Delta Devalues Amex Gift Certificates in the SkyMiles Marketplace
The SkyMiles Marketplace (delta.com -> Skymiles -> Use miles-> SkyMiles Marketplace) is an online mall where you can use your Delta SkyMiles to buy merchandise and gift cards. Historically, if you have a Delta branded American Express card and/or are a Delta Medallion, there were some decent values like American Express gift cards that cost 11,000 miles per $100, so just about a penny a piece. Not bad, since SkyMiles can be minted like crazy - especially with 67% and 50% transfer bonuses from American Express.
However, overnight this week Delta devalued that redemption drastically. Now, you can only purchase American Express Gift Cards if you are a Delta Amex holder and the redemption rate is an eye popping 21,500 miles. Less than a half a cent per mile is a royal waste in my opinion. Redeeming via Delta's Pay With Miles feature will at least get you Delta flights at 1 cent per mile towards airfare.
There are still gift card opportunities that aren't horrible (though I still wouldn't redeem for them unless I was extremely strapped for cash). A $100 Macys/Saks/Ruths Chris gift card will run you 13,000 miles.
I understand that Skymiles can be hard to use, but my advice would be to still redeem them for travel (especially premium) with Skyteam partners since those awards are always at the low level. Finding that space and piecing together the perfect award can be challenging, but it can be done. Check out my posts on the topic for more information or feel free to comment below with any burning questions you may have about getting the most value out of your SkyMiles.
Maximizing Stopovers, Transfers and Open Jaw Ticketing on Delta Awards
Delta.com Quirks and How to Work Around Them to Find Low Awards
How to Book a Delta SkyMiles Award
How to Get To Australia With Delta SkyMiles