Need to earn more Delta SkyMiles? Look no further.
While earning and using Delta SkyMiles may have not be top of mind this year, there is never a bad time to start earning them. They will never expire and using them is in our opinion, one of the best ways to book travel right now.
And 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 get a lot of value out of SkyMiles.
Here are the best, tried-and-true ways to earn Delta SkyMiles in 2021.
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 welcome offer bonus.
And take note: You are eligible to earn the welcome bonus on each card once per lifetime. That means you could open the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card and earn a big welcome offer bonus, then open the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card down the road and earn a welcome offer bonus on that card, too.
Click Here to learn more about the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card.
Click Here to learn more about the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card.
Click Here to learn more about the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card.
Click Here to learn more about the Delta Reserve Card from American Express.
Want to learn more about what each of these cards offers? Make sure to visit our Top Credit Cards Page.
American Express Membership Rewards 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 (1 point = 1 Delta SkyMile). And thanks to some lucrative bonuses and excellent bonus categories, you can earn even more SkyMiles than by using one of Delta’s co-branded cards in certain spending categories.
Our absolute favorite is the Platinum Card from American Express. It starts with a standard, 75,000-point welcome bonus after spending $5,000 in six months. But be sure to check and see if you qualify for a 125,000-point bonus for the same spending requirement.
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. You earn just 2x SkyMiles on Delta purchases with the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express, so the same flight would earn you just 1,000 SkyMiles.
This card carries a hefty fee, at $550 annually. But with that comes an incredible suite of perks like $200 in travel credits, up to $200 toward free Uber rides, airport lounge access, up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or PreCheck, and more. Those benefits can easily outweigh the annual fee.
Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Card from American Express.
The American Express Gold Card is another strong option. The card is currently offering a 60,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 within six months of card membership. But like the Platinum Card, you may qualify for a much higher offer through CardMatch.
You’ll also earn an unlimited 4x points per dollar spent at worldwide restaurants and US supermarkets (up to $25,000 each year, then 1x) – 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 can be worth it.
Click Here to learn more about the American Express Gold Card.
And then there is the American Express Green Card which Amex refreshed in October 2019 with a handful of new perks including a $100 credit to cover a portion of the cost of CLEAR membership, and a $100 Lounge Buddy credit. It also earns 3x points on every dollar you spend on both dining and travel.
Click Here to learn more about the American Express Green Card.
Read our guide to help you decide which card is right for you. Gold, Green, or Platinum.
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 when you transfer to Delta. It’s not earth-shattering, but it is slightly annoying and something to be aware of when making Membership Rewards points transfers to Delta.
Marriott Bonvoy 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 over 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 Delta SkyMiles. This is a great way to bolster your SkyMiles account balance for your next redemption.
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. And 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.
About to make an online purchase? Visit cashbackmonitor.com to see whether the store offers bonus miles through the SkyMiles shopping portal. 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 to SkyMiles shopping 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. This is in addition to whatever points, miles, or cash back you earn on the credit card you are paying with.
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. You can join SkyMiles Dining here. And 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.
Check out our full guide to SkyMiles Dining here.
Link Your Lyft Account to Delta SkyMiles
Delta and Lyft have a great partnership that allows you to earn Delta SkyMiles every time 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.
Again, these miles will be in addition to any points, miles, or cash back you are earning on the credit card you use to pay for your ride. That means you can use a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve to earn 10x points on your ride in addition to the Delta SkyMiles.
You can also link your Lyft account to your Hilton Honors account and earn both Delta and Hilton points for the same ride!
Link your accounts today and start earning!
Purchase Event Tickets Through Ticketmaster
In June 2019, Delta launched a brand-new partnership with ticket-selling behemoth Ticketmaster, allowing SkyMiles members to earn bonus SkyMiles when buying tickets to concerts, sporting events, and more.
And while it is likely you aren’t buying many event tickets these days, it is still an easy way to earn additional SkyMiles for spending you are going to do anyhow.
Simply head to the new partnership page at Delta.com/ticketmaster and punch in your SkyMiles number before buying tickets. This partnership will earn 1x SkyMiles per dollar spent, and if you buy a lot of tickets, that can add up fast. However, you won’t earn SkyMiles for the (often extensive) taxes and fees on your tickets.
Almost all tickets purchased through Ticketmaster will be eligible to earn SkyMiles. According to the terms of the partnership, that even includes resale tickets bought on Ticketmaster.com. Just be sure to make your purchase through the Delta.com/ticketmaster page
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.
New To Airbnb? Sign up using our link and you will receive get $50 towards your home booking, and $15 to use toward an Airbnb experience worth $50 or more. We will get $30 as well which we appreciate!
Read our guide on the Top 5 Ways to Save on Airbnb Bookings.
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.
Delta has partnerships with Hertz, Dollar Car rental, Thrifty Car Rental, Alamo, Enterprise, National, Europcar, ExecuCar, Carmel, Sixt, and Super Shuttle. But we are partial to National because of the Free Executive Status that comes with a handful of travel rewards credit cards.
Earning Delta Medallion Status
Delta’s Medallion 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 7x SkyMiles on all Delta purchases. Gold members earn 8x, while Platinum members get 9x SkyMiles. At the very top is Diamond, and those members get 11x SkyMiles on Delta purchases.
All that being said, we often question if Delta Medallion Status is worth it.
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.
Delta’s Bags on Time Guarantee
If you often check a bag with Delta, this is one you want to be aware of.
Delta is committed to providing reliable baggage service each and every time you fly. And as a part of that, if your checked bag doesn’t arrive at the carousel in 20 minutes or less after any domestic flight, you are eligible to receive 2,500 bonus miles.
All you have to do is complete the form at this link no later than three days after your flights arrive.
Whether you’re near a Delta hub airport or not, Delta SkyMiles are absolutely worth earning. And luckily, there are tons of great ways to earn big bonuses and keep adding onto your SkyMiles stash.