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The Ace Line

Called SkyPesos for a reason, SkyMiles doesn't make it easy to get good value from your points, plus its revenue-based mile-earning system makes it all but impossible for casual flyers to accrue useful a useful for the program.

  • Miles don't expire
  • Many partner airlines to choose from—if you're willing to pay up
  • Crossover Rewards can make Starwood hotel stays much more lucrative
  • Elite members have good upgrade benefits
  • Extremely limited saver-level inventory
  • Hard to earn miles in revenue-based redeemable-miles earning system
  • Moving towards to link award redemption amounts to cost of paid fare
Discover Destinations on SkyMiles



Accrual Type: Revenue-based

Earn miles by miles flown. See our guide to earning points for more.

Credit Cards

This is a list of branded, program-specific credit cards, in addition to flexible reward cards. Not sure what is kind of card is right for you? Our guide weighs the pros/cons for each type of card.

Disclosure: This selection of cards is for reference and is not guaranteed to be complete or up to date. AwardAce does not earn any commission for any links.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
Airline Card
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
Flexible Transfer Card
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
Flexible Transfer Card
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Flexible Transfer Card
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
Flexible Transfer Card

Transfer Partners

Program Partner Ratio Transfer Time
American Express 1:1 Instant
Starwood Preferred Guest 1:1 5 days

The ratio is the number of flexible rewards points it would take to transfer to SkyMiles.

Transfer time is what is reported by the transfer programs, supplemented by our own research. However, actual time to transfer is often highly variable.


Airline Type Pricing Type

Don't know what airlines are bookable? See our list of particpating airlines.

A zone-based program prices award flights by general geographic location, typically by continent and/or country. Learn how to optimize these programs in our guide below.

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Understanding Programs
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Strategy to Spending Points

Booking And Fuel Surcharge Guide

Our step-by-step booking guides can show you how to book tickets on any airline.

Airline Online Phone Surcharges Alliance
Aeroflot (SU) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
Aerolineas Argentinas (AR) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
Aeromexico (AM) Yes Yes NONE SkyTeam
Air Europa (UX) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
Air France (AF) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
Alaska Airlines (AS) Yes Yes NONE
Alitalia (AZ) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
China Airlines (CI) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
China Eastern Airlines (MU) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
China Southern Airlines (CZ) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
Czech Airlines (OK) No Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
Delta (DL) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
Garuda Indonesia (GA) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
Hawaiian Airlines (HA) Yes Yes 0–$
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
Kenya Airways (KQ) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
Korean Air (KE) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
Saudi Arabian Airlines (SV) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
Tarom (RO) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
Vietnam Airlines (VN) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam
Virgin Atlantic (VS) Yes Yes 0–$
Virgin Australia (VA) Yes Yes 0–$$$
Xiamen Airlines (MF) Yes Yes 0–$ SkyTeam

Policies and Fees

Expiration: Points do not expire.

Fees and Charges

Fees USD
Close-in 0
Phone Booking 0
Change Award 0-150
Cancel Award 0-150

Fees are waived for Diamond, Platinum and Gold members.

Key Airlines and Resources

Click through to each airport code to use our discover feature.

Primary Airlines Code City Name
Delta (DL) ATL Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Intl
LAX Los Angeles Los Angeles Intl
JFK New York John F Kennedy Intl
DTW Detroit Detroit Metro Wayne Co
SEA Seattle Seattle Tacoma Intl
MSP Minneapolis Minneapolis St Paul Intl
LGA New York La Guardia


The Ultimate Guide to Delta SkyMiles
Brad's Deals
Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles
FlyerTalk Forums

Elite Status


Tiers (4) MQMs MQS MQD
Silver 25,000 30 3000
Gold 50,000 60 6000
Platinum 75,000 100 9000
Diamond 125,000 140 15000

Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs)
Actual total miles flown

Medallion Qualification Segments (MQS)
Number of individual flights (e.g., a one-way itinerary with 1 connection would equal 2 segments)

Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD)
Amount of money spent on tickets

MQD requirements only apply to US residents.

Elite Benefits

Benefit Silver Gold Platinum Diamond
Flight Benefits
Unlimited Complimentary First Class Upgrades(Full Y Fare) Booking Booking Booking Booking
Unlimited Complimentary First Class Upgrades(Discounted Fares except E) 24 hours prior to departure 72 hours prior to departure 5 days prior to departure 5 days prior to departure with Priority
Unlimited Complimentary Delta Comfort+ Upgrades - U.S. and Canada 24 hours prior to departure 72 hours prior to departure Shortly after ticketing Shortly after ticketing
Unlimited Complimentary Delta Comfort+ Seat Access - International 24 hours prior to departure 72 hours prior to departure Complimentary access Complimentary access
Unlimited Complimentary First Class Upgrades- Award Tickets
Unlimited Complimentary Delta Comfort+ Upgrades - Award Tickets - U.S. and Canada
Unlimited Complimentary Delta Comfort+ Seat Access - Award Tickets- International
Unlimited Complimentary First Class and Delta Comfort+ Upgrades- Pay with Miles Tickets
Unlimited Complimentary Companion First Class and Delta Comfort+ Upgrades
Complimentary Preferred Seats
Priority Wait List
Program Benefits
Full Fare First/Business Class MQM Bonus (F, J Fares) 1 1 1 1
Discounted First/Business/Premium Main Cabin MQM Bonus (P, A, G, C, D, I, Z, Y and B Fares) 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Rollover Medallion Qualification Miles Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Medallion Mileage Bonus 2 additional miles per dollar 3 additional miles per dollar 4 additional miles per dollar 6 additional miles per dollar
Fee Waivers
Waived Baggage Fees
Waived Same-Day Confirmed Fees
Waived Same-Day Standby Fees
Waived Direct Ticketing Charges
Waived Award Redeposit/Reissue Fees
Delta Sky ClubIndividual Membership
Priority Check-In
Priority Boarding Sky Priority Sky Priority Premium
Priority Security Line Access
Expedited Baggage Service
SkyTeam Benefits
SkyTeam Status Elite Elite Plus Elite Plus Elite Plus
Priority Baggage Handling
SkyTeam Lounge Access

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