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Any time I hear that SkyMiles is in the news I brace for the worst. And for me, this is it. Following the industry trend to eliminate opportunities to earn miles through regular bank transactions, SunTrust has announced drastic changes to its Delta debit card. Effective July 25, 2015, the program will undergo major changes to the rewards structure for all current and future cardmembers, effectively eliminating any value in owning the card.

Given the different characteristics of the card’s earning structure, I’ve been a huge fan of this card for some time. It’s a fantastic option for paying your annual taxes without dealing with through-the-roof fees, but unfortunately that won’t be true for much longer. Let’s take a look at some of the imminent changes coming to the card:

The Delta Suntrust debit card.
The Delta Suntrust debit card.

Changes To The Delta SunTrust Debit Card

  • Annual fee of $95 (up from $75) — exceptions include Signature Advantage customers with less than $100,000 ($75 annually) and SunTrust Premier customers and Signature Advantage customers with $100,000+ ($25 annually).
  • Mileage earning cap of 2,000 miles per 30-day period (4,000 miles for Signature Advantage members).
  • Non-Signature Advantage customers will now earn 1 mile per $2 down from 1 mile per dollar.
Delta JFK
Unfortunately, the Delta SunTrust Debit Card will no longer be a great value.

My Thoughts 

What once was a lucrative, easy method for earning Delta SkyMiles is no more. As I predicted a little over a year ago, it was only a matter of time until this card was retired. Although the card was a great way to earn Delta SkyMiles, there are still other alternatives currently available to you if earning SkyMiles is a priority at the moment.

For example, you can continue to build your SkyMiles collection by signing up for the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, which currently offers a sizable 30,000-point sign-up bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first three months of ownership, but you of course won’t be able to cash in on those incredible debit card perks.

In the end, I’m sad to have to pull this once-lucrative card from my wallet, but I’m fortunate I had an opportunity to take full advantage while it lasted.

H/T: Doctor of Credit

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

If you are a Delta flyer who is looking to bank some extra miles this card is a great addition for your wallet. While you'll earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on everything else, you'll also have access to other perks like priority boarding, a first bag checked free and 20% off in-flight purchases.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR
None
Regular APR
16.24%-25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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