Cardholders Save 15% On Award Flights

Delta has finally officially launched a new benefit for Delta Amex cardholders today called TakeOff 15. As the name suggests, it gives a discount of 15% when booking award flights with SkyMiles.

Delta TakeOff15 Award Discount

The Deal

Key Terms

  • Delta SkyMiles American Express cardholders only.
  • Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • Basic Delta SkyMiles Gold, Platinum and Reserve American Express Card Members, as well as Basic Delta SkyMiles Gold, Platinum and Reserve Business American Express Card Members (each, an “Eligible Card”), can get at least a fifteen percent (15%) discount off the mileage portion of an Award Ticket (the “TakeOff 15” benefit). Additional Card Members are not eligible.
  • Available only if entire itinerary is on Delta and Delta Connection® carrier-operated and ticketed flights booked at or the FlyDelta app. Not available on flights operated by other carriers. Not available for Pay with Miles, Miles + Cash, seat upgrades purchased after the initial flight booking, or other Delta products or services. Discount only applies to the mileage portion of the Award Ticket fare and does not apply to applicable taxes and fees which must be paid using the Eligible Card. Card Member must be logged-in to a SkyMiles account linked to an Eligible Card to receive the TakeOff 15 benefit discount.  Mileage discount will be greater than or equal to 15% of the overall miles portion for the Award Ticket. An Award Ticket is a ticket issued by Delta pursuant to the SkyMiles Program Rules, by which SkyMiles members may redeem miles and pay applicable government-imposed taxes and fees in exchange for air transportation. All Award Ticket rules apply, as set forth on and in the specific terms incorporated into your Award Ticket. Award Travel is defined as travel using an Award Ticket. Award Travel seats are limited and may not be available on all flights or in all markets.
  • SkyMiles account balance must have sufficient miles for the entire Award Ticket(s) being purchased. TakeOff 15 benefit is not combinable with certificates, Delta eCredits, Delta Gift Cards, vouchers, or with any other discounts or promotional offers.

Quick Thoughts

The concern when a new feature such as this is launched is that Delta would’ve bumped up the prices ahead of time to account of the soon-to-arrive discount of 15% on award flights. However, it looks like that’s not what happened – Delta has maintained previous award pricing other than their usual day-to-day dynamic pricing. We know this because Greg already had some award flights booked with SkyMiles. When checking the price, he confirmed that the pre-discount pricing was still the same. In fact, it was a little cheaper now even before the 15% discount was taken.

If you’re a Delta Amex cardholder, you should see the discount clearly being applied when looking at flight options:

Delta TakeOff 15 benefit in action

Interestingly, the landing page for this new feature states that “(you) can get at least a fifteen percent (15%) discount off the mileage portion of an Award Ticket”. The fact that it says “at least” makes it sound like Delta might in fact offer discounts of more than 15% in the future, although perhaps that’s wishful thinking.

One of the great features of this new benefit is that you can take advantage of it during the booking process even if you’re not currently a cardmember. That’s because you can apply for a Delta credit card while booking an award flight and if you’re instantly approved, you’ll be returned to Delta where the 15% discount will then be given. The potential downside of that is that welcome offers when applying for a new card might not be the highest when booking an award flight, although we have frequently seen higher offers available when doing just that (e.g. a statement credit being given in addition to the bonus SkyMiles).

If you’re not currently a cardholder and are booking an award flight, it might make sense to apply for a new Delta credit card, even if you’ve had it before and aren’t eligible for a new bonus. This would particularly be the case if you’re making a large redemption. For example, let’s say you’re planning on redeeming 400,000 SkyMiles. A 15% discount would save you 60,000 SkyMiles which would be well worth the $95 fee on an Amex Delta Gold credit card even if you’ve had it before as it’s almost like getting a new bonus.

If you’re wondering if the discount is only valid for the cardholder or if anyone person traveling is eligible, the good news is that anyone is eligible for a 15% discount provided it’s booked using SkyMiles from a Delta Amex cardholder’s account. When searching for award flights, the discount is displayed in the search results. Greg then verified any passenger would get the discount by unchecking the “I am flying” box and picking someone else – not even a SkyMiles member – and the discount remained.

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