Over time the world will reopen from the Covid-19 closures, and when it does, you want to be ready to travel again. Before the pandemic changed our lives (forever), I enjoyed raking up Delta SkyMiles and buying dirt cheap tickets with the points. We're talking round-trip $50 Premium Select seats from Atlanta to South Korea! These days, I'm still raking up the points, but I do so from the comfort of my living room.
Because of the pandemic, travel is restricted. In fact, this Saturday will be our first trip since our state's shelter-in-place was lifted. My husband and I are going to Texas for my brother's wedding. Initially, the wedding was scheduled for early May in Jamaica. It was canceled because of COVID, and they decided to reschedule and have a smaller wedding (just parents and siblings) at a stateside location. For this first post-shelter-in-place flight, we used our SkyMiles and were able to purchase the tickets for $11. Don't worry, we'll be taking every precaution possible on this flight. If you have siblings (or a heart), then you know that deciding to fly during the pandemic was a difficult choice. In the end, I wanted to be there to support my brother on his special day.
When it's time for your first post-shelter-in-place flight, you'll want to have as many SkyMiles as possible, so that you can keep more cash in your pocket.
Here's how we stockpile Delta SkyMiles for cheap flights:
1. Delta + Lyft
Delta has a partnership with Lyft, and every time you use Lyft, you accumulate one Delta SkyMile per $1 spent on your Lyft ride. For example, if your Lyft ride is $12, you'll collect 12 Delta SkyMiles. Before receiving this benefit, you first have to link your Delta SkyMiles and Lyft accounts to each other.
Bonus: You'll collect double miles if you use Lyft when traveling to or coming from the airport in your city!
2. Use SkyMiles Dining
The Delta SkyMiles Dining program works with restaurants in your neighborhood. Once you sign-up for the SkyMiles Dining program, you'll link a card to the account. When you dine at a participating restaurant, use the card that you've linked to the SkyMiles account. Delta gives you up to 5 points for every dollar spent at the restaurant. For example, for a $15 meal, you could accumulate 75 SkyMiles. There's also a website that shows you which restaurants participate in the program.
Bonus: As restaurants start to reopen and you find yourself hanging with friends, ask the waitress for one bill, which you'll cover with the card linked to your SkyMiles account. You'll get the SkyMiles points, and your friends can send you their portion of the bill via Zelle or CashApp. Your waitress or waiter will appreciate you for not having the split the check several ways.
3. Go Grocery Shopping with your Delta AMEX Credit Card
In May, Delta announced that you could earn 4x miles if you use your Delta AMEX credit card at grocery stores. That's two additional miles on top of the two miles you already accumulate when you make a purchase with your Delta AMEX card!
Delta has a list of stores that it considers supermarkets, so be sure to check out the terms and conditions to make sure your grocery store counts. The promotion ends on July 31, 2020. This is an excellent way to increase your SkyMiles, so let's hope they extend the promotion for the entire year!
4. Delta + Ticketmaster
We can't deny that the new form of concerts has been the Verzuz battles on IG. There have even been murmurs of a Verzuz tour. When concerts become a thing again, you can use the Delta + Ticketmaster website to get more miles!
The Delta--Ticketmaster partnership is relatively new. This method of gathering points isn't as automated as the previously mentioned methods. You have to purchase your tickets through a specific website, and enter your SkyMiles number every time you are buying tickets -- but it's still a good way to increase your SkyMiles.
5. Delta + Airbnb
If you think you'll be staying in Airbnbs again once the curve flattens, consider this last tip. Airbnb has a partnership with Delta, and every dollar spent on an AirBNB is equal to 1 SkyMile. You must first link your Delta SkyMiles account with your Airbnb account.
You'll earn one SkyMile for every dollar spent, and you aren't limited to domestic locations. This benefit applies to Airbnbs around the world!