What Points Transfer to Delta SkyMiles?

delta sign in an airport

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Do you need more Delta SkyMiles to book your next flight? In this guide, I’ll break down how to transfer reward points from various rewards programs into Delta SkyMiles, Delta Airlines’ renowned frequent flyer program. Whether you’ve accumulated points from American Express Membership Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, or Chase Ultimate Rewards, I’ll guide you on how to seamlessly convert them into SkyMiles.

Delta’s SkyMiles have the added advantage of never expiring, and they can be utilized for award travel not just on Delta, but also on its extensive network of partner airlines. Here’s everything you need to know to get started on maximizing your travel benefits.

Points That Can Be Transferred to Delta SkyMiles

There are three ways to transfer points to Delta SkyMiles:

  • American Express Membership Rewards (best value, best option)
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards (via Marriott Bonvoy)

Transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Delta SkyMiles

American Express Membership Rewards are points earned through spending on eligible American Express cards. They are flexible, highly valued, and can be transferred to Delta SkyMiles instantly at a 1:1 ratio. However, there’s a small catch: a fee of 0.06 cents per point (up to $99) will be charged as an excise tax offset. This fee is levied by American Express to counterbalance the federal excise tax imposed on Delta for the transfer.

To put this into perspective, if you transfer 50,000 points, you’ll incur a fee of $30. If you transfer 200,000 points, you’ll pay the maximum fee of $99. Transfers can be made in increments of 1,000 points, with a minimum of 1,000 and a maximum of 999,000 points per transaction.

Transfer Marriott Bonvoy to Delta SkyMiles

marriott sign in front of hotel

Marriott Bonvoy points, which you earn by staying at Marriott hotels or using Marriott co-branded credit cards, can also be transferred to Delta SkyMiles. This process is slightly different, as the points transfer at a 3:1 ratio, and the transfer could take up to two days. While there’s no cost or fee for the transfer, the value of Marriott Bonvoy points drops due to the conversion ratio.

For instance, transferring 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (worth $480 according to The Points Guy’s valuations) will yield 20,000 Delta SkyMiles (worth $240). Thus, you effectively lose $240 in value during the transfer. You can transfer your points in increments of 3,000, ranging from 3,000 to 240,000 points per day.

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy and then to Delta SkyMiles

While Chase Ultimate Rewards points can’t be transferred directly to Delta SkyMiles, they can be first transferred to Marriott Bonvoy and then to Delta. These points are earned through eligible purchases on Chase cards. The transfers to Marriott Bonvoy happen at a 1:1 ratio and typically process by the next business day, though it can take up to a week. Transfers from Marriott Bonvoy to Delta SkyMiles could take up to two days and happen at a 3:1 ratio.

Just like Marriott Bonvoy points, Chase Ultimate Rewards must be transferred in increments of 1,000, and there’s no cost or fee. However, you lose value in this double transfer. To illustrate, transferring 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $1,200) to Marriott yields 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Then, moving these to Delta SkyMiles nets you 20,000 SkyMiles, worth just $240. Thus, you effectively lose $960 in value during this double transfer. Despite this decrease in value, this process provides an alternative route to convert Chase points into Delta SkyMiles.

Let’s summarize this information in a table to better understand the transfer attributes of each point source to Delta SkyMiles:

Point SourceTransfer RatioTransfer FeeTransfer TimeTransfer Limit
American Express Membership Rewards1:10.06 cents per point (up to $99)Instant1,000-999,000 points per transfer
Marriott Bonvoy3:1None1-2 days3,000-240,000 points per day
Chase Ultimate Rewards (via Marriott Bonvoy)1:1 from Chase to Marriott
3:1 from Marriott to Delta
None1-9 days3,000-240,000 points per day (after converting from Chase to Marriott)

Can You Transfer Delta SkyMiles from One Account to Another?

In short, yes, you can transfer Delta SkyMiles between accounts, but you shouldn’t. This option is not always the best choice due to the associated fees. Delta permits customers to shift SkyMiles between accounts, but it charges a hefty 1 cent per mile, along with a $30 processing fee per transaction. Additionally, applicable taxes may apply.

The SkyMiles transfers must be made in increments of 1,000 SkyMiles. Delta imposes an annual limit of 300,000 SkyMiles to any single account and a maximum outbound limit of 150,000 SkyMiles from any one account.

To illustrate, if you decide to transfer 50,000 SkyMiles, you’d be looking at a fee of $530, which includes the $30 processing fee and the 1 cent per mile charge ($500). Given these costs, it’s often more economical to earn SkyMiles directly or transfer them from other reward programs.

How to Transfer Points to Delta SkyMiles

Transferring points to Delta SkyMiles isn’t a complex process, but it does require a few steps:

American Express Membership Rewards:

  1. Log in to your American Express account.
  2. Navigate to the Membership Rewards page.
  3. Select ‘Transfer Points’.
  4. Choose Delta SkyMiles as the transfer partner.
  5. Enter the number of points you want to transfer, and your SkyMiles account number.
  6. Review the transfer details and confirm.

Marriott Bonvoy:

  1. Log in to your Marriott Bonvoy account.
  2. Navigate to the ‘Transfer Points’ page.
  3. Select ‘Transfer Points to Miles’.
  4. Choose Delta SkyMiles as the airline partner.
  5. Enter the number of points you want to transfer, and your SkyMiles account number.
  6. Review the transfer details and confirm.

Chase Ultimate Rewards (via Marriott Bonvoy):

  1. Log in to your Chase account.
  2. Navigate to the ‘Ultimate Rewards’ page.
  3. Select ‘Transfer Points’.
  4. Choose Marriott Bonvoy as the transfer partner.
  5. Enter the number of points you want to transfer, and your Marriott Bonvoy account number.
  6. Review the transfer details and confirm.
  7. Now, repeat the Marriott Bonvoy steps listed above to transfer your newly converted points to Delta SkyMiles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Delta miles be transferred to another person?

Yes, Delta miles can be transferred to another person’s SkyMiles account. However, there are fees associated with this transaction. As mentioned earlier, Delta charges 1 cent per mile and a $30 processing fee per transaction, making this option expensive. It’s often better to book award tickets for the other person directly from your account, avoiding the transfer fee.

Can you transfer Delta miles to Amex points?

No, you cannot reverse the process and transfer Delta miles back into American Express Membership Rewards points. Once the points have been transferred to Delta SkyMiles, the transaction cannot be undone. It’s essential to be confident about your decision before making the transfer.

Bottom Line

Transferring points to Delta SkyMiles can be a smart way to increase your miles balance and unlock more opportunities for award travel. However, this process requires careful consideration.

  • Compare Value: Review the transfer ratios, fees, and value of different points sources before making your decision. For example, transferring American Express Membership Rewards points is instant and comes with a minor fee, while Marriott Bonvoy and Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers may cause a significant loss in point value.
  • Check Award Availability: It’s wise to check the availability and cost of your desired award flights on Delta and its partner airlines before transferring points. Remember, once points are in your SkyMiles account, they can’t be moved back.
  • Transfer As Needed: It’s usually best to transfer points only when you’re ready to use them. Point transfers cannot be reversed or refunded.
  • Monitor Transfer Time: Be aware of the expected transfer time. If there are any issues or delays beyond the typical time frame, don’t hesitate to contact the customer service of your rewards program.

Transferring points can seem intimidating, but with a bit of research and careful planning, it can be a powerful tool to maximize your reward points. As always, understanding your options and making informed decisions are key to leveraging your points to their fullest potential.

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Joe Morelli

Joe Morelli, an avid travel enthusiast and founder of Modern Miles, has mastered the art of earning and redeeming millions of points and miles annually. Accompanied by his wife and two children, he explores the world's wonders, inspiring others with his expertise and unquenchable thirst for adventure.

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