Delta Skymiles Credit Card - Need Info..


Earning My Ears
Aug 18, 1999
I am trying to decide whether to enroll in the American Express Skymiles Card. Is is worth it? I usually use my Discover Card to get the CashBack award each year, but I am wondering if I should start using a credit card to earn miles for flying to Disney! We have flown TWA, Delta & Southwest, but it is always based on who offers the best fare. Any suggestions on what, if any, card is better? I haven't a clue on how many miles it takes to earn a free ticket. I always see these ads "earn 10,000 free miles!!", but I assume that sounds better than it really is. We fly from St. Louis, MO or Nashville, TN (we live about in the middle of either one of these airports. Does anyone have an idea of miles needed to earn? Thanks for any imput!


How much cash do you typically get back in a year from your Discover card?

How much is the annual fee on the Delta SkyMiles card?

It takes either 20,000 or 25,000 FF miles to earn a free ticket. How long would it take you to charge that much to the card?

Those are questions that need to be answered to determine which card gives you more value. I suspect the Discover card would.

I really doubt it would be worth your while because airfares between Nashville and Orlando can be really low. Frequent flyer seats are capacity controlled and they are not always so easy to get. Dollarwise, using frequent flyer miles for an inexpensive route is not a cost effective means for using FF miles. FF miles are best used on expensive routes.
You'll need 25,000 Delta miles to get a domestic round-trip ticket. The SkyMiles card costs $50 a year, so unless you charge a LOT on the card it is not going to be a good deal or a way to frequently get multiple free tickets.

Example, if you charge $10,000 a year, then it will take you five years to get enough miles (50,000) for two round-trip tickets, and you will have paid $250 in yearly fees to do it.

There are cards with somewhat lower mileage requirements, but again the yearly fee will quickly dilute the benefits.

Hotel points cards are a better deal if you want to save up for a vacation, because they have no annual fee. For example, that same 50,000 points would be worth 6 free nights at the WDW Swan/Dolphin if you used the Starwood points card, and with no out-of-pocket costs. That's a much better value IMHO than two "free" airline tickets.

Cash rebate cards (such as your Discover) are also a better deal if you don't charge a lot per year, again largely because of the lack of annual fee. $10,000 of charges per year will get you $85 back per year, or $425 after 5 years. Add in the $250 in annual fees for the mileage card and that gives you $675 to spend on a pair of airline tickets, which is more than enough for most locations. (Now if you live in Butte, Montana, then the mileage card may work out better.)

A couple of good web sites for comparing the available cards are:

--- Mark
mm42 has given an EXCELLENT synopsis of evaluating the benefits of using a credit card to earn frequent flyer miles. Is there anywhere on these boards that his post can be quickly referenced?

This is how it worked for me:

10,000 free miles + 2 points for each dollar spent. To get the 25,000 for one trip, I needed to spend $7,500 in one year. There was no annual fee the first year. I previously used my Discover as KimT did and received approx. $150 kickback, but I figured most round-trip flights would cost more than that so it was worth setting aside for one year. I kept my Discover card (good to have on hand when Amex is not taken) and will resume using it when my year is up. I will then cancel the Amex card as there is a yearly fee after the first year.


Dreams Unlimited Travel is committed to providing you with the very best vacation planning experience possible. Our Vacation Planners are experts and will share their honest advice to help you have a magical vacation.

Let us help you with your next Disney Vacation!

Latest posts