Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
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.
Delta SkyMiles are worth about 1.3 cents.
This is higher than most airline miles.
Booking business class fares can yield higher value, but not much.
» Learn more: The complete guide to SkyMiles
What does this value mean?
Our data-driven value of 1.3 cents per Delta SkyMile is a baseline value. 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 with other airlines?
Delta offers slightly above-average value for its SkyMiles compared with 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 from a particular redemption, even if the baseline value is high.
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 with 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 elaborate redemptions.
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 some points enthusiasts seek.
» Learn more: How much are your airline miles and hotel points worth?
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card