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When you hear someone talking about Delta SkyMiles, the first words to come to mind are probably “worthless,” “pointless,” “SkyPesos,” etc. With Delta often charging egregious amounts of SkyMiles for premium-cabin awards (300,000 miles one-way for a Delta One Suite from Detroit [DTW] to Seoul [ICN]? I’ll just see myself to the back of the plane, thank you), it’s easy to feel that your stash of miles is basically useless.
However, not all is lost. As I discovered Thursday night on my way back home to Michigan, there’s at least one way you can put your SkyMiles to work to give you great value — and instantly elevate your travel experience. Right now, Delta’s selling selling glasses of Dom Pérignon Champagne for $35 — or 1,750 SkyMiles — per glass at its SkyClub locations.
According to TPG’s latest valuations, those 1,750 SkyMiles are worth $21 — a steal compared to the $35 Delta charges if you’re paying cash for the bubbly. I was a bit bored while waiting at one of LGA’s SkyClubs (I had access thanks to my Platinum Card® from American Express) for my delayed flight to Grand Rapids (GRR), so I decided to see how the process of purchasing high-end Champagne with my SkyMiles worked… for research, obviously.
Turns out, the process was seamless — after I asked for a glass of Dom, the bartender grabbed an iPad and scanned my boarding pass. The screen displayed my SkyMiles balance and how much I’d be charged for the glass, and asked if I wanted to leave a tip — also in SkyMiles.
In total, I spent 2,100 SkyMiles after I left a 20% tip — worth about $25, which is still well below the cash price of $35. Note, too, that you can purchase any premium beverage (anything that’s not complimentary at the SkyClub bar) with your SkyMiles. Want a whole bottle of Dom to split with you and your friends (or just for yourself)? That’ll cost 12,500 SkyMiles — equivalent to $150. That represents quite a savings over the cash price of $250 that Delta charges for the bottle.
This isn’t necessarily a new add from Delta, but it’s the first time I’ve seen so many advertisements for Champagne by the glass in a SkyClub — and the first time I’ve actually taken Delta up on its offer.
It’s easy to think that your SkyMiles are worth a whole lot of nothing, but there are some ways to get creative with them — even if it’s for something as fleeting as a glass of Champagne. Will I burn my miles on Dom every time I’m at the SkyClub? Definitely not — I’m saving my miles in the hopes that I’ll be able to score a low-level award ticket for the Delta One Suite on a flight to Asia sometime soon. However, if you’ve got miles to spare, the ability to redeem them for premium drinks is a way to get surprisingly good value, and to make your trip slightly more enjoyable — even if you miss an upgrade (as a Platinum Medallion) on your regional flight operated by a CRJ-900…
Know before you go.
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The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at Marriott and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,200 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees