The 12 Best Ways to Earn Delta SkyMiles in 2020 - Thrifty Traveler
Earn Delta SkyMiles

The 12 Best Ways to Earn Delta SkyMiles in 2020

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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 get a lot of value out of SkyMiles.

Here are the best, tried-and-true ways to earn Delta SkyMiles in 2020.
 


 

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 sign-up bonus, then open the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card down the road and earn a sign-up bonus on that card, too.

Starting on Jan. 30, 2020, there are some huge changes coming to the cards. The changes range from the minor (slight name changes) to the good (new benefits on every card) to the negative (some cuts and increases to annual fees). Every card in Delta’s portfolio is getting overhauled, from the no-annual-fee Blue card to the top-of-the-line Delta Reserve card.

And as mentioned, you can earn the bonus on each of these cards once per lifetime.
 


 

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? See our post on which Delta SkyMiles credit card is right for you.

 

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 ExpressIt 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. 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. 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, 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.
 

Earn Delta SkyMiles
 

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 35,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 within three months of card membership. 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 new American Express Green Card which Amex refreshed in October 2019 with a handful of new perks including a limited-time welcome offer bonus of 30,000 points and a $100 credit to use on purchases at Away Luggage, both of which are available only through Jan. 15, 2020.

The card also offers a $100 credit to cover a portion of the cost of CLEAR membership, a $100 Lounge Buddy credit and 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 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.

Both American Express and Chase offer different versions of Marriott Bonvoy credit cards that will earn Bonvoy points.
 

Earn Delta SkyMiles 

Want to learn more about transferring Marriott points to Delta? See our guide on how to transfer Marriott Rewards points to partner airlines, and start your points transfer here.

 

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.
 

Earn Delta SkyMiles 

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

Dining portals offer another great way to rack up additional points and miles. And Delta’s SkyMiles Dining Program offers an easy way to earn some pretty big bonuses just for eating at certain restaurants.

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.
 

Earn Delta SkyMiles 

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.

You can also link your Lyft account to your Hilton Honors account and earn both Delta and Hilton points for the same ride!
 

Earn Delta SkyMiles 

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.
 

 

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 $40 towards your home booking, and $15 to use toward an 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

 

Cheer for the Seattle Seahawks

If you are a legal resident of the state of Washington, there is no easier way to earn Delta SkyMiles. All you need to do is register at 12status.com, and you will earn 1 SkyMile for every passing yard the Seattle Seahawks NFL football team throws for both home and away games throughout the season.

This promotion is technically for the 2019 season, but it has been running for a few years now and it should be back for the 2020 season when it begins in September.
 


 

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.

 

 

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.
 

 

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 providingr eliable 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.
 


 

Bottom Line

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.

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: 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.

4 Responses

  • If I would get the American Express Platinum card with the $500 fee and have my husband on the account would both of us get the Global Entry Free offer?

    • Yes and he would get his own lounge memberships. However, the downfall is authorized users are $175 more in addition to the $550 fee.

  • Great advice. However, I tried clicking the link for the new AirBnb user discount. I set up an account, but before I could book anything an error occurred telling me that I should clear my cookies. So I did. Now it’s saying that I have an account already, so I can’t use the discount. It doesn’t seem fair.

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