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Delta Reverses Decision to Limit Partner Transfers

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After a year of negative changes to the Delta SkyMiles program, such as Mileage Accrual Based on SpendingAdditional Revenue Requirements for Medallion Status and Reduced SkyClub Guests and Increased Fees, the airline finally has some good news for its members, just in time for the holidays.

In October, Delta announced that it would implement a cap on transfers from partners beginning January 1, 2015. The plan was to limit transfers for SkyMiles members to 250,000 points annually from each partner; however, the airline today announced they will reverse course and abandon this rule.

At long last, some good news for Delta SkyMiles members in 2015: no cap on point transfers to partners.
At long last, some good news for Delta SkyMiles members in 2015: no cap on point transfers from partners!

SkyMiles members can earn miles by converting partner points from programs such as Amex Membership Rewards, Diners Club Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. SkyMiles aren’t the most valuable airline currency, but they’re a decent option for certain rewards, and the fewer limitations there are on the program, the better it is for frequent flyers.

I’m pleased about Delta’s decision not to implement this transfer cap, as it seemed to me like an effort to strong-arm SkyMiles members into switching to Delta co-branded credit cards (like the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express) which only offer bonuses on Delta spending, while other cards from transfer partners (like the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express) have lucrative bonus categories like gas, groceries and airfare purchases on any carrier.

However, this move may mean that Delta will increase mileage levels for awards when they transition to a 5-tier program in 2015. I’m cautiously optimistic that this won’t be the case, but in my experience, when Delta giveth, they also taketh away. I’ll be keeping an eye out for any further changes.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

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  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
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Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Balance Transfer Fee Credit Rating
N/A Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195 See Terms Excellent Credit