One of your best bets for redeeming Delta SkyMiles is a bottle of Champagne
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It’s easy to get down on Delta SkyMiles.
Delta’s miles are simply hard to redeem for outsize value. Things have improved in recent years with the airline’s semi-frequent SkyMiles flash sales and reasonable-enough prices for domestic or short-haul international flights to certain destinations.
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But when it comes to redeeming for Delta’s top experience, Delta One (and specifically Delta One Suites), you’re often looking at the prospect of paying hundreds of thousands of miles for a one-way flight — a hard pill to swallow for anyone, even those with plenty of SkyMiles in their account.
There are still ways to put your SkyMiles to good use, though. And perhaps the best way to put them to work is to treat yourself to a little pre-flight luxury in the Sky Club, as I recently tried out during a visit to the Sky Club at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).
Delta sells Dom Pérignon (by the glass and the bottle) at its Sky Club locations, and allows you to pay with SkyMiles if you choose. If you go that route, it actually works out to be a pretty great deal.
A glass costs $39 or 2,600 miles, while a bottle will run you $200 or 10,000 miles.
According to TPG’s latest valuations, the 2,600 SkyMiles you’d pay for a glass are worth about $31, less than the $39 you’d pay out of pocket. But buying the whole bottle is an even better deal — the 10,000 SkyMiles are worth about $120, a fantastic value when you consider the $200 cash price of the bottle.
I had an almost-four-hour layover at MSP on my journey escaping the snow in Michigan after Christmas and I have no regrets for buying the whole bottle. In fact, I’d recommend it to anybody who has some extra SkyMiles laying around.
How to buy Dom Pérignon at the Sky Club
The process is a simple one: Simply ask the bartender for a glass — or bottle — of the good stuff and he or she will bring an iPad over to you, where you scan your boarding pass. That brings up your SkyMiles account and displays how much you’ll be charged. You’ll then be asked if you’d like to leave a tip (which you can also leave in SkyMiles), you sign the screen with your finger and you’re all set.
By the time I completed that process, the bartender at MSP had my glasses in front of me and the bottle had been popped. Note, too, that this is the same process you’ll experience if you choose to purchase any premium beverage (i.e. anything that Delta doesn’t offer complimentary).
The airline stocks other Champagnes and sparkling wines that are available for purchase, but when the deal is this good, you can’t pass up the best of the best.
In total, I spent 12,000 SkyMiles on the bottle after I left a 20% tip — worth about $144, which is still well below the cash price (without tip) and a great holiday-season treat.
How to access Delta Sky Clubs
There are several ways to get into the Delta Sky Club, including, of course, flying in the Delta One cabin. But the easiest method by far is to have a credit card in your wallet that comes with automatic access. If you have any one of the four cards below along with a same-day ticket Delta-operated flight or Delta-marketed WestJet ticket starting with a 006 ticket number you can enter, no matter your destination or class of travel.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 75,000 points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first six months of account opening, although you could be targeted for a 100,000-point offer through the CardMatch Tool (offer subject to change at any time, $550 annual fee, see rates and fees).
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 85,000 points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of account opening ($595 annual fee, see rates and fees).
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card: Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening ($550 annual fee, see rates and fees).
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card: Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening ($550 annual fee, see rates and fees).
The above cards only provide access to the cardholder, but authorized users on the Amex Platinum Card can enter the Sky Club with their card and a same-day Delta boarding pass. You can add up to three authorized users on each Platinum account for $175 per year (see rates and fees).
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 Champagne. This is my second time using my SkyMiles for Dom, and while I won’t be doing this every time I go to the Sky Club, it is a great way to redeem them at a surprisingly good value, and it will certainly make any trip slightly more enjoyable.
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 SkyMiles Reserve card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card, click here.
Featured image by Zach Griff / The Points Guy
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