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transfer-delta-miles-logoThis is another in a series of posts helping actual readers answer some of their more beginner-themed questions.  Today’s question comes from Debbie, who asks

Can I transfer Delta miles?  Can Delta Skymiles from multiple family members be transferred to 1 family member in order to get a ticket? Are there fees involved? Many thanks!

Can I transfer Delta miles?

You can transfer Delta miles, like most airline miles.  Unfortunately, unlike transfers from Chase or American Express, which happen pretty instantaneously and are generally free, in order to transfer Delta miles, you are going to pay for the privilege

The cost to transfer Delta miles is 1 cent per mile, PLUS a $30 transaction fee.

What are the conditions / fine print in order to transfer Delta miles?

You can transfer Delta miles on Delta’s official website.  Here is some of the fine print if you transfer Delta miles:

  • You can transfer Delta miles TO 4 people in a single transaction, in increments of 1,000 Delta Skymiles.  You will need the recipient’s name and Delta Skymiles number
  • You can transfer up to 30,000 miles to a single person in a transaction, and there’s an annual limit of 300,000 Delta miles TO any one Skymiles account and an annual limit of 150,000 Delta miles FROM any one Delta Skymiles account
  • There is no limit to how many transactions you do to transfer Delta miles
  • Miles do not count towards Delta medallion status

Is it a good idea to transfer Delta miles?

Well, as always, the answer is: “it depends”.  In a vacuum, I would say that it is NOT a good use of your miles to transfer Delta miles.

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So going back to Debbie’s original question, she can transfer Delta miles, but she was looking at combining accounts from multiple people into ONE account, which would require multiple transactions, paying the 1 cent per mile fee AND the $30 transaction fee multiple times.  Generally, I’d say that this is NOT a good idea, but if you have an urgent need, then it’s possible that it might make sense to transfer Delta miles from one account to another.

This is in contrast to frequent flier programs like British Airways, which do have the concept of “household accounts”, which let you combine points between several people in the same household for free.

 

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