Delta Skymiles

Program overview 

SkyMiles is the frequent flyer program of Delta Airlines, the largest airline in the world and a founding member of SkyTeam Alliance. Miles in their frequent flyer program are called SkyMiles. Delta doesn’t publish an award chart, this means the number of miles you’ll need for awards varies based on route, demand and the cash price of a ticket.



Program website 

Approximate miles value 

1.1 cents per mile

Miles validity 

Never expire 

Program accrual

Depends on fare

Limit on amount of miles you can purchase 

60000 per transaction

Waitlist option


Courtesy Hold for award reservation

Not allowed 

Do you need to open an account to check availability?


Stopover option 

Delta charges separately for every segment

Family account


Upgrade option

Yes, from K class higher on international fares

Online booking 

Yes for all flights 

Airline partners 

Aeromexico, Air France, KLM, Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Europa, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Czech Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, Korean Air, MEA, Saudia, Tarom, Vietnam Airlines, Xiamen Air, LATAM, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Hawaiian Airlines

Credit card partners

American Express (1:1, instant transfer)

Hotel partners 

Marriott Bonvoy (3:1, 24 hours transfer), Accor Live Limitless (2:1, 4-6 weeks transfer), IHG Rewards (5:1, 6 weeks transfer), Hilton Honors (10:1, up to 30 days transfer), World of Hyatt (5:2, 6-8 weeks transfer), Radisson Rewards (10:1, 4-6 weeks transfer)

Co-Branded credit card in the US 

Delta SkyMiles Blue, Gold, Platinum or Reserve American Express Card 

Point/Miles Conversion Chart


  • SkyMiles never expire
  • Excellent network and availability of award space (albeit with high prices)
  • It is possible to use SkyMiles to book Delta vacation packages 
  • Wide range of benefits for elite status members
  • Great website and good customer service
  • No co-pay for upgrades. Trans-Atlantic upgrades from K Class fare or higher for 60,000 miles each way. Better upgrade availability for Delta flights then through partners


  • Dynamic award pricing often results in sky-high award prices, especially for premium cabins. Premium awards for long haul routes routinely show prices north of 500,000 points which are significantly higher than on other programs
  • Above-average flying and spending thresholds to earn status in the program

Excellent for   

  • Domestic flights within the US start at 5,000 miles for one way in Economy.
  • LATAM flights from the US to Latin America start at 25,000 miles for one way in Economy.

Insider Tip 

  • If you want to avoid Virgin Atlantic high fuel surcharges, you can use Delta SkyMiles. Flights from the U.S. to the U.K. have just $5.60 in taxes and fees when booking through Delta.
  • If you live in one of the Delta fortress hubs of Atlanta, Detroit or Minneapolis you can’t really avoid Delta. Consider getting one of the Delta co-branded Amex cards if you don't fly enough to make status on your own and usually fly in Economy.  If you can make status on your own, go Business Platinum Amex or Chase. SkyMiles does not present great value as a transfer partner from AmEx membership rewards (their only partner). Oftentimes, Chase Sapphire Reserve redeems through their inhouse travel programs which gives a 50% bonus or AmEx business platinum “buy travel” program with a 35% redemption bonus are a better deal for redemptions on Delta flights than redeeming points through Delta SkyMiles.
  • You often get a better deal for Delta operated flights through Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (direct partner transfer with many programs) and Velocity (you can transfer points from all credit card mega programs to Krisflyer and then to Velocity).
  • Expect to pay an excise tax when transferring points from AmEx to Delta at $.006 per mile up to $99.

Do you use this program? Share your experience and tips in the comments below. Your thoughts would be very valuable to us!



Comments: 0
Your comment will be the first.