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The Ultimate Guide to Delta Air Lines SkyMiles

Delta Air Lines is one of the largest airlines in both the United States and the world. Part of the SkyTeam Alliance of carriers, Delta operates in eight hubs: Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Salt Lake City, and Seattle-Tacoma.

Because Delta flies to so many cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and around the world, the SkyMiles program is an excellent option for these who prefer to fly with the airline. SkyMiles is free to join and offers an excellent selection of benefits.

delta air lines skymiles guide

What Are SkyMiles?

SkyMiles is the loyalty program of Delta Air Lines – the largest airline in the world in terms of revenue.

Delta is a founding member of the SkyTeam alliance, comprising over 20 global carriers – including Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, and more – and offering seamless travel to over 1,000 destinations across the globe.

Earning SkyMiles

Earning Miles with Flights

The easiest way to earn SkyMiles miles is by booking flights with Delta Air Lines. The number of miles SkyMiles members earn when flying with Delta depends on their current SkyMiles membership tier.

delta route map
Delta’s North American route map

Earning Based on SkyMiles Status Tier

SkyMiles are also gained based on a traveler’s status within the SkyMiles program. The tiers below earn the following miles for their fares:

Basic

Basic travelers earn five SkyMiles for every dollar spent with Delta Air Lines. Basic SkyMiles members earn five miles for every dollar they spend.

Silver Medallion

Silver Medallion is the first tier of perks in the SkyMiles program. Silver Medallion members earn seven SkyMiles for every dollar they spend on tickets.

Gold Medallion

Gold Medallion is the next tier of perks in the SkyMiles program. Gold Medallion members earn eight SkyMiles per dollar spent

Platinum Medallion

Platinum Medallion is the next tier, offering even higher perks. Platinum Medallion members earn nine SkyMiles per dollar spent.

DiamondMedallion

Diamond Medallion members earn the most SkyMiles per dollar spent, earning a whopping 11 miles per dollar with Delta.

Earning with SkyTeam Partners

SkyMiles members can also earn miles when they spend money with Delta Air Lines partners, including SkyTeam partner airlines. Other SkyTeam airlines include:

  • Aeroflot
  • Aerolineas Argentinas
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Europa
  • Air France
  • Alitalia
  • China Airlines
  • Czech Airlines
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Kenya Airlines
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Saudia
  • TAROM
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • XiamenAir

SkyMiles earned with SkyTeam airlines are generally earned through miles traveled, rather than a miles-per-dollar rate, although additional miles are earned based on the class of travel (economy, business, first, etc.), as well as SkyMiles membership tier.

Delta also has a codeshare agreement with LATAM and Virgin Atlantic.

Earning with Other Delta Partners

  • Hotels: Delta partner hotels include Delta Hotels, Marriott Bonvoy, IHG, Radisson, Hyatt, Accor, Langham, Millennium, Shangri-la, and Worldhotels. Members can also earn when they spend with AirBnB.
  • Rental Cars: Delta rental car partners include Alamo, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty. Members also earn when making bookings through Lyft.
  • Dining: Members also earn SkyMiles when making reservations or dining out with Delta dining partners. For a list of all Delta dining partners, and to register your Delta SkyMiles account, visit the SkyMiles Dining portal.
  • Shopping: SkyMiles miles can also be earned when making purchases through the dedicated Delta SkyMiles shopping portal, where miles are earned for making purchases with hundreds of leading brands.
  • Vacations and Cruises: Booking cruises or vacations through Delta’s Vacations or SkyMiles Cruises sites also earns bonus miles.

Credit Cards

An easy way to earn additional SkyMiles miles is through a Delta Air Lines airline rewards credit card. Delta offers numerous credit cards that provide a host of benefits – most notably the Delta Reserve Card and the Delta Reserve for Business Card, which offer complimentary access to Delta’s Sky Club lounges.

How Much Are Delta SkyMiles Worth?

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cents per mile

Do SkyMiles Expire?

Redeeming SkyMiles

There are several redemption options for SkyMiles miles:

Flights with Delta Air Lines

The easiest way to use miles is through flight bookings with Delta Air Lines. To use miles for flights, members need to book their flight at Delta.com. Bookings with Delta also have the added bonus of featuring no blackout dates, meaning you don’t need to worry about compromising your ideal dates. Miles are also applicable towards seat upgrades, membership access to Delta Sky Club Lounges, and more.

Flights with SkyTeam Partners

One of the great perks of the SkyMiles program is its close association with the SkyTeam alliance. Through SkyTeam, SkyMiles provides access to well over 1,000 global destinations.

Delta Experiences

Delta SkyMiles are redeemable for unique experiences through Delta. These experiences offer the chance to use miles to bid for once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, such as red carpet walks and stepping on the field of your favorite NFL team’s stadium.

Other Ways to Redeem Miles

Delta miles are also redeemable for gift cards or purchases made through the Delta SkyMiles Shopping portal.
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SkyMiles Status Levels

Delta’s SkyMiles program has several tiers, all of which offer unique benefits and perks.

SkyMiles membership tiers are determined based on the following qualifications:

  • Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs): One MQD is earned for every dollar spent on Delta flights, excluding taxes and government fees.
  • Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs): MQMs are earned based on the distance flown and the fare class of the ticket. With regular economy class tickets, 1 MQM per mile flown is earned. For higher classes, travelers earn between 1.5 to 2 MQMs per mile flown.
  • Medallion Qualifying Segments (MCSs): MCSs are earned based on the number of takeoff-to-landing flights a member makes.

Silver Medallion

Silver Medallion is the first tier for SkyMiles members.

Achieving Silver Medallion Status

To reach Silver Medallion status, a SkyMiles member must have earned at least 3,000 MQDs plus either 25,000 MQMs or 30 MCSs.

Silver Medallion Perks

  • Free upgrades to first-class or Comfort+ within 24 hours of departure
  • Waived baggage fees
  • SkyTeam Elite Status

Gold Medallion

Gold Medallion is the next level of SkyMiles membership.

Achieving Gold Medallion Status

To reach Gold Medallion status, a SkyMiles member must have earned at least 6,000 MQDs plus either 50,000 MQMs or 60 MQSs.

Gold Medallion Perks

  • Free upgrades to first-class or Comfort+ within 72 hours of departure
  • Waived baggage fees
  • No fees for same-day flight changes
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus Status

Platinum Medallion

Platinum Medallion is on the upper half of the membership tiers for the SkyMiles program.

Achieving Platinum Medallion Status

To reach Platinum Medallion status, a SkyMiles member must have earned at least 9,000 MQDs plus either 75,000 MQMs or 100 MQSs.

Platinum Medallion Perks

  • Free upgrades to first class within 120 hours of departure and Comfort+ as soon as tickets go on sale
  • Waived baggage fees
  • No fees for same-day flight changes
  • No ticket reissue fees
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus Status

Additional Benefits for Platinum Medallion Members

Platinum Medallion members also get their choice of one of the following perks:

  • 4 regional upgrade certificates
  • Global Entry application fee voucher
  • 20,000 bonus SkyMiles
  • $200 Tiffany & Co. gift card
  • $200 Delta voucher
  • Silver Medallion status for a friend or family member

Diamond Medallion

Diamond Medallion is the top tier for SkyMiles membership and offers the largest amount of perks and benefits.

Achieving Diamond Medallion Status

To reach Diamond Medallion status, a SkyMiles member must have earned at least 15,000 MQDs plus either 125,000 MQMs or 140 MQSs.

Diamond Medallion Perks

  • Free upgrades to first class within 120 hours of departure and Comfort+ as soon as tickets go on sale
  • Waived baggage fees
  • No fees for same-day flight changes
  • No ticket reissue fees
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus Status

Additional Benefits for Diamond Medallion Members

Diamond Medallion members also get their choice of three of the following perks:

  • Individual membership in Delta Sky Club
  • Executive membership in Delta Sky Club (unlimited club access for two guests – counts as two choices)
  • Eight regional upgrade certificates
  • 25,000 bonus SkyMiles
  • $200 Tiffany & Co. gift card
  • $200 Delta voucher
  • Gold Medallion status for a friend or family member

Sky Club and SkyTeam Lounges

Sky Club

Delta’s network of over 50 airport lounges makes up Sky Club. Membership in the Sky Club is reserved for those paying for either an Executive Membership, and Individual Membership, or for those who apply for – and are approved for – the Delta Reserve Credit Card.

Executive membership costs either $845 for a yearly pass or 84,500 miles. Individual membership costs either $545 per year – plus $29 per lounge visit – or 54,500 miles.

In Sky Club lounges visitors can expect sumptuous furnishings, a wide selection of snacks and meal options, complimentary Wi-Fi, and digital entertainment.

SkyTeam Lounges

Delta Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion members also have access to SkyTeam lounges, which are located in the following international destinations:

  • Beijing
  • Dubai
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Sydney
  • Vancouver

For a more detailed look at the SkyTeam alliance and membership perks, visit our dedicated SkyTeam alliance page.

Delta 360

Delta 360 is an invite-only tier of the SkyMiles program that is open to the highest spenders with the airline. While there is no written rule as to who is invited to this exclusive tier, it is believed that SkyMiles members must spend more than $100,000 with Delta each year, making it attainable only for the top 1% of business travelers and an even smaller percentage of personal travelers.

The perks with Delta 360 are comparable with other invitation-only tiers from American carriers (notably American Airlines’ Concierge Key), meaning members can expect ultra-personalized and dedicated customer service, the highest level of priority for check-in, boarding, and upgrades, as well as help reaching flights during tricky connections. In the last instance, Delta 360 members get an increased priority of Porsche-aided transfers, something that is available to Diamond Medallion flyers, but not with the prevalence of 360-tiered flyers.

Current Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards

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Cory Santos

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