Courtesy of Delta Air Lines, there is a frequent flyer program referred to as SkyMiles. Through a point collecting system, passengers who fly on most fare types earn points, or rather miles, as they use the system to collect rewards each time they do business with the airline company. There is also a credit card program branded to their name that provides points each time it's used. With these, it doesn't matter where one goes shopping for as long as they use the credit card. In return, points/miles are collected. The more of these points/miles that are collected, the closer to certain rewards the consumer desires become. Once enough points/miles are collected and are used towards whatever happens to be of interest that's available by Delta SkyMiles, the consumer uses the points/miles up to make the purchase and will have them deducted accordingly. It has been a program that was first introduced in 1981. At the time, Delta Airlines, plus all other airline companies, only gave miles as rewards as part of their respective frequent flyer programs.
At first, there were time limits in place with the frequent flyer programs, but Delta has since changed this and has since become the first airline company to remove the time limit. Since then, the Delta SkyMiles card has also set up a SkyBonus program that's separate from the original. This is a program designed to cater to smaller business owners as a means for them to earn points for themselves, their staff members, and their company. For Delta's frequent flyers, SkyMiles serves as mileage currency as these miles are earned from flying or dealing with Delta's business partners. Unlike some other airline companies, there are no expiry dates in place that will cause you to lose the miles you've earned for as long as you maintain your membership with the program. There is also another point-collecting program associated with Delta SkyMiles, which is the SkyMiles Dining Program. For Delta, the realization that the average American citizen spends approximately $3,000 USD per year eating out prompted them to open up a door for members of the SkyMiles program to take advantage of another point collecting opportunity. For SkyMiles cardholders, racking up points/miles while filling their bellies seems like a good match.
About SkyMiles Dining
Through the Rewards Network, members of Delta SkyMiles can now use the SkyMiles Dining Rewards Program to collect points/miles from the 10,000 plus restaurants located across the United States. Some of these restaurants are chain establishments such as Pizza Hut and some are independently owned and operated facilities that are also participating in the program. If you're not part of the Delta SkyMiles Dining Rewards program, there is a sign-up process to follow so that you can rack up the points/miles as soon as your membership application has been completed and verified. Once that step is taken care of, it is then registering your credit cards that are normally used when paying for meals when eating out. Once you've charged that meal to your card, you will receive a notification from Delta SkyMiles about it. Whatever you spent, plus the value of the points/miles that came with it will be deposited into your point-collecting account. It takes approximately ten days for SkyMiles to show up after the initial date of your purchase. It's an appealing enough program to sign up for as there is no cost involved. There are also bonuses Delta SkyMiles frequently offers as a means to win new members to the program, as well as encourage existing members to take advantage of a program that promises rewards.
Usually, there are 3,000 points/miles that are given out to a new account member that completes three restaurant visits, valued at $30.000 USD or more per visit. There's also a SkyMiles Medallion membership level that adds an extra five hundred bonus points/miles upon their first restaurant visit. While collecting points/miles through the SkyMiles Dining program, the amount earned is considerably lower than the amount of money spent. Furthermore, these do not count towards your airline status. However, it's still a good reward program to take part in for as long as you enjoy eating at restaurant locations that are also taking part in it. Over time, when used each time you eat a restaurant, those points/miles do add up. How fast those points/miles add up depends entirely on your spending habits and how frequently you visit the participating restaurants. There are also the opt-in email subscriptions that offer special bonuses members of the points/miles program can take advantage of as they become available. Ideally, opting in on the email subscriptions and following the promotions from Delta's SkyMiles Dining program will earn you six times more points/miles on every restaurant bill. Through this method, it will be a much quicker run to collect enough to seize whatever reward it is you've been having your eye on that's available in the program.
Where Are the Restaurants?
SkyMilesDining.com has a website that has a full list of participating restaurants and their locations, all of which are strictly in the United States. There is a search bar on the home page you can access if you have something specific in mind, such as a city, cuisine type, or restaurant name. The beauty of this search is you will be able to narrow the search down by category, whether it be a pricing preference or meal type. In your search, you can also enter a zip code. Larger cities like Los Angeles or New York City will have a flurry of restaurants taking part in the program. When the SkyMiles Dining program is used wisely, that $3,000 spent annually at dining facilities can easily output 15,000 Delta SkyMiles. When saving up for a flight, these points/miles will certainly come in handy when the time comes.
Credit Cards and SkyMiles
The SkyMiles Dining program is at its best when using the best travel credit cards at your disposal. One smart move is using the Delta SkyMiles from the SkyMiles Dining program, along with other cards you have that also have their own rewarding system. Another is using a Delta-issued credit card, but it has limited spending categories that may not always work to your advantage. When the Delta credit cards are used on Delta flights and Delta-specific purchases, bonus points/miles are earned that do help. However, purchasing at all non-Delta-related facilities with the same credit card only grants you one point/mile per dollar spent. Only with the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card will you see twice the amount of points/miles earned on eligible purchases that are directly made with the card at Delta and all the SkyMiles restaurants participating in the program. Outside of Delta and its programs. Should you happen to have any non-Delta credit cards that have a really good awards program, each time you spend that card at restaurants that participate in the SkyMiles Dining program, you will rack up points and miles rather quickly.
Further Breakdown About SkyMiles Dining Program and Rewards
The Delta SkyMiles Dining rewards program offers up to five points/miles for each dollar you spend at a restaurant establishment that is also taking part in the program. The amount of these points/miles earned depends on your membership level and how involved you are with the program. These points/miles are earned each time you use your credit card or debit card to pay for the meal. For diners who use more than one credit/debit card, it is to their advantage to register every single card so that an unregistered card is used by mistake and no points/miles towards the program have been earned. While with the SkyMiles Dining program and using a credit/debit card, they can be used at any participating restaurant, bar, and club so you can collect those points/miles. Should you happen to have a Delta credit card, this can also be used at any given location at any time to collect points/miles. When the time comes to redeem the Delta SkyMiles you've collected, simply log into your Delta customer account online or use the Delta app on your Smartphone. From there, you can redeem the miles for travel, or for a Delta gift card, or for VIP experiences. You can also use them through the SkyMiles Marketplace. There is also the opportunity to donate the miles to a charity of your personal choice if that is your wish.
It takes time to rack up the Delta SkyMiles, even with the dining rewards. There are a few tips to at least speed up the process that are worth considering. For starters, new members who sign up and register their cards can earn up to 3,000 points/miles within the first thirty days of starting the account. Within those thirty days, visit three different participating restaurants, bars, or clubs and spend at least thirty dollars per visit. Make a point to complete the post-dine survey so you can earn tiered bonus points/miles. Make a point to opt-in to receive Delta's SkyMiles Dining newsletters by email. This enables you to earn three points/miles per dollar spent at participating locations, which is certainly an improvement from the half-mile per dollar when you've opted out of the emails. Another suggestion is to reach VIP status. You do this by visiting twelve qualified dining visits. Once you are a VIP member, you now earn five points/miles for each dollar you spend through the SkyMiles Dining program. Link up all your credit and debit cards to the program. This ensures you don't make the mistake of using a card that's not registered to the program and you lose out on the points/miles you otherwise would have collected. Furthermore, if you happen to have a credit card that has its own rewards program, this is more bang for your buck, so to speak. There is also now an opportunity to earn extra points/miles for each review done after visiting a restaurant, bar, club, and by using a Delta service directly.
SkyMiles For Free Flights
At the moment, Delta Air Lines does not have any award chart posted for free flights where the Delta SkyMiles rewards are concerned. Currently, the number of miles it normally takes to make a flight to a specific destination would be the same amount of miles you would need to collect through the rewards program in order to be eligible for a free flight. Should you book a flight by using any of the Delta-issued credit cards such as the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card, or Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express, you will be issued with a Pay with Miles reward in 5,000-mile increments while booking your travel arrangements.
For someone who enjoys eating out and does a fair amount of airline travel, the Delta SkyMiles Dining program makes a perfect combination. Even if one isn't much of a traveler but does like to eat out, this program is still a really good one to get there may be a vacation in mind down the road. Maybe instead of a flight for yourself, perhaps there is someone you wish to come to visit you. The miles collected by you are yours to use according to your wishes and what sort of rewards are available. For now, the Delta SkyMiles Dining program and its rewards are available only to residents of the United States of America. There are no participating restaurants outside the USA that are a part of this dining program. Canadians who visit the USA that happen to have dual citizenship can apply as they can use their American address to do so, and it is recommended. There are many Canadians who do take part in this program as some spend their winters in the US to get away from the frigid temperatures the Great White North has been notorious for. Those points/miles come in handy even for them.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson