I fly around 175,000 miles a year but instead of giving my business to one airline I fly whatever is cheapest. Therefore, I’m not super elite on one airline but I do have at least the lowest level elite frequent flier status on three: American, Delta and United. Each of those are members of the three airline alliances: Oneworld, SkyTeam and Star.
What’s nice is that I get perks on all of their partner airlines and I can pretty much book a mileage ticket to anywhere in the world. I’m constantly pricing out award tickets since a good deal of my travel is at a moment’s notice and it’s the best way to save money.
To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I used Delta miles because they have the absolute worst value out of all the major airlines. The points they require are two to three times higher than the other airlines and they don’t even offer a discount for one-way tickets.
My go-to airlines are American and United and to give you an idea of how ridiculous Delta is I priced out two different trips on all three airlines and included screenshots. The first was a roundtrip ticket from Toronto to London leaving Christmas Day and returning New Year’s Eve. The second is a one-way ticket from Los Angeles to New York on January 5th.
Toronto to London departing December 25 and returning December 31:
American Airline’s lowest price was 80,000 miles and $474.60 and one of the segments would be on their partner airline British Airways. What’s amazing is that the outbound flight would cost me just 20,000 miles but the return was 60,000.
United wanted 85,000 miles and $294.80. One of the segments would be on their Star Alliance partner Lufthansa. What’s interesting is that United also offered an alternative to purchase the reservation using all cash. Economy would be $1,803.10 and first class is $7,203.50. BTW: A first class ticket going over and returning in business class was available for 117,500 Miles and $386.50.
Delta’s price for a mileage ticket was a whopping 155,000 miles and $261.60 and that’s for economy. Their price for business class was 325,000 miles and $361.50.
Test 2: One-way Los Angeles to New York on January 5th
United didn’t have any nonstops but they did have seats available on their partner US Airways through Charlotte for 12,500 miles and $30. Again they showed the price if I just wanted to pay cash: $277.10 for economy and $1,512.10 for first/business.
Delta had nonstop flights available to JFK but the price … 40,000 miles and $2.50. Is that just a rip off or what?! That’s more than three times the miles as American and United wanted.
So there you have it! Please let me know (below in our comments section) if you agree or disagree that Delta has the worst frequent flyer program when it comes to redeeming award tickets.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.