Delta Discounting Economy Awards as Low as 5,000 Miles

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Delta domestic economy and Delta Comfort+ award tickets are on sale for as little as 5,000 miles one way.

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Conditions of the Sale

  • Must book award within the next week (by July 18, 2016)
  • Valid travel dates: on or after August 23, 2016 through February 10, 2017
  • Must book award at least 21 days ahead of travel time
  • Blackout dates

Listed below are some (but not all) examples of fares on sale:

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Discounted Award Price Might Apply for Travel Before August 23

I searched for Atlanta to Chicago and found the sale price widely available in economy and Comfort+; interestingly the sale price is available even before the date the sale begins:

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Delta claims the awards that are on sale are for travel beginning August 23, 2016 but all the routes I checked have discounted prices beginning August 1 (21 days out from today). Here is Austin to Los Angeles…

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….and Charleston, SC to New York City.

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The end travel date Delta claims the sale lasts through does appear to be correct. I looked up the prices of the awards above through February and all of the discounted award prices end February 10, 2017.

Is This Delta Sale a Good Deal?

On the Charleston to New York route the sale price of 7,500 miles is a 5,000 mile discount in economy on the price before Delta deleted its award charts. Comfort+ is new since the deleted award charts, so I don’t know how much of a discount this is.

By the way, Comfort+ is economy with a little extra legroom and a few more perks.

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I value Delta miles at 1.3 cents each, far below its competitors because Delta award space isn’t great, its partners aren’t as useful as most programs’, and it collects fuel surcharges on many awards.

At such a low valuation, domestic economy awards can be a good use of miles, but before booking, look up the price of the cash flight. Remember that 7,500 mile award from Charleston to New York City? That same cash flight is $147.

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That means you’d get about 1.96 cents of value for your 7,500 SkyMiles if you booked the award. In in this  case, I would book the discounted award fare.

Run your own numbers by looking up the cash ticket price and dividing that number by the amount of miles you would use for the award. If you get an amount lower than .013 (1.3 cents per mile– or whatever you value Delta miles at), then I’d book this as a cash ticket. (Or better yet with the $250 Air Travel Credit on your Citi Prestige® Card.)

Bottom Line

Delta is offering discounted economy and Comfort+ awards on 8,000+ domestic routes. Book by July 18 and fly late summer 2016 through mid February 2017.  Just make sure to compare the cost of a cash flight before jumping on the sale.

Read the offer’s full terms and conditions here.


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