Delta's SkyBonus revamp aims to simplify miles redemption

Delta is revamping its small-business loyalty program. 

Beginning sometime this fall, the SkyBonus program will be renamed SkyMiles for Business. With the name change will come a simplification of the miles redemption process, said Shane Spyak, Delta’s managing director of sales development. 

In addition, companies will be able to join the program without first achieving a minimum spending threshold, giving them immediate access to travel management tools and personalized offers.

“It’s a three-tier business loyalty program that really offers a solution at any scale,” Spyak said. 

Under the SkyMiles for Business program, companies will achieve Plus status, allowing them to begin earning miles, once they accrue annual Delta expenditures of $5,000 involving at least five traveling employees. Companies will reach Elite status, enabling faster SkyMiles accrual rates, once they spend $300,000 in a year. 

SkyBonus status retained in SkyMiles for Business

Those figures are identical to what exists under SkyBonus. Companies with SkyBonus status will retain that status as the program transitions to SkyMiles for Business.

A significant difference at that time, though, will be that companies that haven’t reached the Plus spending threshold will be able to be members in the SkyMiles for Business program. As a member, Delta will track travel by company employees on the airline, offering company managers organized access to where each employee has traveled and how much has been spent, Spyak said. 

In addition, Delta will use the information it gleans to push out personalized offers to the company, potentially including offers from Delta or from Delta loyalty partners such as Lyft.

The other major change will involve miles redemption. 

Companies will be able to easily transfer SkyMiles points to employees

Under the SkyBonus program, companies earn SkyBonus points, rather than the SkyMiles points that are earned by individual Delta loyalty program members. SkyBonus points have their own redemption menus and cannot not be transferred directly to SkyMiles points. 

After the transition this fall, SkyMiles for Business members will accrue SkyMiles, which will be redeemed just like all other SkyMiles. The switch will allow companies to easily transfer SkyMiles from their own account into the individual accounts of employees as a perk, Spyak said.

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