Elite Status

Clearing Out My Delta SkyBonus Account – Picking My Final Award

Delta Skybonus
Written by Charlie

Facing the end of my eligibility in the Delta SkyBonus program, here are my award options with the points I have left. What is the best redemption?

Delta, like other airlines, has a business-earning program as well as their personal frequent flyer program. It allows small businesses and up to earn awards based on the value of the tickets purchased while the flyer still earns their regular award and elite miles. It is a nice way to double-dip a bit and get more rewards out of your flying.

Clearing Out My Delta SkyBonus Account

Delta Skybonus

Goodbye, Delta SkyBonus! It has been fun!

Program Devaluation

Delta’s program – Skybonus – has been gutted this year like their frequent flyer awards program. They used to give points away like crazy through promotions and promotional routes. This was in addition to their awarding of points based on the money spent.

Now, they have tightened this up and they are giving much less in terms of earning on cheaper tickets. Combine that with their requirement of at least 5 employees and a minimum of $5,000 in spending per year and that is causing many small businesses to lose out on their hard-earned points with the Delta Skybonus program.

Not Qualifying – Time To Spend!

Since I did not hit those requirements, I need to cash out my Delta Skybonus account to avoid losing all of my points at the end of this year. The program has been pretty good to me – I have redeemed for several awards including free tickets to South Pacific/Australia from the US.

But, my point total leaves me between award options. I currently have 147,000 points. That is 28,000 points shy of getting a transatlantic flight (which would be good for me) and 73,000 points away from what I would really want – the systemwide award that would let me fly anywhere Delta flies.

Award Options

Delta Skybonus

Some of my award options

While there are many awards that are within my points budget, I am not going to redeem my points for full-fare upgrade options. I never buy full-fare to begin with and I could always use miles or buy cheap business/first would be cheaper than full-fare many times anyway. So it really gives me three options:

Any travel certificates have to be used within 1 year of issue. While spending 85,000 points for a free ticket within the US (minus Hawaii)/Canada is not what I really want to spend my points on, in this case, it appears it may be the best option for me. I never fly Delta anymore so the club membership would not be of value to me (I will be getting another Amex Platinum card at some point which would give me access anyway) and Silver status, while better than nothing, certainly would not be worth it to me. So, it looks like the SkyBonus certificate!

Delta Skybonus

Delta Skyclubs are nice but will not be something I visit much in 2016!

Plus, that leaves me 62,000 extra points. I’m not totally sure what I will do with those quite yet but may grab the 5 Skyclub passes. Even though those can be purchased by anyone with an American Express Delta card for only $29, they would still have some value and at least place the value of those remaining points at $145. Not too bad for leftovers!


Since I am about to lose my place in the Delta SkyBonus program for not requalifying, it is time to spend the 147,000 points I have! I think I have 3 main options, but of course, I am definitely open to hearing what you think about it and if I might have missed some other beneficial way to use those points before they expire tomorrow! If you have Delta Skybonus points, what are you planning to do with them?

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • I had over 1 million miles so I decided to splurge and got 1 enhanced availability business RT to Brazil, 1 sky club executive membership for wife and extra passes that I can give to my kids when they travel alone, to bad they will not let me keep program for next year 🙁

  • Well, I had over 2 million points, mainly through consulting where the client would fly me to Asia a few times per year.

    Spent about half on 2 FC Hawaii rewards (enhanced availability). Got 4 US enhanced availability, and 4 regular availability. Just ordered headset/beverage coupons, leaving me 17K orphan points.

    Fun while it lasted.

    • Order another set of 10 beverage coupons…then you are only stuck with 7k orphan points.

      I only had 90k, so I used 60k for 5 Sky Club passes, and 30k for 30 drink tickets. Is what it is…

      • I misspoke. I have 7500 points left. Even if I had more, as a DM, I don’t need the beverage coupons (drink rarely), so I give them to friends/acquaintances who do. They were more valuable when they could be used for premium snack boxes.