Delta SkyMiles Loyalty Program Review

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Airline Summary Table

  • Home Country U.S.
  • Major Hubs Atlanta, New York JFK, Detroit, Minneapolis-St Paul, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, Seattle-Tacoma, Tokyo Narita, Amsterdam Schiphol
  • Airline Alliance SkyTeam
  • Signature Lounge Delta Sky Club

Branded and Partnered Credit Cards

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Delta Air Lines Overview

Delta Air Lines is the third largest airline in America, and has its headquarters and largest hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (the world’s busiest airport!).

Delta Locations Served

It has 10 domestic hubs as well as 3 international hubs at Amsterdam Schipol, Paris Charles de Gaulle, and Tokyo Narita.

Features of the Airline

Delta’s flagship aircraft is its 747, acquired from its merger with Northwest Airlines in 2010. Starting in 2017, Delta will receive its first batch of new widebody aircraft, the A350-900, to replace its aging 747 fleet.

Its international fleet has Delta One business class service (formerly BusinessElite until March 1, 2015), as well as Delta Comfort+ (its economy plus cabin) and economy.

Delta is one of 4 founding members of the SkyTeam alliance, and operates closely with alliance partners Air France/KLM, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia.

Sky Priority Sign in Hong Kong
You can utilize flights on all of Delta’s partners and get access to their shared elite status benefits, which include security priority.

Delta Mileage Program

Delta’s mileage program is named SkyMiles, and is available to anyone who has flown or plans to travel on a Delta Air Lines-marketed flight, or anyone who has opened a Delta co-branded credit card.

It is the only U.S. mileage program that does not expire, allowing more leisure-centric passengers to acquire miles over an extended period of time.

Delta, along with United Airlines, has shifted from a mileage-based redemption program to a dollar-based program, where miles are now earned based on the amount spent rather than the distance or segments traveled.

This means that higher-end and corporate spenders will likely see an increase in their mileage accrual, while leisure travelers may see a dip in their earnings for the same past segments flown.

Joining SkyMiles

Joining is completely free and you simply sign up online.

You’ll immediately become a General Member and begin accruing miles for utilizing Delta flights and partners. You’ll then be able to redeem those miles for rewards.

How To Earn Delta Miles

Delta Air Lines now has a revenue-based mileage program. SkyMiles members earn more for higher fares, all the way up to 75,000 miles maximum per ticket.

A general member earns 5 miles per $1 spent, while Medallion members earn further miles per elite tier (refer to the SkyMiles Membership Tiers section above).

SkyMiles can be earned on any Delta-marketed flight, including Delta Connection and Delta Shuttle flights, as well as SkyTeam partner airlines and other partners where your ticket is booked under a Delta codeshare flight number.

Other Ways To Earn SkyMiles

Extra miles can be earned through online promotions, SkyMiles credit card spending (there are multiple), and bookings made with SkyMiles partners.

Loyalty Program Credit Card Review Application
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles Frequent Flyer Program Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express Apply Here >>
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express (review coming soon) Apply Here >>
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express Apply Here >>
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express Apply Here >>
Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express Apply Here >>
Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express (review coming soon) Apply Here >>

You can also transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest to Delta SkyMiles. The following cards are therefore eligible as points earners towards Delta:

Loyalty Program Credit Card Review Application
American Express Membership Rewards Loyalty Program The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express Apply Here >>
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express Apply Here >>
The Platinum Card® from American Express Apply Here >>
The Enhanced Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN Apply Here >>
Gold Card from American Express Apply Here >>
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express Apply Here >>
American Express® Green Card Apply Here >>
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN (review coming soon) Apply Here >>
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN Apply Here >>
Blue from American Express® Apply Here >>
Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express (review coming soon) Apply Here >>
Mercedes-Benz Credit Card from American Express (review coming soon) Apply Here >>

Remember, these bonus miles based on dollars spent are different from Medallion Qualification Miles, which are still based on distance traveled and qualify toward Medallion status.

Online Reservation
Book your reservation for a Delta flight or with a codeshare partner and you’ll still be able to earn Delta miles!

How To Redeem Delta Miles

Delta now offers more ways to redeem your miles, and more award seat availability at the lowest redemption rates through an increase in different redemption rates overall.

If your travel dates are flexible, the 2016 Award Calendar easily allows you to compare similar dates for the lowest redemption dates available.

To use a combination of miles and dollars, the miles and cash option allows you to purchase an award when you don’t quite have enough points for the fare.

All of this is easily comparable when booking online, where you’ll see the lowest miles options by date as well as the combination of dollars you may need.

Packing for Travel
Do what you must to pack your suitcase and get ready to take your next award flight! Although Delta’s system has changed, there are still plenty of options available if you want to get cheap award travel.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply Now Full review

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Delta SkyMiles? Why join Delta SkyMiles?
SkyMiles is the Delta Air Lines frequent flyer/loyalty program. By joining this free program, you can earn benefits while traveling with Delta Air Lines, depending on your level of status within the program.

When you travel, you will earn miles which can be redeemed for awards flights and more after you earn enough.

What are the benefits of Delta SkyMiles? What are the levels of membership?
The benefits include bonus miles earned, priority boarding, free bags, security line status, complimentary upgrades, and more. When you earn enough miles, you get to redeem them for travel or other purchases.

The levels of elite status membership are Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. To earn these levels you must reach a certain number of miles/segments and a certain spending threshold each year.

What are Choice Benefits for SkyMiles members?
Delta has a unique gift-giving scheme when you achieve your elite Medallion statuses, dubbed Choice Benefits.

When SkyMiles members first achieve Platinum status, they are allowed to choose a gift from a list of choices, including upgrade certificates, Global Entry application vouchers, and more.

Achieving Diamond status yields 2 gifts, and the gift options differ between the statuses too.

For example, for Platinum, the upgrade certificate gift includes 4 regional flight upgrades, while for Diamond it is 4 global or 8 regional flight upgrades. You’d get an extra gift just for being Diamond as well!

One gift exclusive to Diamond status is upgrading an individual Delta Sky Club Membership to an executive membership.

Which airlines accept Delta SkyMiles? Who are Delta SkyMiles partners?
Delta is a member of the Sky Team alliance. This includes airlines like Aeroflot, Air France, Czech Airlines, and KLM. Other Delta Partners include Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia.

What is the Delta SkyMiles login?
You can sign in to your SkyMiles account here.

Where can I sign up for Delta SkyMiles?
Sign up for Delta SkyMiles on their website.

What can Delta SkyMiles be used for? How many Delta SkyMiles are needed for a free flight?
Delta SkyMiles can be used for free flights on Delta or any of their partner airlines. They can also be used for hotels and other partners.

You can transfer points from partnered programs to Delta SkyMiles as well. There is no longer a 250k transfer limit.

What are Delta SkyMiles worth?
SkyMiles have been valued anywhere from $0.005 to $0.015 per point. This always depends on what types of redemptions are available.

When do Delta SkyMiles expire?
Delta’s policy is that SkyMiles never expire. They can terminate your account, however, for fraudulent or other unfavorable activities.

Is there a Delta Air Lines SkyMiles credit card?
Yes, there are multiple Delta American Express cards: the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, and the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express.

Or, you can use other partnered cards like the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, since Delta is a transfer partner with American Express Membership Rewards.

Where is my Delta SkyMiles number?
You can find your number by signing in to your account and navigating to your account page. If you don’t have that, you can search your inbox for a marketing email, or use the “forgot my password” tool to reset your password and get into your account.

If neither of those work, you can always call customer service to retrieve your account number.

What are the Delta baggage fees?
Delta charges $25-$100 per bag, depending on whether it’s overweight.