Booking Award Tickets With Delta SkyMiles? Don’t Make This Mistake

by joeheg

Even though I write about travel, points and miles, sometimes I make stupid mistakes, as we’re all bound to do. I almost made a mistake that would have cost us a few thousand miles if I didn’t catch it at the last minute.

I needed to book flights to Atlanta and there are four non-stop options from Orlando. I can choose from Frontier, Spirit, Southwest or Delta. Delta flies between the two cities 13 to 15 times a day, with flights almost every hour. Prices when looking more than a month out aren’t inexpensive but they aren’t much more than the low-cost carriers, considering that we’ll get a free checked bag.

a screenshot of a phone

I’m not thrilled about paying $190 for a 90-minute flight but that’s the going price so what can you do?

I looked to see what Delta was charging for award tickets since shorter flights are often a great use for SkyMiles.  If I was going to book an award ticket, I’d need to transfer AMEX Membership Rewards to Delta. Sharon has more AMEX points than I do so I logged into her Delta Account.

The same flights cost 13,500 SkyMiles plus $5.60. That would be 1.36 cents per SkyMile, which is a decent value.

a screenshot of a phoneBefore I transferred the points, Delta reminded me that co-brand AMEX cardholders now save 15% on award tickets. Even though I have fewer AMEX points, I had enough to cover 23,000 points.

a screenshot of a flight schedule

Instead of 13,500 points, our tickets cost 11,400 SkyMiles each. That’s a 4,200 points savings for the two tickets. If you put a base value of SkyMiles at 1 cent per point, I saved $42 by having a Delta co-brand AMEX card. That’s on top of what I’ll save on checked-bag fees.

I had to pay $13.80 in fees to transfer Membership Rewards to Delta SkyMiles because AMEX charges a fee to send points to US airlines.

If you’re playing in two-player mode and only one of you has a Delta co-brand AMEX, remember that’s the person who has to book Delta SkyMiles reward tickets to save 15%.

Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.

Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary, or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.

Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

Leave a Comment