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How Best to Increase Miles in my SkyMiles account

How Best to Increase Miles in my SkyMiles account

Old Feb 25, 21, 6:29 pm
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How Best to Increase Miles in my SkyMiles account

I've been eyeing this situation for several months and I'm hoping savvier flyers might have some knowledge I haven't stumbled across yet. I recently dropped my status at United, and keep hearing great things about Delta. I fly out of SFO. I'd like to enlarge my SkyMiles account, but the only major transfer partner I see is the AmEx which I already have. We use Chase Sapphire Reserve for all our spending and those points transfer out to many travel providers; booking direct triggers a large discount as well. Are there any non-AmEx credit cards or other earning opportunities to maximize my Delta SkyMiles earnings? Does Delta ever offer percentage bonuses for purchasing SkyMiles? Anybody know of other ways to get to my goal? I'd like to see the account increase by 30 or 50K miles.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 6:50 pm
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Originally Posted by jsn55 View Post
I've been eyeing this situation for several months and I'm hoping savvier flyers might have some knowledge I haven't stumbled across yet. I recently dropped my status at United, and keep hearing great things about Delta. I fly out of SFO. I'd like to enlarge my SkyMiles account, but the only major transfer partner I see is the AmEx which I already have. We use Chase Sapphire Reserve for all our spending and those points transfer out to many travel providers; booking direct triggers a large discount as well. Are there any non-AmEx credit cards or other earning opportunities to maximize my Delta SkyMiles earnings? Does Delta ever offer percentage bonuses for purchasing SkyMiles? Anybody know of other ways to get to my goal? I'd like to see the account increase by 30 or 50K miles.
Hello from a fellow SFO DL flyer DL is pretty cozy with AMEX, so that's pretty much the best non-flight option for accumulating miles quickly (particularly signup bonuses). I think there are sometimes bonuses for purchasing miles but SkyMiles is not generally the strong point of the program. Do you have a specific redemption in mind? Otherwise I wouldn't necessarily seek to accumulate 30-50k miles for the sake of doing so. I suspect a lot of people with high balances have accumulated them from flight, or from CC activity that was more geared towards hitting the MQD waiver or an MQM boost rather than having SkyMiles accumulation as any significant consideration...
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Old Feb 25, 21, 6:52 pm
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I don't believe DL has offered any bonuses for purchasing miles in roughly a decade (the last one I can find on FT was in 2011). At any rate, speculative purchasing of miles is almost always a bad idea even with the bonuses. Mileage transfer deals are almost always a poor value as well. One of the DL Amex signup bonus offers is probably the only way to get a reasonable return for the miles.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 7:25 pm
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Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
I don't believe DL has offered any bonuses for purchasing miles in roughly a decade (the last one I can find on FT was in 2011). At any rate, speculative purchasing of miles is almost always a bad idea even with the bonuses. Mileage transfer deals are almost always a poor value as well. One of the DL Amex signup bonus offers is probably the only way to get a reasonable return for the miles.
Delta miles are worth less than Amex points so I wouldn't transfer them on spec. If you find a flight with a good redemption the transfer might make sense.
2 options to accumulate miles:
  • get a delta amex CC with sign up bonus and start spending
  • get on a bunch of planes
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Old Feb 26, 21, 7:12 am
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My wife and I haven’t flown in more than a year due to the pandemic, but until recently we were putting every expense on our Platinum Delta Amex, including utilities, house payment, groceries, even property taxes. As a result we were earning between 3000-4000 miles a month with no flying. In December we decided the miles weren’t doing much for us and have switched to another card (cash back). But that ploy might suit you, as you will also get a bunch of miles as a signup bonus.
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Old Feb 26, 21, 8:44 am
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Look at using Virgin miles or Flying Blue program. Virgin just devalued the program but can still find value and it's a transferrable partner of Chase/Amex/Citi.
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Old Feb 26, 21, 8:51 am
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Originally Posted by El Boocho View Post
Delta miles are worth less than Amex points so I wouldn't transfer them on spec. If you find a flight with a good redemption the transfer might make sense.
2 options to accumulate miles:
  • get a delta amex CC with sign up bonus and start spending
  • get on a bunch of planes
this (highlighted) is generally regarded as the biggest issue w SkyMiles and is a big part of why they're widely disparaged as SkyPesos

that said, my son recently got a one-way SJC-SEA in F ($249 equivalent) less than a week out for 13500 miles, so unicorns aren't entirely extinct (for comparison, coach on the same flight was $179 or 9500 miles) ... whether you or anyone else would consider this a good redemption or not, though, isn't up to me
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Old Feb 26, 21, 9:27 am
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Originally Posted by jsn55 View Post
I've been eyeing this situation for several months and I'm hoping savvier flyers might have some knowledge I haven't stumbled across yet. I recently dropped my status at United, and keep hearing great things about Delta. I fly out of SFO. I'd like to enlarge my SkyMiles account, but the only major transfer partner I see is the AmEx which I already have. We use Chase Sapphire Reserve for all our spending and those points transfer out to many travel providers; booking direct triggers a large discount as well. Are there any non-AmEx credit cards or other earning opportunities to maximize my Delta SkyMiles earnings? Does Delta ever offer percentage bonuses for purchasing SkyMiles? Anybody know of other ways to get to my goal? I'd like to see the account increase by 30 or 50K miles.
Delta does offer a debit card that earns.

https://www.suntrust.com/personal-ba...les-debit-card

It's not particularly lucrative though. You're really going to have to decide if you're Team AMEX/Delta or Team Chase/Someone Else (though you can transfer miles into Air France/Virgin Atlantic and book Delta, so that's something.) The synergy really happens with AMEX though.

Frankly the DL AMEX cards are not best for pure earning compared to AMEX charge cards. The DL Platinum earns 2x on dining, the AMEX Green earns 3x, AMEX Gold earns 4x (other categories like supermarkets are similar). Where they make sense is for the side benefits; free bags, MQD waivers and boosts, Pay With Miles, companion certificates, lounge access. If you're really committing to Delta for status and regular flying the earning tradeoffs might be worth it.
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Old Feb 26, 21, 9:40 am
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The only reason to spend on a Delta Co-branded card is for mqm boosts. Otherwise use the Amex cards and transfer to Delta when you need miles.
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Old Feb 26, 21, 11:05 am
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Originally Posted by kobyjones21 View Post
The only reason to spend on a Delta Co-branded card is for mqm boosts. Otherwise use the Amex cards and transfer to Delta when you need miles.
Especially for buying Delta tickets. Amex Platinum (unbranded) gives 5 points/$, worth at least 5 Delta miles (sometimes there's a bonus). The Amex Delta Platinum gives 2 miles/$.
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Old Feb 26, 21, 11:13 am
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Both Flying Blue and Virgin are pretty promiscuous when it comes to credit card transfer partners and can have some Delta metal redemption options that can be far better values than using Skymiles. Example-mainland to Hawaii tickets with FB can be great deal though you may need to call in to find availability rather than searching on the website.
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Last edited by beachmouse; Feb 26, 21 at 12:35 pm
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Old Feb 26, 21, 12:22 pm
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I dont think it will get you 30/50k but using shopping and dining portals. Ive gotten 20k in a year on americans shopping portal. I was able to take a roundtrip from cle to lax on delta 2 years ago just using delta shopping portal.
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Old Feb 26, 21, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by kobyjones21 View Post
The only reason to spend on a Delta Co-branded card is for mqm boosts. Otherwise use the Amex cards and transfer to Delta when you need miles.
Originally Posted by sethb View Post
Especially for buying Delta tickets. Amex Platinum (unbranded) gives 5 points/$, worth at least 5 Delta miles (sometimes there's a bonus). The Amex Delta Platinum gives 2 miles/$.
The MQD waiver requires a minimum of $25,000 in DL AMEX spend. That can be a big reason to direct spending to a DL AMEX, if you're an elite who would otherwise be thousands of dollars short on MQD spend.

If you're not planning on elite status or you'll hit the MQD target anyway then it might not be as big a factor (but then you don't care about MQM boosts either- arguably the DL AMEXes might not be worth your time unless you get a lot of value out of free bags, lounge access or the companion certificates).
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Old Feb 26, 21, 1:52 pm
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If you travel regularly and rent cars, you can earn a couple thousand extra SkyMiles each week using hertz; particularly if you are delta platinum or diamond. I certainly get 30-50k SkyMiles like this each year.
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Old Feb 26, 21, 2:19 pm
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AFAIK it's still possible to transfer points from hotel programs to your DL FF account, but I've never done it. Starwood and DL once had elite benefits going in both directions and Marriott Rewards listed DL as a partner for its travel packages, but Bonvoy travel packages aren't as worthwhile. [The idea is to redeem for a combination of a seven night award stay and some "free" miles transferred to your FF account, to be used for the same trip of at some later date.]
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