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1 MILLION MILE SkyMiles awards coming soon ( 535,000 mile one-way found)!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Can you even, in your wildest dreams, think about spending over 1/2 MILLION SkyMiles for a one-way ticket? What about  1 MILLION+ miles  for a round trip? This is what not having award charts and Delta SkyMiles2015 has given us. There literally is no limit on just what an award ticket will cost you on any given day when you go to spend your SkyMiles.

This is why I have stopped collecting SkyMiles and focused my credit card spend on other cards and points that have value. I am driving my spending “loyalty” to points that I can trust will not become all but worthless overnight. Like what cards?

These 3 will be my top go to cards for spending. I will still keep my old Delta AMEX card for the perks, but only spend what I must for MQD exempt status and MQM earnings – not one penny more.

my top cards for spending

Why these choices? I value AMEX Membership Rewards points from my PRG card. These points have historically held their value. I can send them to many partners, even Delta should I want to. I get bonus points for much of my spend. Bottom line is these points have value and I don’t have to just “guess” what they are worth on any given day. As you can see I have been a AMEX card holder since 1999!

Next we have SPG points. I constantly use my SPG points for hotels, but again here I can send these points to many other programs and even get bonus points when I do. SPG points have also historically HELD their value very well and I do not have to wonder just what the points will be worth when I go to spend them.

Lastly we have Ultimate Rewards points from Chase. Again, you see a theme here, consistent and long term value. Great transfer partners (that I use) and even the ability to spend them for travel should I wish with no “funny business” or guessing what they are worth. I value this.

I have to say I will truly shed a tear the day a reader sends me an e-mail with a screen shot of a true 1 MILLION+ mile Delta award they have found – I know that day is not far off. For me, I intend to shift my loyalty dollars to those that are loyal to me and that, for now, is not SkyMiles! Have the Delta award changes affected what card you put your every day spend on? – René



Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. Don in ATL Reply

    GRRR! Referring to the old Delta Award charts which you so kindly have stored on your webpage, a Level 1 Award from Southern Asia to Southern South America (as in EZE – Buenos Aires) should be 90,000 points one way. A level 5 award (the most expensive one) should be 200,000 one way. So again — GRRRR! It looks like their award calculator is charging you a Level 5 for each leg of your trip, instead of the whole one way trip. But then again, we really don’t know what’s going on, because there are no charts, rules, standards any more — except for JUST TRUST DELTA.

  2. Delta was my go to airline for 20 years, since half of that time I lived in ATL. And we were good to each other. I paid to fly Delta and Delta got my family overseas several times with points. But I took my last Delta paid flight last month. Will only fly DL if I have no other choice. And I’m about to book my last Delta awards, burning through my Skymiles account with the goal to have nothing left. If I can’t trust them to be transparent about ticketing, what else can’t I trust about DL?

  3. I had about 86,000 Sky Rubles left that I wanted to unload as fast as possible. Last week I booked a one-way business class seat to London for next May at 60,000 (I’m coming home on American), and used 25,000 to book a trip home to California in January. I had to book the California trip as two one-way segments, as I was able to do that for 12,500 each way. When I tried to book it as a roundtrip ticket, Delta wanted 47,500 miles. Goodbye Sky Rubles, and good riddance.

  4. Santastico Reply

    Rene, I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and it is clear that your way to see Delta has changed dramatically over time. When I first started reading your blog it felt you were sometimes naive or just did not want to believe how bad Delta was in terms of destroying their loyalty program. Then you started to really get it and now you definitely agree with me that Delta is evil and is doing all they can and can’t to destroy their loyalty program and basically tell customers that if they are not happy they should fly with another airline. It is basically “their way or the highway”. I applaud you for finally getting hard on Delta and letting them know how much we despise what they are doing. Problem is that they have that guy as their CEO, the one that believes we need to see his bragger face and voice on every single flight, and his role and legacy is to make loyalty program disappear. He knows the other airlines don’t have the courage to start the process but knows they will follow him. Keep doing the good job of showing the world how evil Delta is with their customers.

  5. I’ve already stopped spend on Delta Amex Reserve (will let it expire after 6 months non-use). Moving my spend to other cards. When I do have to fly i choose other airlines unless Delta is my last choice. I have learned there are better (and worse) alternatives…so a bit of a learning curve…but feel it is worth it.

  6. Spot on, as usual Rene.
    I’m with you…I just got a Chase Sapphire and have stopped spending this year on the Delta AMEX. I’m salivating over using my UR points for first or business travel at (comparatively) great rates. I’m thinking Korean First Class from ATL on the A380. Any better way to rub it in Delta’s nose?
    I’ve also just booked my second flight this year on United rather than go out of my way to use Delta.

  7. If (and I think when) AA adds rollover EQMs, it’s all over for Delta. That is the one major advantage they have left in the elite status game.

  8. It’s a nine THOUSAND dollar ticket. Please tell me exactly how many miles you think that should go for? I’m sure you think Delta should be giving that ticket away from 50k.

    • @Dave – I think there should be award charts like the other MAJOR airlines have (and DO NOT SHAMELESSLY HIDE them btw). Thus, as talked about in the post, there can be an understood upper limit to what an award ticket could cost a flyers. Clearly you do not grasp the value of an award point. With normal airlines, if you save up, you can have a clearly understand what MIN-MAX any given ticket will cost you and the value you gain for your loyalty. With Delta, it could cost you $9,000 or who knows how many SkyMiles, .5M or 1M or 2M or 10M? When there is no certainty of what MIN-MAX a SkyMile is worth it becomes almost worthless (as well as your loyalty). You should know this living near MSP! 😉

  9. I’ve looked at flights outside of San Diego and Orlando where I mean we fly out of and I’m not seeing where all these guy pesos are so high in fact I even compare them to American Airlines on common roots such as Japan and South America and Europe and I’m not seeing this am I blind or something because I’m really not seeing these descriptinces maybe they are trying to deter bookijgnaward tickets a year in advance? For example a business class out of San Diego to Tokyo is 400k miles on American and 225 on Delta… Similar from mco and Rio de Janeiro. I thought about leaving Delta as I can typically only fly one carrier 150k a year but I’m still not seeing this huge de evaluation

  10. Pingback: Will all this "unwanted" nonparty line attention have ANY impact on Delta SkyMiles? Or does this validate what has been accomplished? - Delta PointsDelta Points

  11. My question is, are these high fares only for upgrades and Business award tickets? I just checked ATl to FCO in july 2016 and it lists rates at 30K.

    • @CJ – This is showing the MAX price we can find. It is just showing what could be next. PS as of today, 8-11-15, Delta is having a award fare sale for as little as 21k in coach one way.

  12. Pingback: For crying out loud main stream press, GET OVER PASSENGER SHAMING from Delta! BASIC Delta fares are NOT shameful (but do avoid them if an elite)! - Delta PointsDelta Points

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