How I earn free flights faster with my new credit card

I always thought I would move back home after I finished college on the other side of the country from my family and friends. But I was offered a fantastic job in the city where I attended college and I ended up starting my career there. As the years went on and I started building a life in my new home, I realized that I might never move back to my hometown. That was when I made a commitment to myself that I would fly back home frequently to visit everyone and enjoy a home-cooked meal.

On my first visit home to see my parents I bumped into my old high school sweetheart. Things clicked immediately and I knew right then that long-distance travel was going to become an important part of my life. Since Delta Airlines offers non-stop daily flights back to my hometown a few times a day I knew that I wanted to take advantage of that and looked up a few websites like to get to know more about the Delta SkyMiles credit card and how to maximize credit card rewards for air miles  — for flights and points.

I also have a Chase card, and so the question of do chase points expire came up.  There is nothing worse than having a reward card only to find out later that your points have expired!

Once I did the research on the benefits and features of the card I knew it was for me. I can earn SkyMiles with practically every dollar I spend on the card, including gas, phone bills, groceries, restaurants, movies and shopping. When I use the card to book flights I earn double miles, which means I will collect points and earn free flights faster. With the Delta app for smartphones, I am able to check fares, book flights, check-in, review flight status and even book upgrades, making it very easy to manage my travels.

I started using my new SkyMiles credit card right away. After three months had passed, I earned 30,000 bonus SkyMiles since I had spent over $1,000 in flights and merchandise. Not only that, but I also earned a $50.00 statement credit since I booked a flight and paid for it with my credit card in those first 3 months. The 30,000 SkyMiles are equal to a $300.00 credit when I use Pay with Miles, which I can use to pay either in part or full for my tickets! With my frequent flights back home I know I will put those SkyMiles to good use.

Since my flights are across the country, I enjoy dining and watching movies while I travel. It sure was nice to learn that my in-flight purchases would earn me a 20 percent statement credit when I pay with my SkyMiles credit card. When I need to unwind, I enjoy playing video games on the plane. It’s nice to know I earn statement credits for video game and headset purchases as well!

I know that I will be traveling home for my summer vacation to spend time with my sweetheart and parents. Since I will have to check a bag to carry everything back with me, it is nice to know that my first checked bag flies at no cost when I book the flight with my new credit card. One time, my parents decided they wanted to return with me to explore my new city. I was happy to learn that since I booked them under my reservation their checked bags weren’t subject to any additional charges! If I travel with up to nine friends under my reservation, all their checked bags will fly for free! That is a savings of up to $50.00 per person round trip.

When I am traveling back home for weekend trips I like to keep my carry-on bag within my sight in the cabin. That is why I was happy to learn one of the features of booking and paying for my ticket with the SkyMiles credit card is the coveted benefit of priority boarding for flights. I am able to stow my bag in the compartment above my seat and get settled before the flight prepares for takeoff.

Within my first year of having the card I was able to save hundreds of dollars on flights by using the Pay with Miles option. Even with 10,000 SkyMiles, I can save $100.00 on a flight. With money I saved by not having to check my luggage and the 20 percent off on in-flight purchases, I realized how much money I had saved with the card. It was quite surprising to learn that the $95.00 annual fee was waived for my first year too.

I know that next year will be another year full of travel back home to see my sweetheart, which is why I will continue to use the SkyMiles credit card for my everyday purchases to earn a mile for every dollar I spend. I always book and pay for my plane tickets with my SkyMiles card to take advantage of double miles on Delta purchases. All the money I save on flights, checked bags and on board purchases more than make up for low annual fee.

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.