Do Delta SkyMiles Expire? Do Delta SkyMiles Expire?

Do Delta SkyMiles Expire?

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Delta SkyMiles do not expire. However, in some instances, Delta may choose to deactivate or close your account. If this happens, you would lose your miles. The Delta SkyMiles rules page says:

“Under the SkyMiles Mileage Expiration policy, miles do not expire. Delta reserves the right to deactivate or close an account.”

When Can Delta Close Your Account?

According to the Delta rules page, your account can be terminated — and your miles forfeited — in any of the following six cases:

  • Fraudulent activity on your account.
  • You request account closure.
  • Death of the Delta SkyMiles member.
  • Repeated failure to respond to communications from Delta.
  • You move to a country that prohibits membership in frequent flyer programs.
  • You break the rules of the Delta SkyMiles program.

Delta also notes that it has the right to audit your account at any time and without notice to ensure you're following the SkyMiles rules.

Delta SkyMiles logo

Boosting Your Delta SkyMiles Balance

You can earn Delta SkyMiles in a variety of ways, and there's no need to worry about which methods keep your miles alive. The easiest method to earn a pile of SkyMiles quickly is through welcome bonuses or everyday spending on a Delta credit card.

Delta offers four consumer credit cards and three small business cards that earn Delta miles. And, if you navigate the new Delta family card rules, you can earn bonus miles from a welcome offer on each one of them! For more details, see how to choose the right Delta card.

In addition, you can earn Delta SkyMiles in any of the following ways:

Since Delta SkyMiles do not expire, you don't have to worry about which of these earning options are “qualifying”. Having a plethora of earning options is just a bonus.

On top of the many ways you can earn SkyMiles, you have another option if you're short on miles for a redemption. You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Delta SkyMiles. Transfers are at a 1:1 ratio with a minimum transfer of 1,000 points. Typically, transfers are immediate, so you can find your award, make your transfer, and then finalize your booking quickly.

Related: 7 Best Ways to Use Delta SkyMiles

Our Take

Surprisingly, Delta has one of the most generous points expiration policies: SkyMiles do not expire. Delta's program stands out amongst its peers, despite its frequent points devaluations and lack of an award chart. However, the program still offers some great value if you use it wisely.

4.9 / 5 - (9 votes)
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  • I was in the Delta Frequent Flyer (FF) program back in the 1980’s/1990’s. My travel method changed, In the early 2000’s my travel method changed again to where I was flying again with Delta. This time, I signed up for the FF program with a new FF number. I have located my previous FF number. Can I get the old FF points added to my current FF number?

    • JT Genter says:

      I’m assuming that the miles on the old SkyMiles account are long gone. But, it can’t hurt to reach out to Delta SkyMiles and see if you can get any consideration for all of your previous flying.

  • Dorothy Arensman says:

    Can I transfer all of my American Express air miles to my Delta air miles?

    • Dorothy – yes, you can. You have to transfer in blocks of 1,000 from Amex, so if you have 95,102 Amex MR points you can only transfer 95,000. But yes, you could send all of them to Delta if you want.

  • maria eugenia says:

    It’s great these miles do not ever expire. Do you know if others are planning to change their policy (cosidering COVID and other restrictions).

  • I’ve had SkyMiles since 2005 never expired that i have noticed however, I do not travel much anymore (I lived in a hotel for 10+ years not to fond of travel anymore) i would like to see a policy that would allow points to be shared with anyone including non profit donations, I believe than you would than have a real benefit delta.

  • Definitely good to know … I do have miles just haven’t been able to use them yet… I value them as an alternative just in case I can’t find flights out of my main hub

  • Years ago, I loved flying Delta. But, because of the routing required now, I have to change planes at least one time getting from my starting point to my final destination. Therefore, I tend to fly American because the routes I travel are normally non-stop.
    That said, I have always liked Delta Airlines and think it is one of the best airlines to fly; nationally or internationally!

  • From 2000 to 2006 I traveled a lot for work. My skymiles piled up quickly to the point that I was Gold Member status. I was told back then they would never expire, I changed jobs and didn’t fly for awhile. Somewhere around 2011, I wanted to use my Skymiles to travel and was told they expired,, lost them all. Now they are saying they won’t expire again. If they want to prove that, GIVE ME MY MILES BACK.

  • So in short, miles don’t expire even if you don’t have their credit card?

  • Somehow it feels that this constant downgrade of program quality will result in cancelling the miles will result in cancelling non-expiring miles.

  • have it since years but not enough miles on it to do somithing with it – allways fly AA or LH…

  • The_Bouncer says:

    The non-expiry is the only reason I have a Skymiles account. It’s very rare that I make a Skyteam flight that is not creditable to AS, so DL is the only program where I’m (eventually) likely to get anything from such flights.

  • One of the few things I like about Delta! 🙂

    • says:

      Flying Delta in the next couple weeks (only non-stop from MSY to ORD). Since I use them only occasionally, I’m glad these miles don’t expire 🙂

  • Kevin Davis says:

    I’m glad they don’t expire. However, I wish there are other ways to get them.

  • A long time ago, in the early 1980’s, when frequent flier programs were fledglings, people joined and began their loyalties to the legacy carriers. Their kids grew up eventually and joined and the ranks of passengers wanting to accrue and redeem their miles increased. Now, those kids’ kids have grown up and instead of one generation participating, we have three. And they all want to fly on miles to Hawaii. Together. With a finite number of airline seats in the sky the competition for those seats is fierce. Given the difficulties in finding attractive itineraries to redeem for, sometimes it requires a long research time to secure FF seats. Having miles never expire is practically a sacrament.

  • One would almost certainly see their existing miles lose value over time given Delta’s regular devaluations, so I think a sensible recommendation is to redeem SkyMiles as soon as possible.

  • They don’t expire but value drops every year it seems. Better to earn and burn.

  • Will there be an CC for Europe too?

  • Bertrand Say says:

    Has anyone been terminated due to the specific circumstances mentioned?

  • I love this policy!

  • It is especially lucky that they don’t expire because DL won’t let Award Wallet keep track for us!

  • It’s nice that Delta miles never expire and I find the service onbord to be much better than on American and United.

  • I feel that Delta redemption rate is way to high. I have got two tix with AA for what DA wanted for one. Currently DA has better times & nonstop options from NYC so that increases value to me

  • As much flake as they get, I love this about Delta!

  • DL miles don’t expire but DL raises the mile requirements for award tickets literally every year, so at the end whether the miles expire or not doesn’t really matter because if you don’t earn and burn quickly, you will never be able to use DL miles even though they don’t expire.

  • This is one of the few things that sets Deltas ff program apart from others. Other airlines probably save millions of miles by having them expire each year.

  • I use to be a big fan of AA. However I am now totally frustrated trying to book an AA saver award. I have now successfully booked two Delta saver awards this year, one to Europe for 60,000 Skymiles, and one domestic award for 25,000 Skymiles.

  • says:

    I didn’t even realize this. I only fly Delta occasionally so this is good to know!! Thanks

  • The simple answer is “No, they don’t expire.”

  • I remember that Delta Skymiles used to expire but Northwest worldperks points did not. It seems they may have adopted the Northwest policy on non-expiration of points after the merger. I agree that it is very generous that their miles don’t expire and I hope they don’t change it.

  • Jacqueline parsons says:

    It’s great these miles do not ever expire. Like others though I fear it won’t be long before policy is changed.

  • Delta tends to change their policy once a while so we will see…

  • Joel Kling says:

    i found it easier to book FF miles with Delta for the lowest amount of points compared to AA and United. To get the best times its better to book one way flights than round trip.

  • IMHO it’s is the best approach to customers. In the past IHG was proud to announce that their points are never expire and changed this rule one day. Let’s hope it remains.

  • Not having to worry about having your Skymiles expire is a great feature. This is especially a good deal for those who may only fly once or twice a year.

  • For a period in the past Delta miles did expire but someone came to their senses and switched back to non-expiring miles.

  • Great that SkyMiles don’t expire. But I suspect that, like all things Delta, this policy likely won’t last very long.

  • They don’t expire at all and this is such a rarity in the aviation loyalty world that can be considered a real perk!