Do Delta Vacations Tickets (and packages) Still Earn Full Points (SkyMiles, MQMs & MQDs)? Well, mostly…

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Current Delta Vacations Promotion

Many many years ago I had a post with a quote from the then External Communications Manager from Delta Vacations stating clearly that both published, and unpublished (think exception fares) would earn FULL points for us Delta flyers. Is this still the case?

Before we get too deep down this complicated points math rabbit hole let’s get some things out of the way. I do NOT recommend Delta Vacations for your bookings. Not because they are not a fine organization but because I doubt you will EVER find a better value booking other, better ways. Additionally, most of the rewards are paid in SkyMiles and they are worth only about 1 cent each (and going lower it seems day by day).

But if DO you want to earn SkyMiles, MQMs and MQDs then this post is meant to be an update to have a post to share with you if you ask me anything about Delta Vacations and earnings.

Gotta read the “fine print” for points

Another thing to get out of the way is that most of the time you will earn the points you expect to get. At the bottom of the promotion at the top of this post on they have a tiny little disclaimer however that takes you to another page on

OK, I see Delta Vacations – now what?

Here you have another disclaimer including Delta vacations. At this point the wording starts to get so complex it makes a long form tax filing seem like a walk in the park (not really but you get my drift). And it gets worse if you look at the second arrow above.

What in the world?

There can be the slight chance you run into an “exception fare”. How do you know this? Well you really have no idea until after the fact. Even asking them you may not find out as the fare basis codes (by letter) look the same as normal fares. But if you do fall into one of these you may not get the “full” points you expect. But that is not always a bad thing and it could mean MORE points. Err wait – what? I told you to hold on for this one.

From a “free” ticket.

A post many readers can not seem to grasp is that getting away from Delta standard earning charts can be a gold mine and so much more rewarding than the normal charts. The above was a mistake fare i.e. the cost of the ticket itself was ZERO dollars but there were some taxes. But I earned a ton of points based on, as Delta points out, fare class and distance.

Bonus miles? Yes please!

Now with exception fares it is not quite as good a chart (but a slightly simpler one) than most of the partner earning charts but many of the same principles apply including the bonus SkyMiles for your elite levels as you see above. Also know that MQDs are based on 1/5th of the points earned and MQMs are earned as a normal ticket.

Bottom line this is a very long post that I guess I could have summed up with the simple statement that if you do book a Delta Vacations package, most of the time, you will get full points you expect. However, this is not 100% guaranteed as it once was and you may, sometimes, earn either more and sometimes less points than you expected to and it is VERY hard to find out from reps ahead of time! – René




  1. My experience as of the two most recent DL vacations to Mexico and Orlando during September 2018 and December 2018 was that I did get awarded MQM and MQS’s; but zero MQD due to it being exception(non-published discount) fare.

  2. I made the mistake of booking a Delta Vacation package once. I learned that I would not receive Marriott hotel points/night stay credits which was disappointing, since I needed the 3 nights to make the next level. I am sure Delta mentioned this in one of the very fine print areas. Never again.

  3. rene

    @Sandy – Yes one more reason not to use them. Thank you for data point.

  4. Keyser Soze

    My wife and I went to Mexico a few weeks ago via Delta vacations. My miles and MQM’s posted right away. 3 weeks after our return hers had not (yes, her FF number was in the reservation from the time of the original booking). I called the Platinum line, and they were in her account in a day. I didn’t pay attention to MQD’s for either of us. I had already shredded the boarding passes since in the modern era, I’ve never had them not post.

  5. Same experience with us for Marriott points and stat credits. We had tons of nights, too (2 rooms for 18 nights). DV was a good experience but this added about $2k to the cost via lost points and the accelerated bonuses. Never again.

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