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Delta Skymiles Loyalty Program

An explanation of miles, credit cards and Medallion Status.

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If you’re looking into frequent-flyer programs, consider Delta SkyMiles. It’s free to join and you can earn miles on Delta, and its partner airlines. Additional benefits are offered to those who fly enough to earn Medallion Status.

What is Delta SkyMiles program?

Delta SkyMiles is the loyalty program of Delta Air Lines. As a member, you can earn miles on Delta and partner airlines. You can earn even more miles with a Delta cobranded credit card and by climbing the ladder of elite status tiers.

You get robust redemption options, but you’ll get the best value for your miles if you redeem for Delta flights.

How do you earn Delta SkyMiles?

Earn Delta SkyMiles by:

  • 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
  • Using special offers, such as Apple purchases via your IHG rewards account

It’s free to join Delta SkyMiles. You earn five miles for each dollar spent on Delta flights. 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.

Once you’re a Delta SkyMiles member, here’s what to do:

  1. Input your SkyMiles account number when booking your flight.
  2. Or visit your account’s My trips section to input your SkyMiles number.

Do Delta SkyMiles expire?

Unlike several competitor deals, Delta SkyMiles don’t expire as long as your account is open and in good standing.

How to redeem Delta SkyMiles

Once you decide to redeem your Delta miles, here’s how to do it:

  1. Log in to your SkyMiles account.
  2. Click Book at the top menu and select Shop with miles.
  3. Search for a flight and select the flights you want.
  4. You can upgrade your cabin with miles if you want to.
  5. Confirm your flight.

Does Delta have an award chart?

No, Delta no longer offers an award chart. But you can calculate the value of miles yourself by dividing the cash required for the flight with the miles required.

For example, a flight that costs $150 in cash or 15,000 in miles would be worth 1 cent per point ($150/15,000 miles = 0.01). You may have to do this several times to find the best value for your miles.

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

Delta partner airlines

  • Aeromexico
  • Aerolineas Argentinas
  • Alitalia
  • Air France
  • China Eastern
  • China Airlines
  • China Southern
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM
  • Mandarin Airlines
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Saudia Airlines
  • Shanghai Airlines
  • Tarom Airlines
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia
  • WestJet
  • Xiamen Airlines
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Compare cards for earning Delta SkyMiles

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months
4x at restaurants including delivery and Uber Eats; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points) and 3x points on directly-booked flights
$250
Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 with this upper-mid tier travel card. Terms apply, see rates & fees
The Platinum Card® from American Express
75,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 6 months, plus 10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 in combined purchases in the same timeframe
10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 combined in the first 6 months, 5x points on directly-booked flights on up to $500,000 annually, then 1x points after that and on other purchases
$550
One of the most valuable premium travel cards, featuring two welcome offers worth up to $4,500, multiple travel credits and unrivaled lounge access. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
6x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3x at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2x for all other purchases
$450
Earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 or more within your first 3 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees
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Compare up to 4 providers

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Delta point transfer guide

You can transfer points to SkyMiles from several loyalty programs. Here are a few major options that have co-branded credit cards.

Loyalty programTransfer details
Hilton HonorsTransfer 10,000 Hilton Honors points and receive 1,000 SkyMiles.
IHG Rewards ClubTransfer 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points and receive 2,000 SkyMiles.
Marriott BonvoyTransfer 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 hotels programs isn’t worth it. That’s because you can generally get 0.6 cents per hotel point when you redeem for hotel stays. Moving 10,000 Hilton points, for example, to get 1,000 Delta miles gives you an average value of $10 to redeem for Delta instead of the $60 for hotel stays. 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.

Bottom line

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.

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Frequently asked questions

  • What do I need to do to receive SkyMiles for my flight?
    Just input your SkyMiles account number when booking your flight.
  • If I took flights before I signed up for SkyMiles, can I still get miles for them?
    You can get miles for flights you took up to 30 days before enrolling. Log in to your SkyMiles account and head to the Request mileage credit page.
  • Can I buy miles?
    Yes. You can buy miles in increments of 2,000 for 3.5 cents each. For example, 2,000 miles costs $70.

    This is a poor rate considering miles are worth 1.4 cents apiece as per our February 2019 valuation. It’s best to only consider buying miles in special circumstances, such as when you’re short a few miles for an award ticket.

    You can buy a maximum of 60,000 miles per transaction. The maximum miles you can deposit to your account per year is 60,000.

  • When I redeem miles, are there blackout dates for Delta flights?
    There are no blackout dates on Delta flights when you redeem miles. You can learn more by reading our helpful guide to redeeming Delta SkyMiles.
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