Each year, more than 200 million passengers use Delta to fly to one of the 300 locations, in more than 50 countries, that Delta Air Lines serves. While some of them spend their cold, hard cash on tickets, several passengers fly for free thanks to the Delta rewards program, Delta SkyMiles.
SkyMiles can be earned in a variety of ways, including flying Delta or one of its SkyTeam alliance partners. There are more than 20 SkyTeam partners worldwide, making it easy to earn on every flight you take, be it business travel or pleasure.
Airline miles, accumulated through flights, shopping and even credit card spending, can be redeemed for free travel on Delta or with Delta SkyMiles partners.
China Southern Airlines
Middle East Airlines (MEA)
Air Tahiti Nui
How to transfer Delta SkyMiles to partners
While you can’t transfer your Delta Air Lines SkyMiles from Delta to a SkyMiles partner like Korean Air, you can use them to book a flight with that partner. This can be done with any of the SkyTeam partner airlines.
Here’s how to buy a ticket for a non-Delta flight with your SkyMiles.
Log in to your Delta SkyMiles account on Delta.com.
Search for tickets for your desired destination and time. You should see a calendar that shows how many miles you need on each day of that month.
Make your selection. Pay with a combination of Delta SkyMiles and cash, or just SkyMiles. You should be given the option to select either of these if you don’t have enough SkyMiles for a ticket.
Best cards that earn Delta SkyMiles
Earn Delta Air Lines rewards every day with these credit cards.
Card Rewards rate
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card Earn 2X miles on dining and Delta purchases and 1X on other purchases
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Earn 2X miles on restaurants, Delta purchases, U.S. supermarkets and 1X on other purchases
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Earn 3X miles on Delta purchases, 2X on restaurants and U.S. supermarkets and 1X on other purchases
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Earn 3X on Delta purchases and 1X on other purchases
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card Earn 3X miles on Delta purchases and 1X miles on other purchases with the ability to earn 1.5X after spending $150,000 within the calendar year
Should you transfer your miles?
Although you can’t transfer your SkyMiles to a SkyTeam alliance partner, you can, and should, use them to fly other airlines. This is especially true if you want to go to a destination that Delta doesn’t fly, or if you see a good deal on rewards flights with a Delta alliance partner.
Rewards values vary based on travel dates, so it’s best to find out how the actual price compares to the number of SkyMiles the flight will cost. During off-peak travel dates, it may be worth it to pay for your flight with Delta or the Delta partner airlines that you want to fly.
When you’re planning a trip, check to see if the route is flown by more than one of the Delta SkyMiles partners. In the same way that full-fare prices differ between airlines, so do the flights between Delta SkyTeam alliance partners.
How to maximize Delta SkyMiles
Chances are, if you’re reading about how to earn and use SkyMiles with a Delta Air Lines partner, you’re also curious as to how you can stretch your Delta Air Lines frequent flyer miles even further. Here are three ways you can maximize your SkyMiles.
Be flexible with redeeming your Delta Air Lines frequent flyer miles
Once you’ve accumulated a good stash of SkyMiles, it’s time to travel, but being flexible can save you miles. When possible, choose a five-week period to see which dates will cost you the fewest number of miles. Even before you are ready to book your reward travel, play around with the booking tool to get a feel for how prices change as the desired departure date draws closer.
Consider booking two or three one-way tickets rather than a round-trip ticket
Sometimes it may cost less to buy three or four one-way tickets with a Delta SkyTeam partner rather than a single round-trip ticket. Buying four means you’ll add in an extra stop, but this might be a chance for a quick day trip to a place you’ve always wanted to visit.
Don’t rely on Delta.com – call the SkyMiles partners directly
For some Delta alliance partner flights, tickets cannot be booked online or through the app. You will need to call their partner airline directly. As of this writing, these airlines include the following:
Air Tahiti Nui
Delta Air Lines has a vast list of partners, offering you the option to travel anywhere in the world using SkyMiles. Simply take some time looking up different booking options before redeeming your miles to maximize their value.