How to Advance Yourself Delta SkyMiles

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Once upon a time there were a number of programs that were willing to advance you points before you earned them, or at least let you lock in an award as long as you ponied up the required amount of miles and points before travel started. There are still a few that do that, though to my knowledge fewer than in the past.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

However, one such program that kicked off this year comes from your Delta Amex cards, as they will allow some customers to borrow Delta SkyMiles and then earn them back over the following six months. The amount they will let you borrow in advance varies pretty tremendously from cardholder to cardholder from a few thousand miles to literally a few hundred thousand miles! It is based on your spending patterns, amongst other things I’m sure.

Being able to borrow your miles from yourself would allow you to lock in that award you want right now instead of missing out or having to purchase or transfer miles in from somewhere else. I think having the functionality to borrow your miles and points ahead of time is outstanding.

You can check to see if you are eligible by logging into your Delta Amex account and clicking on benefits. If you are eligible, you will see an image similar to the one below that says “Fly Now, Earn Later”. If you click on that link you will learn how many Delta miles you are eligible to borrow from your future self.

There is a downside to advancing yourself Delta SkyMiles via this program. The main downside is that if you don’t earn them back within six months using the specific card that you borrowed them from, then you have to pay 2.5 cents per mile at the end of the six month period for any miles you still owe. In other words, be 100% certain you will earn the miles back before borrowing them.

The miles that count towards paying off your borrowed balance include

  • Miles earned through spending on eligible purchases on your card
  • Bonus miles that may be awarded through Miles Boost or other promotions
  • Miles that may be received from goodwill adjustments or reinstatements

Again, remember that miles earned in your Delta SkyMiles account any other way than via that specific Delta Amex card do not count.

The other downside to this system is that believe it or not, the Delta Amex cards often aren’t even the best Amex cards for earning SkyMiles with your everyday spending. For example, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card and Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card both award 2x on Delta purchased, but 1x on basically everything else.

However, the The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card awards 2x on charges up to $50,000 per year (then 1x). These points earned are Membership Reward points that don’t go directly into your Delta account, but they can be transferred there at a 1:1 ratio from the Membership Rewards program. This means the points are actually more flexible, and you earn them at 2x the rate on everyday non-Delta purchases than you would on a Delta Amex.

That said, there could be good reasons to put spending on Delta cards, such as on the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card that will give you 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 elite qualifying miles each calendar year that you make $25,000 in purchases on the card…or double those numbers if you put $50,000 on the card in a calendar year.

Would you ever consider advancing yourself some Delta miles, or have you already made use of this feature?

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

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