Delta devalues Skybonus Silver Medallion awards up to 43% – no advance notice!

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new july2014 skybonus rewards

I am clearly a big fan of Skybonus and it, along with CrossoverRewards is a great way to “extra” dip each flight you take on Delta.

Now some may not consider Silver Medallion status all that great since the largest rewards and recognition from Delta starts with the Gold Medallion level. However, for Delta now and then flyers Silver Medallion (FO) status truly is a sweet perk and if you work that status the right way you can really enjoy a bunch a benefits. When I was an FO I got quite a few upgrades and worst case enjoyed exit row seating and all the other perks this entry level status brings.

skyclub membership in skybonus

Well Delta has, with no advance notice, massively devalued the perks of gifting someone Silver Medallion status by using your Skybonus points. Take a look at the OLD chart, updated in May2014 with the new Skyclub membership awards, then the new one at the top of the post. Under the old chart you could redeem your Skybonus points this way:

  • January 1st redemption yielded 14 months status at 100k = 7,000 Skybonus points per month cost for the award
  • June 1st redemption yielded 9 months status at 100k = 11,000 Skybonus points per month cost for the award (BAD CHOICE)
  • July 1st redemption yielded 20 months status at 160k = 8,000 Skybonus points per month cost for the award

Clearly you would want to either wait until 1JAN each year or until 1JULY each year to get at the sweet spot at 7-8k per month redemption value. If you redeemed at other times you would be paying a much higher points vs. time value for the status as high as 11,000 points with a June 1st award redemption!

delta skybonus silver medallion award rules 12 months

Well just take a look at the new award that is for a fixed 12 months whenever you redeem the Silver Medallion award with Skybonus.

  • 12 months status at 120k = 10,000 Skybonus points per month cost for the award

This, compared to the old best choice redemption of 14 month value represents a 43% jump in redemption cost and a 25% jump compared to the 20 month award.

The other thing that is a bit strange to me is now you can have flyers with status that ends at any time during the year and this is a big shift for Delta as all status no matter where you got it was through the end of the “medallion year” that in the past was always the last day of February but now changing to the last day of January in 2016.

Most travel bloggers HATE no notice stealth program changes but this is just one more in a long line from Delta. Most flyers save points, often with a goal in mind and a stealth devaluation of 25-43% is not something appreciated by loyal program members. – René
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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  1. The USPTO knew this was coming, that’s why they didn’t approve “Delta – America’s most trusted airline.” and instead suggested “Delta SkyMiles – At least our program is devalued slightly less than the Zimbabwe Dollar!”


  2. So do you trust Delta flyers worldwide are happy with this new move?

  3. I wouldn’t put it passed Delta to keep devaluing anything and everything. In other news, it looks like Venezuela has settled its debts with Delta in full by pegging the bolívar to the SkyMile 1:1 and returning over 1 billion SkyMiles to the world’s most trusted airline. Looks like they beat Delta at their own game.

  4. Just wondering if Delta is leading the charge for all carriers to end loyalty programs. Will Gold Medallions see the next big “enhancement”? I think Delta already has a long-term plan in place for SkyMiles.

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