It’s no secret that Delta SkyMiles (or SkyPesos, or SkyRubles, depending on which blog you favor) have been massively devalued over the past six months. The consensus on many Boarding Area blogs seems to be that a SkyMile is now worth about 1.3 cents – the lowest of all of the major US carriers. When planning a last-minute, impromptu trip from California to New England for next week, I looked to use some of my stack of miles, as I strongly believe in the “earn and burn” philosophy.
I found a last-minute saver fare on United Business Class going East for 25,000 miles one-way. But with nothing available for return on United, I looked to redeem my SkyMiles. Due to the impending changes to Delta’s award chart (and their lack of detail or visibility), I have no desire to hold on to a large pile of SkyMiles, as they are becoming worth less and less by the week.
Here is what I found for the cash price:
And for a mileage redemption for the same flight:
Sure, domestic first class doesn’t hold a candle to international first class. But when I can extract a value of 2.55 cents per SkyMile (nearly double their valuation), have extra room to spread out on two flights, free checked bags, and free entry in to the Delta SkyClub during the layover in ATL, this was a pretty easy call. I will be looking forward to trying out Delta’s first class product, especially on their nicely outfitted 767-200 from ATL to SFO.
Yes, it’s a lot of miles to spend on one flight, but it’s also an amazing value for a continually deflated currency.
What would you have done? Have you had any luck getting more value-per-point from your SkyMiles?
Michael Prodanovich is a contributor to Point Me to the Plane, and author of The Ultimate Guide to Free Travel.