Creative point and mile-earning partnerships have been a neat development in travel the last several years. The opportunity to earn airline miles from hotel stays and credit card purchases is very old news, but Delta Airlines has quietly given new ways to earn to those of us looking for that next flight to our favorite city or wine region. I tend to direct my miles earned from hotels over to American Airlines and jetBlue (who are strongest on my particular routes), but have been really happy to pick up some extra miles with Delta via their newish partnerships with Lyft and Airbnb. Spend a dollar, earn a mile. It won't get you there ASAP, but it's a nice supplement to the miles you may already have or be collecting for your next trip. Here's how to do it.
Earn Delta SkyMiles with Lyft
Lyft is definitely the easier of the two partners through which to earn miles. Visit www.deltalyft.com to link your SkyMiles and Lyft accounts. From that point on, the miles should post to Delta within five business days of the ride. Delta is offering one mile per dollar spent on Lyft through your linked account, and "for a limited time", three miles per every dollar spent on all rides to and from the airport.
Earn Delta SkyMiles with Airbnb
Delta and Airbnb have set up a website (surprise, surprise), www.deltaairbnb.com, that you need to visit. There you will see options to either "Sign up for Airbnb" or "Book your Airbnb". Choose the former if you are new to Airbnb, choose the latter if you already have an account. You will be prompted to enter your Delta SkyMiles account number as you log into Airbnb, and from there should see a banner at the bottom of the Airbnb page that reads "Book now and earn miles with Delta SkyMiles® for your Airbnb stay" whenever you are searching and booking homes. What is unclear to me is if logging in via that Delta page a single time permanently associates your SkyMiles and Airbnb account for miles earning purposes, or if it is necessary to log in via Delta every time. I've tested logging out and back in again, and the banner seems to persist, but I can't guarantee if this is permanent. It's also difficult to tell if the Delta association works when booking through the mobile app, after you've already logged in this way via your computer. Their FAQ page doesn't offer much help, either, so my recommendation is to just log into Airbnb via www.deltaairbnb.com every time you want to book. Miles will allegedly post to your Delta account within eight weeks of completing your Airbnb stay.
Pay with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card
You're already earning one Delta mile per every dollar spent on Lyft and Airbnb, but consider that both Lyft and Airbnb will return you three Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent when you pay with your Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card (they are travel, after all). Chase allows you to redeem its Ultimate Rewards points for 1.5x value on future travel. The Points Guy currently estimates Delta miles to be worth 1.2 cents apiece. Do the math, and this means you're getting about 5.7% back towards future travel on every Lyft or Airbnb purchase, with 4.5% going into your Chase UltimateRewards point balance, and 1.2% going into your Delta SkyMiles account. Not bad value. We only wish that Chase would let us transfer points into our Delta account, too!