Up to 55,000 Delta SkyMiles With SunTrust Debit Cards

by on May 7, 2012 · 67 comments

in Debit Cards, Delta

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Banks used to offer rich mileage sign-up bonuses for debit cards, but recent financial reform legislation slashed the amount of money they could make off those transactions so as a direct result we’ve seen most banks discontinue mileage-earning on debit cards. This is a shame because you don’t need good credit to get debit cards (it’s a soft inquiry on your credit) so pretty much anyone could get in on these bonuses.

However, SunTrust just announced new juicy offers for personal and business checking accountholders who open checking accounts and get Delta co-branded debit cards by June 30, 2012:

The return of the debit card bonus!

Personal offer: 15,000 SkyMiles on opening a new checking account with at a $100 minimum balance and a direct deposit (salary, pension, Social Security or other regular monthly income of $100 or more ) by 9/30/12. Receive an additional 15,000 SkyMiles when you get the SkyMiles debit card and make a non-pin purchase by 7/31/12. Cost: $75 for the debit card and a $12 monthly fee if your total account balance falls below $3,000. Fee waived for the first two months.

Suntrust business offer

Business offer: 25,000 SkyMiles after the first PIN Point of Sale or signature-based purchase made with the card by 7/31/12.  $120 annual fee for the card and varying fees based on the type of checking account you qualify for.

Suntrust is primarily based in the south and per the official terms it says you can only get this bonus if you live in AL, AR, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, WV, VA and Washington, D.C. However, if you don’t live near a branch or have plans to be near one before the promo ends, you can call them at 1-800-SUNTRUST or try their online chat feature which is available between 8am and 6:30pm EST Monday-Friday.

Worth It?
This is a no brainer in my opinion. No credit pull, minimal hassle (I mean they let you sign-up via chat!) and only $75 for 30,000 miles (0.25 cents apiece) and $120 for 25,000 (0.5 cents apiece). This is also a great opportunity with people with children to rack up some miles – you can co-sign for a checking account for them and as long as their SkyMiles account is attached, they will get the miles and you can as well for your own account. While SkyMiles can be hard to use at times, they can be extremely valuable as I highlighted in this video post.

Hat Tip Frugal Travel Guy!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Davegolden99

    What are some examples of direct deposits? Is there a forum demonstrating examples? Obviously your paycheck can go in direct but what about Amazon Payments, moving funds from eTrade to SunTrust, etc? (1x per month per account)?

  • Matt C

    How long does it take the miles to post? Would you be able to open/close the account within the 2mon no-fee period and still get the miles?

  • Andre LaPlume

    A lot of offers, Chase for example, require direct deposits, of which I have none. Think a monthly transfer from Paypal of my eBay sales would qualify? My employer refuses to join the 20th century, much less the 21st, in banking…

  • Noob2

    Just seeking some clarification on the idea of opening two accounts–one for yourself and one for a child. If you need direct deposit for the first 15 000 bonus miles, then how would a child get direct deposit if they didn’t have some kind of regular monthly income coming in?

  • Davegolden99

    Three questions (including my own) on the same issue: Direct Deposit. Is there a thread that defines exactly what a Direct Deposit entails? I have no problem moving $500 to/from eTrade once a month for a few months if that will meet the requirements. Can someone confirm this is a “direct deposit”? Or do we need an official company to dole out a paycheck to this account?

    If the eTrade thing works, the potential is HUGE. Amazon Payments, Venmo, PayPal, eTrade, TD Ameritrade, whatever… it should all work. But it hinges on the exact requirements of a “direct deposit”.

  • Jerry

    Is this churnable? I signed up the last time Suntrust had this.

  • LarryInNYC

    Another question about direct deposit. I’m self-employed and invoice my customers. Any hints how I could produce the required direct deposit? I do have an inherited IRA from which I’m required to take annual distributions, does anyone know whether that could be distributed via direct deposit?

  • LarryInNYC

    Does anyone know the terms of using this debit card overseas for cash withdrawals? Do they charge a for-ex fee? Are they on a network?

  • Joe

    Are you suggesting that we can open one account with multiple names on the account and each person recieves 30,000 miles, or that you could open an account recieve 30k, then have a child on the account with a seperate debit card earn additional 15k points.

  • BartNY

    Any idea on after how long we can cancel without being penalized any of the skymiles?

  • Mcgrea

    Is it a mile per dollar spent though?

  • BostonBen

    Aren’t most of us excluded from this offer? If I am reading the T&C correctly, this offer is only available for people in AL, AR, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, WV, VA and Washington, D.C.

  • thepointsguy

    That’s just where they have branches. Those who live in other states can sign up via chat or phone

  • thepointsguy

    Once miles post you should be good to cancel though it can’t hurt to wait a month or two if you can avoid the fees

  • Akhil J

    I tried calling them and opening an account. I was told that for this offer I will have to come to a branch. :(

  • PJ

    chase once offered me to do Direct deposit for $150 ( taxable) ; wdoner if the same trick would do with Sun Trust; all I had to do was to ACH $150 over from my account away and I did not even do on the recurrring basis which is very easy anyway

  • PJ

    anybody knows the tax consequence about the miles ? Taxable as in Citi thanks points /checking account case or non taxable as miles coming through amex skymiles ?

  • PJ

    as I posted: a ACH transfer from your own account away into Chase is prabably considered as Direct Deposit STILL.. also ebay has those $200 coupon ( sell for ~$20) to open a new account without Direct deposit ( direct mail comes in as $150 – good enough to me) . Once you open a checking account say 1500 MIN to avoid monthly charge and enjoy extra points (10/10 Chase Exclusive) from Freedom credit card , SOON they will lure you to do direct deposit for $100 or $150 . It is very sweet to deal with a very best bank which offers goodies.

  • New Suntrust Customer

    They let me take advantage over chat, but it may be b/c I’m in Arkansas

  • ugh

    It is

  • Danielrubinoff

    Does anyone know if I can get the promo 2x with same skymiles account one with sole account and 2nd with joint?

  • Marianag

    I opened this account last week over the phone. My browser was not showing the chat window. I confirmed with the rep that in order to get the 30k delta miles you have to do one transaction with the delta check card ($75 per year) and set up an automatic deposit. We are doing that from my hubby’s Chase business account, which allows ACH payments for a fee. The minimum automatic deposit for the Suntrust account is $100 a month and some people in flyer talk are reporting that only one automatic deposit qualifies you for the miles. In order to avoid the $12 monthly fee from the account you have to have $3000 daily average deposit. Again, that fee is waived the first two billing cycles. Another person said that by opening a bank account with TDBank and having a minimum of $1500 you can pay other accounts via payroll without fees (which helps people who are freelancers). The rep on the phone did say that I have to call delta to get the additional 15k miles once my automatic deposit is set up (which i haven’t read or heard anywhere else). So be aware that it might not be automatic.

  • James Jones

    How about the 1099 to make this taxable. Banks seem to be taking this approach.

  • Josh_brooks

    I did this a few years ago. Keep your documents, I had to fight for my miles and still didn’t get them all in the end. Good luck!

  • simonc

    The business “check card” doesn’t require a hard credit pull?

  • Pin-based Lovin’?

    Because you earn points on pin-based transactions, can you buy money orders and redeposit them? It excludes “quasi cash” which I believe refers to money orders/casino chips etc. Is that loophole closed?

  • Jean-Marc

    If you don’t live in one of the mentioned states, they only let you me sign up for my own personal account over chat or phone. To open an account for a minor or a business, I was told to visit a branch.

  • lana

    I want to open 2 personal accounts. One for me and one for my husband. We can both get direct deposit. Not a problem. However, we have 2 kids. How can we get both kids the 30k points ? Do they each need a new account for themselves and do the non pin transaction. Or do they need also a direct deposit. This is a bit confusing. Opening a sky miles account is easy for each one.


  • paul

    so I just opened an account via online (not via chat, simply online). I live in NY – is there anything else I need to do – it mentioned the 15K for the delta check card upon use

  • gomike

    they were unable to verify my information, what a joke

  • Mary Lynn

    Just tried to get the business card via chat. Was told I didn’t qualify because I live in NYS, but that I could open a personal checking account. I think I’ll take a pass. Opening a personal checking account seems like too much hassle.

  • Atlanta Nsa19

    Not a good deal, in my opinion. Plus 55k miles gets you from ATL-Marietta, at best (if you get my drift).

    I live in ATL, I am Gold on Delta, and I haven’t flown them in almost two years. Way overpriced for my regular destinations: Europe and the Carribean. Out of Atlanta for award travel to Europe, US Airways and United (LH) is best. To the Carribean, AA rules.

  • Steven

    You’re getting soft on us Brian. Disclaimer : Do you make any money on this ? no brainer ? ”

  • thepointsguy

    SkyMiles can be extremely valuable if you know how to use them. Agree though that AA and UA miles are more valuable, but that doesn’t mean DL miles are worthless

  • thepointsguy

    Only one bonus per account. Max a single person can get is 55k for one personal and one buisiness. If you have a child you can co-sign for them and put their SkyMiles on it though they’d have to get a direct deposit which could be challenging

  • thepointsguy

    Suntrust didnt 1099 the last time around, so I hope they don’t start! Citi got spanked in the press for their most recent 1099 stunts so I hope others don’t follow

  • thepointsguy

    Nope- only a soft inquiry

  • thepointsguy

    For the personal account you need a direct deposit to get the full bonus

  • thepointsguy

    How so? Miles at a super cheap price and no hard inquiry on your credit seems like a good deal to me. And no, I don’t make a dime if you get a Suntrust account.

  • Asdfasdfasdasd

    Write a complaint letter get the same amount of Pesos

  • Matt C

    Accordingly to FT you only have to do one Direct Deposit not recurring…Suntrust used to take Paypal/ING anyone know if this is still the case? Fidelity shows up as ACH btw

  • lana

    how do we get it for a child? Do they need to open their own personal account, have a direct deposit and use the nonpin debit one time? But. how would they get their own points? im a little confused on the whole opening for a child account.

  • DP81

    Why the attitude? Get over yourself.

  • Mferrell35

    im from ohio and neither the phone nor chat support let me open a business account. anyone had any success getting around this?

  • Jon

    How long do you have to keep the account open?
    Will they pull your miles if you cancel 6 months later?
    Will canceling an account with Suntrust effect your credit?

  • VR

    When I opened chase account and received $150 reward, they did a 1099 – a total surprise.
    It’s funny how chase and wells fargo gets away with murder, but citi and BofA gets spanked for theft. (But I still love chase. they are 1000 times better than Wells. don’t have much experience with BofA and Citi.

  • Goodmane

    Regarding direct deposits…for those of us who’s companies offer direct deposit, couldn’t you in theory just split up your paychecks to direct-deposit into various accounts? In my case i’m the only one in our family who gets a paycheck, but through H.R. i can specify X amount of dollars to go to this account #, and X amount to go to this acct #, etc. So can i just do that for my Suntrust, then for my wifes, and then for my kid? Allocate $100 each month to each account to meet the qualifications and done?

    On another note, Somebody mentioned transferring from ING uses ACH and qualifies as a direct-deposit? Can anybody confirm? That’d be much easier.

  • Gpuzzi

    My account was closed due to their rules and regulations and that i have to step into a branch to open it.

  • Gpuzzi

    It looks like if you dont live in one of the states where there are branches you will not be getting this deal, they closed my account “Due to suntrust rules and regulations” no further information available unless i go into a branch

  • guest

    Same here…

  • Guest

    Suntrust has to be the absolute worst bank evah–

  • Zeeinstinct

    yea im out of state opened for the deal and closed my account saying you can go to branch bs

  • Ariana

    It’s disappointing to hear people’s accounts are getting shut down. I was looking forward to an easy 50k points. I recently used 80k “pesos” for sfo-lhr-cph-sfo next month. It took me a while, but I figured out how Delta’s award booking engine works and booked it myself. I thought Delta was a lost cause, but when you learn how to use the engine, you can get some amazing deals.

  • Matt C

    Are you able to open both a personal and a business account with the same DL Number? The ST rep said they had to be diff DL numbers since you cannot combine mult promos with one DL number.

  • guest

    i do not live in any of the states where they have branch offices and i was allowed to open an account and able to get the bonus miles for a personal account, but not the business account.

  • Rob Perelman

    Count me in for of the people who jumped through the hoops of this promotion only to have their account closed.

    I spent time filling out the application, verifying my bank account, funding my new account, and finally calling to activate my debit card once I received it. I was told on that phone call that my account had been closed. The rep claimed a letter went out last week, but I have not received anything.

    If it is due to the state I am in (Nevada), why would they even allow me to open an account in the first place? Awfully run company, SunTrust. I hope you guys all do this promotion and then leave as a customer. They don’t deserve our money.

  • Pike1643

    I opened an account with them through their website on Thursday and it was closed on Friday because I’m not in the Suntrust “footprint” (geographical area). Bummer.

  • tigerhunt2011

    I just opened the account tonight over the internet. My browser timed out, and I tried opening the account twice. I didn’t think anything opened until I got two separate emails from SunTrust welcoming me, with two last 4 digits of 2 different account numbers. I will only use the older one since I’m guessing you can only claim this offer on one account. My question is, say I get the card in 3 days, do I have until July 31st to purchase and September to set up Direct Deposit or do I have to do all that by the 30th of June since thats when the offer ends?

  • eric

    No, it’s one mile per TWO dollars spent

  • Trevor

    I’d also like to know if the direct deposit has to occur before June 30th. I want to participate but am not sure if I can make it happen in time. Anyone?

  • Trevor

    Per the T&Cs, “Open a new qualifying SunTrust checking account with qualifying Direct Deposit and select the Delta SkyMiles World Check Card to receive 15,000 bonus miles. The checking account must be opened between 5/1/2012 and 6/30/2012. The offer is only available on new SunTrust checking accounts and cannot be combined with any other offer. To qualify for the 30,000 bonus miles offer, a Delta SkyMiles World Check Card must be opened with the checking account. Please allow 6-8 weeks for miles to be credited to your Delta SkyMiles account after the first qualifying Direct Deposit is made, which must be made by 9/30/2012.” Boom. Going to apply right now.

  • Scobro99

    Went into Suntrust today and I was told that since I already have other checking accounts with them I would only be eligible for the 15,000 mile bonus for the one time transaction but NOT the bonus points for the direct deposit. Anybody know if this is accurate ? You can’t ever get the same answer from their own frustrating

  • Brian

    i opened two suntrust checking accounts in May and received 15k delta miles for each account last week. thanks brian!

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  • JP

    I’m getting a window with only 5K miles now

  • Eurick30

    I’ve had a Delta world card with Suntrust for about a year now and love it. Just recently Delts is rewarding points for PIN purchases. My question is this though. At times I will purchase a money order form Wal-Mart’s money machines. I’m able to pay for the MO with my Suntrust debit cad, so does that mean I recieve 100 Skymile points for a 100 dollar money order purchase if this is a PIN purchase?

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