Rookie Wednesday: Can I send / transfer my Delta points, awards, tickets etc. to someone else? Any workarounds? YES!

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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.

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This week I thought it would be good to cover some really basic (for many) Delta do’s and don’ts. But first a word of warning or maybe a better way to look at it as “ground rules”.

There are many things you CAN do with Delta stuff but the question is should you. In other words, the cost to do what you want to do is SO expensive that you gain nothing by doing it so why do it at all. But at the same time, there may be a workaround that can help you get done what you are trying to accomplish. Let’s dive in.

Can I send my Delta SkyMiles to someone else? Yes, you can but the cost to transfer SkyMiles to another is 1 cent per point plus a $30 fee. Yikes. Please never do this.

The workaround – you can book an award for anyone you want. If you were say, planning on giving your SkyMiles to your mom/dad/brother/sister etc why not just book the ticket for them from your account without extra cost. If you are a few miles short simply pick up a Delta AMEX card you have never had before.

Can I cancel a Delta award ticket and get my points back? Sure, as long as it is at least 72 hours before the first flight. However, unless you are a Platinum or Diamond Medallion you are going to pay a fee to get your points back into your account.

The workaround – check to see if there has been ANY kind of schedule change or even airline operator change. May times you may have been on one regional partner when you booked and now you are on another. Either may be enough to get any fees waived. If they push back be sure to HUCB to see if someone will get this done for you.

Can I transfer other points to Delta if I am a few point short? Yes, but only a few. Amex Membership Rewards points from a number of cards transfer 1:1 to Delta almost instantly. SPG points take a few days. What if you don’t have the points to send?

The workaround – SPG points can be shared with anyone in your household. So, if another family member has some they can send them to you (1,000 minimum at a time) and then YOU can send the SPG points to your Delta SkyMiles account for a ticket.

Can I get Delta to waive the fee for my checked bag for someone else if I have the Delta AMEX card and booked the ticket for them from my account? Sorry no, they will have to pay unless you are with them and on the same flights.

The workaround – Delta will check any bag you want free if you can just get it to the gate. TSA will not stop you as long as it can fit in the X-Ray unit but there could be hired people to try to block you. It is up to your friend how bold they want to be to avoid the fee.

Can I get into the Sky Club on a domestic first class ticket? For the most part the rule is no so you have to pay to get in even on a first class ticket.

The workaround – Many folks who enter the Sky Club have full membership. It is kinda weird but you can “lurk” outside the club and ask someone if they can guest you in. Or try to work with some FlyerTalker who is willing to guest you in when they are flying.

Can I use SkyMiles to upgrade my ticket to first class? Probably but like sending SkyMiles to someone else the cost is likely not worth it. It could cost you as much as an award all on it’s own.

The workaround – check to see how much an award ticket would cost you right now compared to an upgrade. If they are both the same consider asking the rep to cancel and waive all fees and have your old ticket as just a credit for future travel and then just book the award ticket in 1st class. Not a cheap option but a possible savings last minute.

I really want to be a Delta Medallion. Can I use SkyMiles to become an elite? Sorry no. Elite points are earned via how far you fly (and the fare class you are in) unlike SkyMiles that are based on how much your ticket cost you.

The workaround – get a Delta AMEX Platinum or Reserve card and spend a bunch of money on it to get MQMs. For example, if you have never had it and got the Delta Reserve card and then spent $60,000 on it before 31DEC and ALSO flew just 10,000 miles on Delta you would be Gold Medallion ie a total of 50,000 MQM elite points. That even gives you “Elite+” status with all of Skyteam as well. Or, consider PWM or “Pay With Miles” tickets that do earn elite MQMs even when paying for your tickets with SkyMiles this way.

So there you are. These are some of the most common searches and questions here on the blog and some possible workarounds for each one. Delta does not make it easy for us but if we are willing to do what it takes things can work out for the best! – René





  1. Hi Rene;

    A question for you about reward tickets bought for someone else: If the member was platinum or diamond, buying for someone who isn’t, can that ticket still be cancelled or changed before 72 hr without penalty?

    Thank you!

  2. I lurked outside a United club once in Chicago… worked like a charm a few years ago. Have to be selective on who you ask.

  3. Is it possible to share MQM points with others? My wife only gets to Silver each year, but has a lot of MQM’s that carry over each year since she doesn’t fly enough to reach Gold.

  4. Okay, a quick follow-up. We do not have that card, but have the Am DL Platinum card. Can she gift them to me w/o the Reserve card?

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