January 14th, 2014
Delta’s Skymiles program is awful enough to be known as Skypesos. The Delta Credit Card is useful for free baggage for up to 9 passengers but you don’t want to use that card for general spending as there are much better programs out there to accumulate miles in.
But just because you’re flying Delta doesn’t mean you have to accumulate the miles earned from your Delta flight by them.
You can call Delta to earn miles for your ticket in any of their partner programs such as:
-Alaska has an excellent mileage program that allows you to redeem miles on a plethora of top-notch OneWorld and Skyteam airlines. Alaska miles won’t expire as long as you have any activity every 18 months. They are a transfer partner with Starwood. You can even credit miles earned from other partner flights like American to Alaska!
-Korean also has a great mileage program which allows really cheap award redemptions to Alaska or Hawaii and they have the best lie-flat first class international award availability of perhaps any airline. Miles don’t expire for 10 years and they are transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards.
-Air France/KLM Flying Blue has some nice redemptions like promo awards for 12.5K award tickets to Israel plus fuel surcharges or 25K award tickets on Delta to Israel with no fuel surcharges. And they allow one-way redemptions on Delta even though you can’t do that with Delta’s own miles. However miles expire after just 20 months unless you fly on a paid Skyteam flight and credit the miles to Flying Blue. They are transfer partners with both American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood.
The first thing you need to do is locate the fare class of your ticket which is a letter code next to every flight.
Finally take a look at GCMap.com to see how many actual flight miles you will be flying. For example if someone bought a round-trip ticket from JFK to Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii via Los Angeles he would be flying 9,958 miles.
Earning from that flight can be 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%, 125%, or 150% depending on the letter of the ticketing class.
A 25% earning would mean getting just 2,490 miles. A 150% earning would mean 14,937 miles.
For example I asked this question on DDF yesterday and DDF user jewdkoff has an outbound flight in S class and a return in V class. He has several options for each flight.
The S class outbound flight would earn full 100% mileage when credited to Delta or to partner airlines like Flying Blue, Alaska, or Korean.
However the V class return flight would earn 100% mileage when credited to Delta or Alaska, but just 25% when credited to Flying Blue and zilch if credited to Korean.
-DDF user aryeh1 had a Z class business flight.
If he credits that to Delta would get 150% of the actual miles flown while he would get 125% if credited to Alaska, Flying Blue, or Korean.
-DDF user 972sg212 was booked into C class outbound and T class on the return.
The C class business flight would get 150% of the actual miles when credited to Delta or Flying Blue or 125% if credited to Alaska or Korean.
The T class return flight would earn 100% mileage when credited to Delta or Alaska, but just 25% to Flying Blue and zilch if credited to Korean.
-DDF user Tzadik Nistar had a Y class coach flight.
It would get 150% of the actual miles flown when credited to Delta or 100% if credited to Alaska, Flying Blue, or Korean.
Of course not all miles are created equally. I would rather have 1.25 Alaska miles than 1.5 Delta miles, so weigh your options before you decide.
So, where will you be crediting your miles to?