The Bottom Line
- Impressive airline partner alliances
- Partnership with American Express
- Lack of available seats when trying to redeem
- Difficult to upgrade
- Award redemption fees are high
- Rewards, loyalty, and travel incentive program.
- Earn miles on your business travel and gain elite status and upgrades.
- Turn earned points into free travel.
Guide Review - Delta SkyMiles Review
Signing up for Delta SkyMiles is easy: Simply go to the website and create a user name and password. Delta will send you a welcome email that explains the program in detail.
From flying Delta and its many airline partners (including Continental and Northwest), to credit card affiliations, SkyMiles offers several ways to accumulate points towards status and rewards. Miles are earned equally on all Delta options: Delta, Delta Shuttle and Delta Connection. Each flight earns a minimum of 500 miles or mileage flown, whichever is greater.
Airline Parners include Continental, NWA and Alaska Airlines as well as several foreign airlines. These partners will accept your Delta SkyMiles number, making it easier to streamline your rewards.
Delta SkyMiles can be earned through three major credit card partners: American Express, Visa and Diners Club. Varying with special promotions, each dollar spent with a credit card partner will generally earn one SkyMiles point.
Booking rewards travel is a simple process, if seats are available! The number offered has been reduced, so be prepared with more than one travel itinerary. Rewards tickets start at 25,000 miles for a domestic ticket, but most trips will require 50,000 miles. Don't forget your credit card - there are fees for your "free" trip. Depending on when you book, you will be charged up to $150 (waived if you book 21 days in advance), along with a fuel surcharge of $25 (domestic) or $50 (international).
Shopping with your SkyMiles points is limited, and is only available to "Medallion" members, a special status category.
Because of costs and reward limitations, the SkyMiles program is, overall, a disappointment. That said, if you are flexible with rewards travel, SkyMiles can work for you.