Delta SkyMiles Dining program guide

How to use and maximize the Delta SkyMiles dining program

Delta SkyMiles Dining guide

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If you want to boost your earnings of Delta SkyMiles, then you should look at all the ways to earn miles other than just flying on Delta. In fact, you can earn SkyMiles from a multitude of airline, hotel, rental car and shopping partners. But one of the easiest ways to enhance your SkyMiles balance is to participate in the Delta SkyMiles Dining program. 

What is SkyMiles Dining? 

SkyMiles Dining is a dining rewards program offered by Delta Airlines and powered by a company called Rewards Network. To participate, any member of the Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer program can join SkyMiles Dining at no cost by going to the Delta Airlines SkyMiles Dining page to sign up. 

When you use your registered credit or debit card at a participating restaurant, you will earn miles with Delta Airlines. The number of miles you earn will vary based on the restaurant, the day of the week (some don’t offer rewards on the weekend) and any promotions you’re eligible for. However, you can earn up to 5 miles per dollar when you qualify as a VIP member. Also, you can earn miles from the Delta Airlines SkyMiles Dining program on top of any rewards offered by your credit card. 

How to join Delta SkyMiles Dining 

  1. Create an account by entering your name, address, phone number and email at Delta Rewards Dining website.
  2. Register all the credit and debit cards that you are likely to use at restaurants, bars or clubs.
  3. Once finished, you can immediately start earning Delta SkyMiles when making purchases at participating restaurants.

How to use the Delta SkyMiles Dining program 

Once you’ve registered your credit or debit card, you don’t need to do much to earn rewards with this program. First, you need go to a participating location. The Delta Airlines SkyMiles Dining Program’s website offers a list of restaurants that you can search by city, state or ZIP code or by name. Each restaurant's listing includes its address as well as its neighborhood, member rating, average entree price and the days of the week you can earn rewards. 

Next, you need to use a registered credit or debit card to pay for the meal. Then, your frequent flyer miles should be credited to your account within six to eight weeks. (You can file a missing reward form if they fail to show up by then.)

How many miles can you earn with Delta SkyMiles Dining?

The rate of miles that you earn depends on which tier you fall into:

 
 If you don’t opt in to receive emails 1 mile per $2
 If you opt in to receive emails 3 miles per $1
 If you opt in to receive emails and complete 11 qualified transactions in a calendar year 5 miles per $1

How to maximize the Delta Airlines SkyMiles Dining program 

  • Make sure you opt in to marketing emails. The trick to earning the most rewards from the Delta Airlines SkyMiles Dining program is to sign up to receive their marketing emails. You can just delete them, but without enrolling in their marketing program you’ll only earn a half of a mile for every dollar spent. But once you opt in to receive these emails, you’ll earn at least 3 miles per dollar at eligible restaurants. Even better, you’ll earn 5 miles per dollar if you’ve opted in to receive email communications and you’ve completed 11 qualifying transactions in a calendar year. 
  • Become familiar with the list of qualifying restaurants in your area. Search the listing of local restaurants to find ones that qualify. If you stick to eating at those restaurants, you’ll quickly reach the 11-transaction threshold and start earning 5 miles per dollar. Look for these restaurants when you go out with friends, take clients out for lunch or host company functions. 
  • Charge all your meals (and your friends’ meals) to your card. You can rack up even more miles by charging all of your friends' purchases to your credit card. When dining with a group, volunteer to pay the check and have your friends reimburse you in cash or some other way. 
  • Look for opportunities to earn miles when you travel. If you are a business traveler, you can turn your meal allowance into another chance to earn rewards while you work. Just search for restaurants near where you are staying. 
  • Keep an eye on your email for frequent promotions. Don’t ignore the promotional emails that the Delta Airlines SkyMiles Dining program sends out. You can find offers for bonus miles throughout the year for reaching certain a threshold in a particular month, or by dining a certain number of times.

Delta Airlines SkyMiles Dining sign-up bonus

New Delta Airlines SkyMiles Dining program members can earn up to 3,000 SkyMiles bonus miles in their account’s first 30 days. You earn 500 bonus miles for your first qualifying visit if you spend $30 or more, 1,000 miles for your second visit if you spend $30 or more, and another 1,500 miles for your third qualifying visit if you spend at least $30. 

Best credit cards for SkyMiles Dining 

You can use any Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover credit or debit card with the Delta SkyMiles Dining program, and earn the same number of points no matter which card that you use. But, just as with any dining charge, you should also use a card that offers you the most possible rewards on your purchase. 

Here are some credit cards that offer a bonus on restaurant purchases:

Credit Card Rewards for Dining  Annual Fee  
Blue Delta SkyMiles 2x miles $0
Chase Sapphire Reserve 3x points $450
Chase Sapphire Preferred 2x points $95, $0 first year
Uber Visa 4% cash back $0
Capital One Savor 4% cash back $95, $0 first year
Citi ThankYou Preferred 2x points $0
Citi ThankYou Premier 2x points $95, $0 first year
Citi Prestige 2x points $450
Discover it chrome 2% cash back (on up to $1,000 combined gas and restaurant spending per quarter, then 1%) $0

Eligible SkyMiles Dining restaurants 

The restaurants that participate in the Delta SkyMiles Dining program vary by location, so you'll need to search the Delta SkyMiles Dining program website to find restaurants in your area. 

Here’s a sampling of eligible restaurants (Note, these are major chains, but the list includes many local establishments as well):

  • Jack in the Box
  • Buca di Beppo
  • Brio Tuscan Grille
  • Souper Salad
  • Fogo de Chao

Your gateway to Delta perks

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles card

Why should you get it?

Since its annual fee is waived in the first year, the Gold Delta SkyMiles card is the most affordable option for scoring a large introductory bonus and perks with Delta Air Lines.

More things to know: 

  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • $50 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase with your card in first 3 months
  • 2 points per dollar on Delta purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
  • First checked bag free for you and up to 8 companions
  • Priority boarding privileges
  • $0 annual fee in the first year ($95 thereafter) (See rates and fees)
  • Terms apply 

Related stories: See the Delta SkyMiles cards' current sign-up bonuses, Borrow Delta SkyMiles now, pay them back laterReady for your first airline card? Ask yourself these questions first


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Updated: 10-18-2018