SkyMiles is the frequent flyer program of Delta Airlines. There been a change in the program of the airline in the way the miles are earned. Currently, these miles are earned on the basis of distance flown. However, from January 1, 2015, these will be based on spending in USD terms. How many miles you earn are also dependent on the current membership status. In 2015, when the spending-based Miles program will usher in, the miles earned will be 5, 7, 8, 9 and 11 for every 1 USD spent by the General, Silver. Gold, Platinum and Diamond medallion members respectively. It shall also be noted that the ticket price used for calculating these Miles will also include the base fare as well as those surcharges which are levied by the carrier. However, these would not include the government imposed taxes.
All those tickets which are marketed by Delta partners but are ticketed by Delta will be earning the Miles on the basis of price from 2015. However, those flights which are even ticketed by Delta will continue to have the program based on percentage of distance flown which, in turn, will depend on fare class.
Another point to be noted is that the miles earned under SkyMiles is different from the ones earned towards defining the Medallion status (these are called Medallion Qualification Miles, MQMs, or Medallion Qualification Dollars, MQDs, or even the Medallion Qualification Segments, MQSs). MQDs have become active from the beginning of 2014. This means that in order to determine the threshold for a particular type of membership, you would be required to earn particular number of MQMs or MQSs AND MQDs.These levels are defined below:
Silver Medallion: 25000 MQMs or 30 MQSs AND $2500 MQDs spending
Gold Medallion: 50000 MQMs or 60 MQSs AND $5000 MQDs spending
Platinum Medallion: 75000 MQMs or 100 MQSs AND $7500 MQDs spending
Diamond Medallion: 125000 MQMs or 140 MQSs AND $12500 MQD spending
MQDs are earned by the passenger who is flying even if the tickets are purchased by some other person. Also, there is a specific instance where the MQDs requirements might be waived. This exception applies when at least $25000 is spend in eligible purchases with the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card of AMEX in that year.
SkyMiles can also be earned in other different ways. These include earning bonus miles per person by purchasing the luxury vacations, Flight and Gold, Silver or Bronze Preferred Pick Hotels combination and on other hotels. For destinations within the US48, Alaska and Canada and other destinations, the miles earned are 3000, 750, 500, 250 and 250 respectively and for the other destinations, the miles earned are 7500, 3000, 2000, 1000 and 1000 respectively. These bonus miles are earned using only the SkyMiles number.
Redemption of Miles
There are six ways in which the SkyMiles can be redeemed. You can either book an Award Travel, Shop with Miles, Donate Miles, get the Delta Sky club membership, get Mileage upgrades and ‘Pay with Miles’.
The Award Tickets are awarded for 74 countries and regions in the world. These tickets can be paid for by using the credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, Discover Network, MasterCard, UATP and Visa), Debit Cards, redeeming Delta eCredits (Travel Credit Voucher, Delta Travel Voucher, Delta Dollars, Miscellaneous Charge Order, Unused/partly used past date tickets and electronic gift certificates).
Shopping is another way in which you can use these SkyMiles. There is a specific SkyMiles Marketplace where you can buy products of electronics, fashion and beauty, food and wine, home decor, luggage, office items and sports and recreation. There is also a separate kids section for shopping related to children. You can also redeem the Miles for rentals of cars and booking of hotels. Special marketplaces also exist for Asia region and Philippines.
SkyMiles can also be redeemed by way of auctions. You can use these miles for paying for items which you win in bids.However, this method can be used only for within the US states.
Delta has teamed up with Audience Rewards for earning and redeeming miles for free tickets.
What is even more amazing is the fact that you can get magazines and newspapers with Miles.
Delta partners with a number of charities world over and you can make a donation to these charities by redeeming the SkyMiles.
You can also become a member of the Delta SkyClub by way of redeeming the earned miles.
Upgrading the class of travel is another way of redeeming the earned Miles. This upgrade can be done in different ways depending on the sector of travel.