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Delta recently announced their 2011 SkyMiles program changes and I have to say, they are looking pretty positive. While nothing fundamental is changing, here are a couple key benefits:

1) Elimination of expiration date. This is an advantage that will be of special value to the infrequent flyer and I hope all other airlines follow.

2) SkyTeam ElitePlus for Gold Medallions begins March 1, 2011. I wrote about this in October and I’m glad Delta is following through. This means Gold Medallions will have access to Skyteam lounges when traveling internationally and will get priority baggage handling.

3) More preferred seats blocked off for Medallions  – this change was probably necessary since Medallion ranks have swelled with all of the Amex MQM promos. I think it’s easier to count who isn’t a silver medallion.

4) Upgrades on Alaska Airlines for Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallions (only on paid tickets – not awards).

There are some other enhancements, like the Economy Comfort cabin, though the jury is still out on whether Medallions on coach award tickets will get access to Economy Comfort seats.

Skymiles redemptions are still extremely difficult, but Delta claims to be working to make the booking process easier. Time will tell, and I’ll have to wait and see before making a final judgement about any improvements to their online ticketing process.

Overall, while the offerings are far from perfect, it’s clear that Delta is making positive changes to their program and will continue to be a formidable competitor  in the frequent flyer arena.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

If you are a Delta flyer who is looking to bank some extra miles this card is a great addition for your wallet. While you'll earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on everything else, you'll also have access to other perks like priority boarding, a first bag checked free and 20% off in-flight purchases.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.24%-25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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