Deal Alert: US to Maldives in Biz for 95K Delta SkyMiles, Economy for 45K

Jun 24, 2019

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If you’ve been speculatively hoarding Delta SkyMiles in hopes of redeeming them for a trip of a lifetime, most of your friends have likely written you off as looney. Turns out, you’ll be the one with the last laugh. We’ve discovered that Delta’s online booking portal is showing round-trip business class trips to Malé, Maldives (MLE) for just 190,000 SkyMiles + around $200-300 in fees.

If you’re tight on miles and willing to fly nearly 10,000 miles in coach, economy tickets are displaying at 45,000 SkyMiles + fees one-way, or 90,000 SkyMiles + fees round-trip.

If you’re flexible with dates, you’ll find most major US airports are included in the deal. That includes the likes of Boston (BOS), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), Minneapolis–St. Paul (MSP), Detroit (DTW), Miami (MIA), Raleigh–Durham (RDU) and New York (LGA/JFK).

Granted, some of these itineraries have long layovers and flights on partner airlines, but some offer nicely timed stops in Paris that could make for a beautiful way to stretch your legs between flights.

No matter how you slice it, that’s a solid deal on a long journey in business class. We value SkyMiles at 1.2 cents a piece, which means 95,000 of them should typically net you around $1,140 worth of airfare value. One-way business class tickets from the United States to the Maldives via Delta and its SkyTeam partners range from around $3,800 to $10,000. Parting ways with just 95,000 SkyMiles one-way as opposed to many thousands of dollars is a fantastic use of miles.

If you don’t have SkyMiles, or want to make better use out of your Amex Membership Rewards points, check out our guide on the best ways to get to the Maldives on points and miles.

Sunsets like these are just 100,000 SkyMiles away (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)
Sunsets like these are just 100,000 SkyMiles away. (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

Be willing to play around with dates and airports within driving distance. Delta’s booking engine has a tendency to throw up errors if no flights are available, but selecting different dates can return different results.

The stunning overwater villas at the Park Hyatt Maldives (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)
The stunning overwater villas at the Park Hyatt Maldives. (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

Once your flight is booked, you’ll want to turn your attention to lodging. We’ve assembled a comprehensive guide on staying in the Maldives using points and miles, including the best cards to get for racking up points for a quick redemption. Below are a few of our favorite properties that can be reserved with points.

A business class seat onboard Air France
A business class seat onboard Air France’s 787-9 Dreamliner. (Photo by Nick Ellis / The Points Guy)

If you’re sitting on a stockpile of Delta SkyMiles (or a load of instantly transferrable American Express Membership Rewards points), you may want to pull the trigger soon.

If you’re looking to boost your SkyMiles balance, consider applying for one of the cards below.

As with any Delta ticket, you have until midnight ET the day after you purchase to call, cancel and receive a refund of your miles and taxes paid. For Platinum and Diamond Medallion members, you’ll enjoy the luxury of being able to cancel this award ticket free of charge up until 72 hours prior to departure.

Given that these flights are many months away, it’s also likely that a schedule change or two will occur. Not only does a significant (typically 60+ minutes) schedule change enable you to call Delta and request a different routing within reason free of charge, but a change of 90+ minutes will generally allow you to call and request a full refund regardless of your Medallion status.

Airline: Delta Air Lines, Air France
Routes: Most major US airports to Malé, Maldives (MLE)
Cost: One-way economy award flights from 45,000+ SkyMiles for Main Cabin and 95,000+ SkyMiles for Business/Delta One, with between $30 and $300 in fees depending on cabin and routing
Dates: November 2019 through March 2020
Booking Link: Directly with Delta Air Lines
Pay Taxes/Fees With: Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on airfare plus excellent trip-delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

New York (JFK) to Malé (MLE) for 190,000 SkyMiles + $148 round-trip:

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

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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