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March 3, 2018

How to Earn Delta SkyMiles Fast

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You don't need to fly a lot to earn a TON of Delta SkyMiles. Read on for 10+ smart ways to earn Delta miles fast.

Delta has a strong loyalty program where you can earn miles toward future flights.

The best part is that you don't even need to fly to rack up the miles.

Simply follow these insider tips and you'll be able to redeem an award flight before you know it.

Read on for all the different ways to earn SkyMiles.

Before you take any of these steps, you need a place to store all your miles. Sign up for a Delta SkyMiles account. This is completely free and you don't need a special credit card. You will need your frequent flyer number to enroll in the various partner programs.

Delta Co-Branded Credit Cards

A Delta SkyMiles credit card is the fastest way to earn miles without flying. Delta credit cards are issued by American Express, a CreditDonkey partner. You can quickly amass a lot of miles with just the bonus miles.

Did you know: Delta purchases include: Delta flights purchased through Delta, baggage fees, Sky Club lounge passes, in-flight purchases, and Delta gift cards.

There are 4 personal cards to choose from:

  • Delta SkyMiles Gold
    Apply for Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card
    Delta SkyMiles Gold offers 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within your first 6 months. This card earns 2x miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.. Earn 1x mile on all other eligible purchases. After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a year, you can receive a $200 Delta Flight Credit to use toward future travel. There is a $150 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the first year) (See Rates & Fees).

    If you fly Delta, here's what you should know: you can check your first bag free on Delta flights with this card. Terms apply.

  • Delta SkyMiles Blue
    Apply for Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card
    Delta SkyMiles Blue offers 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 6 months. This card earns airline miles: 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants and on Delta purchases. Earn 1x mile on other eligible purchases. There is no annual fee (See Rates & Fees). Terms apply.

  • Delta Platinum AMEX
    Apply for Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
    Delta Platinum AMEX offers 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months. This card earns 3x miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels. Earn 2x miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 1X mile on all other eligible purchases. There is a $350 annual fee (See Rates & Fees).

    If you fly Delta, here's what you should know: you can check your first bag free on Delta flights with this card. Plus, you get a Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Official Enrollment Provider. Terms apply.

  • Delta Reserve
    Apply for Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
    Delta Reserve offers 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months. This card earns 3x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other eligible purchases. You get complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card. You can check your first bag free on Delta flights with this card. There is a $650 annual fee (See Rates & Fees). Terms apply.

Cards That Transfer to Delta

AMEX has a partnership with Delta. It offers several credit cards that allow you to transfer reward points into Delta SkyMiles.

  • American Express Platinum
    Apply for The Platinum Card from American Express
    American Express Platinum offers 80,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. There is a $695 annual fee (See Rates & Fees).

    This card includes several benefits for travelers: This card offers Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. This card also offers up to a $200 airline fee credit per calendar year to cover incidental fees at one select qualifying airline. This card gives you complimentary access to 5 airport lounge networks including The Centurion® lounge network, The International American Express lounges, Delta Sky Club® lounges, Priority Pass™ Select, and Airspace Lounge. Enrollment required for Priority Pass Select. There is no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees). This card also gives you access to Platinum Card® Concierge. You can enroll to get complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status and complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status. Terms Apply.

  • American Express Gold
    Apply for American Express Gold Card
    American Express Gold earns 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months. This card earns 4x points at restaurants, including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000/calendar year in purchases, then 1x). 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. You can earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required. There is a $250 annual fee (See Rates & Fees). Terms apply.

You get points on everyday purchases. All you have to do is spend and then transfer your points into SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio.

American Express cards are great for those who fly frequently and on different airline carriers. Their Membership Rewards program allows you to transfer miles to 17 airline partners, including Delta, JetBlue, and Hawaiian Airlines.

Earn Miles for Traveling

Fly with Delta
Even if you don't have a Delta credit card, you can still earn miles when you book flights on delta.com.

How many Delta miles does it take to get a free flight? Delta does not publish an award chart. It has a cost-based program, so the number of miles vary flight to flight. A short haul flight (like from Los Angeles to Las Vegas) can be as low as 5,000 miles. On the other hand, a longer distance domestic flight can be as high as 25,000 miles one-way on certain days.

Fly with a Delta Partner Airline
For routes that Delta doesn't cover - look into eligible flights on one of Delta's partner airlines including:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air France
  • Alitalia
  • China Eastern
  • GOL
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • Jet Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia
  • Air Europa
  • Kenya Airways
  • Middle Eastern Airlines
  • Saudia, Tarom
  • Aeroflot
  • Aerolineas Argentinas
  • China Eastern
  • China Southern
  • Czech Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Xiamen Air
  • Great Lakes Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • WestJet

Award flights on partner airlines need to be booked at least a few days out, as last-minute availability (within 24-48 hours prior to departure) is blocked out.

Missing Delta SkyMiles: If you took a flight and don't see the miles in your account, you can claim them retroactively. You have 9 months from the date of your flight to claim the miles. To do so, you need your SkyMiles number and your flight ticket number (from your boarding pass or receipt). You can also claim miles for flights taken with any SkyTeam partners.

Online Shopping Portal

Online shopping addicts will rejoice at Delta's convenient SkyMiles Shopping portal. Sign up for free with your SkyMiles membership number. Then use the portal to search and buy items from hundreds of popular stores. You will earn bonus miles for every dollar spent.

To get the best deal, take advantage of the special offers that Delta posts. Offers are constantly changing, so be sure to stay updated here.

You don't need a special credit card to shop through this portal. But if you do use a Delta credit card, you'll earn 1 SkyMile per dollar spent on top of the bonus points for using the portal.

Dining Program

Delta SkyMiles Dining makes it easy to earn miles just for eating out at restaurants. Join for free and register your credit cards. Then eat at a participating restaurant and pay with the card to receive bonus miles.

Here's what you can get:

  • Basic member: 1 mile per every $2 spent
  • Online member: 3 miles per every $1 spent (you elect to receive emails from SkyMiles Dining)
  • VIP member: 5 miles per every $1 spent (you elect to receive emails and have completed 11 qualified transactions in one calendar year)

As a sign-up bonus for new members, you can earn up to 3,000 bonus miles. You need to dine out 3 times within the first 30 days, and spend at least $30 each time. Then you must write an online review within 30 days of each restaurant visit.

Once again, you don't need a specific credit card to join this program. But if you have a Delta credit card, you'll earn another 1x mile on your meals. Delta Blue cardholders earn an extra 2x miles at restaurants.

Delta Vacations

If you like the convenience of a vacation package, Delta Vacations offers incredibly attractive offers. You have the opportunity to earn up to 7,500 bonus miles per person on eligible flight + hotel getaways. We recommend signing up to receive special offers by email.

It's also possible to make individual hotel reservations and earn anywhere from 250-750 bonus miles per person at US & Canadian properties, or 1,000-3,000 bonus miles per person at overseas destinations. Furthermore, qualified car rentals from Alamo or National allow you to earn 500 bonus miles per booking.

If you have a Delta SkyMiles credit card, you can earn double miles for every eligible dollar spent.

SkyMiles Cruises

For those who prefer cruising, SkyMiles Cruises makes it seamless to earn miles on your next cruise. You can earn at least 1,500 miles on any booking and up to 30,000 miles when you book a balcony or a suite stateroom. In addition, you can get massive savings and perks like onboard credit.

Most of the time, the deals are about the same price if you were to book directly with the cruise line. Often, they're even slightly better due to the amenities that they extend.

Hotel Partners

Delta has partnerships with all the top hotel brands. You can earn SkyMiles by staying with one of their hotel partners. For example, the World of Hyatt will give you 500 SkyMiles for each eligible stay. Marriott gives you up to 2x miles per dollar, depending on the property.

Delta's hotel partnerships include:

  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Rewards
  • IHG Rewards
  • Carlson Rezidor
  • Accor Hotels
  • Hyatt
  • Langham Hospitality Group
  • Millennium Hotels & Resorts
  • Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts
  • Worldhotels

Check out the full list of hotels and offers on Delta's website.

Airbnb

Delta has also teamed up with Airbnb to give you SkyMiles on stays. We love Airbnb as an alternative lodging option to hotels.

For those who already have Airbnb accounts, you can earn 2x miles on all stays worldwide.

If you want to become an Airbnb host, you can earn up to 25,000 SkyMiles when you reach earning tiers.

Car Rental / Transportation Partners

  • Car rentals with Hertz, Alamo, Enterprise, and National. Each program has different stipulations, but the mileage reward for all 500 bonus miles per reservation.

  • Ride with Lyft. Earn at least 1 mile per dollar spent on every Lyft ride in the US (excluding taxes, fees, tolls and tip). Plus new users get a $20 ride credit.

  • Europcar. This can come in handy for your next European road trip adventure! A total of 60 miles can be earned per day.

  • Private transfers. Prefer private transfer to and from the airport? Delta is partnered with popular companies like ExecuCar, Carmel, Sixt (both rental cars and private chauffeur service), and SuperShuttle.

Other Ways to Earn SkyMiles

  • Send flowers. Do you send flowers to loved ones and business clients often? FTD allows you to earn bonus miles on your purchases.

  • Join a wine club. Likewise, it's possible to earn miles by joining Vinesse Wines. They offer 1,500 bonus miles plus 5 miles per dollar spent on all club shipments and orders. Your first shipment of 6 exceptional wines costs $41.94 plus 1 cent shipping.

  • Eat cookies. Sweet tooth lovers can earn 1 mile per $1 spent at shopbiscoff.com. There's no better cookie to enjoy with your morning coffee. All you have to do is make sure to include your Delta SkyMiles number when ordering online.

  • Shop with Gilt. Love fashion? Delta's partnership with Gilt allows you to earn 1,000 miles for your first Gilt purchase of $50 or more! Plus, you get up to 60% off your favorite labels while earning 1 mile per $1 spent.

  • Pay utility bills. Use one of Delta's preferred electricity suppliers like Energy Plus, Georgia Natural Gas, Grand Rapids Energy, Illinois Energy, Illinois Energy Solutions, and Ohio Natural Gas to rack up miles on a monthly basis just by paying your bill.

Can you earn Delta SkyMiles by doing surveys? Unfortunately, Delta has ended partnerships with e-Rewards and eMiles (two popular survey sites for earning miles). So you can no longer take surveys to earn SkyMiles. However, Delta does send out SkyMiles/Medallion user surveys and reward you miles for completing it.

Write to Brit Healey at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

For rates and fees of the American Express Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express Gold card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Platinum AMEX card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Blue card, please click here.



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