Delta Skymiles aren’t colloquially referred to as Skypesos for no reason. Despite being the best US legacy carrier, their loyalty program consistently offers the lowest value on a per-mile basis. Unfortunately, good availability gives way to high mileage requirements. This month, Delta Skymiles are worth $0.0094 each. This represents a 7.8% decline since March, our last full reckoning, when the value was $0.102.
|US Domestic Value||$0.0085|
|US Domestic Non-zero Average||0.0113|
|International Non-zero Average||0.0137|
|Overall Non-zero Average||$0.0125|
Sadly, Delta presented us with many award redemption options that we consider insane. 465,000 miles to get from Los Angeles to Sydney, even up front, is worse than just about any other carrier would offer.
Like most award programs worldwide, one is served best by redeeming for international travel. Average redemptions for flights that cross an ocean are 21% better than those that stay within the United States. Unlike competing carriers, there appears to be better redemptions in economy than in premium cabins.
What the bell curve/redemption count above, and best/worst chart below, all make very clear is that one has an extremely high chance of redeeming for an acceptable value. Conversely, one as a very low chance of scoring a high-value award for a reasonable amount of miles. Our best for the month comes in at only $0.0576. This was for a economy award seat between Atlanta and London offered for 32,500 miles plus $5.60 in fees. The lowest cost cash alternative was $1,878.
Ultimately, Delta provides a reliable, but low value proposition with their Skymiles program. For value-minded award travelers, we’d recommend targeting miles on American or United. For comfort-minded ones, Delta might provide a good option.
Compared to it’s Peers
|Program||ACR Value||NZ Average||Updated|
|Alaska Mileage Plan||0.0084||0.0251||07/30/2018|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards||0.0057||0.0073||04/08/2018|