Delta Clarifies New Partner Transfer Limits, Workarounds Exist For Starwood And Membership Rewards Transfers

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Earlier today I covered a couple of American Express downgrades. 

Here are some clarifications from Delta:

1. The change is being made by Delta. “We are increasing the value of miles and reducing the demand for Award Tickets. This in turn will increase the number of lower-priced Awards available to Delta SkyMiles members, especially for our most loyal members who earn the majority of their miles through the SkyMiles program.”

2. The change will apply to all Delta transfer partners. That includes the big 2, Starwood and AMEX Membership Rewards. For Starwood the limit will actually be 200K Starpoints as 200K Starpoints converts into 250K Skymiles.

3. You will be able to receive up to 250K per calendar year from each Delta partner.

4. The 250K limit goes into effect 01/01/15 for all partners. While the original transfer date is used, don’t wait until 12/31 to make a transfer in case they get counted in 2015.

5. The partner loyalty account can only transfer 250K miles per year to Delta, period. It doesn’t matter whether you transfer to one or multiple Delta accounts, the 250K total limit applies.

6. Limits don’t apply to Delta AMEX cards.

As I said in the last post, I still see several workarounds here.

-For Starwood you can transfer Starpoints to other Starwood accounts located in your household. They don’t need a Starwood credit card, anyone can open a free account on While your personal Delta account would only be able to receive 250K points per year, you can transfer Starpoints from your account to a household member’s account and from there to their Delta account. From their Delta account you can book award travel for anyone.

-For Membership Rewards you can have multiple eligible credit cards and you can request that different American Express cards accumulate points in their own Membership Rewards account. You can also freely transfer points between each of your Membership Rewards accounts so that each of your Membership Rewards eligible cards can transfer 250K points to Delta annually. While your personal Delta account would only be able to receive 250K points per year, you can add a spouse or child as an additional user on your credit card account and transfer points to their Delta accounts. From their Delta account you can book award travel for anyone.

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13 Comments On "Delta Clarifies New Partner Transfer Limits, Workarounds Exist For Starwood And Membership Rewards Transfers"

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Dans the MAN!

DAN, Does this effect the award availability?? I had 81,000 AMEX membership rewards points that I needed to use before my 1 st year was over and would have to pay the $175 annual fee. Yesterday I wasn’t sure where to transfer my Miles, so I ended up transferring them to Delta. Was that a bad move?? Please give me some advice.


can delta points transfer to Starwood?


@Dans the MAN!:
You could have gotten a free card like the Everyday card to store your points.
There are many better options than Delta.

No miles transfer backwards to AMEX/Chase/Starwood.


So do you think this puts a ding in booking service providers? I assume most don’t recommed transfering to skymiles but could make their job harder. Particularly if the other airlines follow suit.


Dan will you consider doing a post regarding Freedom 4th quarter bonus categories; specifically which dept stores we can buy gift cards or gas cards?


Just wondering what is delta’s real intention with this? Is it as they say? Also will it actually help availabilty for real?


This is put a dent into brokers and MileSpend/Churning folk who supply the points. Sure there are workarounds, but only a limited and still cap out.

Delta must have run the numbers to see if it will make an impact. At 250k miles, that’s still enough for most family of 4 travel without impact and probably won’t affect 99% of regular point users.


Thanks Dan! Im really learning a lot from you! I just wanted to know what is the cheapest way to get from LAX to New York with miles and from LAX to TLV with miles. I know you said something about Air Berlin being the cheapest to Israel, but from LAX as well?
Thanks for your help!!!!


Due to my frequent work travel, my company has offered me either the Amex platinum business card (they pay the $450 fee) OR any airline lounge membership. I fly every week roundtrip and mostly fly Southwest, United and US Air/American. but can’t eat the food at the lounge due to Kosher. Which option would you recommend? Thanks!


Sorry – for additional background – I mostly fly out of EWR and occasionally LGA. Thanks again.


@Josh: lounge access is included in the Platinum Amex benefits


@Josh: @Josh: You need to get the United Club credit card that is your best option

Miles Geek

Dan do you see any way that we can get around this and put over 250k in a single Delta account.