12 Best Ways To Redeem Delta SkyMiles for Max Value [2018]

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Delta SkyMiles are often called “Sky Pesos” because of their seemingly low value on many redemptions, but there are actually a bunch of great reward options possible with SkyMiles!

Below I’ll share the best redemptions currently available to book award travel with the Delta frequent flyer program, so you don’t have to think of your miles as “Sky Pesos” anymore either.

(We’ve also written an article about the best ways to use 100,000 Delta SkyMiles if you’ve got a healthy balance and need some inspiration!)

Using Delta SkyMiles With Airline Partners

SkyMiles can be earned by signing up for various credit cards, including co-branded Delta credit cards offered by American Express.

You can search for award tickets on Delta.com and can easily redeem SkyMiles on flights with Delta Air Lines and partner carriers when using their search engine. Many airline partners (but not all) are available to search online. For some, you have to telephone Delta to confirm availability and book.

When you’re searching for availability, simply elect to view the price in miles to see how many miles it will cost to take the award flight.

Hot Tip: Look through all options because even when sorting by lowest price, cheaper options on partner airlines may be placed below Delta options, if, for instance, the partner flight miles are cheaper but taxes and charges are higher.

Delta is part of the Sky Team alliance, and they also partner with a few other airlines who are unaffiliated with an alliance. Virgin Altantic and Virgin Australia are particularly popular for awards through Delta’s partnership with them, as well as GOL in Brazil.

Bottom Line: These partnerships offer many options to redeem Delta SkyMiles for award tickets with a variety of carriers on flights all around the world.

American Express Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards

With the following cards, you can earn Delta SkyMiles directly with no transferring required. They also include great welcome bonus offers to help you quickly earn your first Delta award ticket!

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta
  • Annual Fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms Apply.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card in your first 3 months.
  • Annual Fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms apply.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • SPECIAL OFFER: Earn 35,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Also, earn 5 miles per dollar on eligible purchases with your new Card during the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to 35,000 bonus miles. Special offer expires 7/31/18.
  • Annual Fee: $195. Terms Apply.


American Express Membership Rewards Credit Cards

If you like earning Amex Membership Rewards, they can be transferred to Delta SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio. These cards also include great welcome bonus offers.

Recommended Amex Personal Cards

CREDIT CARDBENEFITS & INFO
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x).
  • Earn 20% extra points when you make 20 or more purchases with your Card in a billing period.
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.74%-25.74%.
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening, then a variable APR of 14.74%-25.74%. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 points.
  • $100 Airline fee credit. Terms apply.
  • 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $195
The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • Access more than 1,100 airport lounges across 120 countries and counting, including the amazing Centurion® lounges.
  • Up to $200 Uber Savings Annually.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $550

Recommended Amex Business Cards

CREDIT CARDBENEFITS & INFO
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories.
  • Earn 2x points on the remaining 4 categories
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175. Terms Apply.
The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99%. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
  • LIMITED TIME OFFER: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Access more than 1,100 airport lounges across 120 countries and counting, including the amazing Centurion® lounges.
  • Up to $200 a calendar year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $450

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards

Starwood Preferred Guest points transfer to Delta SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio.

Hot Tip: When you transfer 20,000 SPG points, you will receive a bonus of 5,000 SkyMiles, effectively making the transfer ratio 1:1.25. Very valuable!

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn up to $100 statement credit
  • Earn an additional $100 statement credit after making a purchase at a participating hotel during your first 6 months. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn up to $200 statement credit
  • Up to 5x Starpoints® on eligible purchases.
  • Free Boingo Wi-Fi & Free Wi-Fi at SPG participating hotels. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

The 12 Best Ways To Use Your Delta SkyMiles

Since Delta doesn’t publish an official award chart anymore, it can be tough to determine the lowest price available for a given flight you want to book.

I recommend using the award chart listed above as a general reference, but it may not be completely accurate because it is not published by Delta (especially as Delta continues making changes to their pricing models).

Hot Tip: When you search for award availability on Delta.com, you should select the 5-week flexible award option to improve your chances of finding a low-level award, especially if you have flexibility in your award travel.

From a 5-week search, drill down to specific dates to verify availability since the calendar is not perfect. Some days may not show the cheapest option on the calendar. Even if you don’t have flexibility, finding the lowest price will at least tell you how much of a premium you’ll be paying to fly on your ideal date, and might lead you to investigate booking with other airlines instead.

Delta has recently begun imposing much higher prices on most awards booked with 21 days of travel. Delta has also raised lowest award prices on partners compared to travel on Delta.

In this post, I’ll quote the SkyMiles amount that’s generally accepted as the lowest level mileage price that Delta currently charges. If you randomly search on any given day, you may see significantly higher prices.

When you search on specific dates, make sure to sort by Price from the drop-down menu since that’s not the default sort option.

Once you have earned enough Delta SkyMiles, follow the suggestions below to make sure you’re using your SkyMiles for the best redemptions possible!

1. Delta One-Way Awards Within the U.S. for as Low as 5,000 Miles

Delta air lines
Fly Delta within the U.S. for as low as 5,000 Delta SkyMiles. Image courtesy of Delta.com.

In the not-so-recent past, Delta did not offer award travel on one-way flights. Until January 2015, Delta SkyMiles were redeemable only for round-trip tickets, which made SkyMiles significantly less valuable than they are now.

Thankfully, Delta SkyMiles joined the rest of the industry by granting great award redemptions on both one-way and round-trip flights. Cheers to that!

While Delta says on its frequent flyer page that one-way flights in the U.S., Alaska, and Canada start at 10,000 SkyMiles, it is actually possible to find flights as low as 5,000 miles one-way on select routes like San Francisco to Seattle.

Sometimes, these are announced as limited-time flash sales, other times, they pop up when cash ticket prices are cheap.

These low-cost flights can be a great deal, especially last minute when Delta flight prices tend to be higher. However, if you’re searching a month out on this route, you will probably see one-way prices around $89, making the redemption only mediocre.

Since Delta’s prices are variable, it always makes sense to compare award prices to cash prices for flights.

When considering transferring your American Express Membership Rewards points to Delta, there is something else you need to think about: American Express charges a fee to transfer Membership Rewards to any U.S.-based program, including Delta SkyMiles.

The fee is quite small: only 0.06 cents per point up to a maximum of $99. If Delta has award availability on a flight you want, this fee shouldn’t be enough to stop you from transferring your miles and booking the ticket, but it’s something to be aware of nonetheless.

Hot Tip:  Bring The Platinum Card® from American Express for complimentary access or the Gold Delta Skymiles® Credit Card from American Express for discounted access to the Delta Sky Club to make your travels a little sweeter!

2. Virgin Atlantic to London in Upper Class for 85,000 Miles Each Way

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
Use your Delta SkyMiles to fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class to Europe. Image courtesy of virgin-atlantic.com.

Many people rave about Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class (basically, their business class) experience, especially on the ground at London Heathrow. For flights across the Atlantic Ocean, you can really get the full experience of their lie-flat seats and great food.

There are a few different programs that will grant you access to book Delta airlines award travel on Virgin Atlantic. One of the best redemptions available is to use Delta SkyMiles.

Tickets from the U.S. to London are available on both Delta and Virgin Atlantic, but you generally won’t find low-level availability for Delta’s own flights. Rather, you should look to fly on Virgin Atlantic.

When you do your search on Delta.com, look for VS in the corner of the box displaying the flight details. The VS indicates it’s a flight on Virgin Atlantic.

Your lowest fare from any major U.S. city to London one-way in economy class is 35,000 SkyMiles or 85,000 miles in Upper Class. That’s a round-trip flight for as low as 70,000 SkyMiles, even from the West Coast!

You can connect onward to anywhere else in Europe, provided there’s availability with either Virgin Atlantic or another Delta partner. Virgin Atlantic flies nonstop from Atlanta, Detroit, New York, San Francisco, and a handful of other U.S. cities. Get the greatest value out of the Upper Class experience by flying from the West Coast, since your flight time will be 10.5 hours instead of 7 from the East Coast.

It’s even better to fly Virgin Atlantic back to the U.S. from Europe because you’ll have access to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse during your stay at London Heathrow. I haven’t yet had the pleasure to visit, but I’ve heard wonderful things from others who have! You’ll only want to book Europe to the U.S. as part of a round-trip flight starting in the U.S. because Delta sneakily adds a huge cash surcharge for awards originating in Europe.

The number of Delta airlines frequent flyer miles you’ll need to redeem your ticket is the same regardless of flight time.

Need help booking? Check out our step-by-step guide to booking Virgin Atlantic Upper Class!

Hot Tip: Grab a Global Entry account before making your journey to enjoy quickly passing through customs when you come back to the U.S. You can get the $100 fee reimbursed with numerous cards, including The Platinum Card® from American Express.

3. Virgin Australia to the South Pacific Islands From 55,000 in Economy Each Way

Virgin Australia in Business Class
Fly around Australia in style with Virgin Australia in business class! Image courtesy of virginaustralia.com.

Ticket prices to Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific are high as a general rule. On the low end of the spectrum, you’ll pay at least $4,500 in business class or $900 in economy class per ticket. Considering the relatively high flight prices, Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific are great places to visit using miles if you can find availability.

You can fly from the U.S. to Australia and New Zealand on Delta’s partner, Virgin Australia. If you want to fly to the South Pacific Islands of Rarotonga, Figi, Tonga, or others, it may be easier to call Delta Reservations at (800) 221-1212 to have them look for award space.

It’s great that Delta charges the same price to fly to these South Pacific Islands as Australia and New Zealand! Paid fares to the islands are generally more than those to Australia and New Zealand, so booking to the South Pacific Islands is a way to push the value of your miles even further.

Most routes from the U.S. will fly through Australia on the way to the smaller islands but unfortunately, Delta does not permit a stopover.

Virgin Australia tickets from the U.S. to Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania/South Pacific Islands one-way in economy class are 55,000 SkyMiles, while business class is 115,000 SkyMiles.

We generally would not recommend spending 115,000 Delta miles to fly business class, as there are a handful of other airlines that offer much more economical awards to Australia and the South Pacific.

If you want to fly Virgin Australia in business class, flights within Australia and the South Pacific are much more reasonable at 40,000 SkyMiles each way.

Fees run around $200, but this is still an excellent redemption value!

You can search for Virgin Australia award availability on Delta’s website. For more complicated itineraries, especially around the South Pacific, you may need to book through Delta Reservations at (800) 221-1212.

Hot Tip: Don’t pay extra foreign transaction fees during your international trip. Take credit cards with no foreign transaction fees like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express.

4. Book Air France Business Class in Advance for 75,000 Miles Each Way

Air France business class
Use your Delta SkyMiles to access Air France business class award space before it’s available directly from Air France! Image courtesy of airfrance.com.

Air France business class space is only released to Air France Flying Blue Members 305 days ahead of time, but the same space is generally released to Delta SkyMiles members 331 days before departure date.

If you want to fly Air France to Europe in business class, booking with Delta between 306-331 days in advance is even better than booking directly with the operating carrier (Air France). This is highly unusual, as most airlines offer better availability to their own members than the members of partners.

Even if Paris isn’t your final destination, you can connect onward to most other areas of Europe and beyond.

Flights from the U.S. to Europe in economy can be booked for as low as 32,500 SkyMiles one-way, while one-way in business class will cost 75,000 SkyMiles.

Hot Tip: Starwood Preferred Guest is also partnered with Delta Air Lines. Transfer extra points to Delta by earning them with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

5. Aerolineas Argentina and GOL to Patagonia for 100,000 Miles in Business Class Each Way

Patagonia
Use your SkyMiles to fly to beautiful Patagonia. Image courtesy of eu.patagonia.com.

In 2012, Aerolineas Argentina joined Sky Team alliance and GOL joined Delta as a non-alliance partner. There are limited flights directly from the U.S. (only New York or Miami), but the options within South America are numerous. Since LATAM is one of the only other airlines dominating the region, SkyMiles are very valuable for flights within South America on Aerolineas Argentina and GOL.

Patagonia is a very popular destination, especially for those inclined to spend time in the great outdoors. You can fly to El Calafete in economy for 35,000 SkyMiles one-way, or 100,000 SkyMiles in business class.

This flight has a layover in Buenos Aires, so if you don’t want to go all the way to Patagonia, you can fly to Buenos Aires for the same number of SkyMiles.

If you want to see more of South America while you’re there, you can book economy flights within the region for 12,500 Delta frequent flyer miles between any 2 cities.

Hot Tip: Visit the Delta Sky Club in O’Hare before leaving! You can gain access by purchasing a day pass, a membership through Delta Sky Club, or owning The Platinum Card® from American Express. Members of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express get access for only $29/visit.

7. AeroMexico to Mexico City and Madrid from 82,500 Miles in Economy Round-Trip

AeroMexico business class
Use your Delta SkyMiles to plan a fun multi-destination trip with partner AeroMexico. Image courtesy of businesstraveler.com.

Delta’s partnership with AeroMexico is one of the few that has been relatively unaffected by several recent devaluations in the Delta frequent flyer program.

You can fly to Mexico, or (if you’re really feeling adventurous!) do a multi-city tour to Mexico and then to Europe. Mexico City has great award availability on flights to London, Paris, and Madrid.

When the option is available, choose to view the 5-week flexible dates calendar in your search. This will help you find the lowest SkyMiles award ticket prices.

You’ll need to book your flight to Mexico, then to Europe, and finally back to the U.S. through Delta’s advanced multi-city search option. Multi-city will only let you search specific dates, and you may end up on a different airline than AeroMexico on your way back from Europe to the U.S. (e.g., Delta, Aeroflot, etc.)

If you were to put together a multi-city itinerary like this, you would pay:

  • New York to Mexico City one-way in economy class for 20,000 SkyMiles, or in business class for 35,000 SkyMiles.
  • New York to Mexico City to Madrid to New York in economy class for 90,000 SkyMiles, or in business class for 170,000 SkyMiles.

Hot Tip: When putting together a multi-city itinerary with Delta, it makes sense to search both the entire itinerary as a multi-city search and each segment individually. In some cases, the price may be better booking one way vs. the other.

8. Fly Chinese Airlines in Business Class for 85,000 Miles Each Way

china eastern business
Delta SkyMiles give you access to booking 4 different China-based carriers. Image courtesy of airlinequality.com.

Many of the Chinese airlines are praised for their business-class products. When using your Delta SkyMiles, you have the ability to book China Airlines (based in Taipei), China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines (based in Shanghai), China Southern (based in Guangzhou), and Xiamen Airlines (based in Xiamen), in business class for only 85,000 SkyMiles in each direction, or you can book economy class for only 35,000 SkyMiles.

China Airlines is generally thought to offer the best airline experience.

All of these airlines can be searched on Delta.com for award availability. However, results for China Eastern and China Southern frequently display award availability that isn’t there (it will have an error if you try to purchase) and connecting itineraries often incorrectly price each segment additively rather than as a single one-way. Calling Delta won’t help with availability, though sometimes can fix incorrect pricing. Using another SkyTeam program like Air France KLM Flying Blue or Korean Air Skypass is a backup to booking these airlines.

With China Airlines and Xiamen Airlines, you usually won’t encounter these pricing and ticketing problems.

9. Fly From Japan to Australia or New Zealand in Business Class for 65,000 Miles

Korean business class
Fly from Japan to Australia in Korean’s business class with a full day to see Seoul on your way there! Image courtesy of waytofly.com.

If you want to tack on an extra destination to your trip, flying from Japan to Australia or New Zealand with Korean Air in business class is a great way to experience a taste of luxury for fewer miles.

Overall, you’ll end up with about 13 hours of flight time, plus a layover in Korean Air’s Seoul-Incheon hub with a great lounge to visit. It is possible to work in a longer layover and have time to head out into Seoul for a day of sightseeing as well.

10. Travel to Europe or India on Jet Airways

jet airways business class
You can redeem your Delta miles for flights on Jet Airways in their fully-flat business class. Image courtesy of Carolinelupini.com

You now can redeem Delta SkyMiles for flights on Jet Airways. While many won’t think of Jet Airways when they think of luxury, Jet Airways does offer a fully flat seat in business class that isn’t half-bad (I tried it!).

Additionally, this new partnership will allow you to fly much more extensively throughout India, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia on the same award ticket.

Jet Airways currently only operates 1 flight from North America, which is Toronto (YYZ) to Amsterdam (AMS).

Economy class redemptions start at 35,000 SkyMiles and business class redemptions start at 85,000 SkyMiles for the Toronto to Amsterdam leg. All the way to India, the one-way price is a reasonable 40,000 SkyMiles in economy, but very high at 120,000 SkyMiles in business class.

11. Add a Side Trip to Vietnam for 40,000 Miles in Business Class

Vietnam Airlines' business class
Use your Delta miles for a redemption in Vietnam Airlines’ business class. Image courtesy of businesstraveler.com.

Vietnam Airlines is part of SkyTeam, which means you have the option to redeem your Delta SkyMiles for flights to and within Vietnam.

You can add on a trip to Vietnam, one of this year’s hottest destinations, from Japan for only 22,500 miles in economy or 40,000 miles in business class on Vietnam Airlines.

12. Head to One of the Most Beautiful Pacific Islands for 115,000 Miles in Business Class

Korean Air's business class
You have another chance to redeem miles for Korean Air’s business class when you fly to Palau using your Delta SkyMiles. Image courtesy of waytofly.com.

Availability might not be the easiest to find, but if you can get it, you surely won’t regret using your Delta SkyMiles to get to Palau.

Palau is one of the most beautiful Pacific Islands, and you’ll save a boatload of money by redeeming miles for your flights. Economy class redemptions from the U.S. start at 55,000 miles and business class redemptions start at 115,000 miles.

There’s a good chance you’ll end up flying Korean Air to Palau, and their business class will ensure that you hit the ground running!

List of Sky Team Alliance Delta Airline Partners

The Delta airline partners include Sky Team airlines as well as some non-alliance partners as well. Image courtesy of skyteam.com.

Delta frequent flyer partners include Sky Team and non-alliance partners. Sky Team partners include:

Sky Team Partners
AeroflotGaruda Indonesia
Aerolineas ArgentinasKenya Airways
AeromexicoKLM
Air EuropaKorean Air
Air FranceMiddle East Airlines
AlitaliaSaudia Airlines
China AirlinesTarom
China EasternVietnam Airlines
China SouthernXiamen Airlines
Czech Airlines

Non-Alliance Delta Airline Partners

Non-alliance partners are some other great Delta partner airlines that aren’t a part of other alliances.

Other Partners
Alaska AirlinesVirgin Atlantic
GOLVirgin Australia
Great Lakes AirlinesWestJet
Hawaiian Airlines

Using Your Delta SkyMiles: The Delta Award Chart

Delta currently has a revenue-based award program, but they still have a somewhat zone-based award program for flight redemptions.

Strangely, the Delta award chart was removed at the beginning of 2015, so it is sometimes a challenge to determine which destinations are in what zone as well as the prices to various zones.

Though overall Delta still has a zone-based program, some flight options don’t quite fit this mold, which makes it very difficult to make sure you are getting a good deal for your flights.

As a general rule, Delta sticks pretty close to their old award chart for flights on Delta. For partner airline flights, the prices have increased across the board. Some regions such as South Asia have seen big increases on all business class awards. I’ve included the old award chart with some generally accepted updates below as a reference:

delta award chart
Delta SkyMiles approximate award chart. Image courtesy of travelisfree.com.

Booking Delta Award Flights

If you’re interested in how to actually make award travel redemptions with Delta Air Lines, we have a few articles to explain the process:

In Conclusion

This article outlines what we believe to be the best ways to redeem your Delta frequent flyer miles for flights once you’ve earned enough of them.

Bottom Line: You can fly cheaply within the U.S., put together great multi-city itineraries, fly in world-class international premium cabins, and fly to far-flung and remote islands in the South Pacific.

When you use your Delta SkyMiles in these ways and compare the pricing offered to the lowest cash price available, you can be confident that your SkyMiles aren’t “Sky Pesos” after all.

Also useful might be to take a look at Delta’s baggage rules so that you can avoid paying any extra fees. Happy redeeming!


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Best Ways to Redeem Delta Skymiles

FAQ

What are Delta miles?

Delta's points program is called SkyMiles. The points you earn, redeem, and transfer are Delta SkyMiles.

What credit cards offer Delta Air Lines miles?

You can earn Delta miles through their branded 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.

You can also transfer points to Delta SkyMiles from American Express Membership Rewards or Starwood Preferred Guest.

What are Delta SkyMiles worth?

The value of Delta SkyMiles depends on what kind of ticket you are redeeming with your points. Most people value Delta SkyMiles at around 1.2 cents per mile.

However, I can easily find redemption values upward of 5.5 cents per mile (e.g., a business class flight on Virgin Australia).

At 5.5 cents per mile, that's like getting a $100 ticket for the equivalent of about 1800 Delta SkyMiles.

What are MQM Delta miles?

MQM are Delta's Medallion Qualifying Miles, which help people reach elite status membership in Delta's Medallion program.

As a Medallion member, you will receive special perks and benefits like fee waivers and additional SkyMiles earned on flights.

How many Delta SkyMiles do I need for a free flight?

Inside the U.S., you'll need as few as 5,000 SkyMiles to fly one-way between U.S. cities.

For international flights, you can get to places like the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico for as few as 17,500 SkyMiles.

How do I transfer Delta SkyMiles to a spouse?

Sign in to your Delta SkyMiles account and go here. Choose add a recipient, and then you can transfer SkyMiles to up to 4 recipients at once.

Fill out the requested info, including the recipient's SkyMiles account number, name, and email. Select Add to Cart and continue through the prompts.

Who are Delta SkyMiles partners?

The Delta SkyMiles program has several airline partners:

AeroflotGreat Lakes Airlines
Aerolineas ArgentinasHawaiian
AeromexicoKenya Airways
Air EuropaKLM
Air FranceKorean Air
AlaskaMiddle East Airlines
AlitaliaSaudia
China AirlinesTarom
China EasternVietnam Airlines
China SouthernVirgin Atlantic
Czech AirlinesVirgin Australia
Garuda IndonesiaWestJet
GOLXiamen Airlines

When do Delta SkyMiles post in your account?

For Delta SkyMiles earned through credit cards, SkyMiles should appear in your account after the billing cycle in which you have earned them.

You can dispute missing frequent flyer miles you feel you should have earned by calling the number of the back of your credit card.

Delta says SkyMiles earned on flights operated by them should post within 24 hours. If earning SkyMiles via flights on partners, your account should show them within 7 days.

After this period, if your SkyMiles are still missing, consider requesting mileage credit. You will only need to enter your SkyMiles account number and your ticket number for your flight.

Are Delta SkyMiles refundable?

Your SkyMiles will be redeposited for any award ticket bookings canceled at least 72 hours prior to the origin flight departure time. There is a $150 fee for redeposit.

The fee is waived only for Diamond and Platinum Medallion members.

When do Delta SkyMiles expire?

Delta SkyMiles do not expire. Hooray!

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7 comments

  1. I am astonished at how difficult it has been to use Skymiles for the past couple of years. For travel to the middle east in business, it is almost 600,000 miles per person. I am going to stop using Delta once my miles are finished.

  2. grant m ayjian · March 10, 2018 · Reply

    I am retired, don’t want to fly anymore and have about 300,000 miles. Is there any other way to use the mileage for anything other then flying?

  3. Hello. I live in LA and want to fly round trip to Detroit. In dollars how much would 5000 sky miles be worth towards my ticket? Thank you

  4. Like many others, I am having difficulty booking award travel on Delta. I want to go from Orlando, Florida to Bergen, Norway. It is a long trip so I want to stay 11 days. With the 331 day rule, the challenge I have is that at or near the 331 day for my outbound flight, there are plenty of low miles, decent flights. However, I cannot book those as I have to wait until 331 days from my return trip. By the time this occurs, all the decent flights at reasonable miles are gone. In fact, most if not all seats are gone even on lousy flights with long layovers. Would appreciate any and all suggestions. Even considering booking a short duration trip (3 days or so) as soon as the outbound day becomes available to secure it and then a week – 10 days later, changing my return date when the one i want actually becomes available. A Delta agent said I could do this and that it was probably my only alternative. For example, today (7/3)I could book a trip of 5/25 outbound with a return on 5/28. On 7/8, I could change the return date to the real date I want of 6/7. Supposedly for a $150 fee. Thoughts? comments? Better suggestions? Thanks!!!!!

    • Michael McHugh · July 5, 2018 · Reply

      Hi RC

      Another option to consider is booking the award flight and either cancelling or making a flight change within the 24 hour fee cancellation window. If the flight on the date that you want opens up in the 24 hour window, you should be able to make a flight change for free. If the flight does not open up in the 24 hour window, simply cancel the flight.

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