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Credit Card Applications » Questions » User Questions » Travel with Credit Cards » I want to travel to Rimini, Italy, but the only major airline that flies there is ...

I want to travel to Rimini, Italy, but the only major airline that flies there is Alitalia, and my 68,000 frequent flyer miles are on a Delta SkyMiles credit card. Should I just bite the bullet and pay cash for my ticket, or is there a way I can use my Delta miles on Alitalia?

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Leo Zhu

This is a very good question – and lucky for you, it’s an easy one.

Many people do not realize that they can use their frequent flyer miles on more than one airline, even if they earn miles of one airline, such as your Delta SkyMiles. This is because every airline (okay, almost every airline) is a member of an alliance, and you can use your miles on any airline in the alliance without losing any of the value. I do this all the time, to get the maximum value from my frequent flyer miles.

Alitalia and Delta are both SkyTeam alliance members, so your Delta miles will be good when you book a ticket with Alitalia. All you need to do is call Delta and tell them you want to buy a ticket to Remini on Alitalia using your Delta SkyMiles. If there’s a seat available on your desired flight, it’s as simple as that. You can start packing.

I just have two things for you to remember when doing this:

  • You are better off calling to book your ticket as far in advance as possible. If there are no reward ticket seats available on the plane, you won’t be able to fly on the date you’ve chosen. Call early, and be flexible if you can – this will increase the chance of getting a seat.
  • Don’t forget that you still have to pay taxes on your plane ticket. In this case, the taxes could be around $300 – so your ticket is free, yes, but also not really free. Like death, taxes are inevitable. You’ll still be saving a lot of money, but always remember the taxes.
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