Rookie Wednesday for Business: Skybonus! Delta Air Lines other award program

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RenesPoints Rookie

Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.

EDIT: Please see this UPDATED post as much of the info below is now out of date!


Delta has had a real revenue based earnings program for a long time call SkyBonus. It ONLY awards you for the cost of the ticket. No tax, only the real cash that goes to Delta (you do still get credit for flying Skyteam “code share” members). The kool part about this program is that, now with SPG  CrossoverRewards, it is possible to earn “3x” points on all Delta tickets.

Delta also gives bonus points when you register for certain deals and fly from hubs and such but basically it is a program to reward business flyers with even more points and perks.

So who can join this program? The directions say:

Skybonus® is a complimentary business travel rewards program designed specifically for small to mid-sized companies. Skybonus turns your business travel budget into rewards by converting the dollars your company spends for travel on Delta, Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Alitalia, or any of our codeshare partners into Skybonus points.

So just what is a small to mid-sized company? And, can say a sole proprietor join this program? Delta tells us:

Delta reserves the right to determine the eligibility of the Company.

So Delta will decide if you are good enough. But, I did reach out to Delta and was told that YES a sole proprietor can absolutely join. I think most Delta Points reader who run a business could join. But there are more bits you need to know.

While you can get a business credit card and spend and earn just about any amount or even run your company at a loss, this is not the case with Skybonus. Delta wants you to spend money on Delta to be able to remain in the program. Notice one of the important T&C listed:

Participating companies that do not have Delta flown revenue greater than $5,000 USD or the equivalent in other currencies per calendar year may be de-enrolled from the Program.

Does that mean you will be kicked out automatically if you say spend $3000 or $4000 one year? Probably not, but you will be on notice I bet. EDIT: as of 21MAY2014 there is a spend tracker!

new skybonus spend tracker

Delta wants those who spend money on Delta tickets and to reward them with more perks. What kind of perks? Most of the Skybonus site you cannot access unless you are a member. You can peak at the full list at THIS PDF of the rewards.

As you can see, the rewards take a bunch of points and the fact that you earn them at a much lower rate than Skymiles means that it will take a while. There have been HUGE new user bonus point deals in the past so I would wait for a new one to come along before you join unless you have a bunch of employees flying all over and waiting will cost you.

Also, there are ways to clean up on this but with some warnings. All your employees, when they fly Delta, can earn YOU Skybonus points by adding your SkyBonus number to their Skymiles account (go to “My Delta” then click “View My Profile” then lastly “Flight Preferences”).

But, say you are a sole proprietor, adding your mom and dad and brother is a really dumb idea as you are a sole proprietor. Now, say you run an LLC or a small business and employ your dad and mom and brother, then YES do add them and enjoy the points when they fly for you!

So that is the basics in a Rookie fashion. You need to take advantage of this program if you can as it is just silly to leave points on the table Delta will give you for free – René

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  1. I signed up for skybonus 10 years ago, I fly enough to maintain Platinum status, but also whenever my family or inlaws fly they use my skybonus number. I have never used any points and my balance is now 160,000. It seems points expire 3 years after you earn them, so I have let a lot of these go to waste. Thanks for the reminder to use these.

  2. We signed up for this program when there wasn’t a promotion. Later they offered a 30,000 point bonus (which is alot of points in this program). I emailed them and they gave me the 30,000 points. YMMV, but keep an eye out for the promotions.

  3. Correct me if I’m wrong but I feel that the value of skybonus flight redemptions increased significantly when DL added XVE fare classes. The lowest awards require T availability and I feel that it is now much easier to find. I also just Delta today and confirmed that they do not charge YQ for international awards. JFK-HKG here I come!

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