You probably already know that it’s not financially wise to fly without booking your flights using a loyalty program. This is especially true if you fly more than just a few times each year. Flying without a loyalty program means missing out on opportunities to earn free miles and enjoy perks that can make every travel experience more enjoyable. You might be having a hard time deciding which airline loyalty program to finally commit to. The competition has never been stronger when it comes to the measures airlines will take to entice new members and keep existing ones happy.
The Delta SkyMiles program is one of the top contenders out there. Does this program offer the type of perks that you can really use? Discover what you need to know if you’re thinking of committing to the Delta SkyMiles program.
What There Is to Like About the Delta SkyMiles Program
Delta offers some great perks for people who travel domestically and internationally. The SkyMiles program is a particularly good choice if you routinely go back and forth between hubs like Detroit, Atlanta, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York because of perks like frequent routes and state-of-the-art airport lounges. You can also get a lot out of the SkyMiles program if your travels frequently take you to cities around the world.
Delta has partnerships with popular airlines like Air France, KLM, Aeromexico and Virgin Atlantic that make it possible to earn and use miles. Earning miles is pretty straightforward when you’re a member of SkyMiles. You can look forward to earning between five miles and 11 miles for every dollar you spend when you fly. How many miles you actually earn on each trip will depend on your membership level and the type of seat you book.
Delta SkyMiles Tier Levels
One interesting thing about award travel in the SkyMiles program is that it is based on ticket pricing instead of the distance that you fly. You can also earn points through SkyMiles partners simply for using your credit card or booking hotels stays. The big advantage that SkyMiles points offer over points from competing loyalty programs is that they will never expire once they’re in your account. There is also the chance to earn medallion-qualifying miles on your trips. Medallion-qualifying miles are the measured miles that can actually help you boost your membership level into a higher tier. Here’s a look at the tiers you can achieve in the Delta SkyMiles program:
Travelers really like the fact that SkyMiles offers a generous amount of award seats at the lowest redemption levels. Points can also be used on cabin upgrades. Members in every tier enjoy waived baggage fees, priority check-in status and priority boarding. Perks like priority security screening, expedited baggage service and free access to Delta Sky Club locations kick in as you move your way up through Delta’s membership tiers. There are even crossover rewards that can help you get the white-glove treatment when you stay in select hotels or rent cars with certain rental agencies.
What You Might Not Like About the Delta SkyMiles Program
One of the biggest complaints that people have about the SkyMiles program is just how difficult it is to reach Platinum and Diamond status. You will really need to do a lot of traveling to accrue enough miles to enter both of those tiers. However, people who travel as part of their lifestyle actually prefer the exclusivity of these tiers because it means they get to enjoy a truly unique experience that sets them apart when they fly with Delta.
It is possible to accrue points more quickly without flying more frequently if you sign up for a credit card like the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express or the Delta Reserve® Credit Card. All of these cards will award you with two miles for every dollar spent on Delta purchases and one mile for every dollar spent on all other purchases. One other potentially big drawback of joining the SkyMiles program is that your reward miles aren’t exactly yours to use from the start. You actually need to have a minimum balance of 5,000 miles before you can use your miles to cover the cost of a flight.
Should You Be a Delta SkyMiles Member?
The Delta SkyMiles program offers a lot of attractive perks for travelers. This is a program that will benefit people who travel frequently and make a lot of purchases using their credit cards while on the road because it rewards high spending from all angles. It is almost foolish not to sign up for the SkyMiles program if you have the type of travel schedule that will qualify you for Diamond status. This tier of membership offers a long list of perks that can make every travel experience really enjoyable. You can also look forward to exclusive privileges that will save you time and spare you from hassles when you’re jetting between destinations.
People who will only reach Silver status or Gold status still have quite a few perks to look forward to. The bottom line is that the SkyMiles program is definitely one of the best loyalty programs available today. It is a good choice unless you can find another program that is offering some specific perk that fits a unique travel need that you have.