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Delta Skymiles Program: 2021 guide
Here's how to best use the SkyMiles program, Medallion Status and Delta credit cards.
The Delta SkyMiles program is the free-to-join loyalty program of Delta Air Lines. As a member, you can earn miles on Delta and partnered flights to redeem on reward flights, flight upgrades, vacation packages and more. If you book enough flights as a member, you can ascend the ranks of Medallion status and get an array of increasingly valuable complimentary perks. And, of course, you can earn miles even without flying with a Delta cobranded credit card.
|What are Delta SkyMiles worth?||1.4 cents|
|Do points expire?||No, as long as your account is open and in good standing|
|Where does Delta fly?||300+ destinations in 52 countries|
|US hub airports|
|Award flights start at||4,500 miles|
How do you earn Delta SkyMiles?
You have 10 primary ways to earn Delta SkyMiles.
- Flying Delta
- Booking Delta vacation packages
- Booking hotel stays through partners and Airbnb
- Booking cruises via SkyMiles Cruises
- Booking car rentals or Lyft rides
- Using Delta cobranded credit cards
- Dining with the SkyMiles dining program
- Shopping with the SkyMiles shopping program
- Purchasing SkyMiles directly
- Using special offers, such as Apple purchases via your IHG rewards account
The maximum miles you can earn per ticket is 75,000. Rewards earnings include base fares — your airline ticket costs before taxes, fees and surcharges — and carrier-imposed surcharges. You don’t earn miles on government-imposed taxes and fees. For more information, check out our Delta SkyMiles earning guide.
Earn miles on flights according to your status
|Medallion Status Level||Miles earned per dollar|
How to redeem Delta SkyMiles
Once you decide to redeem your Delta miles, here’s how to do it:
- Log in to your SkyMiles account.
- Click Book at the top menu and select Shop with miles.
- Search for a flight and select the flights you want.
- You can upgrade your cabin with miles if you want to.
- Confirm your flight.
You can redeem Delta SkyMiles for:
- Booking Delta and partner flights
- Seat upgrades
- Premium drinks at Delta Sky Club
- Selecting a preferred seat
- Paying ticket change fees
- Shopping at the SkyMiles marketplace
- Charity or gift miles to friends and family
Some redemption options are a much better use of your points than others. We’ve compiled some of the best choices for redeeming your miles in our full Delta redemption guide.
What are the advantages of Delta Air Line partners?
Delta’s airline partners are worth looking into for two main reasons. For one, they offer you additional flight routes to destinations you might not find with Delta alone. This means your Delta Miles can take you much further if you redeem them outside of Delta flights. The other big advantage is Delta Air Line partner flights are booked very reasonably – in fact, you can find some terrific deals even on Business Class flights with Delta Air Line partners.Back to top
Compare cards for earning Delta SkyMiles
One of the fastest ways to earn Delta SkyMiles is with a rewards credit card. Below are Delta’s credit cards, as well as other cards that earn points that can be converted to SkyMiles.
Delta point transfer guide
You can transfer points to the SkyMiles program from several other loyalty programs. Here are a few major options that have co-branded credit cards.
|Loyalty program||Transfer details|
|American Express||Transfer at a 1:1 ratio|
|Hilton Honors||Transfer 10,000 Hilton Honors points and receive 1,000 SkyMiles.|
|IHG Rewards Club||Transfer 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points and receive 2,000 SkyMiles.|
|Marriott Bonvoy||Transfer at a 3:1 ratio — transfer 3 Marriott Bonvoy points, receive 1 SkyMile.|
Is it worth transferring points from other reward programs to Delta SkyMiles?
Transferring points from partner hotel programs isn’t worth it. That’s because you can generally get 0.6 cents per hotel point when you redeem for hotel stays. For example, moving 10,000 Hilton points to get 1,000 Delta miles gives you an average value of $10 to redeem for Delta. That’s instead of the $60 for hotel stays you could get. Keep your hotel points and use them for hotel stays.
On the other hand, transferring Amex membership points can be worth it because the transfer value is 1 Amex point for 1 Delta mile. If you get an average value of 1 cent per Amex point for American Express reward redemptions. But once transferred, you can get up to 1.5 cents per point value on Delta flights. This effectively turns your potential 100,000 Amex points worth $1,000 to 100,000 Delta miles worth up to $1,500.
What’s the difference between Delta One, Sky Team and Medallion?
Delta One is Delta’s “sky cabin,” a luxury experience available on select international and domestic long-haul flights. Features include an adjustable flat-bed seat, chef-curated meals, in-flight bedding and other niceties.
Sky Team refers to Delta’s airline partners featured in the Sky Team partnership. These airlines specifically include Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, AeroMexico, AirEuropa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, Czech Airlines, Delta, Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, MEA, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines and Xiamen Air.
Finally, Medallion is Delta’s elite status program. By amassing Medallion Qualifying Miles, you can ascend through several different status levels to earn increasing perks along the way. Check out our Medallion status guide for more information.
Delta is one of the largest US airlines with a robust frequent-flyer program. SkyMiles can get you award flights, and earn miles through Delta SkyMiles credit cards — and a bevy of other travel products. If you’re a frequent Delta flyer, you could earn valuable Medallion Status with attractive travel benefits.
If you’re not sure a Delta SkyMiles card is right for you, consider other airline products.Back to top
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