Delta has a new SkyMiles promotion out with awards as little as 5,000 miles each way. In some cases these discounted awards may make sense, but make sure you always compare the $ price versus the mileage price (easily toggled in upper right hand corner of the delta.com search results page). You may be very surprised.
I had an Award Expert client this week who requested a trip between Los Angeles and Honolulu non-stop and in a “premium plane” (“not like United” were his exact words). While many airlines service Honolulu, including now Virgin America, only one — Delta — has full lie-flat beds on select flights.
So finding the flights was easy enough and the client had American Express points. Easy redemption right? 80K AMEX points transferred to Delta for the outbound?
It was not too long ago when it was not even worth looking at revenue prices — redemptions may not have been always lucrative, but they were certainly a better value than using points on a cash-back basis, typically at $0.01/miles.
But times have changed. I first noticed that when Delta jacked up prices without notice last year and there are always poor redemptions in any program if you look hard enough, but they are becoming much more readily available with Delta.
Checking the price for this particular flight revealed that the ticket was only $478 — that is 47,800 American Express points when booked through AMEX’s own travel portal, almost half the price of the Delta offer: