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All about Delta TakeOff 15: 15% mileage discount on Delta award tickets

If you hold a business or personal variant of the Delta SkyMiles Gold, Platinum, or Reserve credit cards, you save 15% when booking award travel using miles on Delta Flights through Delta’s Take15Off discount. This discount is a great benefit that makes your SkyMiles measurable more valuable just for holding one of Delta’s credit cards. (Terms and conditions apply.)

The best part? This benefit is super simple to use.

Here’s how to use the Delta TakeOff 15 discount.

How to use the Delta TakeOff 15 discount

If you are the primary cardholder of a Delta SkyMiles credit card, using the Delta TakeOff 15 discount is as simple as booking an award ticket using your miles at Delta.com.

Once you have logged in to your SkyMiles account, the SkyMiles prices of flights will reflect your discount at every step of the booking process. You don’t need to do anything extra to apply your discount.

How to book a Delta award ticket using SkyMiles

Booking an award ticket using SkyMiles is simple. Most itineraries with Delta SkyMiles can be booked online. Your first step is to search for your travel at Delta.com.

Enter your origin and destination airports, select one-way or round-trip, and select your travel dates. You will want to tick the box by “Shop with Miles” to see travel priced in SkyMiles.

If you have some flexility, you can select “My dates are flexible.” For our example search, we’ll do this to show the complete booking process.

By default you’ll be searching for all airfares, including Basic Economy. Delta Basic Economy airfares come with a bunch of restrictions:

  • No seat selection ahead of time
  • No changes allowed. (Cancelation is allowed for a $99-$199 cancellation charge.)
  • No medallion upgrade beneifts
  • No MQD accrual.

Unless you intend to book basic economy, you might want to click on “Advanced Search” and select “Main Cabin” under “Best Fares For.”

If you searched for a round trip and selected “My dates are flexible” your screen display a matrix showing you the lowest prices available for departures up to three days before your selected departure date and three days after your selected return date. If you qualify for the TakeOff 15 discount, the prices shown on this screen will reflect that discount.

Let’s say that we have some flexibility to return on Tuesday, April 9th, but we can depart no earlier than Thursday. We can select this option for 22,900 SkyMiles, plus $12. Click “Continue” once you’ve selected the dates you want.

If you have even more flexibility, you can click on “Price Calendar” at the top of the page. This will bring up a calendar showing you trips of your selected trip length. You can change trip length to update prices on the calendar or page through the calendar to see pricing for the entire year.

Once you’ve selected your dates from the calendar, or if you didn’t search with flexible dates, you’ll now select your outbound flight. Here’s the screen that shows you flight options. The default view generally shows you the lowest-priced non-stop option on top, but Delta offers a lot of options for filtering and sorting your search under “Sort & Filter.”

The evening flight at 8:15 works fine for us, so we’ll select that flight, starting at 22,900 SkyMiles.

If you want to see prices in terms of dollars, you can click on “$ USD” under “Show Price In:” at the top of the screen. I like to do this to check on the value I’m getting out of my SkyMiles. In this case, we’re getting almost 1.7 cents per mile. Not too shabby for SkyMiles.

Once we’ve selected our departure flight, we can select our return flight. 7:45am seems a bit early, but the 2:30pm option is good and it is offered at the same price as other options on that day. Let’s select that flight.

Finally, we’ll see the checkout screen. On this screen, we’ll enter passenger information and payment information, request upgrades and select whether we want additional trip insurance. Once we’ve entered all of our information and we’re ready to purchase our flight, we’ll click “Complete Purchase” at the bottom of the page. (Scroll down on the page to see the button.)

And, just like that, our trip is booked!

Delta award ticket tips and tricks

Change/cancel policy: Other than Basic Economy tickets, Delta awards tickets originating in the United States and Canada can be changed or canceled for free. If you cancel your eligible ticket prior to departure, you’ll get your miles back and receive the amount you paid for taxes and fees back to your credit card.

Price drops: If the price of your flight drops after you book it, you can re-book your flight and receive a refund of any applicable fare difference in miles.

Elite upgrades: Other than basic economy, Delta award tickets are eligible for elite upgrades.

MQDs: Award travel on Delta accrues Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs.) based on the number of miles redeemed for your ticket. You’ll get 1 MQD for every 100 SkyMiles redeemed.

More about the Delta Air Lines credit cards

You can learn more about the Delta Air Lines credit cards by visiting our overview of Delta credit cards. There, you’ll find complete details and comparisons of all of the Delta credit cards.

Current Delta Air Lines credit card welcome bonuses

Delta Air Lines and Amex offer welcome bonuses for new cardmembers who get a new Delta credit card and meet spending requirements. Here are the details on the best Delta Air Lines credit card new customer bonuses.

Delta Credit CardWelcome BonusFull Welcome Bonus
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card card art
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
Annual fee: $0
bonus_milesbonus_miles_full
(See Rates and Fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card card art
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $150.
bonus_milesbonus_miles_full
(See Rates and Fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card card art
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Annual fee: $350
bonus_milesbonus_miles_full
(See Rates and Fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card card art
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Annual fee: $650
bonus_milesbonus_miles_full
(See Rates and Fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card card art
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $150.
bonus_milesbonus_miles_full
(See Rates and Fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card card art
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
Annual fee: $350
bonus_milesbonus_miles_full
(See Rates and Fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card card art
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
Annual fee: $650
bonus_milesbonus_miles_full
(See Rates and Fees)
The best Delta Air Lines credit card welcome bonuses.

More details about the Delta Air Lines credit card welcome bonuses

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card welcome bonus

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full
(See Rates and Fees)

Our take on the welcome bonus: We know of no previous elevated welcome offers on this card, so if you’re planning on getting this card, there’s no reason to wait.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card card art

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card at a glance:
Annual fee: $0.
Rewards: 2x on Delta purchases. 2x at restaurants. 1x on other eligible purchases.
Benefits: 20% back on Delta in-flight purchases.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card welcome bonus

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full
(See Rates and Fees)

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: The current welcome offer is the business-as-usual offer. Since the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card has no annual fee in the first year ($150 thereafter), this is probably the best offer to pick up on the personal cards if you’re interested in SkyMiles.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card card art

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card at a glance:
Annual fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $150.
Rewards: 2x on Delta purchases. 2x at restaurants. 2x at U.S. supermarkets. 1x on other eligible purchases.
Benefits: First checked bag free. $200 Delta flight credit after $10k in purchases in a year. Up to $100 annually in Delta Stays credits.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card welcome bonus

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full
(See Rates and Fees)

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: The current welcome bonus is the business-as-usual offer on this card.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card card art

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card at a glance:
Annual fee: $350.
Rewards: 3x on Delta purchases. 3x on eligible hotel purchases. 2x at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets. 1x miles on other eligible purchases.
Benefits: First checked bag free. Annual main Cabin companion certificate upon renewal. MQD Headstart. MQD Boost.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card welcome bonus

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full (See Rates and Fees)

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: The current welcome bonus is the business-as-usual offer on this card. The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card’s welcome offer requires quite a bit of spending. Unless you’re interested in the Reserve card’s benefits, it might be better to get the welcome bonus on the Delta SkyMiles Gold card.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card card art

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card at a glance:
Annual fee: $650.
Rewards: 3x on Delta purchases. 1x miles on other eligible purchases.
Benefits: Sky Club access. Annual first class companion certificate upon renewal. MQD Headstart. MQD Boost.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card welcome bonus

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: The current welcome offer is the business-as-usual offer. You’ll earn more SkyMiles with the welcome bonus on the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card than you will with the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, so this is probably the better offer.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card card art

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card at a glance:
Annual fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $150.
Rewards: 2x on Delta purchases. 2x at restaurants. 2x on up to $50k of U.S. purchases for advertising in select media. 2x on up to $50k of U.S. shipping purchases. 1x on other eligible purchases.
Benefits: First checked bag free. $200 Delta flight credit after $10k in purchases in a year. Up to $150 annually in Delta Stays credits.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card welcome bonus

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full
(See Rates and Fees)

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: The current welcome bonus is the business-as-usual offer on this card.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card card art

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card at a glance:
Annual fee: $350.
Rewards: 3x on Delta purchases and eligible hotel purchases. 1.5x on single eligible purchases of $5k or more (terms and mile cap apply.) 1.5x on up to $100k of eligible transit. 1x on other eligible purchases.
Benefits: First checked bag free. Annual Main Cabin companion certificate upon renewal. MQD Headstart. MQD Boost

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card welcome bonus

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full
(See Rates and Fees)

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: The current welcome bonus is the business-as-usual offer on this card. For the amount of SkyMiles you get, the spending requirement is quite high. Unless you’re getting this card specifically for its suite of benefits, going for the welcome bonus on the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business card is probably a better bet.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card card art

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card at a glance:
Annual fee: $650.
Rewards: 3x on Delta purchases. 1.5x on U.S. shipping, U.S. office supply stores, and eligible transit. 1.5x on eligible purchases for the rest of the year after you spend $150,000 on your card. 1x on other eligible purchases.
Benefits: Sky Club access. Annual first class companion certificate upon renewal. MQD Headstart. MQD Boost.

A few notes on applying for American Express credit cards

Here are a few things that you should know about applying for American Express cards.

  • Amex will let you know if you’re ineligible for the welcome bonus when applying. If you don’t qualify for a welcome bonus for any reason, American Express will inform you during the application process and let you withdraw your application before they perform a “hard pull” on your credit report. If you withdraw your application, the withdrawn application will have no impact on your credit score.
  • No hard pull if they deny you. If Amex denies your credit card application, they usually won’t issue a hard pull on your credit report. This means that your credit score won’t decrease because of the denied application.
  • One bonus per card per “lifetime”. Most Amex card terms say that you’re ineligible for a welcome bonus if you’ve ever had the card before. Some targeted offers do not have this lifetime language. Readers and other blogs have reported that Amex may internally define “lifetime” as 7 years—if it’s been 7 years since you’ve had a card, you might be eligible to get a welcome bonus again.
  • Some cards allow one bonus per card “family”. Some American Express cards, like the personal Platinum card or the Charles Schwab Platinum card have language that prohibits you from earning a welcome bonus if you’ve ever had a card from the same card family before.
  • Maximum 5 Amex credit cards and 10 pay-over-time cards. You can have a maximum of 5 American Express credit cards at one time. In addition, you can hold up to 10 American Express pay-over-time cards (like the Platinum, Gold, and Green cards.) These limits are known to occasionally be flexible for some cardmembers, some of the time.
  • You might be able to get a better welcome offer than the public offer. American Express offers some customers targeted offers. See our post on how to get the best welcome offers from American Express and try those methods before applying for an American Express card. You might be able to get an elevated welcome bonus.
  • Check your application status online. You can check the status of your American Express card application online through the Amex website.

Frequently asked questions

If I don’t log in, can I still use the TakeOff 15 discount?

You will need to log in to Delta.com to book a ticket with SkyMiles. The TakeOff 15 discount is only applicable to the prices of flights in miles.

Can I use the TakeOff 15 discount for someone else?

If you are booking a ticket for someone else using your SkyMiles and hold an eligible Delta SkyMiles credit card, your TakeOff 15 discount will apply to their ticket.

Can I rebook an award ticket I purchased before getting a Delta credit card and get the TakeOff 15 discount?

Yes, as long as the award ticket is eligible to change or cancel, you can rebook and get the TakeOff 15 discount. Keep in mind that flight prices change all the time, so your rebooked ticket will be priced using current award prices. But the prices you book your new ticket at will reflect the TakeOff 15 discount.

Rates and fees for Delta Air Lines credit cards
  • For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, please visit this link: See Rates and Fees; terms apply
  • For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please visit this link: See Rates and Fees; terms apply
  • For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please visit this link: See Rates and Fees; terms apply
  • For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please visit this link: See Rates and Fees; terms apply
  • For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, please visit this link: See Rates and Fees
  • For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, please visit this link: See Rates and Fees
  • For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please visit this link: See Rates and Fees

About the author

  • Aaron Hurd

    Aaron Hurd is a credit card, travel rewards, and loyalty program expert. Over the past 15 years, he has authored over a thousand expert contributions published by leading outlets including WSJ, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, Bankrate, CNET, and many others. He has also served in consulting roles for many of these same outlets, designing content strategy, hiring teams of teams of editors and contributors, developing thought-leadership pieces, and ghost-editing for senior editors. Aaron is well-known in the miles and points community and regularly presents about travel rewards at conferences like the Chicago Seminars and Minnebar. Aaron has enjoyed the game of optimizing credit card rewards since getting his first credit card shortly after he turned 18. He started learning about credit cards and travel rewards from the (now defunct) FatWallet Finance forums and FlyerTalk. He holds more than 40 open credit cards and has first-hand experience with almost every major credit card product.

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