Major Delta SkyBonus Program Changes

Major Delta SkyBonus Program Changes

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Delta has just made major changes to its SkyBonus small business rewards program without advance notice. Whether this is good or bad news really depends on your redemption patterns.

The basics of Delta SkyBonus

While most people are probably familiar with SkyMiles (Delta’s frequent flyer program), fewer people are familiar with SkyBonus (Delta’s small business rewards program). The idea is that you can double dip, as you can participate in both SkyMiles and SkyBonus, assuming you have a small business. Furthermore, you can earn rewards not just for your own flights, but also for flights of people at your company.

With SkyBonus you can earn anywhere from one to 30 points per dollar spent on Delta flights (that’s a huge range), depending on your fare class and your airport. The higher the fare class and the less of a Delta hub you’re flying out of, the more rewarding the program is.

Delta isn’t the only airline to have a program like this — in the past I’ve written about American’s Business Extra program, which is pretty lucrative.

SkyBonus is Delta’s small business rewards program

New Delta SkyBonus redemption options

Here’s how Delta describes the changes to the SkyBonus program, which kicked in as of March 1, 2022:

We’re always looking for ways to enhance experiences and improve processes. To make redeeming your points easier, we’re introducing a new way to use your points on flights. Now, your points can be redeemed for Delta eCredits starting at $25 to reduce the cost of Delta and partner flights. With Delta eCredits, you can book for any passenger directly on delta.com in any fare class, with no blackout dates. Delta eCredits are valid for one year and are a great way to maximize your travel budget. 

Below is the updated Delta SkyBonus award chart.

The big update here is that you can now redeem SkyBonus points for Delta eCredits, at the rate of 7,500 points per $25 in eCredits. On top of that, you can still redeem for select SkyBonus certificates, as well as for SkyClub access and SkyMiles Silver Medallion status.

Unfortunately what’s not mentioned is what’s being taken away here. Historically one of the best uses of SkyBonus points has been for international SkyBonus certificates, which could be redeemed for flights globally, including in business class. Suddenly these certificates are only available for flights within the United States, and to Canada.

In fairness, one upside to earning Delta eCredits is that tickets booked with eCredits are treated the same as cash fares in terms of upgrading, earning SkyMiles, and qualifying for elite status. Meanwhile tickets booked with SkyBonus certificates didn’t come with those privileges.

I imagine those who frequently traveled on economy tickets booked with SkyBonus certificates might be happy about this, as they can now start taking advantage of more elite benefits.

Still, for savvy SkyBonus members, there were definitely ways to get more value with the program than the conversion rate of $25 in Delta eCredits per 7,500 points.

Delta has eliminated long haul SkyBonus certificates

Bottom line

Delta has made changes to its SkyBonus business rewards program. The program has certainly been simplified, in the sense that SkyBonus points can now be redeemed at a consistent rate toward Delta eCredits. Some might appreciate this, since tickets booked with eCredits are treated the same as revenue tickets when it comes to earning miles and taking advantage of elite perks.

At the same time, long haul flight certificates have been eliminated, which in many cases were the best uses of SkyBonus points.

To Delta SkyBonus members, how do you feel about these changes?

Conversations (13)
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  1. Frank Alfred Ribaudo Guest

    I had saved up enough points for a delta One International certificate, and when I went to order it, it was no longer there. Very disappointing.

  2. Mark W Guest

    I am only a few points short of an international reward and the fact that I was not notified is a big deal. Me and some members of the team are starting to travel again in earnest and I think I will switch my loyalty to United and their small business program. Very disappointed in Delta for the lack of transparency and taking away and award right when I was on the cusp of it.

  3. Mac R Guest

    this is a huge downgrade for this program. we spent 575k skybonus points on a delta one round trip ATL to LHR in february. total 1,150,000 points for two tickets. With The program changes this same itinerary would have cost 6,000,000 points this week (I just checked and flights are now $10K round trip each). ...over 4x more points now required for same itinerary!

  4. InDLhub Guest

    They can do this because of the lack of competition in their main hubs (ATL/MSP/DRW, etc). I live in one of them, and while I definitely benefit from the non-stop options, the major downside is the lack of competition.

    It’s this lack of competition in the fortress hubs that gives them confidence to change benefits like this, without worrying too much. Will any of the people impacted negatively switch from Delta to UA or...

    They can do this because of the lack of competition in their main hubs (ATL/MSP/DRW, etc). I live in one of them, and while I definitely benefit from the non-stop options, the major downside is the lack of competition.

    It’s this lack of competition in the fortress hubs that gives them confidence to change benefits like this, without worrying too much. Will any of the people impacted negatively switch from Delta to UA or AA? Maybe if you live in LA or NYC, but realistically, I’m guessing no.

  5. E Gavron Guest

    Delta is joining the long line of airlines wanting to reduce rewards.

    That's their right.

    So is mine never to fly Delta EVER again.

    That's my right.

    Die happy, Delta. You brought this on yourself. May your cheap ass collapse upon itself. None of us will cry for you. File for bankruptcy now and save anyone the trouble of giving a hoot when you'll file.

    You're already eating your own tail.

    Buh bye.

  6. Tortuga Diamond

    "We’re always looking for ways to enhance experiences..."

    At long last, truth.

  7. Tom Guest

    These changes have been devastating. For many years we have used the 180,000 points North America to Asia redemption award. Nothing anywhere near that value remains.

    Making this change without notice is an embarrassment to Delta. Our company's trust has been betrayed.

  8. DCharlie Guest

    Delta - the perfect way to transport cattle...with UA and AA in suit

  9. Stefan Krasowski (@rapidtravelchai) Guest

    Delta doesn't seem to be much of a long-haul international airline anymore, either. When looking at how to use my Diamond Medallion Global Update Certificates (also devalued) I was surprised to see how few long-haul routes are operating. Their current international network seems to compete more with JetBlue, Southwests and Spirit than American and United, and pre-pandemic they had already forfeited so much of Northwest's Asia position.

    My SkyBonus history is having an old account...

    Delta doesn't seem to be much of a long-haul international airline anymore, either. When looking at how to use my Diamond Medallion Global Update Certificates (also devalued) I was surprised to see how few long-haul routes are operating. Their current international network seems to compete more with JetBlue, Southwests and Spirit than American and United, and pre-pandemic they had already forfeited so much of Northwest's Asia position.

    My SkyBonus history is having an old account that they keep expiring points each year for me not meeting the spend criteria across travelers. Membership creates this annoying personal or business travel selection screen each time you log in to delta.com that I've been meaning for a couple years to see if I can get rid of that screen by getting out of SkyBonus.

  10. Jay Guest

    I just lost over $8,000 worth of value on my 1.5m points. Two D1 certs are worth $6-7k each. They are now worth $5k in e-credit. How anyone can think this is positive in any way is baffling to me.

  11. Mdedeo Guest

    As a SkyBonus user, I really don't mind. I've (luckily) been able to redeem first class certificates several times on domestic routes that I never could before (like out of Vail EGE) - although at times one segment would be Comfort at the First Class certs have better Comfort availability than Comfort certs... but I'm saving thousands. Plus the Sky Club membership is great. So the upside has been better availability. For international, I'd rather...

    As a SkyBonus user, I really don't mind. I've (luckily) been able to redeem first class certificates several times on domestic routes that I never could before (like out of Vail EGE) - although at times one segment would be Comfort at the First Class certs have better Comfort availability than Comfort certs... but I'm saving thousands. Plus the Sky Club membership is great. So the upside has been better availability. For international, I'd rather fly other airlines (like Virgin), so I'm not disappointed by the elimination of international routes. The $/point ratio wasn't always great (as well as routing availability) for international.

  12. Leigh Member

    Wowza.

    I'm feeling grateful for the AA Business Extra program, which includes redemptions with BA/JL/IB.

    Will keep a close eye, in case I need to redeem points for certificates in case AA follows DL's lead...but probs not, as those oneworld airlines closely coordinate the program rewards.

  13. Cind Guest

    Delta did what Delta does.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Frank Alfred Ribaudo Guest

I had saved up enough points for a delta One International certificate, and when I went to order it, it was no longer there. Very disappointing.

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Mark W Guest

I am only a few points short of an international reward and the fact that I was not notified is a big deal. Me and some members of the team are starting to travel again in earnest and I think I will switch my loyalty to United and their small business program. Very disappointed in Delta for the lack of transparency and taking away and award right when I was on the cusp of it.

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Mac R Guest

this is a huge downgrade for this program. we spent 575k skybonus points on a delta one round trip ATL to LHR in february. total 1,150,000 points for two tickets. With The program changes this same itinerary would have cost 6,000,000 points this week (I just checked and flights are now $10K round trip each). ...over 4x more points now required for same itinerary!

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