How to earn more Delta SkyMiles, from using the right credit card to shopping

Delta Air Lines’ SkyMiles program has undergone several devaluations over the years, causing some members to question its value. However, despite these changes, the program can still be a valuable option for domestic awards and partner redemptions. Delta’s extensive route network, with significant hubs in major U.S. cities, provides ample opportunities for travel, and there are various ways to earn and redeem Delta miles.

One of the major advantages of the SkyMiles program is that the miles never expire. This means that you can accrue miles over time and redeem them whenever you’re ready to travel. Additionally, Delta occasionally offers award sales, allowing members to book flights starting at just 5,000 SkyMiles round-trip. These sales can be a great way to snag cheap flights and maximize the value of your miles.

There are several ways to earn Delta SkyMiles. The most obvious method is by flying with Delta and its airline partners. The number of miles earned depends on several factors, including the ticket price and your elite status. Non-elite members earn 5 miles per dollar spent on airfare, excluding taxes and fees. Elite members earn miles at a higher rate, with Diamond Medallion members earning 11 miles per dollar spent.

When it comes to partner airlines, earning miles can be a bit more complicated. Depending on how the ticket is booked, the miles earned may vary. If you book a partner flight on Delta’s website, you’ll earn miles the same way you would on a standard Delta flight. However, if you book directly with the partner airline and add your SkyMiles number, the miles earned will be based on the distance flown, fare class, and elite status.

Another way to earn Delta SkyMiles is through credit cards. American Express offers several cobranded Delta SkyMiles credit cards, each with its own set of perks and benefits. These cards often come with welcome bonuses, which can help you quickly accumulate miles. Additionally, everyday spending on these cards can earn you additional miles. It’s important to note that American Express has a once-per-lifetime rule, so make sure to choose the card with the highest welcome bonus to maximize your earnings.

If you want to earn SkyMiles without adding another credit card to your wallet, you can consider transferring points or miles from other reward programs. Delta partners with American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy, allowing you to transfer points directly to your SkyMiles account. Transfers from Membership Rewards points are at a 1:1 ratio, but there is a fee of $0.0006 per mile to offset the federal excise tax.

In conclusion, despite the devaluations over the years, Delta Air Lines’ SkyMiles program can still be a valuable option for domestic awards and partner redemptions. With a vast route network, various ways to earn miles, and the option to transfer points from other programs, it’s possible to maximize the value of your SkyMiles and enjoy affordable travel. Keep an eye out for award sales, consider applying for a Delta SkyMiles credit card, and take advantage of partner redemptions to make the most of your miles.

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