Tips and advice for earning Delta Skymiles without a Delta credit card?
February 14, 2014 10:47 AM   Subscribe

I need some advice and/or tips for earning Delta Skymiles without the use of (or application for) a Delta credit card. Any mefites experienced in the fine art of earning miles?

My dear old dad has offered to transfer his Delta Skymiles (which, he claims, number in the hundreds of thousands) to me in order to help me get a cheap flight from the US to the UK this July. A brief look over the Delta FAQ on transferring miles tells me that the account receiving the transfer must 1.) have been open for at least 10 days and 2.) have earned at least 1 mile.

I have a skymiles account, open for over a year, but I've not earned any miles, nor do I have any desire to get a Delta affiliated credit card. Miles can be earned with purchases made via the Skymiles Shopping portal, and so I am keen to make a small purchase there to quickly earn miles so that my account qualifies to receive transferred miles.

Any experienced users who can tell me which retailers report miles earned most quickly? I'd be happy with buying just about any low-cost item from anyone if it earns me a few miles, but I'm also in need of a bluetooth keyboard to replace my busted iMac keyboard, so bonus points if you know of a Skymiles Shopping affiliate who might sell such an item. Apple is a skymiles partner, and I'll happily buy from there if they report miles earned to delta quickly.

Any thoughts? Experiences? General tips for successfully using Skymiles Shopping portal?
posted by still bill to Shopping (7 answers total)
Transferring miles can often come with high fees -- you might do better if you just have your Dad get the ticket for you. In any event, explore your options and do the math before you do anything.

However, since you asked about other ways to get Sky Miles: A quick and easy thing to do is to sign up for SkyMiles Dining. All you have to do is spend $30 at one of their restaurants and you'll get miles for it.

Also, if you have any old Amex card, you can join Membership Rewards, and convert those points to SkyMiles 1-to-1 with no additional fees or anything just by linking your accounts.
posted by spilon at 10:52 AM on February 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Whoops -- hit post too fast….

Regarding the merchants in the SkyMiles shopping portal -- those miles will get credited to you when you pay the bill. So I don't think it really matters who you buy from. Just get something you need and then pay the bill right away.
posted by spilon at 10:54 AM on February 14, 2014

As spilon mentions, it's actually better for your dad to just book the ticket directly using his miles. That way you avoid all the transfer fees, and you/he can book the ticket immediately. If he trusts you with it, he can just give you his skymiles account # and PIN and let you book the ticket yourself.
posted by dcjd at 10:56 AM on February 14, 2014

Nthing having your dad just book the ticket for you using his miles. I book tickets for other people all the time using my miles. Then he won't have to pay transfer fees.
posted by bedhead at 11:30 AM on February 14, 2014

Yep, what everyone above said.

Just experienced the Fun of only getting 50% off of what ought to have been a free flight because half of the miles were mine and half had to be transferred in. Those fees are a bitch.

Transferring 100k miles is going to cost somewhere around $1,300, IIRC.
posted by toomuchpete at 11:37 AM on February 14, 2014

Thanks, all! It does look like the best solution is to simply log in using my dad's info and book that way. I also seemed to have missed the part of the skymiles faq that limits the amount of transferrable miles. I'll just get the info from my pops and book!
posted by still bill at 11:41 AM on February 14, 2014

Yeah, your dad can use his miles to buy the ticket for you. That's the best option.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:55 AM on February 15, 2014

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