Delta is running a 48-hour award flash sale through August 17, 2016 to Caribbean & Mexico. Travel September 6-November 16, 2016. Details here.
Sale price awards are 35% off, supposedly starting at 11, 000 miles one-way, down from regular lowest price of 17,500. Yet New York-Bermuda is 10,000 miles. Go figure.
First, take a deep breath and consider:
- Are you flying into a hurricane zone during hurricane season?
- Is the cash rate cheaper than an award? This is off-season. I am seeing, for example, New York JFK-Bermuda one-way fares as low as $53.90.
Ok, if both check out, let’s continue.
This can be a great deal heading one-way from US to Caribbean where taxes are as low as $5.60 for a nonstop. Some Caribbean routes are always expensive and awards can be good value.
Returning is a different story. Most Caribbean destinations charge $70-100 departure tax. Much of a cash return fare can be the tax component. On awards you still pay the tax, so the return trip in this sale will be 11,000 miles + $70-100.
The smart play can be to book a one-way award to the Caribbean, then look for cheap cash rates on the return, using something like Delta Pay with Miles or Citi ThankYou Points to book it.
Here is a New York-Bermuda example:
Saturday, October 1, the Bermuda-New York JFK nonstop is:
- 10,000 miles + $94.76
- Pay with Miles option 1: 5,000 miles + $88.56
- Pay with Miles option 2: 10,000 miles + $38.56
- Pay with Miles option 3: 15,000 miles + $0.00
In this example, Pay with Miles is a much better deal than this award sale.