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Delta Stays Credit: How to Use Your New SkyMiles Card Benefit

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Last month, Amex did what Amex does and upped the annual fees on the suite of Delta SkyMiles co-branded credit cards. With those higher fees came many coupon-like statement credits to help justify the price hike. The biggest credit is for hotel and vacation rental bookings made with Delta Stays – the airline's hotel booking platform powered by Expedia.

Depending on which SkyMiles credit card you carry, you've now got up to $250 in credits to use with Delta Stays each year. Delta Stays is similar to other online travel agencies (OTAs) in that you can easily search for hotel and vacation rentals in thousands of cities worldwide. You'll see results from all the major hotel chains, smaller boutique hotels, and even vacation rentals similar to those you'll find on Airbnb or Vrbo.

Saving some money on your next hotel reservation certainly sounds nice – and for anyone who can put it to good use, it will help offset the annual fee hike your Delta card. But how does it work in practice? And are these Delta Stays bookings a good deal?

Here's everything you need to know about using your card's new Delta Stays statement credit.

Read next: Did Delta Actually Make Earning Medallion Status … Easier in 2024?

 

How Does the Delta Stays Credit Work?

Just how big of a credit you get depends on the type of Delta SkyMiles credit card you have. Nearly all of Delta's seven personal and business credit cards now include some form of Delta Stays credit, except the no-annual-fee *delta blue*. 

Here's how much you'll get depending on which card you have:

And if you've got the business version of any of these cards (yes, you can have both) it gets even better.

To take advantage of your credit, head to the dedicated Delta Stays website to begin your search. Shortly after the SkyMiles credit card changes were announced, we decided to put these new credits to the test to see just how well they work. In order to do so, we headed to the Delta Stays website and began our search just like anywhere else.

 

Delta Stays search box

 

After going through the list of hotels, I found the perfect property for my needs and decided to book it. I was presented with two options, pay now or pay when you stay. The terms for these Delta Stays credits say that they only apply to prepaid hotel and vacation rental bookings – if I'd chosen the “pay at property” option, we wouldn't be eligible for the credit.

 

Delta Stays Pay Now booking

 

Thankfully, prepaid doesn't mean non-refundable. While you need to pay for the hotel upfront for the credit to kick in, you can still book refundable stays just in case your plans change. Some properties will even allow you to reserve the hotel with just a deposit and pay the rest at the time of your stay – these deposits should also trigger your card's new statement credit.

Once I made our reservation and prepaid with the *delta skymiles gold*, the new $100 credit was applied to my Delta card statement almost instantly.

 

SkyMiles Gold Delta stays hotel credit

 

In addition to earning SkyMiles by paying with a Delta credit card, these Delta Stays bookings also earn 2x SkyMiles per dollar spent after completing your stay. The downside? Because Delta Stays is a third-party booking site, you won't earn elite night credits or be eligible for any elite benefits at the hotel. That makes boutique properties and hotels where elite status isn't important to you the best choice for using up your card's Delta Stays credit.

These days, it's tough to find a hotel that costs less than $100 per night but if you do, or if you've got a SkyMiles card with a bigger credit, you can use it up over the course of multiple stays. Don't feel like you need to stretch your budget just to put your card's full credit to use.

Finally, it's worth mentioning that you get a fresh credit each calendar year, not when your card renews. That means if you're just picking up one of these cards for the first time, you'd be able to use the credit both this year and next, all while paying a single year's annual fee. This makes the suite of Delta SkyMiles co-branded cards even more valuable in year one – especially if you're picking up the SkyMiles Gold Card as it comes with a $0 introductory annual fee, then $150 a year (see rates & fees).

 

Are These Delta Stays Bookings a Good Deal?

Now that we've covered what you get and how to use these credits, look at some of the available options you've got with Delta Stays.

The good news is no matter where you're traveling you shouldn't have any issue finding a hotel that's bookable through Delta Stays. From major chains like Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt to smaller boutique properties and budget hotels, Delta's Expedia-powered booking platform has plenty of options to choose from. And if home stays are more your thing, they've got you covered there as well. You can also use these new credits on vacation rentals booked through Delta Stays.

After doing some additional searching to see how to best use these credits going forward, here's what we found.

 

Homewood Suites by Hilton (Orlando)

Say you want to take the family to Disney World shortly after school gets out and you're hoping to put your new credit to good use. There's no shortage of hotels in Orlando and most of them are bookable through Delta Stays.

You could book five nights at a Homewood Suites by Hilton through Delta Stays and it would cost you a little over $200 per night for a grand total of $1,089.

 

Homewood Suites hotel booking through Delta Stays

 

Booking the same hotel directly with Hilton costs $1,067 for the same exact dates and room type. This means that by going through Delta stays to use your card's new statement credit, you're actually paying $20 more than you need to.

 

Homewood Suites Orlando booking through Hilton

 

If you've got the SkyMiles Gold Card and get $100 back for this booking, you're really only getting $80 in value since you had to “overpay” to use it. In some cases, getting $80 worth of value will still be worth it but it's no longer the free $100 that it seems.

 

Hyatt Centric Times Square (New York City)

If the thought of spending five nights in the Florida heat is too much for you, maybe a weekend in New York City is more your style. Again, you won't find any shortage of hotels in Manhattan bookable through Delta Stays.

The Hyatt Centric is a great choice, with a top-notch location and surprisingly big rooms (for New York City). You could book a two-night stay here this fall for $1,037 through Delta Stays and get anywhere from $100 to $250 back as a statement credit depending on which SkyMiles card you have.

 

Hyatt Centric Time Square Delta Stays booking

 

Alternatively, if you booked this same hotel directly through Hyatt, it would only cost you $1,018 for your two-night stay. Once again, it's costing you nearly $20 more to use up your Delta Stays credit.

 

Hyatt Centric Times Square direct booking

 

If you've got the *delta skymiles reserve*, paying an extra $20 to get $200 back in statement credits is a pretty worthwhile trade. But once again, you can't really value that credit at the full amount.

 

Holiday Inn Resort (Aruba)

Aruba isn't really known as a budget-friendly vacation destination, but it is a beautiful Caribbean island … and a great place to beat the winter blues. If you were looking to get away next year and spend some time on the beach, the Holiday Inn Resort is about as affordable of an option as you'll find.

A five night stay here, booked through Delta Vacations comes out to a little over $2,900.

 

Holiday Inn Resort Aruba Delta Stays booking

 

By booking the room directly with IHG instead, you'd pay $2,764 for the same five nights. In this case, you're paying $143 extra to book through Delta Stays, rather than going direct.

 

Holiday Inn Resort booking with IHG

 

If you've got the SkyMiles Gold Card and its $100 Delta Stays credit, you wouldn't save anything at all at this property. It would actually cost you $43 more to book with Delta and you wouldn't get any IHG elite benefits like a potential room upgrade, early check-in, late checkout, or point earning. Talk about a raw deal. Even with the bigger statement credits of up to $250 that come with the other SkyMiles cards, you're better off skipping Delta Stays for this kind of booking as more than half of the credit's value is getting wiped away by over paying for the hotel.

While these are just a few examples of what's available through Delta Stays, I didn't ever find a situation where Delta Stays was the cheapest option from the searches I did. Getting $100 or more back as a statement credit can take the sting out of overpaying a little bit, but you'll need to be sure to do some price-shopping to know if you're really getting good value booking through Delta Stays or not.

 

Bottom Line

Amex recently refreshed the Delta SkyMiles portfolio of credit cards by raising annual fees and adding new, money-saving statement credits. Depending on which version of the card you hold, you've likely got between $100 and $250 worth of credit to use on prepaid hotel and vacation rental bookings with Delta Stays.

Booking these hotels and using your card's new credit is simple – but just be warned that in doing so, you might also be overpaying for your hotel.

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

3 Responses

  • I booked a room at the St Paul Hotel (coming to the twin cities for some college hockey) and using delta stays was the same price as booking directly with the hotel. (I actually had the room booked and then the new credit dropped last month so I rescheduled.)

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