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Earn Delta miles at local restaurants with SkyMiles Dining

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

Delta Air Lines miles can provide surprisingly good value on some redemptions. Luckily, if you need to boost your Delta SkyMiles balance, one easy way is through the SkyMiles Dining program.

This guide shows you how to earn Delta miles with the SkyMiles Dining program. We’ll also consider the best rewards credit cards to use and help you decide whether the SkyMiles Dining program is the best dining rewards program for you.

How to join the SkyMiles Dining program

You can join the SkyMiles Dining program online. Just provide your name, ZIP code, SkyMiles number and email address.

Join Delta SkyMiles Dining

You’ll also need to create a password for your account and opt in to the terms of use and privacy policy. I recommend opting in to receive program emails, too. Doing so will make you eligible for elevated earnings and the new-member bonus (more on this below).

Once you join the program, you must enroll at least one credit or debit card. Then, when you use an enrolled card at participating restaurants, bars and clubs, you’ll earn bonus miles through the SkyMiles Dining program.

New-member bonus

If you are new to SkyMiles Dining, you may be able to earn a new-member bonus. The bonuses vary depending on when you sign up but usually offer extra miles the first few times you dine within a set time frame.

There’s usually a modest minimum spending requirement you must meet each time you dine. To earn the bonus miles, you typically must remain opted in to receive emails and complete an online review within 30 days of each restaurant visit.

Related: These airline and hotel programs offer free points when you sign up

How to earn miles with the SkyMiles Dining program

You must dine at an eligible restaurant, bar or club to earn miles with the program. Search for an eligible location using the SkyMiles Dining website. Specifically, enter your city or ZIP code to see what nearby restaurants participate.

Delta SkyMiles Dining search

Once you’ve found an eligible restaurant, click “Learn more” to ensure the day of the week you plan to dine is eligible.

Delta SkyMiles Dining

Pay with an enrolled card, and your miles will be posted to your dining account within five days. Then, your miles should appear in your SkyMiles account within one to two weeks.

How much you earn depends on your level within the SkyMiles Dining program. These levels are completely independent of Delta Medallion elite status tiers. Specifically, here are the levels within the SkyMiles Dining program:

Level How to reach this level Earning rate at this level
Member Join the SkyMiles Dining program but don’t elect to receive email communication 1 mile per 2 dollars
Select Elect to receive email communication from SkyMiles Dining 3 miles per dollar
VIP Elect to receive email communication from SkyMiles Dining and complete 11 qualified transactions in a calendar year 5 miles per dollar

Earned VIP status is valid for both the year you earn it and the subsequent year, as long as you remain opted in for email communication.

Related: How to get value from 5,000 or fewer Delta SkyMiles

Which cards to use with the SkyMiles Dining program

You can enroll almost any card in the SkyMiles Dining program, except for Diners Club and internationally issued JBL cards. To maximize your earnings, you’ll likely want to enroll and use one of the best credit cards for dining. Here are some of the best cards to consider:

If you want to earn even more Delta miles, enroll and use a cobranded Delta credit card. For example, the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card each earn 2 miles per dollar on dining at restaurants worldwide (and for takeout and delivery in the U.S.).

Related: Can I earn points and miles from 2 dining rewards programs at the same time?

Is the SkyMiles Dining program worth it?

Woman dining

It’s certainly worth enrolling the cards you use when dining at restaurants in a dining rewards program. After all, it’s easy to enroll, and you might as well earn bonus rewards when dining at select restaurants.

The question is which dining rewards program is best for you. After all, you can only enroll each card in one Rewards Network-operated dining rewards program. Here’s a list of other dining rewards programs to consider:

Some programs may provide a greater return than the SkyMiles Dining program. This is especially true if you don’t plan to opt in to email communications or dine frequently enough to earn VIP status.

However, the SkyMiles Dining program is likely worth it if you need more SkyMiles for an upcoming redemption or tend to get outsize value when redeeming Delta SkyMiles.

Related: 5 things you need to know about Delta SkyMiles

Bottom line

The SkyMiles Dining program is just one of many dining rewards programs. But if you’re looking for more ways to earn Delta SkyMiles, you may want to enroll some of the credit cards you use at restaurants in the SkyMiles Dining program.