The 9 Best Ways to Earn Delta SkyMiles in 2019
Need more Delta SkyMiles? Look no further.
We don’t blame you for wanting to increase your stash of SkyMiles. While others bash Delta SkyMiles for being “worthless,” there are plenty of great ways to redeem SkyMiles. Between frequent flash sales offering half-priced routes, cheap domestic fares, and some great partner airlines, you can still get a lot of value out of SkyMiles.
Here are some of the best, tried-and-true ways to earn Delta SkyMiles.
American Express Delta Airlines Co-Branded Credit Cards
There’s no easier way to amass a ton of Delta SkyMiles quickly than getting a welcome bonus offer from the co-branded American Express Delta credit cards. All told, there are seven co-branded Delta credit cards from American Express, between the personal and business versions. And each card offers a different sign-up bonus, from 10,000 SkyMiles with the free Blue Delta SkyMiles card to 40,000 bonus SkyMiles with the top-tier Delta Reserve card.
But those are just the standard offers. It can get even better.
Delta and American Express occasionally tout huge sign-up bonuses, like 60,000 SkyMiles for the Delta Gold card. Or a 70,000 SkyMile bonus on the Platinum card. Those enhanced offers aren’t available right now, but we’ll be sure to let you know and update this post when some enhanced offers come out. Depending on your travel plans, it could be worth waiting for a bigger offer before applying.
Additionally, you will earn 2x Delta SkyMiles for every dollar you spend on Delta purchases with all of these cards. You can earn the bonus on each of these cards once per lifetime.
Click Here to learn more about the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card.
Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card.
Click Here to learn more about the Blue Delta SkyMiles Card.
Click Here to learn more about the Delta Reserve Card.
Thrifty Tip #1: Want to learn more about what each of these cards offers? See our post on which Delta SkyMiles credit card is right for you.
American Express Credit Cards
It might seem counterintuitive, but one of our favorite ways to earn Delta SkyMiles isn’t even a Delta credit card.
American Express has its own suite of credit cards that earn Membership Rewards points. But you can transfer these points from Amex directly to your Delta SkyMiles account on a 1:1 basis. And thanks to some lucrative bonuses and excellent bonus categories, you can earn even more SkyMiles than with one of Delta’s co-branded cards.
Our absolute favorite is the American Express Platinum card. It starts with a standard, 60,000-point welcome bonus after spending $5,000 in three months. But be sure to check and see if you qualify for a 100,000-point bonus.
One of the best features of this card is that it earns an unbeatable 5x points on all airfare purchased directly through airlines or at amextravel.com. So if you buy a $500 ticket at Delta.com, you’d earn 2,500 Membership Rewards that you could transfer to your Delta account. Compare that to the 1,000 bonus SkyMiles you’d get by purchasing with a co-branded Delta card, and it’s a no brainer. That’s part of the reason why we recommend the Platinum card to Delta flyers.
This card carries a hefty fee, at $550 annually. But with that comes an incredible suite of perks like $200 in travel credits, $200 toward free Uber rides, airport lounge access, free Global Entry or PreCheck, and more. Those benefits can easily outweigh the annual fee.
Click Here to learn more about the American Express Platinum card.
The recently revamped American Express Gold card is another strong option. The card is currently offering a 35,000-point welcome bonus after spending $2,000 within three months. You’ll also earn 4x points on dining and supermarkets – the highest bonus on the market – and 3x points on airfare booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. This card has an annual fee of $250, which we feel is worth it.
Click Here to learn more about Amex Gold Card.
One important note: American Express Membership Rewards charges a fee of 0.06 cents per point up to a maximum of $99 when you transfer from American Express Membership Rewards points to a U.S. airline. So a transfer of 100,000 points would incur a $60 fee. It’s not earth-shattering, but it is slightly annoying.
Marriott Rewards Points & Credit Cards
Marriott points aren’t just good for hotel stays.
Transferring hotel points to airlines is generally a poor value, but Marriott is an exception. You can transfer these points to 40 different airline partners, including Delta, at a 3:1 ratio. But it gets better: You’ll get a 25% bonus for every 60,000 points you transfer. So if you transfer 60,000 Marriott points to your Delta account, you’ll get 25,000 SkyMiles. This is a great way to bolster your SkyMiles account balance for your next redemption.
There are lots of credit cards from both American Express and Chase that earn Marriott Rewards points. But just make sure you understand the restrictions they have before applying for them.
Thrifty Tip #2: Want to learn more about transferring Marriott points to Delta? See our guide on how to transfer Marriott Rewards points to partner airlines.
The SkyMiles Shopping Portal
Shopping portals are one of our favorite ways to earn additional points and miles for shopping you are going to do anyway. Delta SkyMiles has its own dedicated shopping portal called (go figure) SkyMiles Shopping. By using the program, you can shop with hundreds of online retailers and earn additional SkyMiles just for clicking through their portal on the way to your favorite online retailer. Delta frequently offers bonuses at specific retailers, so be sure you’re signed up for email alerts. To register for the SkyMiles shopping program, visit their site.
Thrifty Tip #3: About to make an online purchase? Visit cashbackmonitor.com to see whether the store offers bonus miles through the SkyMiles shopping portal.
Thrifty Tip #4: You don’t need to use a Delta SkyMiles credit card to receive the bonus miles through the program. Simply go through the shopping portal and pay with whatever credit card you’d like to earn the additional SkyMiles. Check out our full guide here.
The SkyMiles Dining Program
Sign up and link a credit card to your account. Visit one of the participating restaurants, and you’ll earn 3x miles for every dollar you spend on your bill. But you can get even more SkyMiles with Delta’s promotion for new members.
You can earn up to 3,000 bonus SkyMiles by spending at least $30 (taxes and tips count!) at three restaurants within 30 days of signing up. You’ll earn 500 SkyMiles for the first visit, 1,000 SkyMiles for the second, and 1,500 SkyMiles for the third. In order to earn those bonuses, you’ll also need to leave a review of each restaurant through the SkyMilesDining.com review portal.
These bonuses don’t rival the huge bonuses you’ll get from credit cards. But it’s a great way to continue earning SkyMiles for everyday spending.
Thrifty Trip #5: Much like the SkyMiles shopping portal, you don’t need to use a Delta credit card to earn the bonus miles. Link any credit card you want to your SkyMiles dining account – just be sure to use that card when you pay your bill.
Link Your Lyft Account to Delta SkyMiles
Delta and Lyft have a great partnership that allows you to earn Delta SkyMiles when you hop in a Lyft.
It’s as simple as linking your Delta SkyMiles and Lyft accounts. You will earn 1x SkyMile per dollar spent at Lyft & 2x SkyMiles per dollar spent on rides to and from the airport. But there are occasionally even bigger bonuses, like a holiday special allowing you to earn up to 10x SkyMiles per dollar.
Link your accounts today and start earning!
Book With Airbnb
In early 2016, Delta and Airbnb launched a partnership allowing you to earn Delta SkyMiles for Airbnb stays. To get those bonus SkyMiles, you must book through delta.com/airbnb. You’ll earn 1 SkyMile per dollar spent on qualifying Airbnb stays.
Thrifty Tip #6: New To Airbnb? Sign up using our link and you will receive $40 toward your first stay – we’ll get $20 as well!
Book Car Rentals Through Rental Agencies
Need to rent a car? Make sure you’re earning SkyMiles.
Rather than earning credits with the car rental company, you can credit those rentals to your SkyMiles account instead! It’s a little-known option, but an easy way to earn some extra SkyMiles. For every qualifying rental, you’ll earn 500 SkyMiles.
Earning Delta Medallion Status
Delta’s Medallion elite status program isn’t for everyone, but it’s a great way to earn some additional SkyMiles if you can get it.
The higher you climb on Delta’s status ladder, the bigger bonuses you’ll get on Delta purchases. The lowest level is Silver Medallion, and with that, you’ll earn 2x on all Delta purchases. Gold members earn 3x, while Platinum members get 4x SkyMiles. At the very top is Diamond, and those members get 6x SkyMiles on Delta purchases.
Needless to say, any level of status with Delta is a great way to accelerate your SkyMiles earning. Learn more about Delta’s elite program.
Whether you near a Delta hub or not, Delta SkyMiles are absolutely worth earning. And luckily, there are some great ways to earn big bonuses and keep adding onto your SkyMiles stash.
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.
The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.