Another Reader Question: Extending the Life of Your Delta Miles

What’s up with all the Delta questions?

Wendy has Skymiles that are expiring soon.  Delta is a little trickier than some other programs in that not all activity in an account is sufficient to extend the expiration date of that account. Skymiles rules say this:

Currently, miles will not expire as long as you participate in one of the following activities at least once every two years; mileage expires midnight Eastern time (-5 GMT), 24 months from the date of the last activity:

  • Earn miles for travel on a qualifying Delta, Delta Shuttle®, SkyTeam, or other SkyMiles airline partner flights.
  • Earn or redeem miles with one of the SkyMiles program partners including hotels, car rentals, Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, international credit card partners, SkyMiles Dining & Hotels by Rewards NetworkSM,, mortgage lenders, CAP magazine subscriptions, real estate, or telecommunications partners.
  • Buy Miles here at or by calling the number on the back of your SkyMiles card.
  • Redeem miles on Delta, Delta Shuttle, a SkyTeam partner, or another SkyMiles airline partner.

My advice to Wendy was to do at least one of the following five things to extend the expiration of her account:

1. Skymiles dining, sign up with one of your credit cards and then buy a meal or just a soda.

2. Sign up for a free account, and choose 10 Delta Skymiles as your signup bonus. Those post almost instantly, or at least within 24 hours, and extend the life of your account.

3. Buy an iTune via the Skymiles mall. A $1 purchase will extend the life of your account.

4. Redeeming via Miles for Magazines extends the life of an account.

5. If you’re renting a car, you could credit the miles from the rental to Delta. Currently coupon MUAA039 gets 2010 Delta miles for a 2-day Avis rental, but any mileage credit will do. (Personally on 3-day rentals I like the 3000 US Airways miles offer right now.)

Of course, check to make sure that whatever transaction you do actually posts!   And leave yourself enough time to make sure that it does, and make a second transaction ‘just in case’ to avoid the hassle of tracking down errant mileage credit and resurrecting the account.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. i’ll chime in that BY FAR the easiest is signing up to it takes 5 minutes and the miles hit your delta acct IMMEDIATELY; as does the change to your miles expiration date.

    i forgot about my expiration and was in a panic as it was just a few days away. wanted to coverall my bases so i did both. did the itunes first. not only is that not instant, it took 3 weeks to post. who knows whether delta would have used the transaction date or posting date- i wouldn’t want to find out. did the right after and was so relieved it was instant.

    you might want to note this very tangible difference; because, if you’re up against the clock, this is all that matters.

    great blog, btw.

  2. What’s up with all the Delta questions?

    Maybe it’s all of the Delta flyers who love your blog but don’t get anything out of the OneWorld and Star Alliance posts.

    Just saying.

  3. really works. After reading above, I logged into – registered for 10 free miles on an airline, and immediately had my expiration date extended 2 years from today. thank you for letting me know. Great information

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