With no award chart and no set value, it can be hard to figure out (without a tarot deck) how much Delta SkyMiles are actually worth.
But we did the digging and calculating for you.
Based on our analysis, the Delta miles value is about 1.3 cents each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data on hundreds of economy routes, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 1.3 cents or more in value from your Delta miles.
» Learn more: Delta Air Lines SkyMiles program: The complete guide
What does this value mean?
Our estimated value of 1.3 cents per Delta SkyMile is an average, baseline value that can help you get a general sense of how much they're worth. This is effectively the value you could expect to get from your Delta miles if you chose to book a random main cabin ticket with miles rather than cash.
Keep in mind that the Delta SkyMiles program offers fewer "sweet spots" compared with other programs because of its dynamic awards. So, while researching can help boost the value of your miles, you’re unlikely to score redemptions worth multiple times our estimate, for example.
How do Delta miles compare to other airlines?
Delta offers slightly above-average value for its SkyMiles compared to other programs. However, the range of values is generally much lower, as the cost in miles is tightly connected to the cash cost. So you’re less likely to get outsized value.
What’s the value when booking business class (Delta One)?
Although our main valuation only considers main cabin fares, we also looked at Delta One tickets to see how the value stacks up.
For Delta, these business class tickets do reliably offer slightly more value, but it’s not nearly as extreme as some other programs, where the value can be twice as high.
Main cabin value
Business class value
Convert Delta SkyMiles to dollars
With the calculator below, you can quickly figure out how much your Delta miles are worth based on our estimated value.
When is the best time to use Delta miles?
Although Delta does keep the cost of award and cash tickets tied closely to one another, we did notice some differences when comparing different booking timeframes. Specifically, business tickets booked six months in advance offered the most overall value when compared to booking 15 days out or for winter holiday travel.
How flexible are Delta miles?
In one sense, Delta SkyMiles are very flexible, as they can be used to book flights on both Delta and its 20-plus airline partners. They can also be used to upgrade existing bookings.
On the other hand, SkyMiles cannot be transferred to other programs or used in other more “exotic” redemptions for decent value.
How did we determine what Delta miles are worth?
We collected hundreds of data points comparing the cash value to award (mile) value for the same routes and dates. That is, we compared the cost of a given ticket in either cash or miles, across many tickets.
This method differs from many others in that it looks at real-world redemptions rather than hypothetical, maximized redemptions. The advantage of this approach is that it provides an actual, real-world indication of how much these miles are worth on average. That said, it doesn’t take into account the high-value redemptions that points enthusiasts seek.
» Learn more: How much are your airline miles and hotel points worth?
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