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Earn Bonus Delta Miles Through SkyMiles Shopping This November

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The holiday season brings a variety of point and miles earning opportunities. Whether it’s gifts for your favorite traveler or maximizing Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, you can do many things to boost your account balances before the end of the year. One of the best ways to do this is through airline shopping portals, and one carrier just sweetened the deal for the next few weeks.

From today (November 6) through November 23, you can earn bonus Delta miles when you shop at SkyMiles Shopping. There are actually two different components to this promotion: a tiered bonus based on your cumulative spending across all merchants and limited-time earning rate elevations at select merchants. Today, we’ll take a close look at these offers to see if they’re worth your while.

From now through November 23rd, you can earn bonus miles for purchases made through SkyMiles Shopping.
From now through November 23, you can earn bonus miles for purchases made through SkyMiles Shopping.

The first aspect of the promotion is relatively straightforward. There are two different tiers that will award you bonus miles based on your total spending across all participating retailers:

  • Tier 1: Spend $75 — Get 250 bonus miles
  • Tier 2: Spend $500 — Get 1,500 bonus miles

In TPG’s most recent valuations, he pegged SkyMiles at 1.2 cents apiece, so if you hit $500 on the nose, you are looking at a haul of miles worth $18. This gives you an additional return of 3.6% on top of the regular miles you’d earn through SkyMiles Shopping (generally 1-4 miles per dollar spent).

Keep in mind the following disclaimer as it relates to these bonuses:

“During the “Holiday” bonus campaign, which runs from 11/6/15 through 11/23/15 at 11:59:59 pm ET (the “Bonus Period”), Member will receive a one-time bonus of up to 1,500 bonus award miles on qualifying purchases, in addition to the standard miles earned from shopping online through SkyMiles Shopping. Bonus miles will be issued based on Member’s cumulative qualifying purchases made during the Bonus Period: 250 bonus miles for qualifying purchases of at least $75; or 1,500 bonus miles for qualifying purchases of $500 or more. Returns, cancellations, shipping and handling, taxes, gift card or other cash equivalent purchases, and certain products are not included in the bonus award miles eligibility calculation; please see the SkyMiles Shopping site for details on product eligibility and/or any coupon code details or other usage restrictions. Please allow 8-10 weeks for bonus award miles to post to your SkyMiles Shopping account. The maximum number of bonus award miles that will be awarded to an eligible SkyMiles Shopping account through the bonus period is 1,500 bonus award miles. This offer cannot be combined with other offers or promotions. Please check the SkyMiles Shopping site daily for updates to increased earning opportunities. Void where prohibited by law.”

The holidays are even more rewarding when you shop at select retailers.
The holidays are even more rewarding when you shop at select retailers.

The other aspect of the promotion involves select retailers that are offering elevated earning rates on specific dates during the promotion. Here’s a chart that breaks down these offers:

Merchant

Regular Earning Rate

Promotional Earning Rate

Offer Dates

Gilt

1 miles/$

5 miles/$

11/10 – 11/11

Under Armour

3 miles/$

6 miles/$

11/10 – 11/12

TOMS

4 miles/$

8 miles/$

11/10 – 11/11

Samsung

2 miles/$

4 miles/$

11/10 – 11/12

Lord & Taylor

4 miles/$

8 miles/$

11/10 – 11/12

Backcountry

4 miles/$

12 miles/$

11/17 – 11/18

Disney Store

2 miles/$

6 miles/$

11/17 – 11/19

Microsoft

1 miles/$

3 miles/$

11/17 – 11/19

Nike

2 miles/$

4 miles/$

11/17 – 11/19

Columbia Sportswear

3 miles/$

6 miles/$

11/17 – 11/19

Bose

2 miles/$

4 miles/$

11/21- 11/23

Very Bradley

2 miles/$

4 miles/$

11/21- 11/23

Patagonia

2 miles/$

6 miles/$

11/21- 11/23

As you can see, it’s a relatively limited selection of merchants, and the higher earning rates are only available for two to three days. Still, if you’re looking to earn some bonus miles and were toying around with purchasing gifts from one of these stores, be sure to set a reminder on your calendar!

Example

Here’s an example of how this promotion can result in some significant earnings. Let’s say that you were planning a purchase at the Disney Store for those lovable kids in your life. SkyMiles Shopping usually offers you 2 miles per dollar spent at Disney, but from November 17-19, this earning rate triples to 6 miles per dollar spent. As the world’s best parent/aunt/uncle/grandparent/godparent, you decide to max out the promotion in one fell swoop and spend exactly $500, and you use TPG’s recommended card for everyday non-bonus spending: the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express.

Your earnings are thus:

$500 x 1 point per dollar spent = 500 Starpoints (worth $12.50 based on TPG’s valuations)
$500 x 6 miles per dollar spent = 3,000 SkyMiles (worth $36)
Tier 2 bonus = 1,500 SkyMiles (worth $18)

Total Rewards = $66.50

Total Return = 13.3%

That’s quite a return for your holiday shopping!

Maximizing with Gift Cards

While you typically can’t earn bonus points or miles through shopping portals by purchasing gift cards, I have been able to use retail gift cards to pay for the purchase and earn bonus points or miles.

A few retailers in the above table do have electronic gift cards (delivered via e-mail) on Staples.com, including Microsoft, Nike and Lord & Taylor. You also may be able to find additional ones in an actual store, though you also have the option of purchasing them in grocery stores (with a card like the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card from American Express) or gas stations (with a card like the Citi ThankYou Premier Card).

brian-kelly-the-points-guy-delta-one-jfk-istanbul
This promotion may not get you an international Delta One flight by itself, but it’s a step in that direction!

Bottom Line

Everyone should be making online purchases through shopping portals as it is, but it’s great to see one airline offering an additional incentive to shop through its site. Even though Delta has significantly devalued its program over the past few years, there are still ways to get a ton of value from redeeming SkyMiles. This holiday promotion can hopefully put you even closer to that dream trip!

Will you be taking advantage of these bonuses through SkyMiles Shopping?

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Apply Now
  • 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 Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
None 16.24%-25.24% Variable $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 0% Excellent Credit