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What is Delta Air Lines' SkyMiles loyalty program? Earn miles on your next flight

Maximize your benefits with Delta's SkyMiles loyalty program. Understand how to earn and redeem miles, the perks of different status tiers and the changes coming in 2025.

Delta Air Lines, a major global airline based in Atlanta, Georgia, offers the SkyMiles® loyalty program. Through SkyMiles, members accumulate points with each flight and co-branded credit card purchases, which are redeemable for travel, in-flight amenities, seat upgrades and more.

According to the airline's website, Delta operates hubs at eight U.S. airports and 10 international airports, making it likely that frequent fliers will fly Delta at some point and benefit from the rewards program.

SkyMiles, the name of the loyalty program from Delta Air Lines as well as the currency, allows fliers to earn and redeem miles for flights with Delta or partnering airlines. According to Nerd Wallet, the free-to-join program values a SkyMile at 1.2 cents. 

As part of the SkyTeam alliance, Delta facilitates earning and redeeming SkyMiles on its many global partner airlines. Travelers booking with any SkyTeam alliance member can benefit from Delta's SkyMiles program.


Program members can earn SkyMiles by flying on Delta or a partner, spending on Delta co-branded credit cards, utilizing Delta's traveling partners, and dining and shopping with specified programs. Once a flier signs up as a Delta SkyMiles member, they can move up tiers by accumulating miles through their flights or other point-earning methods. 

SkyMiles do not expire, which makes it convenient for infrequent travelers. According to a Delta representative, the program benefits anyone who signs up. Members don't need to live in a city with a Delta hub or fly the airline regularly to profit from the program. They can track their progress online and know where they are and how many miles are available to redeem. 

Silver Medallion is the entry status tier in Delta's SkyMiles program. Some of the benefits include:

The Gold Medallion in the SkyMiles program will get the member all of the above benefits, in addition to the following:

The Platinum Medallion is the third tier. In addition to benefits from the previous tiers, members receive:

The highest tier within the SkyMiles program is the Diamond Medallion. At this level, fliers will receive everything mentioned above with the following perks:

Members can track their earned miles by logging into their account on the Delta website, where a progress tracker is available. Members can also obtain information directly from a Delta customer service representative.

Delta's SkyMiles is getting a makeover in 2025, making reaching Medallion, the elite status level, easier. The changes will include:

Delta initially intended to overhaul its SkyMiles program and limit Sky Club access, with the changes due to commence on Jan. 1, 2024.

The primary methods for achieving Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) would be using co-branded Delta credit cards and spending on flights and vacation packages booked directly through Delta rather than a partner.

However, after facing criticism over the complications in attaining elite status under these changes, Delta re-evaluated and rolled back some aspects. Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian agreed that the changes "probably went too far" and that modifications were necessary.


Delta's revised loyalty program will make it easier for members to achieve elite Medallion status, enabling more customers to access the club. Although SkyMiles members will still only qualify through MQDs, the elite status will depend solely on spending, not the number of flights. 

These changes will be effective in 2025.

Delta SkyMiles is beneficial to both frequent and occasional fliers. Miles are earned predominantly by booking flights with Delta or a partner airline. Members can accrue miles by booking for themselves, family members or friends if they apply their member number. The rate of mileage gain per dollar spent varies, with Silver Medallion members earning 7 miles per $1 spent and Diamond Medallion members earning 11 miles per $1. Partner airlines' mileage rates vary.

Fliers also have the option to earn miles through a Delta co-branded credit card. The company offers a variety of cards to cater to individual needs. Delta collaborates with transfer partners, such as American Express, providing an avenue to earn and redeem points. 

Purchases from designated partners, including Hertz, Lyft and Starbucks, offer additional earning opportunities, with Lyft providing double miles for airport commutes within the U.S.

A main use of SkyMiles is to purchase domestic Delta flights. American Express Delta cardholders can pay entirely with their SkyMiles or reduce their cost with the Pay with Miles feature.


Co-branded credit cardholders can utilize Delta's TakeOff 15 benefit, which allows them to save 15% when booking travel using miles on Delta flights. 

Miles can also be used to book flights on Delta's alliance or other partners, thanks to the SkyTeam alliance. 

Beyond flights, SkyMiles are redeemable for experiences like magazine purchases or seat upgrades.

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