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Million Mile Secrets reader Melissa emailed:
Does Delta allow a husband and wife to transfer their miles to one another, like you can with Chase Ultimate Rewards points?
Thanks for the question, Melissa!
Delta charges a fee for transfers. So you need to do the math to see if it makes sense (it often doesn’t)!
And don’t forget, you can book award tickets for anyone using your Delta miles – WITHOUT transferring miles and WITHOUT paying a fee. So you might not need to transfer miles after all.
Here’s more about transferring Delta miles between accounts. And other ways to earn more Delta miles!
Transferring Delta Miles Between Accounts
Although you can transfer Delta miles between accounts, it’s generally not a good idea. Because Delta charges 1 cent per mile and a $30 transaction fee, plus tax, per transfer. And you have to transfer miles in increments of 1,000 miles.
You can transfer a maximum of 150,000 Delta miles from your account per year. And receive a maximum of 300,000 Delta miles from others.
Being able to transfer points or miles between certain accounts, like you can with Ultimate Rewards points, is nice. Because you might only need a few more miles & points for an award ticket or hotel stay.
But if you’re considering transferring Delta miles to someone else, you need to do the math to see if it makes sense!
Want to Transfer A Few Miles? It Might Make Sense
For example, say Melissa wants to purchase 2 round-trip domestic award tickets in coach with Delta.
She needs a total of 50,000 Delta miles (2 X 25,000 Delta miles per ticket). And only has 47,000 Delta miles in her account.
But her husband has 5,000 Delta miles in his account!
It’s not enough for an award ticket, but he could transfer 3,000 miles to Melissa’s account. And it would cost $30 (3,000 miles X 1 cent per mile) plus the $30 transaction fee. For a total of $60 plus tax.
In this case, it could make sense for Melissa’s husband to transfer a few Delta miles to her account. Because even though they’re paying $60 for the transfer, they’re likely saving hundreds of dollars using miles for 2 round-trip award tickets!
Want to Transfer a Lot of Miles? It Probably Doesn’t Make Sense
What if Melissa needs 20,000 more Delta miles to have enough for 2 round-trip award tickets?
It would cost $200 (20,000 miles X $0.01 per mile) plus the $30 transaction fee. For a total of $230 plus tax.
This likely wouldn’t be worth it, depending on the cash price of the ticket you want to purchase. Because the transfer fees would negate the savings you’d get from using your miles!
More Ways to Earn Delta Miles
Through July 6, 2016, the American Express Delta credit cards have increased sign-up bonuses!
You can earn 50,000 Delta miles with the AMEX Gold Delta SkyMiles personal and small business cards, and 60,000 Delta miles with the AMEX Platinum Delta personal and small business cards after completing minimum spending.
The usual sign-up bonuses for these cards are 30,000 to 35,000 Delta miles, so this is a very good deal!
Just remember, American Express only allows folks to get the sign-up bonus ONCE per person, per lifetime on ALL their cards.
But if you’ve already had the personal version of the card, you can still get the business card, because they’re considered different card products.
Delta charges a fee of 1 cent per mile and a $30 transaction fee, plus tax, when you transfer miles between accounts.
If you only need to transfer a few miles, it can make sense to pay the fee. Especially if it means you’ll save hundreds of dollars on an award flight!
But if you’re considering transferring a lot of miles, I’d suggesting saving your miles and paying the cash price for the ticket.
But do the math to see what makes sense for your situation.
And remember, you can avoid transfer fees by directly booking award seats for others using the miles from your account!