How to book SkyTeam partners with Delta SkyMiles

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How to book SkyTeam partners with Delta SkyMiles

Let’s just say Delta’s award program can drive a Monkey bonkers! So when a friend asked for some advice on planning a european vacation, Miles peeled a banana and started working away.

The parameters were

  • some time in mid july – preferably July 15th
  • a one way ticket into Marseille from Washington D.C.
  • save as much money, time, and MILES

One trick to finding great space on to use Delta SkyMiles is to actually use Air France Flying Blue search engine. It does a much better job of showing a fuller array of award availability

Let’s take a look at what delta was showing:



Delta Award Avail
Delta Award Avail


Now just to be clear, it should cost 30,000 if it’s at its cheapest for a one way award from North America to Europe. These rates are horrendous. A closer look at July 15th, the preferred date:


July 15th Route
July 15th Route


I mean…. not the most ideal route to go along with an absolutely egregious amount of points for a coach flight!!!


Now…let’s take a look at what can be found using Air France…

What we will be searching for are the “CLASSIC” awards.

Air France coach avail
Air France coach avail

And then business class

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 10.16.13 PM


And then again, closer at the 15th…for Business class!

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 10.19.52 PM



Sooooo what does this mean??

It means that there are flights that are available to fly on the 15th and for the cheapest rate possible: 30,000.  In fact, there are business class flights on Air France that would go for 62,500 points – that’s 7500 less than what Delta is showing for Coach!!!!!!


Remember the trick is to look for “CLASSIC” award seat avail. That is what you will be able to book with Partner miles – in this case Delta!

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based. 

Welcome Offer

60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months

80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

Super solid welcome offer.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

  • 3x on dining
    •  including eligible delivery services for takeout
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
  • $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Primary rental car coverage is my favorite

There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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