We’re looking forward to getting back on the road (or in the sky) once it’s safe to do so again, but we also want to save money while doing it.
To that end, now is a great time to stock up on valuable points and miles that you can later use for travel. Using credit card points or airline miles can help you travel for little or no cost, and stocking up on these currencies now can turn into a big payoff later on when it’s finally time to book that trip.
And, you don’t need to fly to earn air miles. While grounded as nonessential travel is paused, you can employ several strategies to keep earning miles.
We’ve already taken a look at the Delta SkyMiles Shopping portal, where you can earn Delta SkyMiles just by shopping online at some of your favorite retailers. Today, we’re going to dive into the Delta SkyMiles Dining program.
Combined, these are all useful strategies that you can use to earn and redeem Delta SkyMiles.
What Is the Delta SkyMiles Dining Program?
The Delta SkyMiles Dining Program is a free tool from Delta Air Lines. It’s similar to the aforementioned shopping program, in that you can earn miles by using it for buying things you would have bought otherwise — restaurant meals, in this case, when you dine out or order from partner restaurants and pay with a credit card linked to your SkyMiles Dining .
How to Join the Delta SkyMiles Dining Program
To enroll in the Delta SkyMiles Dining Program, create a free account using your SkyMiles number and a credit card. You could use a debit card as well, but you’ll maximize your rewards if you use a credit card that earns bonus points on restaurants, such as the American Express® Gold Card. That way you’ll earn card reward points as well as Delta SkyMiles.
How to Earn Miles With the Delta SkyMiles Dining Program
After you register, you’ll earn SkyMiles every time you dine out or order takeout/delivery directly with eligible restaurants. Just be sure to pay with the credit card you linked to your account when you signed up, or you will not earn SkyMiles. Because the SkyMiles Dining program only works with orders made directly at or from restaurants, you won’t earn miles when using third-party services such as DoorDash or Seamless.
Link your account with a credit card that earns bonus points on dining so you can earn even more valuable credit card rewards points.
You can take a look at the full list of participating restaurants at the Delta SkyMiles Dining site. Type in your city and the cuisine you’re looking for to narrow down your search.
Depending on what type of membership you opt for, you’ll earn a set amount of SkyMiles on your purchases. If you elect not to receive communication emails from SkyMiles dining, you’ll earn 1 SkyMile per $2 spent. If you do elect to receive emails from SkyMiles dining, you’ll earn 3 SkyMiles per $1. If you are a VIP member, you will earn 5 SkyMiles per $1. VIP members are those who opted to receive emails and have completed 11 qualified transitions in a calendar year. They will start earning at the VIP level on the 12th qualified transaction.
For a limited time, new members can also earn additional bonus points. You can earn 1,000 SkyMiles by spending $30 or more at participating restaurants. Better yet, if you’re a Medallion elite member of Delta’s frequent-flyer program, , you can earn another 500 bonus miles, for a grand total of 1,500 SkyMiles.
Additionally, all new members can earn 500 additional bonus miles on each of their subsequent four dining purchases of $30 in their first 30 days of membership in the program.
You must complete an online review of each restaurant within 30 days of dining to earn the bonus points. The bonus points for new members are in addition to the above earning rates, as well.
Best Cards to Use With the Delta SkyMiles Dining Program
As mentioned, we recommend using a credit card that earns bonus points on dining purchases. This is a practice known as “double dipping,” as you’ll earn credit card rewards points as well as Delta SkyMiles all in the same transaction.
Aside from the Amex Gold Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card are cards we would recommend linking to your account. They earn 3x and 2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, respectively, on dining purchases. If you dine out even not especially often, it’s easy to see these bonus points add up quickly.
American Express® Gold Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Intro bonus:50,000 points
- Annual fee:$550
- Regular APR:16.99%-23.99% Variable
- Recommended credit:740-850 (Excellent)
- Apply Now At Chase’s secure site
The Citi Prestige is another good credit card to use with the Delta SkyMiles Dining program, as it earns 5x Citi ThankYou points per dollar on dining purchases.
Delta also has co-branded credit cards with American Express, however there is no particular advantage in using one of these cards with the dining program. For example, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card earns 2x miles per dollar on restaurants worldwide. While that’s still an elevated earnings rate, there are better cards on the market for rewards on dining.