Deal Alert: Award Flights to Asia From 30,000 Miles Round-Trip, 50,000 Miles in Premium Select

Jan 11, 2019

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Delta appears to have brought back its SkyMiles sale to Asia, Thrifty Traveler has found. Flights from across the US to Beijing (PEK), Shanghai (PVG), Seoul (ICN) and Tokyo (NRT/HND) are available from as little as 30,000 miles round-trip.

It seems that nearly every major departure city is eligible for the sale, although not all award rates will be as low as 30,000 miles.

At current TPG valuations, 30,000 SkyMiles are worth just $360. Add in taxes and fees starting at $35 and this is equivalent to scoring a $395 round-trip deal. Even better, these aren’t basic economy fares meaning you’ll be able to check bags for free.

But, there’s also an opportunity to fly in Delta’s true “Premium Select” premium economy product for just 50,000 miles round-trip. At TPG’s valuation, that’s just $600 of value before just $35 in taxes. Premium Economy fares usually price well north of $1,000.

Delta Premium Select onboard a retrofitted Boeing 777
Delta Premium Select on board a retrofitted Boeing 777. Image by The Points Guy staff.

If you’re short on miles, remember that you can instantly transfer American Express Membership Rewards points into your SkyMiles account at 1:1 ratio.

Unless you book a flight to a third country, you can’t take advantage of China’s “visa-free transit” policy. So, make sure you get the right visa before traveling or you won’t even be able to get on the plane. TPG recommends using a third-party service like Allied Passport & Visa, and if you mention The Points Guy on your order form, you’ll get a $5 discount.

Airline: Delta
Routes: Most major US cities to PEK/PVG/HND/NRT/ICN
Cost: 
From 30,000 miles in economy or 50,000 in Premium Select plus taxes/fees starting at $35 round-trip
Travel Dates:
 February through April
Purchase By: Within the next day or two
Pay Taxes/Fees With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare on plus excellent trip delay insurance), Citi Premier CardChase Sapphire Reserve CardAmerican Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

Here are a few examples of what you can book:

Seattle (SEA) to Beijing (PEK) for 30,000 miles + $35 in taxes and fees round-trip nonstop:

San Francisco (SFO) to Beijing (PEK) for 30,000 miles + $41 in taxes and fees round-trip nonstop:

San Diego (SAN) to Beijing (PEK) for 30,000 miles + $41 in taxes and fees round-trip:

Los Angeles (LAX) to Shanghai (PVG) for 34,000 miles + $35 in taxes and fees round-trip nonstop:

Buffalo (BUF) to Shanghai (PVG) for 34,000 miles + $41 in taxes and fees round-trip:

Atlanta (ATL) to Beijing (PEK) for 40,000 miles + $41 in taxes and fees round-trip:

Los Angeles (LAX) to Shanghai (PVG) for 50,000 miles + $35 in taxes and fees round-trip nonstop in Premium Select:

San Francisco (SFO) to Shanghai (PVG) for 50,000 miles + $41 in taxes and fees round-trip in Premium Select:

Atlanta (ATL) to Seoul (ICN) for 70,000 miles + $47 in taxes and fees round-trip nonstop in Premium Select:

Atlanta (ATL) to Tokyo (NRT) for 90,000 miles + $56 in taxes and fees round-trip nonstop in Premium Select:

Maximize Your Purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare on plus excellent trip delay insurance), Chase Sapphire Reserve CardAmerican Express® Gold CardCiti Premier Card (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

If you don’t have enough SkyMiles in your account, consider signing up for one of the Delta credit cards to ensure you’re able to take advantage of a deal next time one pops up. For example, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express currently comes with a bonus of 30,000 bonus miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months and a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Terms Apply. Plus, this is a great card for defeating basic economy.

H/T: Thrifty Traveler Premium

Feature image courtesy of Nikada via Getty Images

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
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Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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