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Delta Air Lines SkyMiles Program: The Complete Guide

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One of many largest airways in North America and the world, Delta Air Lines operates hubs at eight U.S. airports: Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Salt Lake Metropolis and Seattle-Tacoma. It additionally has greater than 25 worldwide airline companions.

When you dwell in a Delta-dominated metropolis otherwise you simply select to fly the airline repeatedly, you must try the airline’s frequent-flyer program, Delta SkyMiles. It prices nothing to hitch.

In This overview

How a lot are Delta Air Lines miles price?

Primarily based on our most up-to-date evaluation, NerdWallet values Delta Air Lines SkyMiles at 1.1 cents apiece. To find out the worth of reward miles, we in contrast money costs and reward redemptions for economic system roundtrip routes throughout a number of locations and dates. We divided the price of the money ticket by the price of the reward ticket to find out a “cent per mile” worth for every flight, then averaged this worth throughout a number of flights and dates. Learn extra about how we arrived at these figures.

That is subsequently a baseline worth for Delta miles, based mostly on real-world knowledge collected from a whole lot of economic system routes, not a maximized worth. In different phrases, you must intention for award redemptions that provide 1.1 cents or extra in worth out of your Delta miles.

To find out the worth of your miles for particular flights, divide the money worth of the ticket (much less any relevant taxes/charges when you redeem miles) by the variety of miles required for the flight. So if the ticket would value both $100, or 15,000 miles + $10 in taxes/charges, the maths can be as follows:

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

How to earn Delta SkyMiles

Delta’s frequent-flyer program makes use of a foreign money known as SkyMiles. That charge makes them essentially the most priceless rewards on a per-mile foundation of any main U.S. provider. The business normal is 1 cent per mile.

Flying on Delta and its associate airways is the best solution to earn miles. However there are methods to rack up miles moreover flying, together with through the use of a Delta-branded bank card and spending cash with Delta associate firms.

Not like with some frequent-flyer applications, the miles you earn by no means expire so long as your account is open.

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Incomes Delta SkyMiles while you fly

Incomes on Delta: Though they’ve “miles” of their title, the variety of SkyMiles you earn on Delta flights is predicated on how a lot you spend, not how far you fly. The base incomes charge is 5 miles per $1 spent, however you earn increased charges relying on whether or not you’ve got elite standing, which Delta refers to as “Medallion” standing. (We’ll have extra on Medallion ranges later — or you may leap forward to that half now.)

Primary SkyMiles membership

NOTE: You earn SkyMiles solely on the base fare and costs imposed by the airline. You do not earn any rewards on taxes or government-imposed charges which can be rolled into the price of your ticket.

Incomes on associate airways: Every associate airline has its personal guidelines for incomes SkyMiles. Generally, the rewards you earn on associate airways are based mostly on the space of the flight — so they are surely “miles.” You possibly can earn bonus miles based mostly on the fare class (corresponding to economic system, enterprise or first) and your Medallion standing. Particular guidelines for every associate airline can be found on Delta’s web site.

EARNING DELTA SKYMILES WITH A CREDIT CARD

Nerd tip: Delta and American Categorical have made main adjustments to their lineup of co-branded bank cards, which took impact January 30, 2020. Learn concerning the adjustments right here.

Delta provides co-branded bank cards with American Categorical.

Our favourite Delta bank card is the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Categorical Card. The card provides you 2 SkyMiles per greenback spent with Delta. Once you pay for tickets with the cardboard, you get the primary checked bag free for you and as much as eight different individuals touring in your reservation. There’s a fantastic welcome bonus for brand new cardholders, too: Earn 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases in your new Card in your first Three months. Phrases Apply. The annual charge is $Zero intro for the primary 12 months, then $99. Phrases apply.

EARNING DELTA SKYMILES THROUGH PARTNERS

  • Accommodations and Airbnb: You possibly can earn SkyMiles at hundreds of properties in most main resort chains. In some instances, you earn a flat variety of factors per keep; in others, you earn factors based mostly on how a lot you spend. You can even earn miles at Airbnb. See resort companions and incomes guidelines right here.

  • Auto leases and Lyft: A number of main rental companies have an choice to earn SkyMiles. You can even earn miles utilizing the Lyft ride-hailing service. Particulars right here.

  • Eating: Register your bank card with SkyMiles Eating and earn as much as 5 miles per greenback while you use that card at hundreds of taking part eating places. (You need to use any bank card; it would not must be a Delta-branded card.)

  • Purchasing: Earn miles at a whole lot of on-line retailers by way of the airline’s procuring portal, SkyMiles Purchasing.

Shopping for extra SkyMiles

You should purchase extra SkyMiles by way of the Delta web site, however this usually is not worth. SkyMiles value 3.5 cents apiece when bought like this, which suggests you are paying greater than 3 times what the miles are price on common.

The way to redeem Delta SkyMiles

SkyMiles are redeemable for flights by way of Delta Air Lines and its companions. Normally, you redeem by reserving by way of Delta’s web site. Go to the reserving instrument and select the choice for seeing the value in miles. Then enter details about when and the place you wish to journey, and select your fare class: Primary Cabin, Delta Consolation+, First Class, Delta Premium Choose or Delta One.

Not like another airways, Delta would not publish an award chart exhibiting you precisely what number of miles you want for a given flight. It’s important to determine it out the laborious manner — by coming into your flight data and seeing what it prices by way of miles.

Delta advertises that there aren’t any blackout dates for award journey.

You can even use miles to buy seat upgrades; membership to Delta Sky Golf equipment airport lounges; trip packages; unique experiences; for merchandise, present playing cards, resort stays and automotive rental within the SkyMiles Market; or donate them to charity by way of Delta SkyWish. See particulars about these and different choices right here.

When you occur to have no less than 2.5 million SkyMiles in your account — and who would not? — you may redeem for personal jet journey. In accordance with Delta, these 2.5 million factors are “sufficient to take as much as 4 passengers round-trip from Atlanta to South Florida.”

Dangerous redemption choices

As talked about above, miles redeemed for economic system worldwide flights have a median worth of 0.eight cent every. Understand that 0.eight cent per mile shouldn’t be a horrible redemption choice — it’s simply not essentially the most priceless choice obtainable. When you’ve got your coronary heart set on flying coach internationally, it nonetheless could also be a good use of miles.

Delta SkyMiles Medallion standing ranges

Anybody can be a part of the Delta SkyMiles program totally free. However to maneuver up from primary membership to elite standing, the place the actual perks are, it’s good to fly the airline repeatedly. The SkyMiles Medallion program has 4 ranges. We’ll begin by what you get at every degree, then methods to get there.

SkyMiles Medallion program ranges and advantages

All Medallion members get precedence check-in and precedence boarding. All ranges above Silver get precedence safety lane entry and precedence baggage service at choose airports. Extra advantages:

SkyMiles earned per greenback spent

• Complimentary upgrades to First Class or Consolation+ seats beginning 24 hours earlier than departure.

• Complimentary upgrades to First Class or Consolation+ seats beginning 72 hours earlier than departure.

• Complimentary upgrades to First Class seats beginning 120 hours earlier than departure and to Consolation+ seats quickly after ticketing.

• Complimentary upgrades to First Class seats beginning 120 hours earlier than departure and to Consolation+ seats quickly after ticketing.

• Waived baggage charges
• No charges for same-day flight adjustments

• Waived baggage charges
• No charges for same-day flight adjustments
• No ticket reissue charges
• No charge to redeposit awards when canceling a ticket paid for with miles

• Waived baggage charges
• No charges for same-day flight adjustments
• No ticket reissue charges
• No charge to redeposit awards when canceling a ticket paid for with miles

Standing on SkyTeam associate airways**

*For all statuses, companions in your reservation get the identical improve eligibility as you.
**All ranges above Silver additionally get entry to SkyTeam lounges

For Platinum and Diamond statuses solely: Selection advantages

Medallion members on the Platinum and Diamond ranges are eligible for “Delta Selection Advantages,” by which they select the premium advantages they need from a listing.

  • Platinum members can select one of many following:

    • Bundle of 4 regional improve certificates

    • Single voucher for World Entry software charge (price $100)

    • $200 Delta journey voucher

    • $200 Tiffany & Co. present card

    • Present of Silver Medallion standing to a good friend.

  • Diamond members can select three of the next:

    • Particular person membership to Delta Sky Golf equipment (limitless entry for self; visitors pay a charge)

    • Government membership to Delta Sky Golf equipment (limitless entry for self and two visitors) this selection counts as two decisions)

    • Bundle of as many as eight improve certificates (eight regional, 4 international, or two international and 4 regional)

    • Two vouchers for World Entry software charge (price $100 apiece)

    • $200 Delta journey voucher

    • $200 Tiffany & Co. present card

    • Present of Gold Medallion standing to a good friend.

The way to earn SkyMiles Medallion standing

To earn Medallion standing, you may want to know the phrases MQD, MQM and MQS:

  • MQDs are Medallion Qualifying {Dollars}. You earn 1 MQD for each greenback you spend on Delta flights. This consists of the fare and airline charges, however not taxes and authorities charges.

  • MQMs are Medallion Qualifying Miles. You earn these based mostly on how far you fly and the fare class of your ticket. With common economic system class tickets, you earn 1 MQM per mile flown. For increased lessons, it could be 1.5 or 2 MQMs per mile flown.

  • MQSs are Medallion Qualifying Segments. You earn these based mostly on what number of takeoff-to-landing flights you fly. A nonstop flight from Seattle to New York, for instance, would earn 1 MQS. However when you modified planes in, say, Minneapolis, you then would earn 2 MQSs.

You earn standing by spending a sure sum of money (that’s, incomes MQDs) and incomes both a minimal variety of MQMs or a minimal variety of MQSs.

To earn this standing, you should have MQDs of no less than:

AND EITHER this many MQMs:

Medallion standing for a given 12 months is earned based mostly on exercise within the earlier calendar 12 months. Your standing is usually good till Jan. 31 of the next 12 months. For instance, your Medallion standing for 2021 is predicated in your exercise in 2020 and can final till Jan. 31, 2022.

MQMs roll over from one 12 months to the subsequent. Say you earned 65,000 MQMs in 2019. That is sufficient for Gold standing (which requires 50,000 MQMs) however not for Platinum (75,000). The “unused” 15,000 additional MQMs roll over to 2020 to offer you a head begin in your subsequent 12 months’s incomes.

Standing matching

Delta additionally provides to match your standing in one other airline loyalty program. It’s essential to have present elite standing with a qualifying airline, and you can not have used the match within the earlier three years. When you’re accepted within the match program, you get complimentary Medallion standing for 3 months. To maintain it for the remainder of the 12 months, it’s good to earn it throughout these three months:

  • Silver: 6,250 MQMs / eight MQSs and $750 MQDs / MQD waiver

  • Gold: 12,500 MQMs / 15 MQSs and $1,500 MQDs / MQD waiver

  • Platinum: 18,750 MQMs / 25 MQSs and $2,250 MQDs / MQD waiver

Delta companions

Delta is certainly one of 20 airways within the worldwide SkyTeam alliance, which lets you earn and use SkyMiles on flights aboard carriers apart from Delta. The different SkyTeam airways are:

  • KLM Royal Dutch Airways (Netherlands)

As of January 2020, Delta additionally had partnerships with these non-SkyTeam airways:

  • Virgin Atlantic (Britain)

Bank cards that earn Delta SkyMiles

Nerd tip: Delta and American Categorical made main adjustments to their lineup of co-branded bank cards, which took impact January 30, 2020. Learn concerning the adjustments right here.

Delta’s bank cards are issued by American Categorical. All the playing cards provide completely different spending rewards.

Private playing cards

  • 2 miles per greenback on purchases immediately from Delta

  • 2 miles per greenback spent at eligible eating places

  • 1 mile per greenback on all different spending

  • 2 miles per greenback spent on eligible purchases made immediately with Delta

  • 2 miles per greenback spent at eligible eating places and U.S. supermarkets

  • 1 mile per greenback on all different purchases

  • Annual charge: $Zero intro for the primary 12 months, then $99

  • Three miles per greenback on purchases immediately from Delta

  • Three miles per greenback on eligible resort purchases

  • 2 miles per greenback at eating places and U.S. supermarkets

  • 1 mile per greenback on all different purchases

  • Three miles per greenback on purchases immediately from Delta

  • 1 mile per greenback on all different purchases

  • Annual charge: $550 This consists of entry to Delta Sky Golf equipment airport lounges.

Small enterprise playing cards

  • Earn 2 Miles on each greenback spent on eligible purchases made immediately with Delta.

  • 1 mile per greenback on all different purchases.

  • Annual charge: $Zero intro for the primary 12 months, then $99

  • Earn Three Miles on each greenback spend on eligible purchases made immediately with Delta and on each eligible greenback spent on purchases made immediately with accommodations.

  • Earn 1.5 miles per greenback on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or extra.

  • 1 mile on each eligible greenback spent on different purchases.

  • Earn Three miles per greenback spent on Delta purchases.

  • Earn 1 mile per greenback spent on all different eligible purchases.

  • Consists of advantages like a free checked bag, Complimentary entry into the Delta SkyClubs® for you when travelling on a Delta flight.

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