Below, I outline the main ways in which to earn and accumulate Delta SkyMiles.
1. Fly Delta or Delta Partner
You can earn SkyMiles with every flight you take based on ticket price (base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges, but excluding government-imposed taxes and fees) for Delta-marketed or Delta-ticketed flights, instead of distance flown. So when you pay a higher price, you will be rewarded with more miles. Note, you do not earn SkyMiles when you fly on an award flight.
The miles you earn per $1 spent, depends on what level member you are within the Delta SkyMiles program. General members earn 5 miles per $1 spent, while Medallion members earn more. Specifically, Silver members earn 7 miles, Gold members 8 miles, Platinum 9 miles and Diamond members 11 miles per $1 spent. Note, you can earn up to 75,000 miles per ticket. (I want to meet the person that can earn 75,000 miles per ticket!)
You can also earn Delta SkyMiles when you fly on one of Delta’s partner airlines. You can learn more about that here.
2. Use your American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles card or your American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles card
When you use your American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles card or you American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles card you earn two Delta Skymiles for each $1 spent on Delta tickets purchased directly from the airline and 1 Skymile per $1 on all other purchases.
If you do not already have the American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles card, you can apply here. Currently, new card members receive 30,000 BONUS SKYMILES after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening and the annual fee of $95 is waived the first year. In addition, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
Or apply here for the American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles card. Currently new card members can earn 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 35,000 Bonus SkyMiles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
3. Transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards
If you are a member of American Express Membership Rewards you can transfer your Membership Rewards points, in 1,000-point increments, to your Delta SkyMiles account. At the time of this post, your points transfer at 1:1 value. That means one Membership Rewards point equals one Delta SkyMiles point. Note, you may transfer a maximum of 999,000 points to a single SkyMiles account on any given day.
4. Transfer Starpoints to your Delta SkyMiles account
Starwood Preferred Guests can transfer up to 79,999 of their Starpoints per transaction per program within a 24-hour period to their Delta SkyMiles account at a 1:1 ratio. In addition, for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred within the same transaction, Starwood will automatically add another 5,000 Starpoints! This means that up to 94,999 Starpoints can be transferred into your frequent flyer account. (15,000 points transferred for the first 60,000 of the 79,999). Note, unlike some of the other programs in which you can transfer points to airlines, points transfers through SPG are not instantaneous.
5. Shop through the Delta SkyMiles Shopping online site.
Shopping portals are a great place to rack up extra miles, you earn miles while you shop.
6. Earn Delta SkyMiles Flying Staying At Starwood Resorts Through Crossover Rewards
SkyMiles Diamond, Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion members earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on eligible room rates at Starwood hotels and resorts.
7. Earn Delta SkyMiles by spending $ with Delta SkyMiles partners
Spend $ at more than 100 SkyMiles partners and earn Delta SkyMiles.