How to Make the Most of Your Small Delta SkyMiles Balance

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Delta Air Lines' SkyMiles program offers the advantage of never expiring, giving travelers the flexibility to use their miles whenever they want. However, Delta's reputation for unexpected devaluations has left many SkyMiles holders concerned. If you have a modest balance of 5,000 SkyMiles or less, it may be a good idea to use them up. Luckily, there are a few ways to redeem even the smallest amount of SkyMiles and get the most value out of them.

Finding Affordable Award Tickets

Delta's lack of published award charts since 2015 has been frustrating for many members. However, it has also resulted in some incredibly affordable award tickets. During a promotional period in 2021, Delta offered one-way flights for as little as 2,500 SkyMiles. Currently, you can find tickets priced as low as 4,500 SkyMiles on certain domestic routes. For example, flights from New York to Boston are available for 4,500 SkyMiles even during peak holiday travel periods. Keep in mind that these tickets are usually in the Delta basic economy category, which has more restrictions than Main Cabin awards. So, if you're looking for a quick getaway or a short trip, these low-priced tickets can be a great option.

Upgrade Your Sky Club Experience

If you're a frequent visitor to Delta Sky Clubs, you can use your SkyMiles to upgrade to premium drinks. Delta offers a selection of complimentary house beer, wine, and liquor, but they also have a premium menu available. For example, you can redeem 9,200 SkyMiles for a bottle of Brut Bollinger Special Cuvee, which would normally cost $138. This provides a value of 1.5 cents per point, making it a great deal compared to the usual valuation of 1.2 cents per mile. You can expect similar value for other premium drinks on the menu, such as craft beers and cocktails. So, next time you're in the Sky Club, treat yourself to a premium beverage using your SkyMiles.

Magazine Subscriptions

If you enjoy reading magazines, you can use your SkyMiles to redeem subscriptions. Delta offers a limited range of periodicals, but you can get a yearlong subscription to many of them for a relatively small amount of miles. For example, you can get a five-issue subscription to Bon Appetit for 200 SkyMiles plus $2. Purchasing the same number of issues through would cost you $19.99, resulting in a value of approximately 9 cents per mile. Just be aware that you will be automatically billed the regular annual price to continue your subscription, so make sure to cancel before the renewal date if you don't want to continue.

Donate to Charities

If none of the above options interest you, you can make a difference by donating your SkyMiles to one of Delta's partner charities. You can donate a minimum of 1,000 miles to charities like the American Red Cross, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and Make-A-Wish. This allows you to give back and make a positive impact using your miles.

Earn More SkyMiles

If you're looking to replenish your SkyMiles balance, there are several ways to earn more miles. Delta offers co-branded credit cards through American Express that come with lucrative welcome bonuses and ongoing perks when you fly Delta. You can also transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Delta SkyMiles when you're ready to book a high-value Delta award ticket. Additionally, utilizing Delta's online shopping portal and participating in the SkyMiles Dining program can help you earn bonus miles on your everyday purchases.

With these options, you can make the most of your small balance of Delta SkyMiles and get the best value out of them. Remember, Delta SkyMiles never expire, so there's no rush to redeem them. Take your time and find the redemption option that suits you best.

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