A few days ago, Delta Vacations launched a promotion that had the miles and points world stirring. We discussed it in the 10xTravel Insider’s Facebook group a bit, but I wanted to dive into it a bit more as today is the last day to take advantage of the promo offer that allows you to get 2 cents per SkyMile.

Now, let’s take a look at how you can leverage this deal to book your next trip. Just remember, today September 6 is the last day to book during the promo.

In This Article

What Is Delta Vacations?

With Delta Vacations, you can package a flight with a hotel stay and/or car rental. In doing so, Delta Vacations is able to provide discounts that can reduce the cost of the typical flight and hotel/rental car combo you’d book on your own. You can pay cash for these deals or use SkyMiles at a value of 1 cent per mile — no thanks!

If you are interested in booking one of these, there is a minimum number of nights you have to stay at a hotel and/or have a rental car. The minimum varies by where you travel though. If you want a rental car, you’ll need to keep it for 5 nights unless you book a vacation package in Hawaii where 3 nights is required. For hotels, the minimum is 2 nights unless you’re in Europe (3 nights) or Australia or Asia (4 nights).

You can pay over time with these deals but pay attention to the cancelation and change fees before you move forward.

Delta Vacations Promo Details

Delta-Vacations-Promo

With Delta’s current promotion, you can get 2 cents per SkyMile when you book a Delta Vacations package. While 1 cent per point is weak, 2X really makes it worth your consideration. Remember, this promo ends today (August 30) on September 6 at 11:59 pm ET so don’t waste time figuring out whether this is the right opportunity for you.

If you don’t have enough SkyMiles, you can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to your account to cover the remaining cost. Alternatively, you can put the remainder on a credit card.

If you want to pay over time, make sure you knock out the SkyMiles portion today (August 30) by September 6 to get the 2X value as the value will return to 1X after that.

Great Ways to Leverage the Deal

Considering how tough it can be to get big value out of Delta SkyMiles, it’s no wonder people have been scrambling to find ways to burn their miles on one of these deals. In fact, there are a couple of great options and I booked one of them.

Weekend Getaways

Perhaps the easiest option for most people is a weekend — long-weekend — getaway somewhere in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean or Central America. If you haven’t searched for a domestic award ticket on Delta recently, let’s just say it can be hard to find redemptions that get you 2 cents per mile on economy tickets.

However, if you can find a solid cash fare, you can do exactly that with a Delta Vacations package AND get a hotel stay of 2+ nights on top of it. A deal like this could be just the excuse you need to grab your significant other or a travel buddy for a quick trip.

Business Class to Europe

If you’re looking to get out of the U.S. and want to fly business class so you can enjoy a lie-flat seat, lounge access and better food, take a look at Europe. With a quick Google Flights search, you can find a number of routes with business class going for less than $2,500. That’s not particularly special for a flight to Europe but we can make it better with Delta Vacations.

Rather than pay cash or use Delta’s “Pay With Miles” feature which pegs your SkyMiles at 1 cent each, add a hotel or car rental to your trip. By doing so, you can leverage the Delta Vacations promo and your SkyMiles will be worth 2X each.

How good of a deal is this? Well, let’s think about how this compares to an award ticket.

If you book a round-trip business class award ticket on Delta at saver level, you’ll need 160,000 SkyMiles. If you booked on a SkyTeam partner such as Air France, Alitalia or KLM, you’d need 150,000 SkyMiles for the trip to Europe. Now, consider a Delta Vacations package that costs $2,800.

If you apply SkyMiles to the booking during the promo, you’d only need 140,000 miles to knock out the entire cost of the flights plus at least 3 nights at a hotel or 5 nights with a rental car. Not to mention the fact that since it’s a cash ticket, you can earn SkyMiles or partner miles of your choice as a rebate. Regardless of whether you book flights on Delta or partner airline, you’re getting a better deal.

How to Book a Delta Vacations Package

Delta Vacations Search

If you just want a simple round-trip in and out of the same city, you can book online on the Delta Vacations page. If you do it this way, your hotel stay or car rental will need to cover the entire trip. This could be just fine if you book a weekend getaway but perhaps not for a longer trip.

With a bunch of SkyMiles to burn, you might want to go ahead and cover the entire cost of the trip with them. However, if you are going to transfer Membership Rewards to your Delta account, you might consider only booking the minimum number of nights with a hotel or rental car. This would give you the option to book cheap cash hotel stays or even use other points such as World of Hyatt — a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner — or Marriott Bonvoy.

To do this, you’ll need to call Delta Vacations (800-800-1504). By booking over the phone, you can book a multi-city itinerary or an open jaw ticket. You can also specify how many nights you want a rental car or hotel.

My Trip to Europe

After taking a bump from a Delta flight last year, I received an $800 voucher and had been looking for an opportunity to use it. I also had just over 23,000 SkyMiles sitting in my account and I wasn’t sure how I was going to use them. Then, Delta Vacations announced this promo and my friend Tim mentioned wanting to book one.

He planned to book a simple round-trip ticket to Europe. I had other plans and, little did he know, he was going to be involved in those plans.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card

Earn 5,000 MQMs & 35,000 SkyMiles after $1,000 spend in the first 3 months & Receive a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase with first 3 months of being a Card member

Learn more

Starting with Google Flights

I started the search by using the “Explore destinations” function on Google Flights. Next, I filtered the results by SkyTeam so I’d only see flight options that I could book with Delta Vacations. I then set the origin to New York (JFK) — prices out of my home airport were brutal — and the destination as Europe. I set the trip timeframe to then set my price limit at $2,400. Seriously, how awesome is Google Flights?!

Oh, and I set the duration of the trip for 2 weeks. Tim and his 5-day plan. Ha!

Switzerland seemed like a fun winter destination so I selected Zurich. However, I decided to check an open jaw option so I could return from Rome instead. The price for round-trip business class on KLM fit what I wanted at about $2,380. Admittedly, I have a bit of an obsession with KLM and have been looking for an excuse to fly its Dreamliner again. 

 

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Booking with Delta Vacations over the Phone

I then called Delta Vacations and provided the exact dates and flight numbers to the phone agent who pulled them up quickly then ran a search for hotel options for 3 nights. As I learned, I could book the 3-night hotel stay in either Zurich or Rome — I chose Zurich. Within just a few minutes, she had hotel options and total prices for each specific package.

I chose an option with a centrally located hotel that brought my total cost to $2,745. I held the reservation and waited for Tim to get his vacation package set — he booked 3 nights in Rome. The following morning, I transferred 50,000 Membership Rewards to my Delta account and called back.

Delta Vacations Payment

The phone agent applied the $800 voucher and then the 73,000 or so SkyMiles I had in my account. All that was left was about $480 to cover. When you think about it, I basically booked a round-trip business class ticket for the price of an economy ticket and also got 3 nights in a hotel for it. Throw in the fact that Tim booked his hotel in Rome and we have 6 of 13 nights covered.

This is why you have a travel buddy willing to meet you in random places around the world.

How To Get Delta SkyMiles

Amex Membership Rewards Cards

Yes, there are co-branded Delta credit cards issued by American Express. No, they are not a top priority — especially if you are still under 5/24. Even if you are over 5/24, don’t forget that cards that earn Amex Membership Rewards points can be transferred to Delta at a 1:1 ratio. These transfers process almost instantly.

These Membership Rewards cards can be an even better way to get your hands on some SkyMiles. Many of them offer lucrative bonus categories that make each dollar you spend go just a little bit further. Beyond that, having Membership Rewards gives you more options. Amex also has 18 other transfer partners so you’re not locked into Delta.

As we often tell people, it’s just a matter of timing. The Delta Amex cards can definitely play a role but there’s a time and a place for them. No need to rush into it.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Earn 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply.

Learn more

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

30,000 SkyMiles after $1,000 spend in the first 3 months plus $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months

Learn more

Final Thoughts

As far as I know, this is the first time Delta has run this promotion. According to the phone agents I spoke with, the phones have been ringing off the hook so clearly it’s a popular promo. Whether we’ll see this promo come around again, only Delta knows but it certainly provides a nice boost to the value of your SkyMiles.

If you have some SkyMiles, you’ve just been waiting to burn, give Delta Vacations a look today and see if you can’t get some great value out of the 2X promo.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

New to the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card to start with. With a bonus of 60,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months and 2x points on dining and travel, this card truly cannot be beat! 

Learn more

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Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. You can read our advertiser disclosure here.


About the Author

Spencer Howard is the Editor in Chief of 10xTravel. He is also the founder of Straight To The Points where he publishes Award Alerts, an email newsletter that provides great business and first class award booking opportunities complete with dates and the best ways to book. He enjoys long walks through the airport and taking in airplane views from lounges. He’s obsessed (no, really) with finding creative ways to earn and redeem miles and points and...

Learn More About Spencer

9 Responses to “How to Leverage the Delta Vacations Promo + My Experience Booking”


Nicholas

Great post – I really enjoyed it. This is an excellent promotion, in all honesty, and one I wish I could take advantage of.

Any ideas if there’s a possibility to book Premium Economy via the phone agents?

Michael R Karpiel

Any email contacts of execs at Delta Vacations? I called in at 9:50pm ET on Fri Aug 30 and it told me hold time will be 45 min. Then I get a later message of hold time of 60 minutes. 11:15pm ET and I get disconnected. I tried to call back and the voice systems advises 60 minute hold times.

I tried to reach out to Delta on Twitter @Delta but they just advised that they can’t help with Delta Vacations. I just wanted them to give me an extension until today.

Thoughts anyone?

Spencer Howard

Hey Michael – I don’t know of an email address for them. However, I know they were slammed with calls during the initial promo period. I had a 45-minute wait but was able to enter my phone number to get a callback. That worked really well for me. Fortunately, the promo has been extended until September 6 so you still have plenty of time to book!

Really smart article! I didn’t know about the Google Flights function you mention. Thank you!

I want to use my Delta points for a trip to JNB South Africa and need a lot more for that great nonstop flight from ATL to JNB. Luckily, I have the 100,000 points offer from American Express on my desk.

The $550 annual fee is a sting. Can I downgrade this to Gold after the first year?

Spencer Howard

Hey Ginny – So glad you enjoyed the article. That Google Flights trick really is great. You can certainly product change to the Gold if you don’t find the Platinum is worth it after a year. However, you might also consider applying for the Gold at that time instead so you can earn the welcome bonus (which you won’t get via product change).


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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