You Can Now Redeem SkyMiles For Delta Gift Cards

Filed Under: Delta, Reward Programs

As we all know, Delta is constantly trying to move their SkyMiles program to a revenue based model in every way, both on the earning and redeeming side. This is evident based on the fact that there are increasingly ways to redeem miles for things other than flights, and they generally seem to be pegging each SkyMile at about a cent of value.

The increasing ways to redeem SkyMiles is both good and bad, depending on how you look at it — it’s good if you’re someone who isn’t great at redeeming miles, since this makes it easier to “cash out,” while it’s bad if you’re someone who is good at maximizing miles, since it brings all redemptions down to a similar level.

Delta has now introduced a new way to redeem their miles. You can now redeem Delta SkyMiles for Delta gift cards. Specifically, you can redeem miles for Delta gift cards in the following increments:

  • Buy a $50 gift card for 7,150 SkyMiles
  • Buy a $100 gift card for 14,300 SkyMiles
  • Buy a $250 gift card for 35,700 SkyMiles
  • Buy a $500 gift card for 71,450 SkyMiles
  • Buy a $1,000 gift card for 142,850 SkyMiles

This price is for physical gift cards that don’t have an expiration date or fees, and shipping and handling are included.

As you can see, in all cases you’re getting about 0.7 cents worth of gift cards per mile.

In general Delta seems to be pegging the value of each mile at about one cent each, so this is an especially lousy redemption.

Those with Delta’s co-branded credit cards can already redeem miles towards the cost of a revenue flight using the “Pay With Miles” perk. With this option you can redeem miles for one cent each towards the cost of a ticket, in increments of 5,000 miles. While you still earn MQMs for flights when you do that, the catch is that you don’t earn MQDs or redeemable miles for the portion of the ticket that you’re using “Pay With Miles” for.

If you’re using a Delta gift card you’d earn MQDs and redeemable miles for the entire cost of the ticket, since this is like paying cash.

More options are always a good thing, though personally I’d expect to get more than 0.7 cents per mile, so this isn’t how I’d choose to redeem my SkyMiles.

(Tip of the hat to Laptop Travel)

  1. It’ll never work….
    It’s just a radical waste of miles…
    What is one to do with gift cards??

  2. My wife and kids each have 7500 skymiles, and I considered getting $50 Delta gift cards until I browsed Delta flights and saw short haul one-way trips (NY to Baltimore) for 5500 miles. I’m guessing We’ll hold onto the points.

    Where exactly can I use the Delta gift card ?? I was told by Delta that I couldn’t pay taxes on award travel with it

  3. Buy a $250 gift card for 35,700 SkyMiles
    Buy a $500 gift card for 71,450 SkyMiles
    So in this case it’s better to buy $250 card twice, and save 50 miles,tho it’s only 50 miles,but for some people every mile might be important.

  4. I sometimes buy airline gift cards as actual gifts with cash; in this case, wouldn’t it just be better to buy someone a fully refundable flight using pay with miles, have the recipient cancel the flight and have the voucher accrue to the gift recipient?

  5. This has been available since at least December. I needed to fly to Denmark a bit last minute, so I can provide lots of extra info that wasn’t in the post as to why this might or might not be a good option:

    Pay with miles isn’t available on all Delta flights – particularly international flights on their partners. That’s why I redeemed my miles for a gift card to use for that particular flight – outright buying the ticket last minute wasn’t in the budget, so I went with the gift card.

    Also, if you want the card shipped to you quickly, you have to pay for expedited shipping. If you go with non-expedited shipping, it takes two weeks. Like, actually two weeks. It’s a bit ridiculous.

    Also, you may know this, but you actually can’t combine gift cards and the ‘pay with miles’ feature, so if you’re ever planning to do that on a booking you won’t be able to.

  6. Here is a perfect reason someone would do this: my elderly neighbor who is hanging up her flying travel wings offered me her remaining 43k+ skymiles. I don’t want to pay cash to transfer them (1 cent per +$30) but she can now get me a gift card I CAN use. Thanks for the post!

  7. Also the redemption of miles with delta is a PURE joke. Most oversea oneway ticket need 200k+ miles, other airlines charge 35k miles.

    Giftcard is the general best way to redeem miles.

    The value of a mile with delta is around 0.3 cents except for giftcards, there the value is better

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