You Can Now Redeem Delta SkyMiles To Pay For Fees & More Types Of Upgrades

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Delta SkyMiles has been more focused than just about any airline on making their frequent flyer program revenue based, on both the earning and redemption side. They were the first of the big three US airlines to introduce revenue based mileage earning, and they’re also the only airline to let those with their co-branded credit card redeem miles for a penny each towards the cost of a ticket.

They’ve been using that one cent per mile valuation pretty aggressively as they’ve expanded the options for redeeming SkyMiles, and it looks like that has been expanded even further now. You can now redeem Delta SkyMiles to cover all kinds of fees (ticket change fees, award ticket redeposit fees, same-day confirmed fees, etc.), as well as upgrade costs (be it to a preferred seat, Comfort+, first class, or Delta One).

Per the SkyMiles News & Updates page:

Starting June 20th, 2017, SkyMiles Members can use their miles instead of money for even more products and services when calling Delta Reservations, giving Members more flexibility and options than ever before.

Members can now use their miles for:

To take advantage of these options, contact Delta Reservations at 1-800-323-2323.

Learn more about the many ways Members can use their miles.

Mileage amounts for upgrading to Delta Comfort+, First Class or Delta One are limited to the first $1,000 in fees. All mileage redemptions are nonrefundable. Upgrading to Delta Comfort+, First Class or Delta One, and using the Same-Day Confirmed option, are subject to availability and all product terms. Additional terms may apply.


You can now redeem your SkyMiles towards the cost of cash upgrades

While the amounts aren’t published, I would imagine that Delta will give you about a penny per mile towards the cost of any of the above. As of now this functionality is only available by phone, though hopefully it’s implemented online at some point as well.

Perhaps this isn’t the most glamorous way to use your SkyMiles, though I do appreciate the number of options Delta has for redeeming their miles. SkyMiles might not be the most valuable mileage currency, but unlike other programs, there’s actually a “floor” value to their miles, since you can redeem them quite easily across the board for at least a penny each, which isn’t bad. American and United don’t have that level of flexibility, so while you can get outsized value with those currencies, others may not even be able to get a penny of value per point.

Keep in mind that the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card and Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card have increased sign-up bonuses at the moment of 60,000 and 70,000 SkyMiles upon completing minimum spend, respectively. Using the one cent per mile valuation that Delta seems to like using, that makes the bonuses worth a minimum of $600-700.

(Tip of the hat to @IadisGr8)

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Comments

  1. Agree with the sentiment that “at least there’s a floor.”

    However Delta has shown remarkable creativity and persistence at devaluing its miles. Maybe they settle at $0.01 for a little while… but do you really think it’s going to stop there?

  2. If you have a Delta co-branded Amex card you’ve essentially been accomplish the upgrade part using the “pay with miles” option. I’ve done it a number of times to “upgrade” to First when the difference between coach & first fares made it seem worth the miles eg 20-40k depending on the route. Using this strategy has the benefit of earning 150% Medallion Qualification Miles for a “paid” but discounted First class ticket. And you can pay with miles without ever picking up the phone.

  3. With Delta, you may have devalued miles for award tickets …. but at least you have award tickets, unlike American. And United simply isn’t a good option for me for routine travel out of Seattle.

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