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TPG Readers' Best Delta SkyMiles Success Stories

June 23, 2019
10 min read
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We recently asked our TPG Lounge audience — and the members of our TPG Family group on Facebook — to share their greatest success stories with the Delta SkyMiles loyalty program.

Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).

Saving With SkyMiles in the US and Mexico

Several TPG Lounge readers said they'd been able to score great redemptions on domestic flights, while others used their SkyMiles for memorable vacations to Mexico.

"Domestic short-haul coach trips when they're running a fare sale are insane. 10,000 SkyMiles round-trip to Los Angeles (LAX) from Austin (AUS)? 12,000 miles round-trip from Austin to Boston (BOS)? Yes, please!" — David O.

"We were trying to fly our family of four to Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) in Kalispell, Montana, and Delta wanted 70,000 miles per ticket in July. We flew to Salt Lake City (SLC) instead for 20,000 miles per ticket and went to Yellowstone National Park on the drive to FCA." — Mike R.

"Family of three for 18,000 SkyMiles a person from Tampa (TPA) to Honolulu (HNL), round-trip." — William D.Y.

Use Delta SkyMiles to take a dream trip to Hawaii. (Photo by M Swiet Productions / Getty Images)
Use those Delta SkyMiles for a romantic getaway in Hawaii. (Photo by M Swiet Productions / Getty Images)

"Just booked four one-way tickets from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to New York-LaGuardia (LGA) for 7,000 miles each, and a round-trip from LGA to New Orleans (MSY). I used Google Flights to find the best value first, then went through Delta to book it." — John F.

"I scored a round-trip ticket between Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) and Cancun (CUN) in January for 12,000 miles. Considering it would’ve cost that much or more on United or American Airlines for a one-way trip, it was a phenomenal deal." — Garrett H.

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Epic Trips to Europe

From first-class London vacations booked thanks to insomnia to reaping the rewards of being flexible with your dates, our TPG Lounge members have impressed us yet again with their mad redemption skills.

"My upcoming trip from Boise (BOI) to Bologna, Italy (BLQ) one-way in Delta One for 50,000 miles and Rome (FCO) to BOI in a mix of economy comfort and first class for 75,000 miles. I checked the rates every day for weeks, kept my dates and cities flexible — once you're in Italy it's easy to move around so I used five or six airports to check prices — and booked the way out as soon as I saw the low mileage. I didn't book the way back until several days later when the rates dropped again out of Italy. Long story short: be patient, be persistent, be flexible and be prepared to move quickly." — Kristen J.

"Delta One from New York-JFK to Edinburgh (EDI) round-trip for 90,000 SkyMiles versus 240,000 miles by leaving a day earlier." — Holly C.

"Atlanta to Paris. First class was almost empty and the flight attendant gave us a jar of caviar to go." — Nancy D.G.

"We got [tickets from] Los Angeles to Amsterdam (AMS) for 50,000 miles return for our honeymoon during tulip season!" — Lisa B.

"I just flew from Pittsburgh (PIT) to London-Heathrow (LHR) in business class for only 55,000 miles! I had been watching the miles, woke up around 3am two nights later, grabbed my phone and there it was! That was the second time I'd gotten a business-class ticket on Delta for fewer miles than coach and both times, it was by snagging my ticket in the middle of the night. I always book about 11 months in advance and my insomnia works to my advantage sometimes!" — Dena H.

Sometimes insomnia can lead to an amazing London vacation. Who knew? (Photo by mattscutt / Getty Images)
Sometimes insomnia can lead to an amazing London vacation. Who knew? (Photo by mattscutt / Getty Images)

"98,000 miles round-trip each from Spokane (GEG) to Paris (CDG) in Delta One Suites. It was my wife's first international trip and I think it spoiled her too much. I'm not sure I can ever get away with economy in the future." — Daniel T.

"New York-JFK- to London (LHR) round-trip for 44,000 SkyMiles in May after TPG posted about Delta having a flash sale. Delta also has a SkyMiles calendar and if you can be flexible, you can score some great deals." — Dana A.

"We went to Zurich (ZRH) from New York-JFK in March and went skiing in Zermatt for 28,000 miles round-trip." — Rachel J.

"I typically use the five-week flexible search option to look for trip possibilities. That's how I found us a trip from Richmond to Bogotá for just 28,000 miles and a flight to Amsterdam for 34,000 in August when trips to Europe in the summer are typically far more expensive. It was only available for three days in July/August/September so without the five-week view, you'd never find it." — Kal G.

Unforgettable Flights to Asia and Australia

Perhaps the most impressive redemptions happened when our TPG Lounge readers cashed in their SkyMiles for trips to far-flung countries like Japan, Singapore, China, Indonesia and Australia. Hey, if you have to fly that long, it might as well be comfy!

"Booked my flight to Tokyo for 65,000 miles + $66 in taxes and fees. Saved myself over $1,400!" — Tara W.D.

"95,000 each from Charleston (CHS) to New York-JFK to Shanghai (PVG) to Singapore (SIN) for my wife and me with China Eastern in J." — Tom V.

"Two years ago, our family of four [flew in] business class to Seoul (ICN) from New York-JFK, then business class from Seoul to Denpasar, Bali (DPS) on Garuda Indonesia, and home from Bali for 170,000 miles each." — Ed D.

"Charlotte (CLT), notoriously expensive to fly out of, to Tokyo for 40,000 miles each round-trip, plus $200 total in miles and cash. It normally would have been $1,400 to $1,800 per ticket." — Rebecca W.

Tokyo is a fun city to visit all year long. (Photo by Duane Walker / Getty Images)
Tokyo is a fun city to visit all year long. (Photo by Duane Walker / Getty Images)

"Atlanta (ATL) to Minneapolis (MSP) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND) for 50,000 miles per ticket. My wife and I went on the inaugural flight of the new route from MSP to HND and had ice sculptures, press conferences with the governor, free sushi and sake in the gate area before boarding and water hoses shooting into the air as we pulled back. The flight was less than half full so my wife and I each got our own row." — Bill W.

"[We flew from] Boston to Sydney (SYD) in December. [It was] four people for 120,000 miles each one-way in Delta One." — Claus W.

"Atlanta to Sydney for 50,000 miles over Thanksgiving, in the exit row." — Alisha T.W.

"We used Delta SkyMiles on Virgin Australia to get back to Los Angeles from Sydney. My kids loved their business-class product!" — Debbie N.B.

Current Delta Offers

If any of the above sound appealing to you, time's running out to get in on the current, limited-time welcome offers on Delta's cobranded American Express cards. Here are three of these options:

  • Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months and a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Earn 2x SkyMiles miles on Delta purchases and 1 mile elsewhere. Enjoy perks like a checked bag fee waiver, priority boarding and 20% off in-flight purchases (in the form of a statement credit), and the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year (See Rates & Fees).
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $100 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Earn 2x SkyMiles miles on Delta purchases and 1 mile elsewhere. Enjoy an annual companion ticket plus bonus MQMs for reaching certain spending thresholds along with the same in-flight benefits as the Gold Delta Amex, all for a $195 annual fee ($250 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020) (See Rates & Fees)
  • Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express: 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. Earn 2x SkyMiles miles on Delta purchases and 1 mile elsewhere. The card comes with SkyClub access, an annual companion ticket in first class and bonus MQMs through spending and additional in-flight perks, though the annual fee is $450 ($550 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020) (See Rates & Fees).

For rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express, please click here.

Featured image by Delta One Suites aboard the retrofitted Boeing 777 (Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023