While the Delta SkyMiles program is popular among elite members who take advantage of frequent flyer perks with Delta and SkyTeam partner airlines, it's common to hear complaints about the sky-high cost of awards. For example, it's not unusual to find domestic itineraries that cost 30,000 to 40,000 miles one way, whereas other frequent flyer programs may offer similar flights for half the cost or less. Awards are often even more expensive compared to competitors for international itineraries, particularly for travelers who want to fly in a premium cabin.
However, Delta has recently taken steps that boost the value of SkyMiles. This includes Delta's newer TakeOff 15 promotion, which launched earlier in 2023 and paved the way for cardholders with co-branded credit cards from Amex and Delta to get 15% off award bookings.
On July 10, 2023, Delta announced another promotion meant to help members of the Delta SkyMiles program get a better value for Delta Vacations packages. Delta SkyMiles are now worth "at least" 15% more toward vacation packages, according to the airline. Even better, you don't need a Delta credit card to qualify for this benefit.
Enhanced value and booking experience with Delta Vacations
Delta Vacations offers bundled getaway deals that work similarly to other vacation packages. These deals tie together a hotel or resort stay and airfare from Delta or its partners for an overall lower price. Many of the Delta Vacations packages on offer are for all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico, although there are also non-inclusive packages in destinations like Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. With the new promotion, Delta Vacations packages will require at least 15% fewer miles to book, making them a better option for redeeming Delta SkyMiles.
In a press release from the airline, Delta said the new discounts on Delta Vacations package deals come alongside a better booking experience for SkyMiles members. The new experience is meant to make it easier to filter and search different vacation packages from Delta on any device, and for trips all over the world.
"We know one of the major reasons for earning miles is to go on a bucket-list vacation, and we are dedicated to making it easier than ever for SkyMiles Members to redeem, earn and book the trips of their dreams," said Kama Winters, president of Delta Vacations.
Members not only get at least 15% more value for miles when booking Delta Vacations, but they can use miles, cash or a combination of the two to book a getaway. Members can even book a full-fledged vacation package with hotels and flights included, as well as transportation and activities or excursions.
Are Delta Vacations a good deal?
While it's hard to say if getting "at least 15% more" value will result in a good deal for every Delta vacation package, some getaway deals do seem to offer a decent value. For example, we found a $1,689 seven-night vacation at an all-inclusive resort, originating from Indianapolis, Indiana to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for 135,074 miles. This amounts to 1.25 cents per mile.
In another search, we found a $2,148 seven-night vacation with airfare from Chicago, Illinois to Honolulu, Hawaii for 171,801 miles. Again, that's a value of approximately 1.25 cents per mile.
Should you book Delta Vacations with award miles?
At the end of the day, you can and should use your miles to book whatever type of travel you want. With a value of around 1.25 cents per mile for Delta Vacations, there are far worse ways to use your frequent flyer miles. Our advice? Evaluate Delta Vacations options the same way you would evaluate other rewards travel, and don’t be afraid to use miles if you find a deal you really love.