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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.
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.
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.
- St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
- JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa
- Maldives Miriandhoo Resort
- W Maldives
- Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
- Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
- Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
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.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550 annual fee (See Rates & Fees); 60,000 transferable Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 within the first three months of holding the card)
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express ($595 annual fee (See Rates & Fees); 75,000 transferable Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 within the first three months of holding the card)
- American Express® Gold Card ($250 annual fee (See Rates & Fees); 35,000 transferable Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 within the first three months of holding the card)
- Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express ($95 annual fee waived for first year (See Rates & Fees); Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Additionally, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
- Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card ($450 annual fee (See Rates & Fees); Earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
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.
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NEW INCREASED 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.
- 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®
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- 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