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Delta is offering round trip flights from Washington, DC to Sydney, Australia from just 44K SkyMiles (+$113 in taxes) round trip, including peak summer travel dates in July and August. While this only yields a value around 1.5 cents compared to the best paid fares on other carriers, that isn’t a terrible value for SkyMiles. Note that I also saw some dates in the spring with flights to Brisbane for 44K round trip, so other Australian cities may also be possible.
- Fly round trip from Washington, DC to Sydney, Australia from 44,000 SkyMiles (plus about $113 in taxes) in economy class
Delta takes a lot of flak for not having an award chart anymore, and rightfully so. That can make it difficult to even know when you’re getting a deal for your SkyMiles. However, at 44,000 miles round trip, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better award price from any other program. There’s no doubt that this is a long way to fly in economy class, but if you are looking to spend as few miles as possible, 44K is about as low as it gets.
Furthermore, the value per SkyMile isn’t terrible. For example, here’s a look at July/August availability:
I pulled up paid fares from July 31st to August 7th as a point of comparison. As you can see below, paid fares at that time are running from $751 round trip.
If you subtract the $133.33 in taxes from those fares, 44K SkyMiles are saving you $637.37, a value of about 1.45 cents per point. That’s not bad for Delta SkyMiles.
View from the Wing points out that this means those who ordinarily earn their SkyMiles at a rate of 1 SkyMile per dollar spent on a Delta credit card are getting a poor deal for spending on said card compared to a cash back credit card. Of course, that’s true with every airline credit card, since we don’t value any airline miles at better than 2 cents. With so many transferable currency cards on the market, I would hope that most readers are only spending on a card that earns 1x airline miles if they value status benefits that can be earned based on spend on that particular card.
For those earning Delta miles at a rate of at least 1.5 per dollar spent (and there are a number of Membership Rewards cards that offer opportunities to earn at that rate or better, and Delta is an Amex transfer partner), getting 1.45 cents per point is like a return of 2.18%. That’s not a magical deal, but it means you’re getting enough out of your miles to beat out a no-fee 2% back card. And you’re getting to Australia. During the summer. Without a boatload of miles required.
Furthermore, it’s often possible to earn a welcome bonus worth more than the cost of these tickets with as little as $1,000 spend on some cards — again, a pretty good value compared to the required spend.
Of course, if you’re looking to fly in business class, prices are not good (starting at 240K round trip). But if you’re looking for economy class flights, this is a pretty good deal. Also keep in mind that other Australian cities may be possible — I found some spring dates to Brisbane, which is of course the tail end of Australian summer. It’s worth a look if you’re interested in other destinations in Australia as well.