These days, it’s hard to justify a vacation with air travel costing a pretty penny. But fortunately, there’s a decent solution — travel rewards. And thanks to welcome bonus offers from Delta Air Lines, that much-needed vacation is even more feasible with up to 60,000 bonus SkyMiles available to earn.
With the current Delta offers, you’re not just limited to redemptions with the Atlanta-based airline. Delta is part of the SkyTeam alliance, meaning you can use your Delta SkyMiles earned from these credit card offers with many partner airlines such as Aeromexico, Air France, China Eastern, KLM, Korean Air, LATAM, Virgin Atlantic and WestJet. These partnerships allow you to visit almost any destination imaginable.
There are seven different Delta credit cards — four personal cards and three business cards — where you can now earn between 10,000 and 100,000 bonus SkyMiles depending on the card you apply for. Before we dive into how to use the SkyMiles earned to jet-start your travel adventures, here’s a quick recap of the Delta credit card offers.
Delta personal credit card offers
- Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card: Earn 10,000 bonus SkyMiles after you spend $1,000 within the first six months of opening the account.
- Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card: Earn 70,000 bonus SkyMiles after you spend $2,000 within the first six months of opening the account.
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card: Earn 90,000 bonus SkyMiles after you spend $4,000 within the first six months of opening the account.
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card: Earn 90,000 bonus SkyMiles after you spend $6,000 within the first six months of opening the account.
Delta business credit card offers
- Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card: Earn 75,000 bonus SkyMiles after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening the account.
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening the account.
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card: Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 within the first three months of opening the account.
With the SkyMiles that are on offer in mind, here are six of our top ways to redeem your SkyMiles with Delta and its partner airlines. Ultimately, now could be the best time to start planning for your next trip and put your hard-earned SkyMiles to use.
Short-haul flights throughout the United States
First, it’s worth noting that Delta no longer has a fixed award chart, meaning the cost of a flight using SkyMiles varies. That being said, you can often book flights throughout the United States — especially on shorter flights — for as few as 4,500 SkyMiles to 5,000 SkyMiles one way plus taxes and fees.
For example, you can book a flight from San Francisco (SFO) to Los Angeles (LAX) for 4,500 SkyMiles one way plus taxes and fees. With up to 60,000 SkyMiles in your account, you could fly this route six times there and back — a perfect opportunity if you make these trips often or if you’re traveling with a family.
With the offers available as of the time of publication, we found flights from New York (JFK) all the way to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) for many dates for just 4,500 SkyMiles plus taxes and fees one way.
However, keep in mind that these low ticket fares are in basic economy, which means you can’t pick your seats ahead of time — instead they are assigned during the check-in process. If you want to guarantee that you and your travel partner or family are seated together, you might want to consider booking in the main cabin. On these incredibly discounted flights, a bump to the main cabin typically only cost a few thousand additional SkyMiles each way.
Be flexible and follow the deals
If you don’t have a specific destination or date in mind, following Delta’s flight deals page can allow you to book a vacation for even fewer SkyMiles. These deals often rotate and vary in destination and time of year. Although the deals might be limited, if you’re able to make them work for you, you’ll be able to multiply the number of vacations you can take with your Delta SkyMiles — a win-win.
All you have to do is enter your departing city and all deals on both paid fares and using award SkyMiles will appear. Offers change quite a bit, so we suggest visiting the page often — at least once a month — as Delta typically populates the page with travel dates for the next three months out.
For example, currently, you can fly from New York (JFK) to Montego Bay (MJB) for just 12,000 miles round trip, plus taxes and fees. However, the deal is only valid for a one-week period.
At other times of the month, we found that the same flight will cost anywhere between 15,000 and 50,000 miles round trip, so spending just 12,000 miles is a great opportunity.
Ultimately, being flexible with your travel dates means you can travel to many destinations around the world with your Delta SkyMiles — all at a discounted rate.
Head to the Caribbean
With about a dozen destinations in the Caribbean, such as Aruba, Grand Cayman, Montego Bay, Nassau, San Juan and St. Thomas, among others, using your Delta SkyMiles to enjoy some sun and relaxation is incredibly easy.
The number of SkyMiles required to redeem for a free flight varies based on your destination and the time of the year you want to travel. But, as an example, I was able to find many flights from New York (JFK) to Aruba (AUA) for just 10,000 SkyMiles one way or 20,000 SkyMiles round trip plus taxes and fees. And since Aruba sits outside of the hurricane belt, the fall could be a great time to avoid crowds but still get some sun.
Heading to the beach — all on SkyMiles — might be the perfect opportunity to relax. And with 60,000 SkyMiles, it’s easy to fly you and a friend or a spouse round trip to the Caribbean for a much-needed vacation in the sun.
Cross the border to Canada
Flying to Canada is incredibly easy. You have two options when looking to use your SkyMiles: fly directly on a Delta plane or book through its partner airline WestJet. Flights can be found for as few as 7,000 SkyMiles one way, so the bonus SkyMiles earned from the Delta credit cards will go a long way.
If you’re looking to fly to Montreal (YUL) or Toronto (YYZ) from the East Coast, you might be able to score a flight for minimal miles in basic economy — or spend an extra 2,000 SkyMiles for a main cabin fare and pick your seat in advance.
If you’re based out of a city farther away from the Canadian border, you can often find flights operated by partner airline WestJet for just 12,500 SkyMiles one way. We were able to find many flights from Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Francisco, among others, to Vancouver for 12,500 SkyMiles plus taxes and fees one way. With 60,000 SkyMiles, you can fly this route twice — roundtrip — for just the cost of the taxes and fees, and have some miles leftover for your next trip.
Fly to South America
A few years ago, the South American airline LATAM formed a partnership with Delta Air Lines. Thanks to the partnership, you can use your Delta SkyMiles to visit many destinations throughout the continent. Although availability can be limited, if you plan in advance, you can book a ticket for as few as 25,000 SkyMiles plus taxes and fees one way to many destinations around South America.
For example, you can fly nonstop from Miami (MIA) to Lima, Peru (LIM) for 50,000 SkyMiles round trip plus taxes and fees with LATAM.
You and your spouse could fly round trip on this five-hour journey with a couple of welcome bonus offers in hand. And best of all, the taxes are incredibly low, and you can travel internationally without incurring a huge time difference.
Visit French Polynesia
Daydreaming of staying in an overwater bungalow? Getting there can be quite expensive. But with Delta’s Air France partnership, you can fly nonstop from Los Angeles (LAX) to Tahiti (PPT) for 25,000 SkyMiles one way or 50,000 SkyMiles round trip plus taxes and fees in economy. Alternatively, splurge on a Premium Select seat for 50,000 SkyMiles one way and fly in more comfort.
Ultimately, Delta SkyMiles can be tricky to use. But, if you look in the right places — and at the right routes — you can find true value in redeeming your SkyMiles for nearly free flights.
Learn more about the Delta Blue Amex Card.
Learn more about the Delta Gold Amex Card.
Learn more about the Delta Platinum Amex Card.
Learn more about the Delta Reserve Amex Card.
Learn more about the Delta Gold Business Amex Card.
Learn more about the Delta Platinum Business Amex Card.
Learn more about the Delta Reserve Business Amex Card.
Check out CNN Underscored’s guide to the best travel credit cards currently available.