Why Domestic Flights Might Be the Best Use of Your Delta SkyMiles

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With even a small stash of Delta SkyMiles in your account, you’re set up perfectly for domestic travel in 2023.

SkyMiles are easy to earn and most of these award tickets can be changed or canceled for free – as long as you book at least a main cabin fare. But best of all, it’s become one of the most consistent ways to book flights on the cheap – especially with average cash fares rising.

With the ability to earn SkyMiles from the suite of Delta SkyMiles American Express credit cards and an easy way to earn even more as an Amex transfer partner, it’s a good time to earn and burn some Delta SkyMiles. They may not be great if you want to fly up front in business or first class, but I’d argue they’re the best way to use points and miles for domestic travel.

Let’s start with what you care about most: How much does it cost? Domestic award rates on Delta are regularly dropping to record lows thanks to an onslaught of Delta SkyMiles flash sales, with roundtrip flights in the U.S. regularly starting at just 6,000 SkyMiles to 9,000 SkyMiles. We’ve sent Thrifty Traveler Premium+ members deals to Hawaii (OGG), Seattle (SEA), Las Vegas (LAS), New York City (JFK), and more – all for 9,000 SkyMiles roundtrip  … or less. All you have to do is pay the $11.20 in taxes and fees.

Best of all, when you book at least a main cabin fare with your SkyMiles, you can easily cancel and get those miles (plus any taxes and fees) back to your account for free – no need to worry about vouchers or Delta eCredits if you need to cancel.

Here’s a look at what we’ve found recently – and how you can grow your stash of SkyMiles to get you on your way.


Hawaii for 9K Roundtrip!

If the mainland isn’t enough to scratch your travel itch, how about a trip to Maui and back for just 9,000 SkyMiles? No, we’re not joking – this is real.


Cheap flights to Hawaii


This was a rare one, but I promise we’re searching for deals like this all the time. This is an unusually good value: Even the best ways to use points and miles to fly to Hawaii often involve shelling out at least 26,000 miles roundtrip.


Cheap flights to Hawaii


But the way these SkyMiles fares are trending, it’s possible we could see fares like this pop up again in 2023.


New York City & Boston

There are a million reasons to visit New York City. We found number 1,000,001.

For just 9,000 SkyMiles roundtrip, you could fly into the Big Apple for a Broadway show, see all of the sights, or just get lost in the concrete jungle and stumble upon the strange, strange world that is New York.


Cheap flights to New York


This deal featured dozens of departure cities from all over the country with nonstop flights into each of New York’s three major airports.

Like New York, Boston is an east coast city dripping in historical significance and also featuring some of the great American attractions. And just like New York, we recently found SkyMiles fares starting at just 9,000 to get there and back.


Cheap flights to Boston


A Trip to Colorado from 7K SkyMiles

If you are looking to get outdoors or escape the hustle and bustle, jump on one of these crazy low SkyMiles fares to Colorado this year, instead.

This deal sent to Thrifty Traveler Premium+ subscribers offered some peak ski season availability – as well as peak summer if you are less of a skier and more of a hiker.


Cheap flights to Denver


Starting at just 7,000 SkyMiles roundtrip, you could get yourself to Denver and save your money for a cold drink after a hike or a warm drink after a few laps on the slopes in 2023.


Las Vegas for 8K RT?!

If you literally play your cards right, you could make money on your Las Vegas trip thanks to this Delta SkyMiles deal.


Cheap flights to Las Vegas


SkyMiles deals to Vegas are plentiful, but this one was the best yet. Starting at just 8,000 roundtrip, you could take the money you saved and hit it big at the blackjack table, at the roulette wheel, or at the sportsbook when you land in Vegas.

Not a city person or a gambler? Las Vegas is also an underrated jumping-off point for some great attractions off the Las Vegas Strip – or get a set of wheels and road trip out to Utah’s amazing national parks!


The Bay Area from 6K

The San Francisco Bay Area is an always-popular travel destination, but cheap flights aren’t always abundant there. SkyMiles deals, however, just keep popping up.


Cheap flights to the bay area


As always, Thrifty Traveler Premium+ members got this one first – Delta never advertised these dirt-cheap award rates. And it featured transcontinental flights like Boston (BOS) for 13,000 SkyMiles and New York (JFK) for 16,000 SkyMiles.

Whether you’re a skier, a wine connoisseur, a foodie, or a hiker, there’s a reason to explore Northern California. And at just 6,000 SkyMiles, you’re running out of excuses!


Seattle for 6K SkyMiles

A cheap flight to the Pacific Northwest is even better when you can use some SkyMiles instead. And thanks to Delta’s robust Seattle (SEA) hub, there are a ton of nonstop flights to choose from.


Cheap flights to Seattle


Starting at 6,000 Delta SkyMiles roundtrip, this list of nonstop SkyMiles fares to Seattle is coast-to-coast.


Cheap flights to Seattle


From Vegas (LAS) to Nashville (BNA) and everywhere in between, these fares also all work in reverse if you live in Seattle.


The Best Ways to Earn Delta SkyMiles

From credit cards to flying Delta to riding with Lyft and even buying Starbucks coffee, there are plenty of great ways to earn SkyMiles. And you won’t have to work too hard to earn enough to book one of these flights.

For one, right now, you can pick up a Delta co-branded credit card like the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card and its 40,000 SkyMiles welcome bonus after spending $2,000 in six months or the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card to earn 50,000 SkyMiles and 5,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) after spending $3,000 in the first six months. Check out our guide comparing the Delta Gold vs Platinum Cards to help decide which is better for you.

Those sign-up bonuses are enticing, but you might be surprised to hear that the best credit card for racking up SkyMiles is not a Delta SkyMiles credit card at all. Instead, look at one of American Express’s Membership Rewards credit cards like the Platinum Card® from American Express or the American Express® Gold Card


amex statement credits


With bigger bonuses when you buy groceries, pick up the restaurant tab, or book flights, these cards both earn points much faster than the SkyMiles cards. Most importantly, Delta is one of many Amex transfer partners. That means you can instantly transfer your points to your SkyMiles account when a great sale like one of these hits your inbox.

Read more: The Best Credit Card for Delta Flyers is … Not a Delta Credit Card


Bottom Line

Using your SkyMiles on domestic trips will give you incredible value to make your flights nearly free in 2023. We think using SkyMiles to book your 2023 trip is one of the savviest moves you can make – especially with award rates this low.

If you pair your SkyMiles stockpile with a Thrifty Traveler Premium+ subscription, you can book flights for just $11.20 in taxes and fees all year long!


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Written by jepayneiv

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