There are great welcome bonuses on some of the popular Delta Amex co-branded credit cards.
These are among the best offers we’ve ever seen on the cards, and you’re eligible for the bonuses on each of the cards, as they’re all considered separate products (see my previous post about how many Delta Amex cards you can apply for).
A couple of days ago I wrote a post valuing the welcome bonuses on all four of the cards with increased bonuses. As I explained in the post, I value SkyMiles at 1.2 cents each, so my valuation was based on that.
While I think that’s a realistic valuation of SkyMiles, many people tell me that redeeming SkyMiles is too difficult, and therefore it’s not worth taking advantage of the bonus. The good news is that unlike some other points currencies, SkyMiles have a legitimate “floor” value, thanks to the ability to redeem SkyMiles as cash towards the cost of a ticket.
If you have a Delta co-branded credit card then you can redeem SkyMiles for one cent each towards the cost of a ticket, in increments of 5,000 miles. The Pay With Miles benefit is available exclusively to those with select Delta co-branded credit cards, and even elite members without the credit card don’t have access to this benefit.
You should use Pay With Miles for a Delta One ticket
In other words, if a ticket cost $200, you could choose to pay $150 plus 5,000 miles, $100 plus 10,000 miles, $50 plus 15,000 miles, or just pay 20,000 miles outright. The best part is that for all practical purposes these are still considered “paid” tickets. This means that:
- You’re eligible for complimentary upgrades on these tickets as an elite member
- You’re eligible for Medallion Qualifying Miles and Medallion Qualifying Segments for these tickets
- You earn redeemable miles based only on the portion of the ticket for which you’re paying cash
Even for someone who doesn’t want to go through the effort of redeeming SkyMiles, this is something that’s very much a worthwhile welcome bonus.
Let me just emphasize again that this isn’t personally how I’d choose to redeem SkyMiles. Even though Delta has significantly increased many award costs over the past few years, I still think you can get more value through premium cabin redemptions. However, there is something to be said for there being a floor value for miles, because I can see many people redeeming American and United miles for significantly less than a penny of value per point. For example, I value a one-way China Airlines business class ticket from Los Angeles to Taipei at more than $950.