The Delta SkyBonus program is made for business owners and their employees. The points you earn from it can be spent without canceling out your personal frequent flyer miles. Here’s how it works, and how using the right credit card can help you triple your miles.
Delta Air Lines has made significant changes to its main frequent flyer program.
Fixed redemption rates – say, 25,000 miles for an intercontinental U.S. flight – have made way for dynamic pricing depending on seats available, destination and other factors. With this change, it might require more Delta SkyMiles to get you to where you want to be.
However, Delta has spruced up a little-known, parallel program called Delta SkyBonus. Like American Airlines Business Extra, the Delta SkyBonus program is made for business owners and their employees. The advantage is that these SkyBonus points can be earned and spent without canceling out your personal frequent flyer miles.
As a business owner, this is how you can double or even triple your flight rewards with just a little effort.
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Who should sign up for Delta SkyBonus?
Delta designed SkyBonus for business people, from corporate travel managers and business leaders scheduling for employees to small business owners and solo entrepreneurs setting their own travel. It is free, but there are some important guidelines to follow.
First, Delta requires that you spend at least $5,000 on eligible flight purchases annually. For instance, it could mean you and your team would do a total of 10 round trips costing $500 or more. It’s worth noting that only the flat cost is counted, so you may need to buy a $560 ticket to earn $500 sans taxes and fees.
Most importantly, the annual purchases must be flown by at least five individual members of your company. If your company only has three employees flying in a particular year, then Delta SkyBonus has the right not to honor your points earned during that particular time.
The individual flyers don’t have to pay separately – in other words, you as a business owner can pay for their flights the same way. What matters is how many individuals are flying any given year.
Delta SkyBonus really doesn’t make much sense for companies with fewer than five people traveling on Delta at least once per year. Again, the carrier reserves the right to not count a specific year of SkyBonus points if your activity falls below the minimum spend or flyers by the year’s end.
How to sign up for Delta SkyBonus
It requires answering a few brief questions to sign up. You’ll need to enter your company’s federal tax identification number or VAT, and provide the name of your program administrator. Delta will send a confirmation email, and you’re ready to start flying.
Like an additional frequent flyer number, you can now add the SkyBonus ID when you or your employees book a trip. You can also add the SkyBonus number to your Delta profile, so it will automatically be added to any future bookings through the website.
You’ll earn a bonus on what you’re buying already
SkyBonus gives you a point for every $1 spent and quickly multiplies that number based on your flight origin or destination and fare class.
Not coming from or going to one of the Delta hubs in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis or San Jose? You will get 3 points per $1 spent for those flights. Beyond that, Delta gives up to 30 points per $1 spent.
The program also has rotating bonuses for flying particular routes within a business quarter as well as deals with Air France, KLM and other partners. It is worth visiting the detailed SkyBonus page regularly and even taking the SkyBonus beginner quiz to get some free points to start.
Having a multiplier strategy is worthwhile since SkyBonus redemptions are costly. Getting a round-trip limited availability main cabin flight within U.S. and Canada will run 90,000 points, or more than $90,000 in business flights earned without any multiples.
A systemwide first-class certificate wherever Delta flies costs 1,500,000 points. On the other end, 10 beverage or headset coupons cost only 10,000 points.
How to stack your miles with Delta SkyBonus
Things get worthwhile when you start adding the ID to your profile and think strategically about how you purchase flights. The SkyBonus points don’t negate you or your employees’ frequent flyer mile earnings – you still get both. With the right Delta credit card, you can also triple stack what everyone earns.
I recently purchased a short first-class one-way business flight to the Bay Area in California. Delta gave me 30 points per $1 spent based on the takeoff and landing locations as well as the ticket class.
The first-class ticket also kicked in the bonus personal miles, as Delta multiplies frequent flyer miles as well as Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) going toward my elite status.
Lastly, I purchased it with my Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, which gives 2 Delta frequent flyer miles per $1 spent with Delta. In all, the one flight earned 1.5 frequent flyer miles per dollar from Delta, 2 frequent flyer miles per dollar from American Express, and 30 SkyBonus points per dollar.
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The Delta SkyBonus system works well if you have a business big enough to consistently have at least five flyers as well as $5,000 in Delta purchases annually.
It is a smart way to stack up more miles, too, shielding you and your team against future frequent flyer redemption devaluations, especially if you do it with the right card.