With even a small stash of Delta SkyMiles in your account, you’re set up perfectly for domestic travel in 2022. SkyMiles are easy to earn and many of these award tickets can be changed or canceled free. But best of all, it’s become one of the most consistent ways to book flights on the cheap – especially with average cash fares rising.
With some huge welcome bonuses on the Delta SkyMiles American Express credit cards out right now and an easy way to earn even more as an Amex transfer partner, it’s a good time to earn and burn some Delta SkyMiles. They may not be great be great if you want to fly up front, but I’d argue they’re the best way to use points and miles for domestic travel.
Let’s start with what you care about most: How much does it cost? Domestic award rates on Delta are regularly dropping to record lows thanks to an onslaught of Delta SkyMiles flash sales, with roundtrip flights in the U.S. regularly starting at just 5,000 SkyMiles to 9,000 SkyMiles. We’ve sent Thrifty Traveler Premium members deals to Miami (MIA), Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), New York City (JFK), and more – all for 9,000 SkyMiles roundtrip … or less. All you have to do is pay the $11.20 in taxes and fees.
Plus, with travel on the rise but still on uncertain footing, we think we think using Delta SkyMiles is one of the best ways to book travel in 2022. Book at least a main cabin fare with your SkyMiles, and you can easily cancel and get those miles (plus any taxes and fees) back to your account free – no need to worry about vouchers or Delta eCredits if you need to cancel.
Here’s a look at what we’ve found recently – and how you can grow your stash of SkyMiles to get you on your way.
Florida Hotspots Under 10K
Florida’s east coast is an easy destination to get excited about. It’s even easier to plan your trip when you can get there and back for less than 10,000 SkyMiles.
Want the heads up on deeply discounted SkyMiles tickets, premium cabin award alerts, and cheap domestic & international fares? You get it all with Thrifty Traveler Premium!
This is why Delta SkyMiles are great. Sure, award rates are constantly changing, and booking a Delta One Suite can cost an arm and a leg. But there’s an upside: You can snag deals like these for a fraction of the miles it would usually cost. Other airlines charge double, triple, or even quadruple the miles for this same route.
We unearthed this unadvertised Delta SkyMiles flash sale to Miami (MIA) and nearby Fort Lauderdale (FLL) for a trip this winter. It included tons of U.S. airports with flights under 15,000 SkyMiles roundtrip – including transcontinental fares from Seattle (SEA) or San Francisco for 12,000 SkyMiles and Los Angeles (LAX) for just 11,000 miles total.
If someone in your traveling party prefers life-size cartoons animals to a day at the beach, we also found this remarkable SkyMiles deal to Orlando (MCO) in 2022.
As you see above, the cheapest fares are almost always basic economy award fares – Delta is the only U.S. carrier who sells them when using your miles. But when rates are this low, it typically only costs an extra 1,000 or 3,000 SkyMiles to move up to a main cabin ticket.
That could easily be well worth it in order to get free seat assignment, free change and cancellation, and the ability to upgrade your seat. Domestic basic economy awards get hit with a 9,900-mile penalty to cancel – more than this whole ticket costs!
If you’re saving money to spring for that Disney Fastpass or for a few mouse-ear souvenirs for the way home, spending just 9,000 SkyMiles is a good way to start! But don’t sleep on Orlando as a great place to visit as an adult, either.
Phoenix for 4K SkyMiles RT!
If you’re looking for a warm, sunny escape, Phoenix checks a lot of boxes for a lot of travelers. Hiking, biking, golfing, boating, or just laying by the pool is all a perfect use of your trip to Phoenix, and you can easily save your cash and book one of these SkyMiles fares instead.
This fare, clocking in at just 4,000 Delta SkyMiles roundtrip, is one of the lowest SkyMiles fares we’ve ever seen, especially for a three-hour flight. I’d be willing to bet you’ve got 4,000 SkyMiles in your account right now!
Hawaii for 10K Roundtrip!
If the mainland isn’t enough to scratch your travel itch, how about a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii and back for just 10,000 SkyMiles? No, we’re not joking – this is real.
This was a rare one, but I promise we’re searching for deals like this all the time. This is an unusually good value: Even the best ways to use points and miles to fly to Hawaii often involve shelling out at least 26,000 miles roundtrip.
But the way these SkyMiles fares are trending, it’s possible we could see fares like this pop up again in 2022.
New York City & Boston
There are a million reasons to visit New York City. We found number 1,000,001.
For just 9,000 SkyMiles roundtrip, you could fly into the Big Apple for a Broadway show, see all of the sights, or just get lost in the concrete jungle and stumble upon the strange, strange world that is New York.
This deal featured dozens of departure cities from all over the country with nonstop flights into each of New York’s three major airports. And when we first sent it to Thrifty Traveler Premium members, flights were available at those rates all the way through summer 2022!
Like New York, Boston is an east coast city dripping in historical significance and also featuring some of the great American attractions. And just like New York, we recently found SkyMiles fares starting at just 9,000 to get there and back … all the way through the fall of 2022!
A Trip to Denver from Just 6K SkyMiles
If you are looking to get outdoors or escape the hustle and bustle of the east coast, jump on one of these crazy low SkyMiles fares to Colorado this year, instead.
This deal sent to Thrifty Traveler Premium subscribers just a few months ago offered some peak ski season availability – as well as peak summer, if you are less of a skier and more of a hiker.
Starting at just 6,000 SkyMiles roundtrip, you could get yourself to Denver and save your money for a cold drink after a hike or a warm drink after a few laps on the slopes in 2022.
And that isn’t even the best SkyMiles deal to the Rockies we found this year! Check out this fare from Seattle (SEA).
I love this mountains-to-mountains flight for either Seattle or Denver residents because these fares work in reverse. Many of these award fares allowed you to opt up to a main cabin fare for just 3,000 SkyMiles more – not a bad deal at all!
Las Vegas for 6K RT?!
If you literally play your cards right, you could make money on your Las Vegas trip thanks to this Delta SkyMiles deal. Just remember: The house always wins eventually.
SkyMiles deals to Vegas are plentiful, but this one was the best yet. Starting at just 6,000 roundtrip, you could take the money you saved and hit it big at the blackjack table, at the roulette wheel, or at the sportsbook when you land in Vegas.
Not a city person or a gambler? Las Vegas is also an underrated jumping-off point for some great attractions off the Las Vegas Strip – or get a set of wheels and road trip out to Utah’s amazing national parks!
Los Angeles or San Francisco from 5K
That Southern California vibe is a lot more attainable than you think thanks to this next deal. Starting at just 5,000 SkyMiles roundtrip, you could have scored a flight to sunny L.A. this year… all the way into the summer!
As always, Thrifty Traveler Premium members got this one first – Delta never advertised these dirt-cheap award rates. And it featured transcontinental flights like 15,000 SkyMiles from Washington, D.C. (DCA) and 10,000 SkyMiles from New York (JFK). In between, 9,000 SkyMiles would get you there from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), Spokane (GEG), Houston (IAH), and Boise (BOI).
Northern California may still be California, but it’s a world away from L.A. San Francisco puts travelers at the doorstep of one of the great American cities, one of the best wine regions in the country, some world-class mountains in the Sierra Nevadas and Lake Tahoe, and one of the most prestigious national parks in Yosemite.
And you could get there for just 5,000 SkyMiles … roundtrip.
It’s one of the most diverse environments in the world, and it can all be yours starting at just 5,000 SkyMiles!
Whether you’re a skier, a wine connoisseur, a foodie, or a hiker, there’s a reason to explore Northern California. And at just 5k SkyMiles, you’re running out of excuses!
All the Way to Alaska for 5k SkyMiles
This was one of our favorite SkyMiles deals ever, and a lot of Thrifty Traveler Premium members booked their dream trip to Alaska as a result.
We couldn’t believe our eyes until we booked it ourselves!
This deal is long gone now, but get the next one sent to your inbox with Thrifty Traveler Premium!
This deal put the far-off wildernesses of Alaska within reach for anyone with just a handful of SkyMiles. It included nonstop flights from Atlanta (ATL), Detroit (DTW), Los Angeles (LAX), Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), New York City (JFK), Salt Lake City (SLC), and Seattle (SEA).
This deal was a special one and maybe the best SkyMiles value we’ve ever seen.
The Best Ways to Earn Delta SkyMiles
From credit cards to flying Delta to riding with Lyft and even buying concert tickets, there are plenty of great ways to earn SkyMiles. And you won’t have to work too hard to earn enough to book one of these flights.
For one, right now, you can pick up a Delta co-branded credit card like the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card and its limited time 70,000 SkyMiles welcome bonus after spending $2,000 in three months or the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card to earn 90,000 SkyMiles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Check out our guide comparing the Delta Gold vs Platinum Cards to help decide which is better for you.
Those sign-up bonuses are enticing, but you might be surprised to hear that the best credit card for racking up SkyMiles is not a Delta SkyMiles credit card at all. Instead, look at one of American Express’s Membership Rewards credit cards like the Platinum Card® from American Express or the American Express® Gold Card.
With bigger bonuses when you buy groceries, pick up the restaurant tab, or book flights, these cards both earn points much faster than the SkyMiles cards. Most importantly, Delta is one of many Amex transfer partners. That means you can instantly transfer your points to your SkyMiles account when a great sale like one of these hits your inbox.
Using your SkyMiles on domestic trips will give you an incredible value to make your flights free in 2022. We think using SkyMiles to book your 2022 trip is one of the savviest moves you can make – especially with award rates this low.
If you pair your SkyMiles stockpile with a Thrifty Traveler Premium subscription, you can book flights for just $11.20 in taxes and fees all year long!