With Miles, your Delta miles are worth 1 cent each to partially or completely pay for your ticket.
While you won’t always get the most value from your miles this way, it’s a worry-free option for folks who are NOT flexible with their travel dates. Or don’t want to fuss with searching for award flights.