Delta Air Lines made some changes to its SkyBonus program on Tuesday. And I must say, I’m fine with the enhancements.
What is SkyBonus?
Delta SkyBonus is a program that rewards businesses for spending money traveling on Delta and certain other SkyTeam airlines.
SkyBonus points are earned based on the class of travel and which cities are involved in an itinerary.
SkyBonus is separate from SkyMiles. So, if you own a company and fly Delta a lot, you can earn both SkyMiles and SkyBonus points.
Do note that participating businesses must have five (5) unique travelers per year and spent at least $5,000 on airfare. Otherwise, they’re suspended from the program if they don’t reach those thresholds. (René offered some choice words about SkyBonus a few years ago.)
Now, on with the show!
Delta SkyBonus Changes
Like most changes, there’s good and bad. Let’s rip off the bandage right away and start with what got axed.
SkyBonus points are no longer redeemable for international award travel.
Below is an old screenshot (like, from 2014) displaying Africa and South American SkyBonus rewards. But it provides an idea of what was once offered. (The “Other Rewards” are staying, which we’ll cover in a minute.)
That might be a deal-breaker for some people. But the costs were so high (at least, for my SkyBonus budget). Only businesses that spend a ton of money on qualifying travel earn those kinds of points.
And rewarding the big, corporate spenders is pretty much the purpose of SkyBonus.
Delta SkyBonus points were redeemable for upgrades to Delta One and First Class.
That benefit, too, was cut.
I’m sure that stinks for certain travelers.
SkyBonus upgrades were practically impossible to find, though. (Maybe I just had bad luck, who knows?)
First, you had to call and check if there was upgrade inventory open. (The process was similar to redeeming Upgrade Certificates before Delta added the ability for us to search UC inventory on Delta.com.) In the rare instances there was open inventory, you then needed a ticket was purchased in an eligible fare class (if memory serves). I think I was able to use this benefit once.
So, I personally won’t miss the upgrade redemptions.
How about you?
What Was Added? Delta eCredits!
Delta SkyBonus points now may be redeemed for Delta eCredits which are applicable toward travel purchases.
Finally: an easy way to use my SkyBonus points! SkyBonus points will actually help my company save money on travel. And I appreciate that.
The redemption rates seem a little steep — but keep in mind that SkyBonus earnings are based on a variety of factors. A dollar can be worth up to 30 SkyBonus points — or as low as one (1) point.
Remember: flights paid with Delta eCredits earn MQD, MQM, MQS, and SkyMiles. So, there’s kind of a neat cycle of earnings here. (I wonder if trips paid with Delta eCredits obtained through SkyBonus redemptions earn SkyBonus points?)
What are you thoughts about this addition?
SkyBonus points are still redeemable for US 49 (Hawaii is excluded) and Canada travel. Plus, the “Other SkyBonus Rewards” also stay put.
Don’t get too excited yet about redeeming your points for award travel. Like the no-longer-available-upgrade-redemption, award travel is subject to availability. For example, the US/CA – Main Cabin award (90,000 points) is good for a T fare. You’re out of luck if there’s no T fare available for the flight you want. But maybe you can drop 210,000 points — and they’ll book you into a Q fare.
Sky Club passes and memberships are still available, as is Silver Medallion Status. (120,000 SkyBonus points for 12 months of Silver status isn’t the worst deal in the world. Some employees would love to have that simply for the Exit Row seats and the rare upgrade to First Class.)
I don’t know why SkyBonus points aren’t redeemable for Beverage Coupons. When Delta eliminated cabin service during COVID, sure. That was understandable. But now? That kind of stymies me. Part of me wondered if this is a budget thing. But you can use SkyMiles to purchase premium drinks at Delta Sky Clubs. Eh, who knows.
Delta SkyBonus implemented several changes. Upgrades and international award travel are no longer offered. The program kept US/Canada rewards and some other options including Sky Club access and Silver Medallion status.
Points can now be redeemed for Delta eCredits — which are a quick, easy way to help make SkyBonus work for you.
What Do You Think?
Are you happy with the Delta SkyBonus changes? Please share your thoughts in the below Comments section!
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