The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
As one of the largest American airlines, it tracks that Delta Air Lines has a significant number of worldwide partners to help its 200 million annual passengers fly across the globe.
And if you’re a member of the Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer program, you can earn miles toward award flights and more when you fly with Delta or its more than 20 airline partners through the SkyTeam alliance.
Here’s more about Delta Air Lines partners, and how you can earn and redeem Delta SkyMiles to use on future travel:
Delta Air Lines partners
Core global airline partners
- Air France
- China Eastern
- Korean Air
- Latam Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Global airline partners
- Aerolineas Argentinas
- Air Europa
- Cape Air
- China Airlines
- China Southern Airlines
- Czech Airlines
- Garuda Indonesia
- Hawaiian Airlines
- ITA Airways
- Kenya Airways
- Middle East Airlines (MEA)
- SAUDIA Airlines
- Vietnam Airlines
- Xiamen Air
How to earn Delta SkyMiles with partners
You can earn miles toward Delta’s loyalty program when you fly with one of its partner airlines. However, the way you accrue miles can vary depending on the specific partner.
Take, for example, Air France — which is one of Delta’s core global partners. When you book an Air France flight, you’ll earn miles based on the number of miles you fly multiplied by a percentage designated to the fare class you book. These percentages can also change depending on whether you’re flying only in Europe or to other international destinations.
So, if you fly from Paris to London with Air France on an economy fare ticket, you’ll earn 100 percent of the miles you actually fly. On a business class ticket, you’ll earn a boosted 200 percent of the total miles in SkyMiles.
Delta’s website offers an in-depth look at different earning rates with each of its partners.
How to use Delta SkyMiles with partners
The best way to redeem your Delta SkyMiles with a partner airline is by booking an award flight serviced by the partner.
You can do this by finding the flight you want to book on Delta’s website or mobile app. When you search for your destination and preferred dates, you can toggle between showing the fares in dollars or in SkyMiles. Depending on how many miles you have in your account, you may also choose to book with a combination of miles and cash.
Some of Delta’s partners may not be available to book online, though these partners can vary. If that’s the case with a partner airline you’d like to book with, you can contact Delta Reservations by phone to learn more about your options.
Partner status transfer
You’ll also get to maintain some status benefits with partner airlines if you’re a Delta Medallion member. These benefits vary depending on your Medallion status and the specific airline. Some partner airlines don’t offer all Medallion benefits, for example, and Delta’s core global airlines may offer extended benefits over other global airline partners.
If maintaining the perks of your Medallion status is important to you when flying with partners, make sure you read all the details of what you can expect with each partner airline before you book.
You can find more information on Medallion benefits with partners on Delta’s website.
Best cards that earn Delta SkyMiles
Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is the only no annual fee consumer Delta card option.
You’ll get 2X miles at restaurants worldwide (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.), 2X miles on Delta purchases and 1X miles on other eligible purchases. You can also get 10,000 bonus miles after spending at least $1,000 within the first six months of account opening.
This card doesn’t come with a ton of extra perks, but you can get 20 percent off in-flight purchases, a few travel protections and access to Amex Experiences. Further, you can redeem your points for flights with Delta and its partners, Delta Vacations packages, upgrades and Sky Club membership (if you’re an eligible Medallion member).
Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is a step up when it comes to rewards, for a solid $99 annual fee (waived the first year).
You’ll start with 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 within the first six months. Then, earn 2X miles on restaurant (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.), U.S. supermarkets and Delta purchases; and 1X miles on all other purchases.
The Delta Gold comes with a few additional perks, including a $100 annual Delta flight credit after spending $10,000 in one year, free first checked bag, priority boarding, 20 percent back in-flight purchases and more.
Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
If you fly with Delta often, the $250 Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card can help you save a lot on travel spending.
For ongoing rewards, you’ll earn 3X miles on Delta purchases and on transactions made directly with hotels, 2x miles at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants (including delivery and takeout in the U.S.) and 1X miles on all other eligible purchases. As a welcome offer, you can get 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on the card in the first six months.
When you fly with Delta, you’ll also get a domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion ticket annually, priority boarding, a free first checked bag, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and additional Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after meeting spending thresholds throughout the year.
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is the most premium card options from Delta and Amex’s partnership.
It costs $550 annually and has a pared down rewards structure with 3X miles on Delta purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases. You’ll also get a boost of 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 6 months.
This card’s biggest value is in its added perks. Get an MQM status boost and waived Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) requirement after meeting certain spending thresholds, access to Delta Sky Club and two one-time guest passes annually, access to Centurion Lounges when you fly with Delta, a domestic round-trip companion certificate annually, your first checked bag free, priority boarding and more.
Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card
The business version of the Reserve card, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, has the same $550 annual fee, but rewards more targeted to business travelers.
You’ll earn 3X miles on Delta purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases, boosted to 1.5X miles on purchases for the rest of the year after spending $150,000 in one calendar year. And you can earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 within the first three months of account opening.
You can also get MQM status boost after meeting a spending threshold annually, an annual domestic round-trip companion certificate, complimentary upgrades, priority boarding, first checked bag free, travel protections and more.
More Delta partners
In addition to partner airlines, Delta also partners with hotels, car rental companies and other brands to help you boost your SkyMiles earnings when you make purchases. Here’s an overview of current partners:
- Marriott Bonvoy
- IHG One Rewards
- Radisson Rewards Americas
- Accor Hotels
- World of Hyatt
- Langham Hospitality Group
- Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
- World Hotels
Car rental partners
- Vinesse Wines
- Select energy companies
How to maximize Delta SkyMiles
If you fly often and prefer flying with Delta, maximizing the number of SkyMiles you earn can be a great way to save on your annual travel costs and enjoy some great benefits when you fly.
Here are a few more ways to maximize how you earn and redeem your Delta SkyMiles:
Shop with partners
Delta’s non-airline partners can offer valuable boosts to your miles.
If you already have a Starbucks account, for example, you can like your SkyMiles account and earn 1 mile per dollar you spend at participating Starbucks. Your Starbucks rewards will benefit, too, with double stars earned on days that you fly with Delta.
While these rewards may not add up as quickly as flights, they can help you earn more miles over time. Check Delta’s SkyMiles partner offers regularly to make sure you’re taking advantage of the offers that fit with your regular spending.
Use the right credit card
A co-branded Delta credit card like the ones above is a great way to boost your SkyMiles earnings.
You may also choose to use a credit card that earns rewards points which you can transfer to Delta. Points you earn under the American Express Membership Rewards program, for example, are transferable with Delta SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio.
You can use a card that best aligns with your budget and spending habits to maximize the number of SkyMiles you earn toward future travel with Delta.
Be flexible with redemptions
Award flights are one of the best ways to use your SkyMiles, but you can get more value for your miles with flexible dates.
Delta offers dynamic pricing that changes depending on your route, your dates and when you book. Before you book your award travel, play around with the booking tool on Delta’s website or app to get a feel for how prices change over the days surrounding your trip.
The bottom line
Delta Air Lines has a vast list of more than 20 worldwide partners, offering you the option to travel nearly anywhere in the world using your SkyMiles.
If you like flying Delta, maximizing your SkyMiles earned can help you more quickly access free award flights, upgrades, travel perks and more. And when you’re ready to book, take the time to research your best option to ensure you’re getting the best redemption value possible.
Learn more: Check out Bankrate’s travel toolkit for tips and tricks on how to maximize travel with a credit card.