Surprise! Delta Lowers Award Price to North Asia

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In an interesting departure from Delta SkyMiles’ typical behavior, the price of Delta awards flying partner airlines between the United States and North Asia has dropped.

It used to cost…

  • 40,000 miles one way in economy
  • 95,000 miles one way in Business

Now it costs…

  • 35,000 miles one way in economy
  • 85,000 miles one way in Business

Debrief on SkyMiles

I said “used to cost” above, but that info is not based off of a Delta published award chart.

In the beginning of 2015, Delta got rid of their online award charts. The price of a Delta award became whatever Delta’s computers said it was. Travel is Free has an aggregation of standard Delta award prices, but at the end of the day those prices don’t matter if they don’t match your search results. No rep will help you there–what the computer says is law when there’s no published award charts nor a direct correlation to revenue prices. Hence the name SkyPesos.

The 40k economy and 95k Business prices were the latest prices seen over the last year, until just recently when U.S. Credit Card Guide reported that they had dropped to 35k and 85k respectively. View from the Wing contacted Delta, who confirmed that those were not pricing glitches but indeed the current going rate. For now at least.

Considering SkyTeam’s coverage of Asia is comprehensive–meaning there’s lots of SkyTeam award space to the region–this is great news for those of you with lots of Delta miles and/or a desire to travel to one of the following countries, which Delta defines as North Asia (also highlighted on the map above)…

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Micronesia
  • Philippines
  • Taiwan
  • Russia
  • Guam
  • Saipan

60k Gold & 70k Platinum Delta Offers

It’s easy to get a ton of Delta miles fast if you want to book this award, as both of American Express’ Delta co-branded credit cards have temporarily elevated sign up offers. Just note the American Express’ approval/bonus rules outlined in Issuing Banks Rules for Approvals for New Bonuses, the primary one being that you can only get the bonus on an American Express card once per lifetime. 

Until April 11, 2018 (this coming Wednesday), the Gold Delta Card is offering 50,000 bonus Delta miles after you spend $2,000 in your first three months, plus an additional 10,000 bonus miles for spending another $1,000 in within the first six months. The card also comes with a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within three months of opening it. The Gold Delta Business Card comes with the exact same offer.

Also until April 11, 2018, the Platinum Delta Card is offering 70,000 bonus miles, 10,000 status miles (MQMs), and a $100 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in your first three months. The Platinum Delta Business Card has all the same benefits, the only difference is the sign up bonus is 70,000 SkyMiles + 10,000 MQMs for spending $4,000 in three months.

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Credit Cards.

Read more about which of these offers better suits you in Limited Time: 60k Gold & 70k Platinum Delta Offers. Which is Better?

Bottom Line

It now costs 5,000 less Delta miles each way in economy and 10,000 less Delta miles each way in Business to fly a Delta partner between United States and North Asia. This is good and surprising news considering Delta is usually devaluing their mileage currency with unannounced price hikes.

New York City to Shanghai in China Southern Business Class is now only 85k SkyMiles as opposed to the prior 95k price.
New York City to Shanghai in China Eastern Business Class is now only 85k SkyMiles as opposed to the prior 95k price.

Hat tip View from the Wing


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