With the recent increased offers on both the American Express Delta Gold and Platinum SkyMiles Credit Cards, I decided to pull the trigger and apply for both cards, hoping to rake in 110,000 points and $150 in statement credits.


I applied for both credit cards using different browsers (Chrome and Safari) to have only one credit pull on my credit score. Sure enough, both cards were not instantly approved. Instead of waiting days or weeks to hear back from Amex, I decided the Amex reconsideration line to find out if I could push my application through over the phone. After discussing the Platinum Card application first, the representative approved me right away! An easy 60,000 points right there. For the Gold Card, the rep said I would have to wait a week or so to hear back on a verdict. After about a week, I received an email saying, “Congratulations on your approval!”

Utilizing My SkyMiles

I did the same thing last year when Amex increased the offers and I was able to utilize my SkyMiles for some great value on domestic flights during really busy and pricy seasons (i.e. flying to Miami for the New Year holiday). This year, however, I was looking to really maximize the values of these points with an international business/first class award ticket. It’s been a while since I last visited my extended family in France, so I searched for direct flights on the Los Angeles – London route with Virgin Atlantic. Unfortunately, I found zero availability and started expanding my search to other US cities flying direct to London. Sure enough, I was able to find availability on the San Francisco – London route in August.

Virgin Atlantic 

For just 62,500 points one way, I booked myself on Delta First Class from Los Angeles – San Francisco and San Francisco – London on Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class product. I made sure the route was being flown by their new 787-9 aircraft and not their outdated A340-600 plane.

LAX-LHR on Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class for just 62,500 Delta SkyMiles!

LAX-LHR on Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class for just 62,500 Delta SkyMiles!

This flight retails at close to $10,000! That’s a value of 15.6 cents per point. An incredible value for an award program that has been devalued and is consistently bashed by travel enthusiasts. If you look hard enough, you can still find some great sweet spots in the SkyMiles program.

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I can’t wait to try the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class product and visit the Virgin Clubhouse in SFO airport, which I’ve heard only great things about.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at SFO Airport

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at SFO Airport

Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class

Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class

What do you use your Delta SkyMiles for?