How to Get Free Flights With Delta Air Lines

by Lyle Daly | Updated Sept. 16, 2021 - First published on Aug. 4, 2021

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A woman standing on the sunny tarmac and waiting to board a plane.

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Once you know how to earn Delta miles, scoring free flights is a breeze.

With routes covering most of the country and plenty of international destinations, Delta Air Lines is a popular choice among travelers. If you're one of its frequent flyers, you can save a lot of money by learning how to get free flights with Delta.

Here's a guide to how you can earn miles with Delta and use them to cover your airfare.

Sign up for a Delta SkyMiles® account

Delta SkyMiles® is the airline's frequent flyer program. It's free to join, and once you do, you can start earning miles when you travel with Delta and its airline partners.

Register for your account on the SkyMiles® enrollment page. After that, make sure to enter your account number every time you book air travel with Delta or any of its partners so you'll earn miles.

While creating a SkyMiles® account is a good starting point, unless you travel often, earning miles can be slow going. That's why it helps to find ways you can add to your miles more quickly.

Apply for a Delta credit card

Delta offers multiple airline credit cards, and they're a great way to collect miles. There are several benefits of opening a Delta credit card.

  • These cards usually have welcome bonuses that allow you to earn a big chunk of Delta miles as a new cardholder.
  • You earn miles on purchases made with your card.
  • You earn extra miles on purchases in any bonus categories your card has.

Being able to earn Delta miles on your spending makes a big difference. If you spend $2,500 on a Delta card every month, that's a minimum of 2,500 miles per month and 30,000 per year. You'll earn more if any of those purchases are in bonus categories and if the card offers a sign-up bonus.

Shop online through SkyMiles® Shopping

SkyMiles® Shopping is an online shopping portal Delta offers to everyone in its frequent flyer program. The shopping portal includes over 1,000 online merchants where you can shop and top off your airline miles.

All you have to do is log in to your account, visit the shopping portal, and click on any merchant you like. It will take you to the store's website where you can shop and make your purchase. You can use any payment method -- it doesn't need to be a Delta credit card. Miles for the purchase will be added to your SkyMiles® account.

Earn miles on dining and travel expenses

Delta has a dining rewards program and partnerships with many travel providers, giving you more ways to earn miles. Here's where you can earn Delta miles and how to do it.

  • Dining: Go to SkyMiles® Dining and register a credit or debit card. Use that card at eligible restaurants, bars, and clubs to earn miles.
  • Accommodations: Visit the Delta hotels and Airbnb page. Click the link for a hotel chain or Airbnb to earn miles on the reservation you make.
  • Car rentals and Lyft: Visit the Delta car partners page. Click the link for a rental car agency to earn miles on your rental. You can also link your Lyft account on that page and earn miles on Lyft rides.

Just like with the shopping portal, you don't need to pay with a Delta credit card.

Redeem your miles for free flights with Delta

Once you have your stash of Delta miles built up, you can redeem them for airfare. The process isn't that different from how you'd normally buy a ticket with Delta.

When you fill out the search form on the Delta site, check the "Shop with Miles" box. Delta will then provide prices in miles instead of cash. Choose the tickets you want, and you'll be prompted to log in to your SkyMiles® account if you haven't already. From there, you can use your miles to complete the purchase.

Keep in mind that award flights aren't 100% free. You still need to pay taxes and fees, but you're saving on the airfare, which is the most expensive part.

To get free flights with Delta, it's all about learning the different ways you can earn miles. For frequent flyers with Delta, using one of its credit cards is a good idea to collect miles on your expenses. Whether you apply for a Delta card or not, you can use its SkyMiles® program to earn miles on your online shopping, dining, and travel purchases. With enough miles, you'll be able to fly for free to anywhere Delta can take you.

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