What is the “fastest” way to get a bunch of SkyMiles to book an award ticket?

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hawaiian set a award goal

One of the common questions I get either as a comment on the blog or via e-mail is how to quickly get some LARGE number of SkyMiles to be able to book some kind of award trip (especially in light of all the award changes going on with Delta this year).

I mean, take a look at the graphic above. Even a smaller airline like Hawaiian, not only has SIMPLE, published award charts, but even has a tab where you can set an “award goal”! Can you even dream of Delta doing something like this?

But back to the question, that is, getting a big chunk of SkyMiles QUICKLY! The best and simplest choice is a transfer from an AMEX Membership Rewards card like;

I hold BOTH of these cards (note my Platinum card is the business version of the card). All the points from both cards “funnel”, if you will, to the same AMEX membership rewards account. Should I wish to I can transfer them to Delta and they move over almost instantly.

transfer membership rewards points to delta

You could literally do this while you were on the phone with a Delta rep to get a booking done. What about sending these points to other folks? That was simple in the past – not so much now. Yes, if you are willing to do all this, you can add an authorized card user to your credit card and next transfer points to them and finally they transfer over to Delta. Now I get that you need to HAVE the membership rewards points to accomplish this, but both of these cards, after minimum spend, get you a nice points total to transfer and are good cards to have and hold (especially the Platinum card for all the perks it gives you).

But what are your other choices for “fast” points? Again, if you need a large amount of points, turn to two of the three Delta co-branded credit cards. I would look at either the:

Like the first two cards talked about, both of these come with a LARGE amount of bonus points after spend requirements. How fast can you get these points? As long as you meet the spend quickly, they should post 1-3 days after your statement closes (or even faster).

Now is a possible 30-ish days from application, approval and spend “fast”? To me it is! Then again, I plan my award trips as far out as I can and always look for LEVEL 1 awards and almost always in business class.

What about SPG points? Why have you not included those since sending over 20,000 SPG points at once results in 25,000 SkyMiles? The simple reason is they would be the slowest choice.

It will take you the same 30-ish days to get the bonus points after spend requirements are met. However, once you request the transfer from SPG to DELTA it can take from days to weeks to have the points post at Delta. Not that this is not a choice to consider, just that is not the “fastest” of the choices open to you.

So there you are. I will be adding this to the “Essentials Tab” as once again this is a question I get each and every week and these really are some of the fastest ways to get a large amount of SkyMiles to top off your totals to book that award trip you want! – René
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.

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  1. Rene,

    My wife has collected whole bunch of MR points but in order to transfer her points to my FF account, I have to be an authorized card user… will being added to her AmEx card result in a hard inquiry on my credit score?

  2. I have plenty of miles but need to know if there is anyway to get more MQM’s (besides the 10,000 with credit carad) how can one get an MQM bonus???

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