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Can you transfer Delta miles to your spouse?

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Can you transfer Delta miles to your spouse?

Meghan HollerCan you transfer Delta miles to your spouse?Million Mile Secrets Team

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If you and your significant other are into the “two-player mode” of collecting travel rewards and like flying with Delta, you may be wondering: Does Delta allow a husband and wife to transfer their miles to one another, like you can with Chase Ultimate Rewards points?

The simple answer is yes, but 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.

You may be a travel fanatic, but transferring Delta miles from one account to another isn’t always the best idea. (Photo by Prostock-studio/Shutterstock)

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 you want to purchase two round-trip domestic award tickets in coach with Delta. You’ll need a total of around 50,000 Delta miles (2 X 25,000 Delta miles per ticket. But you only have 47,000 Delta miles in her account and your significant other has 5,000 Delta miles in thier account.

It’s not enough for an award ticket, but you could transfer 3,000 miles to your 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 to transfer a few Delta miles between accounts. Because even though they’re paying $60 for the transfer, they’re likely saving hundreds of dollars using miles for two round-trip award tickets.

Want to transfer a lot of miles? It probably doesn’t make sense

But what if you need 20,000 more Delta miles to have enough for two 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

Here’s a look at some of the best travel credit cards to earn Delta miles with because if you frequently fly Delta, you can further enhance your flying experience with credit card perks like complimentary lounge access, priority boarding, annual companion certificates, and more:

Just remember, American Express only allows folks to get the welcome 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.

Bottom line

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 suggest 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!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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My wife died not too long ago. What are the rules with regard to transferring her SkyMiles?

Did you get any answer. I’m in the same situation with my husband who died not long ago.

Whatever you do, DO NOT tell delta. They will close the account and you will loose all the miles. Just use the account when booking award trips and enter your name in the booking.

I have 8500 miles with delta american express and hope to cancll the card and transfer her miles to my gold card withh AX is it worth it we won’t be using her miles or mine for at leAST A YEAR

I have 8,500 points on my wifes account and was going to transfer to my new gold american express delta card . what do you think Im not intending to use the miles fora year.Thanks jim

01/2017 – Putting the date for your reference cuz this often disappears…

The miles transfer issue arises from the fact that often couples want to travel side-by-side of course, on the same flight but when both try to book like that using separate accounts, something magically mysterious happen that one cannot either find an empty seat, or no seats at all, or the airline search engine doesn’t show those seats/flights.

Then of course, it happens that they have different amount of miles and one of them doesn’t have enough miles for a ticket and there is no other way around other than transfer the miles.

I am seeing this right now: I have enough for one ticket but not enough for two – although I am close – and my wife is also close but not enough for one ticket – so I’ll have to transfer some her’s to my account to be able to book 2 tickets at once.

Can’t you “gift” the miles instead, for free?

Gift or no gift, if it leaves your account to someone else’s account, you will be charged.

Probably the only situation is when you donate miles to charity….