Delta Vacations: Save Up To $600 On Packages – Better Deals Than Expected (Especially In Business Class)

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Delta Vacations has launched a new promotion which offers a discount of up to $600 when booking a package with them. The highest savings are available for Delta Amex cardholders, but you can still save money even if you don’t have a Delta Amex card.

While this offer isn’t going to be of much interest if you have a healthy stash of points and miles, there’s the potential to get a great deal on a paid flight and hotel package, especially if you want to fly in business class.

Delta Vacations Featured Image

The Deal

  • SkyMiles members can save the following amounts when booking a package through Delta Vacations:
    • Delta Amex cardholders – use code SM600
      • Spend $1,500-$3,499.99 & save $200
      • Spend $3,500-$4,999.99 & save $400
      • Spend $5,000+ & save $600
    • Non-Delta Amex cardholders – use code SM300
      • Spend $1,500-$3,499.99 & save $100
      • Spend $3,500-$4,999.99 & save $200
      • Spend $5,000+ & save $300
  • Direct link to offer.

Key Terms

  • Promotional Code Terms & Conditions
    • Purchase any Delta Vacations flight and hotel package from any Delta Vacations origin in the U.S. or Canada to any Delta Vacations destination, now – December 14, 2020, for travel anytime.
    • At time of reservation, you must refer to promotional code SM300 (SkyMiles Members) or SM600 (Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card Members.
    • Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card Members must use the Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card promo code SM600 to be eligible.
    • Offer is valid on reservations that include a minimum of one flight on Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air France, Alitalia, Bahamasair, Aeromexico, Virgin Australia International, Virgin Atlantic, China Southern, WestJet and/or their codeshare partners; reservations that include only flights on other airlines do not qualify.
    • Minimum 2-night hotel stay required.
    • Minimum package purchase of $1,500 per booking is required. Minimum package purchase must include combined flight and hotel booking. Package purchases may also include flight, hotel and car rental, plus any optional activities.
    • SkyMiles Members discount is $100 off bookings of $1,500-$3,499.99; $200 off bookings $3,500-$4,999.99; and $300 off bookings of $5,000 or more.
    • Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card Members discount is $200 off bookings of $1,500-$3,499.99; $400 off bookings $3,500-$4,999.99; and $600 off bookings of $5,000 or more.
    • Maximum discount is $600 off per booking; discount is a percentage of each eligible land component.
    • Additional baggage charges for checked luggage may apply, as well as any applicable hotel/resort fees or departure taxes collected by hotel/resort/airport at destination.
    • Offer is not applicable to airfare; Ski, Dive or Globus family of brands including Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon packages; for groups of 10 or more people; and is not retroactive.
    • Must be purchased through Delta Vacations.
    • To receive the Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card Member discount, Card Members must pay using their Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card. Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business Basic and additional Card Members are not eligible to receive this offer.
    • Discount applies to qualified passengers only. Children staying free in room do not qualify for discount.
    • Discount will recalculate if modifications are made to the booking.
    • Discount does not apply to taxes, fees and carrier-imposed surcharges.
    • No refunds will be issued toward offer. Offer has no cash value. Offer void if qualifying booking is canceled.
    • Programs and availability may vary. Delta Vacations flight reservations may be made up to 331 days in advance of flight departure.
    • Delta Vacations must issue all airline tickets.
    • Standard Terms and Conditions apply and are outlined during the booking process; other restrictions may apply.
    • Delta Vacations is the final authority on the interpretation of these rules and reserves the right to change these Terms and Conditions without prior notice.
    • All SkyMiles Program rules apply. To review the rules, please visit delta.com/memberguide. Delta Vacations airfares will earn Medallion® Qualification Dollars (MQDs – U.S.-based members only) based on fare class and distance flown. Bonus miles do not count toward Medallion Status or Million Miler™ Status. Offers void where prohibited by law. Offers subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply.
    • Taxes, fees and carrier-imposed surcharges are noncommissionable.
  • Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card Members
    • This offer is only for Basic Card Member (main cardholder); additional Card Members are not eligible for this offer.
    • To receive the Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card Member discount, Card Members must pay using their Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card. Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business Basic and additional Card Members are not eligible to receive this offer.
    • Delta SkyMiles® Blue and Gold American Express Card Members will earn 1 additional mile (for a total of 2 miles) and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum, and Reserve Card Members will earn 2 additional miles (for a total of 3 miles) on each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with Delta Vacations®. Additional miles earned for Delta flight purchases made with the Card will be based on the total ticket price, including base fare, carrier-imposed surcharges and government imposed taxes and fees.
    • Eligible purchases mean purchases for goods and services minus returns and other credits. Eligible purchases do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of travelers checks, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person transactions, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, or purchases of other cash equivalents. Miles will be posted to your Delta SkyMiles account 8 to 12 weeks after the end of each month. To be eligible to receive miles, your Card account must not be canceled or past due at the time of fulfillment.

Quick Thoughts

This offer reminds me of Hyatt’s Work From Home packages. The offer is underwhelming at first glance, but when digging in to it and pricing out some options, it can potentially be a great deal.

The reason why I initially found the offer underwhelming is because the maximum discount of $600 is only valid if you have a Delta Amex card and are willing to drop $5,000 or more on a vacation. Savings of $200 or $400 at the other levels of spending are also OK, but the most you’ll save by using the promo code is 12%. That’s a nice discount, but it requires a high level of spend which could make you wince if you’re used to booking vacations using points and miles.

Those up-to-12% savings don’t tell the whole story though. That’s because Delta Vacations packages can themselves provide excellent deals, so saving $200-$600 on top of that if you’re a Delta Amex cardholder (or $100-$300 if you’re not) is the icing on the cake, along with a cherry on top and potentially some hot fudge drizzled over for good measure.

Main Cabin Example

I started off by taking a look at options on the lower end of the scale by pricing out a trip in Main Cabin (i.e. economy). There are a number of countries closed to Americans at the moment, but one that’s open for American visitors is Turkey, so I did a search for a one week trip to Istanbul from November 11-18, leaving from JFK.

Seeing as Delta Vacations are booked as a package, I chose the Flight + Hotel option. The search results start with the hotel options, with them sorted by Best Match. There are a few different sort options, so I changed the results to be sorted by price and these were the cheapest options.

Delta Vacations NYC-IST cheapest hotels

The Ramada Istanbul Grand Bazaar didn’t seem like a great option, so scrolling down I chose a nicer sounding option – the Grand Hyatt Istanbul.

Delta Vacations NYC-IST slightly more expensive hotels

Note that the Delta Vacations website doesn’t have the greatest design, so once you click ‘Select’ it takes you to the top of the same page. If you scroll down, the property has been selected, but you then have to scroll all the way to the bottom to click ‘Next’.

Next up were the flight options. The default display for the flights is ‘Best Match’, so I changed them to be sorted by price. For the cheapest flight options, Main Cabin showed up as $0 because the package price displayed when viewing the hotel options incorporates the cost of the cheapest flights. The nice thing is that the cheapest options only had one stop along the way, whereas the flights that were more expensive had two or more stops.

The search results will also display the cost to upgrade to business class, but we’ll come back to that in a bit.

Once you’ve selected the outbound flight, you have to scroll all the way to the bottom again and click ‘Next’, then select your return flight.

At this point you’ll see the total cost for your package. In the example I chose, the normal price would be $2,118.90 total for two people. Seeing as that price falls into the $1,500-$3,499.99 band and we have a Delta Amex card, it took off $200. That therefore reduced the price to $1,918.90, or $959.45 per person.

How That Compares When Booked Separately

Less than $1,000 per person for round trip flights to Turkey and a week-long hotel stay seemed reasonable, but I wanted to know that was indeed the case.

I therefore checked to see how much the flights and hotel would cost if booked separately. I wanted to compare like-for-like, so the relevant cost here is $874.05 per person seeing as the Delta Vacations package would be booked into Main Cabin rather than Basic Economy Light.

Delta Vacations NYC-IST cost of flights paid for separately

The Grand Hyatt Istanbul meanwhile would cost €719.02 which is about $852.

Delta Vacations NYC-IST Grand Hyatt room cost - total

Booking the flights and hotels separately would therefore cost a total of $1,300.05 per person – $340.60 more expensive than when booking via Delta Vacations.

Even without the $200 discount from this special offer, that means Delta Vacations offered better pricing for the package, but the savings can amount to significantly more if you’re wanting to travel in business class.

Business Class Example

To see what the overall savings would be like at the top end of the scale for the $600 discount, I did a similar search for packages from New York to Istanbul on the same dates (November 11-18), only in business class this time.

I selected the Grand Hyatt Istanbul as the hotel again, then took a look at the business class flight pricing.

Delta Vacations NYC-IST total cost in business class

As you can see in the image above, the total package for two people initially priced out at $6,006.90 for the same hotel but flying in business class. That total base price is in the highest discount tier for this offer which means $600 was deducted for a final total of $5,406.90. That’s $2,703.45 per person which isn’t too shabby for round trip business class flights to Europe with a week’s stay at the Grand Hyatt Istanbul.

How That Compares When Booked Separately

If booking the flights and hotel separately, the flights would cost a total of $7,830.10, with the hotel costing $852. That places the per-person cost at $4,341.05 which means booking those two travel elements separately would cost you $1,637.60 more per person – a significant chunk of change.

Delta Vacations NYC-IST total cost in business class paid for separately

The Biggest Potential Downside With These Packages

This Delta Vacations / Amex promotion can provide huge savings, but there is a potential issue. Booking your hotel through Delta Vacations means that – in theory – you’re not eligible for status benefits, points earning, etc. as the stay isn’t booked directly with the hotel.

If you were to book a stay at the Grand Hyatt Istanbul in the example above and you have Globalist status, that could have a big impact on the quality of your stay as you’d miss out on free breakfast, suite upgrades, points earnings and double elite nights from their latest promotion, etc. All’s not necessarily lost though.

When Delta Vacations ran a separate promotion last year where you could redeem SkyMiles at a value of 2cpp, Greg noted the following:

That said, I’ve had luck quite a few times adding my hotel loyalty number to reservations like these after booking. In each case, the hotel did give me elite benefits, but I still did not earn points or elite nights towards next year’s status.

Another Solution, But With A Glitch

Greg went on to suggest a different solution if you didn’t want to risk the hotel not offering elite status benefits. You could book the cheapest hotel package available and effectively throw away the hotel portion. It might even be possible to reduce the hotel cost further by calling to reduce the number of nights at that property, thereby reducing that portion of the package cost further. You could then book directly with the hotel you want to stay at to ensure you get elite night credits, points, status benefits, etc.

If you wanted to follow his suggestion, in the above example that would mean choosing the cheapest option which was the Ramada Istanbul Grand Bazaar. That option with business class flights costs $2,759.81 per person, although the slightly more expensive Courtyard might make more sense as you get 2,000 bonus SkyMiles with that offer.

Delta Vacations NYC-IST cheapest hotels business class

Something strange happened though. When selecting the Ramada, the total cost for two people came to more than $5,000 and so should’ve been eligible for the $600 discount. However, that isn’t what happened; instead, Delta Vacations calculated some kind of random discount of $345.11 which meant the total cost was only reduced to $5,174.50 or $2,587.25 per person.

That’s still a pretty good price, but it would be worth calling Delta Vacations if you encounter a scenario like this as their phone agents might be able to apply a manual credit to ensure you get the full $600 discount.

Delta Vacations NYC-IST cheapest hotels business class with discount

You could then book the Grand Hyatt Istanbul directly at the €102 per night cost for a standard king room. If you have any suite upgrade certificates from Milestone Rewards, you could upgrade to a standard suite which costs an extra €200 per night on the dates I searched. Alternatively, you could upgrade to a standard or premium suite using points which could also provide some excellent value:

Grand Hyatt Istanbul suite pricing

One Further Caveat

When comparing the prices between Delta Vacations and booking flights and hotels separately, in the examples above I only priced out the options when booking directly with Delta.

If you’re happy spending a few thousand dollars on business class flights, it would also makes sense to see what your other options are. For example, when looking on Google Flights for business class flights from JFK to Istanbul for November 11-18, Qatar Airways showed up at only $2,888 round trip.

While that’s a little more expensive than the Delta flights booked through Delta Vacations, some might prefer to pay a little extra to fly Qatar Airways in business class instead of Delta.

Summary

If you’re points and miles rich, it doesn’t generally make much sense to pay for flights and hotel stays.

If you don’t have a healthy stash of points and miles though, Delta Vacations packages can provide some great value as it is and even more value with this promotion if you book by December 14, 2020. You only have to book by December 14 to save up to $600 though – you can actually travel through the end of the schedule.

The greatest savings of all seem to come if you’re willing to pay for business class flights, but there are still savings to be had when traveling in Main Cabin. It’s always worth pricing out the cost of booking the flights and hotel separately too, as there might be instances where Delta Vacations would cost more.

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