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5 Ways to Use Delta’s Big SkyMiles Welcome Bonuses

Delta Pay With Miles

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American Express is currently offering an increased welcome bonus offer on all three of their Delta co-branded credit cards. These larger SkyMiles bonuses are your ticket to extraordinary free travel, but they expire on April 3, 2019, so don’t wait to take advantage. 

These card offers match the highest publicly available bonus we’ve seen. Now you’ll just need something to redeem those miles on. In this post, we will highlight some of our favorite ways to use the welcome offer bonus you can earn from opening just one of these cards. 

 

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 60,000 SkyMiles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. This offer expires on 4/3/19.
  • Priority Boarding (even with a basic economy ticket)
  • Earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar on eligible Delta purchases and 1 mile for all other spending.
  • Enjoy 20% off in-flight purchases such as food & drinks in the form of a statement credit
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight – savings of up to $60 on each round-trip flight per person.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year (then $95)

 

How Delta SkyMiles Work

 

Click Here to learn more about the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

 

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 75,000 SkyMiles & 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. This offer expires on 4/3/19.
  • Priority Boarding (even with a basic economy ticket)
  • Receive a domestic main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon card renewal.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar on eligible Delta purchases and 1 mile for all other spending.
  • Earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy 20% off in-flight purchases such as food & drinks in the form of a statement credit
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight – savings of up to $60 on each round-trip flight per person.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $195 annual fee (not waived for the first year of card membership)

 

How Delta SkyMiles

 

Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

 

Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 75,000 SkyMiles & 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. This offer expires on 4/3/19.
  • Priority Boarding (even with a basic economy ticket)
  • Receive a domestic first-class, Comfort+, or main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon card renewal.
  • Complimentary access into the Delta Sky Club when traveling on a Delta flight. Bring up to 2 guests for $29 each.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar on eligible Delta purchases and 1 mile for all other spending.
  • Enjoy 20% off in-flight purchases such as food & drinks in the form of a statement credit
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight – savings of up to $60 on each round-trip flight per person.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $450 annual fee (not waived for the first year of card membership)

 

 

Click Here to learn more about the Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

 

Head South of the Border

With just one welcome offer bonus, you could fly to Cancun with a friend or even five. You could even treat yourself to first class ticket for 44,000 SkyMiles round trip! That’s some incredible value, and it highlights the great use of SkyMiles to get to Mexico & the Caribbean.

Whether you long for the beaches of Mexico, Belize or farther south in Central America, there are great options for 30,000 SkyMiles or less round trip in economy. The trick with Delta’s variable award chart is finding availability at those low levels.

Thrifty Tip #1: Read our guide on Understanding SkyMiles to get the most out of them.

It is currently possible to book round-trip economy tickets for as low as 12,000 SkyMiles into a few different Mexican destinations. New York (JFK), Miami (MIA), Los Angeles (LAX), Washington Dulles (IAD) and many more have availability into Cancun (CUN), Puerto Vallarta (PVR), and Cabo (SJD) for only 12,000 SkyMiles round trip. 

 

SkyMiles bonuses

You can book roundtrip award tickets into Mexico for 12,000 SkyMiles roundtrip

 

Round Trip Flights to Europe

Dreaming of visiting London, Paris or other European hotspots? Netting the current 60,000 or 75,000 SkyMiles welcome bonus from the American Express co-branded credit cards gives you enough to get there and back for nearly free. You’d just have to pay the fees.

Delta charges as low as 50,000 SkyMiles for a roundtrip ticket to anywhere in Europe in economy. That’s on par with other major frequent flyer mile programs. However, few, if any, have co-branded credit cards that make it this easy to take a transatlantic trip. One card and you’re done!

 

SkyMiles bonuses

Flights to Europe can be found for 50,000 SkyMiles roundtrip

 

Jet off to Japan

There’s nothing quite like the magic of the springtime cherry blossom season in Japan. Especially when a single American Express Delta co-branded credit card bonus can get you there and back. 

Rates can be found for as low as 60,000 SkyMiles round trip into Tokyo. A flight to Asia is one of the most cost-effective ways to use your big welcome bonus offer from your new card. Visiting Japan and other neighboring countries is all within reach just by hitting the minimum spend threshold on any of the co-branded Delta co-branded cards.

 

SkyMiles bonuses

Fly from Philadelphia to Tokyo for only 60,000 SkyMiles roundtrip this fall

 

Thrifty Tip #2: Most Delta flights to Tokyo fly into Haneda International Airport (HND), which is far closer to town than Narita International Airport (NRT).

 

Score Big Deals with Flash Sales

There’s no better way to make your big mileage bonus stretch farther than by capitalizing on Delta’s monthly flash salesThese fare sales are one of the facets of SkyMiles that sets Delta apart from other airlines, as they often offer steep redemptions on award fare prices. For example, last fall it was possible to fly from the US to Seoul, South Korea for 70,000 SkyMiles roundtrip in their Premium Select cabin

 

SkyMiles bonuses

A SkyMiles flash sale to Australia in August of 2018

 

Thrifty Tip #3: While we encourage you to spend your SkyMiles cache as soon as you can, it’s worth watching for these monthly sales. Following Thrifty Traveler is a great way to know when these SkyMiles flash sales are happening. 

 

Pile Up Points for Domestic Flights

Rather than going big on one flight, you can treat your big SkyMiles bonuses as a piggy bank for local trips. This is something we generally caution against, as short domestic flights rarely make sense to use your points as compared to paying cash. But with Delta, it can actually make sense. There’s no shortage of domestic routes available for under 12,000 SkyMiles one-way, with shorter flights starting at just 5,000 miles.

Think of it this way: At that price, you could fly one of these routes 6-7 times just with a single bonus from the Gold or Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card. Or at 7,000 miles one way, you could make 5 round trips with the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card bonus alone.

Considering some of these flights will generally run you at least 12,500 one way on other major airlines, that’s a great deal. While many airlines don’t release much domestic award space until much closer to departure, booking in advance is an area where SkyMiles really shine.

 

Bottom Line

Delta’s enhanced SkyMiles bonuses on their co-branded Delta SkyMiles cards put serious travel easily within your grasp. These bigger bonuses expire on 4/3/19, so now is the time to apply.

 

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Lead Photo credit of Delta Air Lines

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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