Delta Air Lines SkyMiles Program: The Complete Guide

By | January 10, 2020
At NerdWallet, we strive to assist you make monetary decisions with confidence. To do this, several or all of the items featured here are from our partners. However, this does not influence our analyses. Our opinions are our own.

This page might run out date

This web page consists of info about several products not currently offered on NerdWallet.

  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles ® Bank Card from American Express
  • Delta Get ® Credit Card from American Express

Consequently, uses explained on this page may run out date. See our ideal credit cards web page for updated offers.

This page is being upgraded This page is currently outdated. We are updating it with our most recent evaluation, which discusses just how we currently value SkyMiles at approximately

2.0 cents apiece. Among the largest airline companies in North America and the globe, Delta Air Lines runs hubs at eight U.S. airports: Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Salt Lake City and also Seattle-Tacoma. It likewise has more than 25 worldwide airline partners.

Mile value

  • Based upon our most recent evaluation, NerdWallet worths Delta SkyMiles at an average of 1.7 cents apiece.
  • Relying on exactly how you redeem, SkyMiles could be worth just 0.4 cents each or as high as 3.2 cents apiece.
  • See exactly how we arrived at these figures.

If you reside in a Delta-dominated city or you just choose to fly the airline company consistently, you ought to look into the airline’s frequent-flyer program, Delta SkyMiles. It costs absolutely nothing to join.

< div data-title=" Tabulation" data-heading-level= "h3"

data-list-type=” bullet” > Just how to earn Delta SkyMiles Delta’s frequent-flyer program makes use of a money called SkyMiles, which NerdWallet worths at an average of 1.7 cents each. That price makes them the most beneficial incentives on a per-mile basis of any significant UNITED STATE service provider. The industry requirement is 1 cent per mile.

Flying on Delta and its companion airline companies is the most convenient way to gain miles. But there are methods to acquire miles besides flying, including by using a Delta-branded charge card as well as spending cash with Delta partner companies.

Unlike with some frequent-flyer programs, the miles you earn never ever run out as long as your account is open.

Gaining Delta SkyMiles when you fly

Gaining on Delta: Although they have “miles” in their name, the variety of SkyMiles you gain on Delta flights is based on just how much you spend, not just how much you fly. The base earning price is 5 miles per $1 spent, yet you make higher rates relying on whether you have elite status, which Delta describes as “Medallion” condition. ( We’ll have a lot more on Medallion levels later — or you can jump ahead to that part currently.)

Condition Benefits earned
Basic SkyMiles membership 5 SkyMiles per $1 spent
Silver Medallion 7 SkyMiles per $1 invested
Gold Medallion 8 SkyMiles per $1 invested
Platinum Medallion 9 SkyMiles per $1 spent
Ruby Medallion 11 SkyMiles per $1 invested

KEEP IN MIND: You earn SkyMiles just on the base fare and fees imposed by the airline. You do not gain any kind of rewards on tax obligations or government-imposed costs that are rolled right into the expense of your ticket.

Earning on partner airline companies: Each partner airline company has its very own rules for gaining SkyMiles. In general, the rewards you make on partner airlines are based upon the range of the trip– so they truly are “miles.” You can gain benefit miles based on the price class (such as economic situation, service or initial) as well as your Medallion standing. Certain rules for each and every companion airline are readily available on Delta’s site.


Express have revealed significant adjustments to their lineup of co-branded credit report

cards, to take effect January 30, 2020. Check out the adjustments below. Delta supplies co-branded charge card with American Express.

Learn More Our favored Delta charge card is the Gold Delta SkyMiles ® Credit Card from American Express. The card gives you 2 SkyMiles per dollar spent with Delta and 1 SkyMile per dollar on all various other purchases. When you spend for tickets with the card, you get the first examined bag cost-free for you as well as approximately 8 other individuals traveling on your appointment. There’s an excellent bonus offer for new cardholders, as well: Earn 30,000 benefit miles after you utilize your new Card to make$ 1,000 in purchases within your initial 3 months and a$ 50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.

Terms Apply. The yearly charge is$ 0 introductory for the initial year, then $95. “JUMP AHEAD to various other credit rating


  • Hotels and also Airbnb: You can gain SkyMiles at thousands of buildings in the majority of significant hotel chains. In some cases, you make a flat variety of points per stay; in others, you make points based upon just how much you spend. You can likewise make miles at Airbnb. See hotel partners and making policies here.
  • Vehicle rentals and Lyft:Numerous significant rental companies have an option to make SkyMiles. You can additionally earn miles utilizing the Lyft ride-hailing service. Details here.
  • Dining:Register your credit card with SkyMiles Dining and earn as much as 5 miles per buck when you use that card at thousands of participating restaurants. (You can use any kind of charge card; it does not need to be a Delta-branded card.)
  • Buying:Gain miles at thousands of online sellers through the airline’s purchasing portal, SkyMiles Purchasing.

Purchasing extra SkyMiles

You can acquire extra SkyMiles through the Delta website, however this usually isn’t an excellent worth. SkyMiles cost 3.5 cents apiece when purchased like this, which means you’re paying regarding twice what the miles are worth on average.

< div data-nw-component-type-name =" Back to

Top” data-nw-component-type-slug=” nw_back_to_top” data-nw-instance-id= “177666447” > Back to top How to retrieve Delta SkyMiles are redeemable for flights via Delta Air Lines and also its partners. For the most part, you retrieve by reserving with Delta’s web site. Go to the booking tool as well as pick the alternative for seeing the cost in miles. After that get in information regarding when and also where you intend to take a trip, and also select your price course: Main Cabin, Delta Convenience+, Excellent, Delta Premium Select or Delta One.< div data-nw-component-type-name=" Accordion" data-nw-component-type-slug=" nw_accordion" data-nw-instance-id="

  • 1988107253″ data-nw-track-impression=” 1 “> Concerning Delta make out courses Basic Economy: This is a no-frills fare. You being in a common seat as well as get free drinks and treats, yet you do not get to select your seat, you’re the last to board the airplane, you can not get updated despite Medallion status, and there are sharp limitations on ticket modifications or refunds. NOTE:You can not reserve Basic Economic situation prices with miles.
  • Main Cabin: This is a common economy seat. Free nonalcoholic beverages and also fundamental snacks. Seat-back entertainment when readily available.
  • Delta Convenience+: Essentially “economy plus.” You get 4 inches of extra legroom and devoted overhanging carry-on storage space.
  • First Class: Larger seat with more legroom; complimentary alcohols, treats and dishes on longer flights; committed storage as well as steward solution; priority boarding.
  • Delta Premium Select: Extraordinary with extra-comfortable seats as well as amenities on pick international trips.
  • Delta One: Extraordinary with lie-flat seats available just on pick long-haul flights.

Unlike some other airline companies, Delta does not publish an award graph revealing you precisely the number of miles you need for a provided trip. You have to figure it out the hard way– by entering your trip details as well as seeing what it costs in regards to miles.

Delta promotes that there are no blackout dates for award traveling.

You can also utilize miles to purchase seat upgrades; membership to Delta Skies Clubs flight terminal lounges; vacation bundles; unique experiences; for goods, present cards, resort stays as well as car service in the SkyMiles Marketplace; or donate them to charity through Delta SkyWish. See details regarding these and various other alternatives below.

If you take place to have at the very least 2.5 million SkyMiles in your account– and that doesn’t?– you can redeem for private jet travel. According to Delta, those 2.5 million factors are “sufficient to occupy to four guests round-trip from Atlanta to South Florida.”

Great redemption choices

When you retrieve your miles for flight on Delta, for the most part you will certainly obtain value in excess of the industry requirement of 1 cent per mile. That’s as a result of the high worth of SkyMiles generally. According to NerdWallet’s analysis, the highest-value choices on Delta include:

Residential traveling:We worth SkyMiles at 1.2 cents each for residential economy fares as well as 1.3 cents for domestic service class.

Business class on global flights: When it concerns global flights, NerdWallet worths miles redeemed for company course at 2.4 cents each and also miles redeemed for economic situation at 0.8 cents each. You’ll invest more miles on a company flight than you would in economic climate, yet you’ll likewise get one of the most value out of your miles that way.

Bad redemption options

As mentioned over, miles retrieved for economic climate international trips have a typical worth of 0.8 cents each. Bear in mind that 0.8 cents per mile is not a dreadful redemption choice– it’s simply not one of the most useful choice offered. If you have your heart set on flying trainer globally, it still may be a decent use miles.

Back to top Delta SkyMiles Medallion condition levels Anyone can sign up with the Delta SkyMiles program totally free. Yet to go up from basic subscription to elite condition, where the real rewards are, you need to fly the airline company on a regular basis. The SkyMiles Medallion program has 4 levels. We’ll begin by checking out what you get at each

degree, after that exactly how to arrive. SkyMiles Medallion program degrees

and also benefits All Medallion members get priority check-in and also priority boarding. All degrees over Silver get top priority safety lane accessibility and top priority baggage solution at choose airport terminals. Additional benefits:

Silver Gold Platinum Diamond
* For all statuses, friends on your appointment obtain the exact same upgrade eligibility as you.
** All degrees above Silver also obtain accessibility to SkyTeam relaxes
SkyMiles made per dollar invested 7 8 9 11
Upgrade qualification * – Free upgrades to Fabulous or Comfort+ seats starting 1 day before departure. – Free upgrades to First Class or Convenience+ seats beginning 72 hours prior to departure. – Free upgrades to First-rate seats starting 120 hours prior to departure and to Convenience+ seats soon after ticketing. – Free upgrades to Extraordinary seats starting 120 hours before separation and also to Convenience+ seats not long after ticketing.
Fee advantages – Waived luggage costs – Forgoed baggage charges
– No fees for same-day trip adjustments
– Waived baggage charges
– No charges for same-day trip modifications
– No ticket reissue fees
– No fee to redeposit awards when terminating a ticket paid for with miles
– Forgoed luggage charges
– No charges for same-day flight changes
– No ticket reissue charges
– No charge to redeposit awards when canceling a ticket paid for with miles
Standing on SkyTeam companion airlines ** Elite Elite And also Elite Plus Elite And also

For Platinum and Diamond statuses only: Selection benefits

Medallion members at the Platinum as well as Ruby degrees are qualified for “Delta Selection Benefits,” in which they pick the premium benefits they desire from a list.

< div data-nw-component-type-name=
  • ” Accordion” data-nw-component-type-slug=” nw_accordion “data-nw-instance-id=” 1192489170″ data-nw-track-impression =” 1″ > See Delta Option benefit choices Platinum members can

  • select among the following: Package of 4 local upgrade certificates Single coupon for International Access
  • application fee( worth$ 100 )20,000 reward miles$ 200 Delta traveling voucher
  • $ 200 Tiffany & Co. gift card Gift of Silver Medallion condition to
  • a close friend. Diamond members can choose three of the following:

    • Individual subscription to Delta Sky Clubs (endless access for self; visitors pay a cost)
    • Executive subscription to Delta Skies Clubs (endless accessibility for self and also two guests) — this choice counts as two selections)
    • Plan of as many as 8 upgrade certificates (8 local, 4 worldwide, or two global and also 4 regional)
    • Two vouchers for Worldwide Access application charge (worth $100 apiece)
    • 25,000 benefit miles
    • $ 200 Delta travel voucher
    • $ 200 Tiffany & & Co. gift card
    • Present of Gold Medallion condition to a friend.

See full details concerning option advantages.

Exactly how to make SkyMiles Medallion standing

To gain Medallion condition, you’ll need to recognize the terms MQD, MQM and MQS:

  • MQDs are Medallion Qualifying Dollars.You gain 1 MQD for every single dollar you spend on Delta flights. This consists of the price and airline company costs, yet not tax obligations and federal government charges.
  • MQMs are Medallion Qualifying Miles. You earn these based upon exactly how far you fly as well asthe price class of your ticket. With routine cheap airfare tickets, you make 1 MQM per mile flown. For greater courses, it may be 1.5 or 2 MQMs per mile flown.
  • MQSs are Medallion Qualifying Segments. You gain these based upon the amount of takeoff-to-landing flights you fly. A continuously trip from Seattle to New York, for instance, would gain 1 MQS. However if you altered planes in, say, Minneapolis, after that you would make 2 MQSs.

You earn condition by investing a specific quantity of money (that is, making MQDs) and making eithera minimum number of MQMs or a minimum number of MQSs.

Silver Gold Platinum Ruby
To gain this standing, you must have MQDs of a minimum of: $ 3,000 $ 6,000 $ 9,000 $ 15,000
AND EITHER this several MQMs: 25,000 50,000 75,000 125,000
OR this numerous EQSs: 30 60 100 140

Medallion standing for a given year is earned based on activity in the previous fiscal year. Your status is generally great up until Jan. 31 of the list below year. As an example, your Medallion standing for 2019 is based upon your task in 2018 and also will last up until Jan. 31, 2020.

Two various other essential considerations for earning Medallion standing:

  • MQMs surrender from one year to the following. Claim you made 65,000 MQMs in 2018. That suffices for Gold status (which needs 50,000 MQMs) yet not for Platinum (75,000). The “unused” 15,000 added MQMs roll over to 2019 to give you a head start on your following year’s earning.
  • You can make an MQD waiver with a Delta charge card.If you invest enough money with a Delta co-branded bank card in a year, you can get a waiver for that year’s MQD requirement, although you still need to meet the MQS/MQM need. Beginning in 2018, the quantity of costs required for the waiver is $25,000 for Silver, Gold as well as Platinum condition and also $250,000 for Ruby condition.

Condition matching

Delta also supplies to match your standing in an additional airline company loyalty program. You should have current elite status with a qualifying airline, as well as you can not have actually made use of the match in the previous three years. Once you’re accepted in the suit program, you obtain complimentary Medallion condition for 3 months. To maintain it for the remainder of the year, you require to make it throughout those three months:

  • Silver: 6,250 MQMs/ 8 MQSs and $750 MQDs/ MQD waiver
  • Gold: 12,500 MQMs/ 15 MQSs as well as $1,500 MQDs/ MQD waiver
  • Platinum: 18,750 MQMs/ 25 MQSs and $2,250 MQDs/ MQD waiver

Back to top Delta Air Lines partners Delta is just one of 20 airline companies in the global SkyTeam alliance, which permits you to earn as well as

  • make use of SkyMiles on trips aboard providers besides Delta. The various other SkyTeam airlines
  • are: Aeroflot( Russia) Aerolíneas Argentinas AeroMexico Air Europa
  • Air France
  • Alitalia (Italy)
  • China Airlines (Taiwan)
  • China Eastern (China)
  • China Southern (China)
  • Czech Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Kenya Airways
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Netherlands)
  • Korean Air
  • MEA (Lebanon)
  • Saudia
  • TAROM (Romania)
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Xiamen Airlines (China)

Since February 2018, Delta also had collaborations with these non-SkyTeam airlines:

  • GOL (Brazil)
  • Great Lakes Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airline companies
  • Jet Airways (India)
  • Virgin Atlantic (Britain)
  • Virgin Australia
  • WestJet (Canada)

See Delta’s site for details on earning and also redeeming SkyMiles with companion airline companies.

Credit cards that earn Delta SkyMiles

Check out the adjustments right here. Delta’s charge card are provided by American Express. Every one of the cards provide fairly comparable investing incentives, yet the greater the annual fee, the better the rewards.

Blue Delta SkyMiles ® Charge Card from American Express

  • 2 miles per buck on acquisitions directly from Delta
  • 2 miles per dollar spent at UNITED STATE restaurants
  • 1 mile per buck on all other costs
  • Annual charge: $0

Gold Delta SkyMiles ® Bank Card from American Express

  • 2 miles per buck spent on qualified acquisitions made straight with Delta
  • 1 mile per buck on all various other purchases
  • Yearly cost: $0 introduction for the very first year, then $95

Platinum Delta SkyMiles ® Charge Card from American Express

  • 2 miles per dollar on purchases directly from Delta
  • 1 mile per buck on all other acquisitions
  • Annual charge: $195 ($ 250 if application is gotten on or after 1/30/2020)

Delta Get ® Charge Card from American Express

  • 2 miles per dollar on acquisitions directly from Delta
  • 1 mile per dollar on all other acquisitions
  • Yearly cost: $450 ($ 550 if application is gotten on or after 1/30/2020) This includes accessibility to Delta Sky Clubs flight terminal lounges.

Back to top Required even more assistance choosing? We have actually covered all the basic information of the Delta SkyMiles program. But if you still aren’t certain whether a frequent flyer program is worth the initiative, see our outright beginner’s overview to constant leaflet programs.

< div data-nw-component-type-name=

” Back to Top” data-nw-component-type-slug=” nw_back_to_top” data-nw-instance-id=” 1322688823″ >

Back to top Method The computed worth of these factors is based upon an approximated redemption price, not a charge card benefits gain rate. Consequently, you may discover that these numbers do not match the incentives rates on our credit card finder tool. Keep reading for exactly how we estimated these points worths.

For our calculations, we tasted 10 popular airline routes– five domestic and 5 global– for both economic situation and also business/first course trips. These are the courses we made use of:

  • LaGuardia Airport Terminal, New York City, to Miami International Airport Terminal
  • San Francisco International Airport to Los Angeles International Flight Terminal
  • O’Hare International Airport Terminal, Chicago, to LaGuardia
  • Los Angeles to John F. Kennedy International Airport Terminal, New York City
  • Miami to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  • Kennedy Airport Terminal to London Heathrow International Airport Terminal
  • Honolulu International Airport Terminal to Narita International Airport, Japan
  • Los Angeles to Incheon International Flight Terminal, South Korea
  • Orlando International Airport to Gatwick Flight Terminal, London
  • Miami to Toronto Pearson International Airport Terminal

For domestic trips, the miles worth varied from 0.7 to 1.8 cents each. For global trips, the miles value ranged from 0.4 to 3.2 cents each.

To identify the value of your miles for specific trips, divide the cash worth of the ticket (much less any type of suitable tax obligations and also fees if you redeem miles) by the number of miles required for the flight. So if the ticket would certainly set you back either $100, or 15,000 miles + $10 in tax obligations and also costs, the math would be as complies with:

($ 100– $10)/ 15,000 = 0.006, or 0.6 cent per mile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *