How to get Delta miles? I’m planning a trip and... - Travel with Credit Cards Questions


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How to get Delta miles? I’m planning a trip and want to earn miles for Delta award ticket.

Answered on | Updated on October 20th, 2017
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Delta SkyMiles, the frequent flyer program of Delta Airlines, provides a variety of ways to get miles. However, Delta miles are not the only miles that will get you a free Delta ticket. There are multiple ways to earn miles even without boarding a plane. Let’s consider those that will allow you to earn miles fast.

  1. Get miles by flying Delta and its partners. This option is goon only for those who travel exclusively with Delta. If you do, you can become a member of their SkyMiles program and earn miles on flights. Flights with Delta’s partners also bring you reward miles. The disadvantage of this option is that your redemption options will be limited and there are a lot of fees and taxes that you should pay to get a reward ticket.
  2. Earn with Delta SkyMiles credit cards. This is the most effective way to earn miles for Delta frequent flyers. Delta credit cards come with sign-up bonuses which are enough for a nice start. Also, they allow to earn miles on Delta and other purchases. The cards come with high annual fees but, at the same time, are loaded with perks, like a free first checked bag, priority boarding or discounted Delta SkyClub access. Another disadvantage is, if you want to earn more miles, you should fly Delta a lot.
  3. Get a travel rewards credit card. Another good way to earn miles fast is a travel credit card. This type of cards is not tied to one particular airline. A travel card will allow you to earn miles on all your purchases. You don’t even have to fly a lot to earn miles like you should with an airline branded credit card. You simply shop the way you like and then redeem earned miles for any airline ticket without blackout dates or fees.
  4. Join any of SkyTeam member airlines’ frequent flyer program. There are 20 member airlines in SkyTeam alliance that allow to earn and redeem with SkyTeam members. If you already have an airline card or a member of some frequent flyer program, check out to see if that airline is a SkyTeam member.
  5. Get a card that allows miles transfers. Some travel credit cards allow to earn miles and then transfer them to frequent flyer programs, even though they are not a part of any frequent flyer program. For example, some cards allows to transfer rewards to some frequent flyer programs.

If you are considering a co-branded Delta credit card to earn Skymiles, you should know that, first of all, to be able to earn a reward ticket, you will need to fly with Delta a lot. An airline credit card is worth applying when you fly more than two times a year with that airline. Otherwise, you won’t accumulate miles fast enough to cover the cost of the card. And the second, airline credit cards are not cheap and you won’t want to carry a balance on them. You should be well aware that if you want to get the maximum out of your credit card rewards, you should clear up the card balance each month.

Comparing with Delta co-branded cards, general travel rewards credit cards allow to earn more rewards on purchases, come with no annual fee and are more flexible, as they are not tied to particular airlines. For example, consider the Discover it® Miles card. It offers unlimited 1.5x miles on all purchases. All the miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year will be matched (providing you are a new card member). For example, if you earn 35,000 miles, you get 70,000 miles. Redeem miles for any travel expenses, like airline tickets, including Delta flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars and more. This card comes with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee. Rewards have no expiration date.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
  • Andrew

    I don’t use any airline credit cards. I always have problems to book ticket on certain date or time. There are so much credit cards with travel rewards, so there is no sense to use airline cards…

  • John

    I didn’t use my Delta card more than 2 years and my rewards expired. I was so disappointed to lose them all. After that I applied for citi premier card. I have heard that regular cards don’t have rewards expiration date. Hope everything will be good this time

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