Deal Alert: Delta SkyMiles Flash Sale to South America

Apr 10, 2019

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Those who have been holding off for a flash sale to South America should act fast. Delta has quietly launched a 48-hour SkyMiles sale to Bogota, Buenos Aires, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago and Quito. The deal includes Main Cabin (economy) and Comfort+ (extended legroom economy) seating on flights connecting through Delta’s headquarters in Atlanta.

You’ll need to book directly at Delta.com by 11:59pm ET on Thursday, April 11, 2019 for travel between July 4 and Oct. 31, 2019. To search, plug in your origin airport at Delta.com along with one of the sale destinations mentioned above. We recommend using Delta’s “Flexible Dates” calendar, and make sure you toggle to “Miles” when looking at search results.

Machu Picchu in Peru
Delta’s latest flash sale could get you to Machu Picchu for cheap. (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

While the deals below show Atlanta (ATL) as the origin and destination, we’re seeing much wider availability from other US cities with an Atlanta connection en route. Unsurprisingly, the lowest fares appear to be reserved for the fall, so don’t be shocked to see higher fares throughout the summer period.

In fact, we’re seeing that by adding a connection you can score rates even lower than what’s published. For example, Delta advertises a low of 38,000 miles to Lima, but we’re seeing round-trip fares between Newark (EWR) and Lima (LIM) price out at 32,000 miles in September. While the published floor for a round-trip to Quito (UIO) is 40,000 miles, we’re seeing rates as low as 36,000 when departing from Raleigh–Durham (RDU). In other words, it’s worth playing around with dates and origin airports to see if any unadvertised deals lurk below.

Remember that Diamond and Platinum Medallion members are entitled to fee-free cancellations on all award bookings (Basic Economy tickets notwithstanding), so top-tier elites can book now and see if it works with their schedule down the road. Also, Delta’s higher elite tiers are entitled to complimentary upgrades from Main Cabin to Comfort+.

It’s worth noting that Delta’s prior wave of flash sales are still active through the end of the day, while the latest South America flash sale can be found here. In practice, tickets are pricing as low as 32,000 miles round-trip in economy. Considering that TPG values each SkyMile at 1.2 cents, 32,000 miles represents a cash equivalent of $384. If you’re in need of SkyMiles, remember that you can instantly transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Delta at a 1:1 ratio.

Airline: Delta
Routes: Many US cities to BOG/EZE/LIM/UIO/GIG/SCL
Cost: 32,000+ SkyMiles round-trip in Main Cabin (economy)
Travel Dates: July 4 through Oct. 31, 2019
Pay Taxes/Fees With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance),  Citi Premier® Card (3x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on airfare), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

Here are a few examples of what you can book:

Newark (EWR) to Lima (LIM) for 32,000 miles + $73 in taxes and fees round-trip in economy:

New York (LGA/JFK) to Bogota (BOG) for 32,000 miles + $82 in taxes and fees round-trip in economy:

Raleigh–Durham (RDU) to Quito (UIO) for 36,000 miles + $103 in taxes and fees round-trip in economy:

San Francisco (SFO) to Lima (LIM) for 41,000 miles + $73 in taxes and fees round-trip in economy:

Chicago (ORD) to Santiago (SCL) for 62,000 miles + $103 in taxes and fees round-trip in economy:

Boosting Your SkyMiles Balance

While you couldn’t earn a welcome bonus in time to boost your balance for this wave of deals, you may consider adding a card now in anticipation of flash sales to come. There are a variety of ways to earn Delta miles, from Delta-operated flights to trips on SkyTeam airlines to various non-travel partners. However, one of the best ways to boost your SkyMiles balance to score a few free trips is by adding one of these cards to your arsenal:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550 annual fee; See Rates & Fees); 75,000-point welcome bonus after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 6 months of account opening, though be sure to check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for a 100,000-point welcome bonus after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months; offer subject to change at anytime, (you can transfer Membership Rewards points directly to Delta SkyMiles) Terms Apply.
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express ($595 annual fee; See Rates & Fees); Earn 125,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
  • Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card ($450 annual fee; $550 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020, See Rates & Fees); Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Terms Apply.
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express ($95 annual fee; See Rates & Fees); Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first three months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first three months. Terms Apply.

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Featured image of Machu Picchu by Darren Murph/TPG.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, click here. 
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve Business Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card, click here.

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