Delta SkyMiles Value Guide [2021]

Over the years, Delta SkyMiles have caught a lot of flak. That’s because many people don’t believe that the miles (or “SkyPesos”) are worth that much relative to other airline programs. But are Delta miles really as worthless as everyone some people say?

In this article, I’ll break down the Delta SkyMiles valuation based on recent data points, and I’ll also show you how to get maximum value for your Delta SkyMiles along with some great redemptions.

How much are Delta SkyMiles worth?

Based on over 60 data points, Delta SkyMiles are worth 1.62 cents per point. However, the value can often range from 1.12 cents per mile to over two cents per mile.

Broken down by class, here are the averages we arrived at after analyzing the data points:

  • Main Cabin: 1.5
  • Comfort+: 1.19
  • Delta One/First: 2.18

How to earn Delta SkyMiles

It is extremely easy to build up a large balance of Delta SkyMiles if you play your cards right. That’s because there are multiple personal and business credit cards for Delta.

In fact, there are seven different Delta SkyMiles co-branded American Express credit cards available for you to grab.

  • Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card (full review)
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card (full review)
  • Delta Reserve® Credit Card
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card
  • Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card

The welcome bonuses for these cards changes all the time so the key is to wait until you come across a great welcome bonus. Typically, I would generally wait to find a bonus on a Delta card at 60,000 miles or higher.

However, in some cases you might be more interested in the benefits of the Delta card and in that instance it could be worth just jumping on the card immediately.

That’s because you could be earning miles that count toward elite status or taking advantage of other perks like the companion certificate.

The other major way to earn Delta miles is to get an American Express card that earns Membership Rewards. You can then transfer your points to Delta at a one to one ratio which will allow you to stockpile miles even quicker.

I would look into cards like the American Express Gold Card (full review) and the American Express Platinum Card (full review).

Tip: Check out the free app WalletFlo so that you can optimize your credit card spend by seeing the best card to use! You can also track credits, annual fees, and get notifications when you’re eligible for the best cards!

Getting the most value

It’s possible to get much more value with Delta SkyMiles than 1.62 cents per point.

If you use your points on international routes, especially in premium cabins, you can get significantly more value.

For example, I found redemptions on Delta one [Manchester (MAN) to Los Angeles (LAX)] with over 12 cents per point in value. I’ve also used Sky Miles in the past to fly on some great bang for buck business class redemptions like on Virgin Atlantic.

So with Delta, the value is there you just have to search a little bit harder to find it. We put together a list of some of the best Delta redemptions so be sure to check out that list.

Data points

We always make sure that we back up our valuation claims with hard data so we analyzed over 60 data points involving Delta SkyMiles redemptions in the US and abroad.

We did different redemptions for Main Cabin, Comfort Plus, and Delta One/First. We focused mostly on the cheapest award prices available but in some cases we were not able to use those and slightly higher lower prices were factored in.

You can check out all of the cash price and award prices that we found below. We also have a chart that breaks down the cents per point per route.

US

Los Angeles (LAX) to Atlanta (ATL)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $184.10
  • Award price: 16,500 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.1

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $293.10
  • Award price: 26,500 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.1

First

  • Cash price: $553.10
  • Award price: 51,000 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.1

Boston (BOS) to Salt Lake City (SLC)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $133.10
  • Award price: 11,000 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.2

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $232.10
  • Award price: 19,500 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.2

First

  • Cash price: $502.10
  • Award price: 44,000 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.1

Cincinnati (CVG) to Houston (IAH)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $153.40
  • Award price: 10,000 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.5

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $174.40
  • Award price: 11,500 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.5

First

  • Cash price: $222.40
  • Award price: 15,000 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.4

Tucson (TUS) to Houston (IAH)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $199.20
  • Award price: 14,500 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.3

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $235.20
  • Award price: 17,500 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.3

First

  • Cash price: $337.20
  • Award price: 33,000 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.0

Las Vegas (LAS) to Chicago (ORD)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $170.20
  • Award price: 12,000 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.4

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $238.20
  • Award price: 15,500 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.5

First

  • Cash price: $496.20
  • Award price: 36,500 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.3

Denver (DEN) to Miami (MIA)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $231.20
  • Award price: 14,500 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.6

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $311.20
  • Award price: 23,000 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.3

First

  • Cash price: $499.20
  • Award price: 39,000 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.3

Mexico

Cancun (CUN) to Atlanta (ATL)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $180.36
  • Award price: 11,000 + $50.36
  • Cents per point: 1.2

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $231.36
  • Award price: 16,000 + $50.36
  • Cents per point: 1.1

First

  • Cash price: $293.76
  • Award price: 21,000 + $50.36
  • Cents per point: 1.2

Mexico City (MEX) to Detroit (DTW)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $285.58
  • Award price: 18,000 + $77.58
  • Cents per point: 1.2

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $305.38
  • Award price: 20,000 + $77.58
  • Cents per point: 1.1

First

  • Cash price: $357.38
  • Award price: 26,000 + $77.58
  • Cents per point: 1.1

Puerto Vallarta (PVR) to Atlanta (ATL)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $276.20
  • Award price: 16,000 + $69.90
  • Cents per point: 1.3

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $311.60
  • Award price: 19,000 + $69.90
  • Cents per point: 1.3

First

  • Cash price: $566.40
  • Award price: 40,000 + $69.90
  • Cents per point: 1.2

Hawaii

Honolulu (HNL) to Atlanta (ATL)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $462.70
  • Award price: 30,000 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.5

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $663.90
  • Award price: 47,500 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.4

First

  • Cash price: $2,785.29
  • Award price: 187,500 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.5

Honolulu (HNL) to Los Angeles (LAX)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $133.10
  • Award price: 9,500 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.3

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $217.10
  • Award price: 16,500 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.3

First

  • Cash price: $487.10
  • Award price: 38,000 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.3

Kona (KOA) to Seattle (SEA)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $218.00
  • Award price: 15,000 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.4

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $292.00
  • Award price: 21,000 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.4

First

  • Cash price: $493.00
  • Award price: 37,000 + $5.60
  • Cents per point: 1.3

Canada

Montreal (YUL) to St. Louis (STL)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $161.13
  • Award price: 11,000 + $59.19
  • Cents per point: 0.9

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $197.02
  • Award price: 15,000 + $59.19
  • Cents per point: 0.9

First

  • Cash price: $290.81
  • Award price: 24,500 + $59.19
  • Cents per point: 1.0

Calgary (YYC) to Salt Lake City (SLC)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $154.85
  • Award price: 12,000 + $51.27
  • Cents per point: 0.9

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $174.42
  • Award price: 14,000 + $51.27
  • Cents per point: 0.9

First

  • Cash price: $215.20
  • Award price: 18,500 + $51.27
  • Cents per point: 0.9

Winnipeg (YWG) to Minneapolis (MSP)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $199.75
  • Award price: 11,500 + $58.41
  • Cents per point: 1.2

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $215.43
  • Award price: 13,000 + $58.41
  • Cents per point: 1.2

First

  • Cash price: $260.82
  • Award price: 17,500 + $58.41
  • Cents per point: 1.2

South Africa

Johannesburg (JNB) to Atlanta (ATL)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $1,192.15
  • Award price: 50,000 + $79.25
  • Cents per point: 2.2

Delta One

  • Cash price: $3,587.15
  • Award price: 115,000 + $79.25
  • Cents per point: 3.1

Cape Town (CPT) to Atlanta (ATL)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $821.15
  • Award price: 145,000 + $49.55
  • Cents per point: 0.5

Premium Select

  • Cash price: $1,509.15
  • Award price: 250,000 + $49.55
  • Cents per point: 0.6

Delta One

  • Cash price: $2,571.15
  • Award price: 465,000 + $49.55
  • Cents per point: 0.5

Johannesburg (JNB) to Los Angeles (LAX)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $980.45
  • Award price: 50,000 + $67.35
  • Cents per point: 1.8

Delta One

  • Cash price: $4,057.45
  • Award price: 115,000 + $67.35
  • Cents per point: 3.5

China

Beijing (PKX) to Seattle (SEA)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $734.81
  • Award price: 74,000 + $30.88
  • Cents per point: 1.0

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $818.89
  • Award price: 80,000 + $30.88
  • Cents per point: 1.0

Delta One

  • Cash price: $3,940.35
  • Award price: 205,000 + $30.88
  • Cents per point: 1.9

Hong Kong (HKG) to Seattle (SEA)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $583.44
  • Award price: 42,000 + $59.84
  • Cents per point: 1.2

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $606.65
  • Award price: 46,000 + $59.84
  • Cents per point: 1.2

Delta One

  • Cash price: $2,346.39
  • Award price: 180,000 + $68.87
  • Cents per point: 1.3

Shanghai (PVG) to New York (JFK)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $728.76
  • Award price: 360,000 + $36.58
  • Cents per point: 0.2

Premium Select

  • Cash price: $1,207.87
  • Award price: 420,000 + $36.58
  • Cents per point: 0.3

Delta One

  • Cash price: $2,420.63
  • Award price: 465,000 + $36.58
  • Cents per point: 0.5

United Kingdom

London (LHR) to New York (JFK)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $1,924.96
  • Award price: 35,000 + $342.94
  • Cents per point: 4.5

Premium Select

  • Cash price: $2,620.24
  • Award price: 70,000 + $476.02
  • Cents per point: 3.1

Delta One

  • Cash price: $9,676.21
  • Award price: 95,000 + $605.03
  • Cents per point: 9.5

Manchester (MAN) to Los Angeles (LAX)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $1,959.54
  • Award price: 35,000 + $317.76
  • Cents per point: 4.7

Premium Select

  • Cash price: $3,644.77
  • Award price: 70,000 + $450.84
  • Cents per point: 4.6

Delta One

  • Cash price: $12,528.55
  • Award price: 95,000 + $579.85
  • Cents per point: 12.6

Australia

Sydney (SYD) to Los Angeles (LAX)

Main Cabin

  • Cash price: $713.42
  • Award price: 80,000 + $86.47
  • Cents per point: 0.8

Comfort+

  • Cash price: $800.05
  • Award price: 88,000 + $86.47
  • Cents per point: 0.8

Delta One

  • Cash price: $3,758.52
  • Award price: 225,000 + $86.47
  • Cents per point: 1.6
Country/StateRouteMain CabinComfort+Premium SelectFirst
US
Los Angeles (LAX) to Atlanta (ATL)1.11.1N/A1.1
Boston (BOS) to Salt Lake City (SLC)1.21.2N/A1.1
Cincinnati (CVG) to Houston (IAH)1.51.5N/A1.4
Tucson (TUS) to Houston (IAH)1.31.3N/A1
Las Vegas (LAS) to Chicago (ORD)1.41.5N/A1.3
Denver (DEN) to Miami (MIA)1.61.3N/A1.3
Mexico
Cancun (CUN) to Atlanta (ATL)1.21.1N/A1.2
Mexico City (MEX) to Detroit (DTW)1.21.1N/A1.1
Puerto Vallarta (PVR) to Atlanta (ATL)1.31.3N/A1.2
Hawaii
Honolulu (HNL) to Atlanta (ATL)1.51.4N/A1.5
Honolulu (HNL) to Los Angeles (LAX)1.31.3N/A1.3
Kona (KOA) to Seattle (SEA)1.41.4N/A1.3
Canada
Montreal (YUL) to St. Louis (STL)0.90.9N/A1
Calgary (YYC) to Salt Lake City (SLC)0.90.9N/A0.9
Winnipeg (YWG) to Minneapolis (MSP)1.21.2N/A1.2
South Africa
Johannesburg (JNB) to Atlanta (ATL)2.2N/AN/A3.1
Cape Town (CPT) to Atlanta (ATL)0.5N/A0.60.5
Johannesburg (JNB) to Los Angeles (LAX)1.8N/AN/A3.5
China
Beijing (PKX) to Seattle (SEA)11N/A1.9
Hong Kong (HKG) to Seattle (SEA)1.21.2N/A1.3
Shanghai (PVG) to New York (JFK)0.2N/A0.30.5
Australia
Sydney (SYD) to Los Angeles (LAX)0.80.8N/A1.6
1.211.190.451.38

Final word

Overall, I was a little bit surprised to see the valuation at 1.6 cents per point. I typically value Delta miles closer to 1.3 cents but after testing out all of these routes, it looks like SkyMiles might hold a bit more value than a lot of people including myself have thought.

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