MASSIVE CHANGES TO SKYMILES – revenue program 2015!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

changes skymiles 2015

Follow-up post on the way soon! Massive for 2015! The ONLY initial good news is we have 10 months to BURN our Skymiles. (Edit: or earn a ton #Developing)!

More to come soon – René

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. We all knew this was coming one day. At first glance this is really bad. Much harder to earn a volume of miles at a good price and looks to be like lots of higher redemption levels on the way. 5 tiers of redemption? It might cost 100k for a domestic Econ ticket to a popular destination. Might as well spend the $600 ticket price.

  2. so from their 2015 program pdf it says
    Your existing miles are safe and are no different from the miles you will earn in 2015. In fact, going forward, your current miles will be even more valuable since you’ll be able to use them more easily with these new redemption options. ”

    If skymiles become LESS valuable because they gut the chart, can we sue for false advertising?

  3. yea, that’s how I see it (for flying), though I earn the majority of my miles from CC spend, so this doesn’t impact me unless they change how skymiles are earned from CC spend. if they guy the award chart, I’m switching to southwest

  4. I can’t say I’m surprised by these changes. Despite having one of the worst award redemption programs in the industry, leisure and business travelers have stuck with Delta. I have little reason to expect that there will be any kind of exodus from the airline after this changes go into effect. Until Delta sees a drop in passengers, I fully expect more detrimental changes to SkyMiles in the future.

  5. The end of the mileage run will be coming in 2016 as status will be based solely on dollars spent.

  6. Darth Chocolate Reply

    Certainly good news for us BITS (Butt In The Seat) FF who fly International Business Class, although I may be leaving many miles on the table. All of you who get status and miles through spend will get hosed – I think the CCs were meant to enhance the program, not to replace it.

    I have a IAH-CDG R/T in Business Class for $8400. That will earn 20,104 miles as a PE in 2014 and 75,000 as a PE in 2015. According to their calculator, at the 9 pts/$, I lose 600 miles (over the limit).

    When I get Diamond later this year, the loss in miles will be 17,400 for the same ticket – this may make me be a little more price sensitive, looking for the sweet spot to minimize the mile loss.

    And for all of you who are complaining about this, it was only a matter of time until the airlines wised up. Don’t be too surprised when UA or AA institutes the same type of program with worse terms.

  7. Does anyone have information on how Miles can be earned via AMEX Delta branded cards? Another words currently I earn most of my Delta miles via the AMEX DL RES Card, with the $1 spent on everyday purchases equal 1 mile earned. I can’t seem to find if that would change under the “new way”.

  8. So, the changes will kill mileage running on Delta but not change earning miles through CC spend? I don’t understand why so many people are saying now they’re going to dump they’re Amex cards… I mean, unless it’s to get them back a year later and get the sign-up bonus again in 2015. So long as awards are at the same cost and, perhaps, improve in availability, this seems a small improvement for CC spenders.

  9. Pingback: My take on the #Skymiles2015 changes (and what to do in 2014) - Delta Points - Delta Points

  10. Wow for a plat that I am really gets hurt but for a silver.They get a better rate at the same price ticket. Unreal. Used the (new)calculator on a roc to tpa trip at 200-400-600 and the 400 dollar ticket it is better silver for percentage then plat with the current program.

  11. Am I right, that there seems to be a big loophole? At least for some Intl Coach travelers (like me). I must be wrong, because it seems too easy. Book the flights on Air France or KLM; earn 100% miles flown, 100% Platinum Bonus, and 100% MQM. I still use the AMEX to get my $25,000 MQD waiver. For Domestic flights book on Delta, yes some of those will be less. But for the Long Haul flights (which are the ones hit VERY HARD by the change) book on AF or KL…. no change??

    • @Jim – does not look that way no:

      When you fly with a partner airline, the fare you paid isn’t always shared with Delta. Therefore, flights that are both marketed and ticketed by Delta’s partner airlines will earn mileage based on a percentage of the distance flown as determined by the fare class paid.
      We currently are working with our partners and more details will be announced later this year

      Translation = Unless Delta is getting paid in full you had better expect them to continue to offer less and less points if you are buying ANYWHERE other than and it is a DL marketed flight!

  12. Wow, totally kills earning decent miles on overseas flights, my standard trips to Korea will change mileage accrual from 17K to 11K miles roundtrip. Now I am definitely going to re-consider going back to United…unless they are planning to do something similar? 🙁

  13. United and American will both do something similar, it’s just a matter of when. I only fly TATL 3-4 x per year and for me this is horrible. I guess I’ll just get a Capital One Rewards card and fly whoever is cheapest going forward. This is my last year trying for status on Delta. Sheesh.

  14. Pingback: Am I the only one happy about Delta’s announced program changes? - The Frequent Miler

  15. Rene keep it coming. I laugh at people like @Santastico who read a blog post about a company they hate, only complain about it the product. If you hate Delta, then leave. This blog should be an exchange of interests and opinions among like minded individuals. I commend Rene for having the courage to post the rants of individuals like @Santastico. This shows real confidence in the value of the information Rene shares and I for one appreciate it.

    • @KevinIN – txs so much – most reader have been super fine about what they say. Heck disagree all you want with me and if you don’t like the changes say so I am happy to approve and post it. I was truly expecting much worse and only had to add 1 to my permanent blocked list for attacking me!

  16. From my reading, determination of elite status will not change. You still need MQM/MQS and MQDs. If so, this really won’t affect mileage runs since they are done predominantly for elite status. Looks like miles will be harder to accrue under this for discount fare flyers. Have to wait and see the new levels/miles cost to determine if they are opening up more and/or devaluing.

  17. This is the inevitable consequence of industry consolidation. Every merger touts promised consumer benefits that will be realized due to lower costs and many are conditioned on the airline committing to maintaining service, hubs, employment levels, etc. The conditions, however, normally have two or three year terms and the airlines promptly void their promises when the terms expires. To the extent costs are lowered, the benefits normally go to the shareholders not the customers/frequent flyers. The best protection for us consumers would be having a number of firms competing for our business. If the industry is only able to support two or three firms with national and international routes, then perhaps greater government regulation is appropriate. That is my theoretical rant on this matter. I look forward to reading your practical advice on our options for managing an incredibly negative change in delta’s program.

  18. deltasegmentflyer Reply

    If Delta comes through on its promises than I will be extremely happy. For me a segment flyer this is going to be a big advantage for me. This year doing more long haul but last year I would have earned significantly more miles.

  19. I want to thank this blog for making me aware of the changes. For me, I will now be earning less than half the miles I do today. This is unacceptable. I hope many will do as I have done and that is tell Delta this is unacceptable and tell them this drop in loyalty program will also drop the loyalty of us patrons – I have been Diamond since it became available. I find myself lucky, I just moved from a Delta hub, MSP, to Phoenix. I have not enjoyed any flights on US Air since moving but with this change, I am going to become an AA premier flyer. In early 2015, I will hit 2 million miles, secure a lifetime Gold status and move airlines, I have informed Delta, I hope there are enough of us who will leave to make them reconsider this effort.

  20. Rene,

    Do you have any clue how to separate out “carrier imposed fees” (which will count next year) from “taxes” (which won’t)?

    For example, I just bought a ticket thru Delta on KLM, going LAX->AMS->BLQ and back. My receipt says Fare: $747.00, Taxes/Carrier-Imposed Fees: $644.30, for a total ticket amount of: $1391.30.

    I see this itemization list for the taxes/fees, but I have no clue how to decode it, and split it into the two groups:

    Total: 644.30
    Itemized: 2.50 AY 5.00 XA 7.00 XY 5.50 YC 19.60 CJ 18.40 RN 5.40 VV 1.70 EX 8.90 HB 10.10 IT 1.10 MJ 3.60 VT 516.00 YR 4.50 XF 35.00 US


    – Ken

    • @Ken – Delta should on the page just before purchase, when you are logged in, show your MQD earnings amount. That base fare is all you will earn on next year. That is it!

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