7 Easy Ways To Earn (and Spend) Delta Miles

Who knew Delta SkyMiles had so many amazing benefits?
11/27/19 | By Jason Steele
delta airplane parked on tarmac

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When it comes to Delta SkyMiles, my mom always says, "If you live in Atlanta, you can earn Delta SkyMiles just by breathing."

Delta dominates the Atlanta airport that she frequents the most, and I have to admit that mom's right about this (and not just because she's my mom).

If you travel regularly on Delta, you're probably already earning Delta SkyMiles (or at least you should be). Well if you're looking to pad your SkyMiles account without having to travel more, you're in luck. I'm going to share seven super easy ways you can earn and spend Delta SkyMiles in the best way possible.

Get a SkyMiles credit card

Between consumer and business credit cards, there are a variety of different Delta credit cards available from American Express. My personal favorite is the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, which offers a free companion ticket each year that I can redeem for a round-trip, domestic class flight. Free flight every year? Count me in.

Here are all of Delta’s co-branded credit cards:

Consumer SkyMiles credit cards

Business SkyMiles credit cards

Earn Membership Rewards points from American Express

The American Express Membership Rewards program allows you to transfer miles to 19 different airline partners, including Delta. This is really cool because it maximizes the different carriers you can travel on and it extends the number of credit cards that can earn you Delta Miles beyond just Delta branded credit cards.

Many Amex cards allow you to earn bonus points as a new cardmember too. For example, the Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card allows you to earn 15,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. If you use the Amex EveryDay Preferred card for your everyday spending, you’ll earn 3X points at U.S. supermarkets on the first $6,000 in purchases per year, 2X points at U.S. gas stations, and 1X points on all other eligible purchases. That's pretty awesome and can go a long way in accruing points to swap out for Delta Miles.

Extraordinary Rewards for Ordinary Spending

Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card

Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card

Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card

Benefits

  • 50% point bonus when you use your card 30 times in a billing cycle
  • Bonus points at U.S. supermarkets and gas stations
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months
  • Terms apply

Use SkyMiles Dining and Shopping

These two programs offer you SkyMiles for purchases you might be making regardless. The SkyMiles Dining program allows you to register your credit card and get extra miles when you use it at eligible restaurants. The beauty here is that after you register your card, you earn miles automatically when you pay your bill.

The SkyMiles Shopping program works in a similar way and allows you to earn miles when you use their shopping portal to make purchases from featured retailers. Before I make a big purchase, I always check to see if I can earn double (or triple) miles by shopping through the special shopping portal.

Collect Marriott Bonvoy points

Marriott Bonvoy is the rewards program for the Marriott hotel chain, but the rewards you earn aren’t limited to free nights at Marriott properties. You can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to more than 40 participating airlines, including Delta.

Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to Delta SkyMiles at a rate of 3:1, so for every three Marriott Bonvoy points, you get one SkyMile. Even better, when you transfer 60,000 points to airline miles, Marriott will add 5,000 miles.

If you’re looking for a hotel-branded credit card to add to your wallet, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is offering new cardholders the chance to earn 75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

A Great Card for Travel Rewards Beginners

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Benefits

  • 75,000 point sign-up offer
  • 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • One free night each year
  • No foreign transaction fee

Redeem miles for international business class awards

Hands down, the best value for your SkyMiles is when you use miles for business class international flights that would normally cost thousands of dollars.

Flying business class is also crazy fun and makes you actually look forward to a long flight. Who would've thought that would ever happen? Also, when you stick to searching for awards on Delta's partners, you'll always get the best value.

Use your miles when you're far from home

One of the ways I've been able to get the most value from my miles is to use them for travel in foreign countries. Americans tend to have the most miles, and the further away you go, the less demand there is for award seats. Combine that with the low prices in miles for partner flights, and there are some real bargains out there.

So try using your SkyMiles to fly Aerolineas Argentina around South America or Air France around Europe, and you'll be able to go pretty far on relatively few miles.

Order magazines

Now I know you wouldn't think this would make sense, but sometimes it does. I recently ordered a subscription to People as a gift for my cousin using my Delta SkyMiles. This weekly magazine normally costs $134.46 per year, but I ordered it for 2,200 SkyMiles, which works out to just over six cents per mile.

As a rule, any time you're getting over two cents in value per mile, you're doing great, so this deal was downright fantastic and my cousin was very happy!

Bottom line

If Delta is your go-to airline and you’re on the prowl for easy ways to earn (and spend) Delta SkyMiles, start with these seven ways to do just that. Whether it’s through Delta’s branded credit cards or transferring points from one of Delta’s transfer partners, there are several ways to rack up miles.

When you’re ready to cash out your Delta SkyMiles, consider where you can get the most value, and enjoy the rewards from all the miles you earned.

Large welcome offer

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Benefits

  • 30,000 bonus mile welcome offer
  • 2X miles on purchases made directly with Delta
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights
  • Annual fee is waived your first year
  • Terms apply
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