Frequent flyer guide to Delta SkyMiles®

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Delta’s SkyMiles is a program that rewards loyal Delta customers with a range of exclusive benefits and savings. Customers can earn SkyMiles in a variety of ways and use them to purchase flight tickets, upgrades or purchase marketplace items.

Signing up for Delta SkyMiles is simple and you can start earning miles today. This guide will take you through how to join SkyMiles and how to earn Delta miles.

How to sign up for Delta SkyMiles

Signing up for Delta’s SkyMiles loyalty program is relatively straightforward. All you will need to do is fill in Delta’s online membership form to join SkyMiles.

How to earn Delta SkyMiles

Earning miles on Delta flights

To earn miles on Delta flights, you will need to sign up for the Delta SkyMiles program where you will get a SkyMiles number. When you go to book a flight, make sure you enter your SkyMiles number to receive the miles.

You will be able to earn 5 miles for every $1 you spend on Delta-marketed flight tickets. For partner flights, you may earn miles at a different rate. You can earn up to 75,000 miles per ticket.

One way to boost the number of miles you can earn is to achieve Medallion Status. This allows you to earn up to 11 miles per $1 spent.

Earning miles with a credit card

Delta Airlines credit cards

With Delta Skymiles credit cards, you can earn air miles on everyday purchases. For every dollar you spend, you will earn five miles on your account.

There are currently four different types of Delta American Express cards for general consumers.

General travel credit cards

  • SunTrust  – Earn 5,000 bonus miles with your first PIN Point of Sale purchase and 1 mile for every $2 spent.
  • American Express – Earn Membership Reward points and convert them to miles with Delta with any Membership Rewards-earning card. 1,000 Membership Rewards equals 1,000 miles usually.
  • Diners Club International – Receive one Club Reward point for each eligible dollar and convert those points into Delta miles at a near-1:1 ratio.

Earning miles with partner airlines

There’s also a chance to earn additional miles with partner airlines so you’re not just limited to Delta. Here are a few of the major partner airlines you can earn and miles with:

  • Aeromexico
  • AirFrance
  • Alitalia
  • China Eastern
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia

Each airline has different rules on miles and rewards. For more information, check out Delta’s website to do some thorough research on how partner airlines work with Delta’s SkyMiles program.

Earning miles with other travel partners

Delta is partnered with several different travel operators and also has vacation packages where you can pick up additional miles.

Delta Vacations – This is an all-in-one vacation package with some of the best hotels and experiences. You can use SkyMiles to book Delta Vacations, but if you pay with a SkyMiles credit card, you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent.

SkyMiles Cruises – Prefer not to fly? With SkyMiles Cruises, you can pick up SkyMiles as you set sail on a cruise. You can earn at least 1,500 miles on any booking.

Booking with the following hotel groups will help you earn additional miles. Typically, you will receive one to two miles per $1 you spend at these hotel groups. However, each chain will have different policies.

  • Airbnb
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Radisson Rewards
  • Le Club Accor Hotels
  • World of Hyatt
  • Langham Hospitality Group
  • Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
  • Worldhotels

You can also earn SkyMiles points while using the following travel and car rental companies:

  • Hertz
  • Dollar Car Rental
  • Thrifty Car Rental
  • Alamo
  • Enterprise
  • National
  • Lyft
  • Europcar
  • Carmel
  • Sixt Rent a Car

How much are Delta SkyMiles worth?

How much Delta miles are worth is difficult to determine because Delta does not have a fixed awards chart. Instead, they dynamically price their awards. The number of miles you will need to purchase a flight depends on the time of year, distance and airline involved. The Points Guy estimates that SkyMiles are worth 1.2 cents each.

The best way to get an idea of how much your points balance is worth is to look at a test flight. Searching for a test flight will show you the price and then the number of SkyMiles needed for that flight. If you don’t have enough miles for the flight, you will be able to see the miles plus cash cost which allows you to simply pay the difference.

How to redeem Delta SkyMiles

Redeeming Delta SkyMiles is simple when you want to buy a flight ticket. Booking through Delta will give you the option to pay with SkyMiles or cash.

All you need to do is select ‘Book’ while on delta.com or in the Fly Delta mobile app. There will be an option to ‘Shop with Miles’ on delta.com or ‘Show Prices in Miles’ if you’re using the Delta app.

Simply search for a flight and you will see the price in miles. All that’s left is to choose your flight(s) and complete your purchase with miles. If you don’t have enough miles to cover the cost of the ticket, you can instead switch the ‘Show Price In Miles’ to ‘Show Price In Miles + Cash’.

You can use SkyMiles for so much more than just flights. SkyMiles can be used to upgrade your seat or purchase a Sky Club membership. You can even gift or donate miles through Delta’s SkyWish program.  Here’s what else you can redeem:

  • SkyMiles Experiences – Use miles to bid on exclusive opportunities from VIP passes to classes to backstage access at events.
  • SkyMiles Marketplace – You can also use SkyMiles to purchase items on Delta’s marketplace. Buy the latest products from Apple or treat yourself to a brand new Keurig coffee machine.

Delta Airlines transfer partners

As Delta is part of the SkyTeam Alliance, you can also redeem SkyMiles on several different airlines. This gives you greater flexibility when it comes to purchasing your next flight.

SkyTeam partners include:

  • Aeroflot
  • Aerolineas Argentina
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Europa
  • Air France
  • Alitalia
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern
  • Czech Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Kenya Airways
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • MEA
  • Saudia
  • Tarom
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Xiamen Air

There are other airlines, not currently part of the SkyTeam Alliance that you can redeem SkyMiles on. These include:

  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • GOL Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Jet Airways
  • Mandarin Airlines
  • Seaborne Airlines
  • Shanghai Airlines
  • Transavia
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia
  • WestJet

Delta SkyMiles Medallion program

The Medallion program is for the most loyal Delta customers. Medallion Status opens up many opportunities to make your flying experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

The perks you receive as part of the Medallion program depend on what tier you’ve achieved. There are four tiers in the Medallion program: Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond.

  • Silver Medallion – The first tier unlocks unlimited complimentary first-class upgrades, priority boarding, car rental benefits and waived baggage fees. You will also earn 7 miles per dollar spent, rather than the standard 5, as well as Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs).
  • Gold Medallion – As well as complimentary upgrades and the benefits in the Silver Tier, you will also receive access to the full Sky Priority suite of services. This gives you priority security line access, check-in and expedited baggage perks.
  • Platinum Medallion – With Platinum you will get upgrades, waived Award fees and customizable Choice Benefits. Choice Benefits allows you to pick a free benefit from a list that includes 20,000 bonus miles.
  • Diamond Medallion – The highest Medallion tier offers priority services, choice benefits, complimentary upgrades, complimentary CLEAR membership for security priority and a VIP phone line.

Bottom line

If you’re a loyal Delta traveler, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to earn frequent flyer miles with the Delta SkyMiles program or a Delta American Express credit card. This program’s true potential is unlocked once you build your account to elite Medallion Status. Earning a Medallion Status account will open up new doors for luxury travel benefits and boosted reward rates.

The dynamic pricing system and limited redemption options outside airfare might be restrictive if you’re looking to directly transfer miles to partner programs. However, no blackout dates for over 1,000 destinations across the Delta SkyTeam network means there is no shortage of flights to get you where you need to go. Just make sure to thoroughly compare the Delta rewards program to general-purpose travel cards and other airline loyalty programs so that you can bank on the degree of flexibility that fits your travel needs.