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Delta has put many routes between the US and Mexico/Caribbean on “sale” right now through September 5, 2018 (this coming Wednesday). I say “sale” because Delta doesn’t have a published award chart anymore, but we know from charts maintained by people like us online that the standard lowest level US > Mexico and US > Caribbean award price is 17,500 Delta miles one way. Right now many routes to Mexico are only 12,000 SkyMiles roundtrip, which is 23,000 miles cheaper than usual! Route to the Caribbean from what I can see start at 18,000 roundtrip, which is 25,000 miles cheaper than usual.

The published travel dates on sale say between January 15 – March 15, 2019 on Delta’s website, but I see award space on sale way before January 15 and way after March 15 for many of these routes. If you were contemplating a trip to Mexico or the Caribbean, try your dates anyways even if they don’t fall in that period.

See full details on Delta’s website.

Sale Routes

This is what’s listed on Delta’s website….

…but there are many more city pairs on sale as well, and even better prices available than what’s listed above, like…

  • New York (JFK & LGA) to Cancun for 12,000 miles roundtrip + $85.73 in taxes/fees
  • Los Angeles to Cancun for 16,000 miles roundtrip + $80 in taxes/fees
  • Boston to Cancun for 18,000 miles roundtrip + $86 in taxes/fees
  • Atlanta to Cancun for 20,000 miles roundtrip + $80 in taxes/fees
  • Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta for 12,000 miles roundtrip + $95 in taxes/fees
  • Portland to Puerto Vallarta for 14,000 miles roundtrip + $100 in taxes/fees
  • New York (JFK) to Montego Bay for 18,000 miles roundtrip + $136 in taxes/fees
  • New York (JFK) to Saint Marten for 22,000 miles roundtrip + $75 in taxes/fees

These are big discounts off of the typical 35k price, but always check the cash price of the ticket and don’t forget to factor in those taxes/fees. In many cases (especially if you value Delta miles less than other miles) this will be a good use of Delta miles, but not always. Don’t let the term “sale” fool you too much.

For reference I value Delta miles around 1.25 cents each.

Sunset from a boat in Puerto Vallarta. Photo credit Sarah Page Maxwell.
Sunset from a boat in Puerto Vallarta

Examples of Award Space

The following calendars are for two passengers in economy on a week long roundtrip, New York to Cancun. I see the 12,000 mile roundtrip price available on travel dates as early as next month, through the end of the calendar.

This availability pattern at the 12k roundtrip price continues until March 20, when it peters out and then comes back scattered throughout the rest of the calendar. This is just for two people roundtrip on a 7 night roundtrip, though, there could be much more (or less) with a different number of nights or travelers.

I’m not even really sure if you could call this route “on sale” with how commonly it’s priced at 12k roundtrip. Who knows, maybe that’s a new standard on this route…we’ll have to check after September 5 when this “sale” ends. Either way, the 12k roundtrip price from New York to Cancun is good to be aware of as that’s a cheap mileage price compared to other legacy carrier miles and a pretty good value per point looking at average prices of cash roundtrip tickets on Google Flights.

The following calendars are for two passengers in economy on a week long roundtrip, Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta. I also see the 12k roundtrip price available on this route before January 15 – March 15, although only very sparingly. It is much more available during the sale time window.

Puerto Vallarta. Photo credit Sarah Page Maxwell.
Puerto Vallarta

Bottom Line

If you have a stash of Delta miles, these kind of random flash sales are exactly what they’re good for. Book by September 5 to spend less SkyMiles on roundtrips to Mexico and the Caribbean.

If you want SkyMiles for future sales like this, there’s some low-hanging fruit available for the picking right now. The Delta Gold SkyMiles Card (consumer and business version) both come with 60k SkyMile bonuses for spending $3,000 in the first four months of holding the card. That’s a month longer than most cards give to meet a minimum spend for a bonus.

Hat tip to The Points Guy