Earn Delta Miles for Debit Card Purchases

With all the eye-popping sign-up offers for travel rewards credit cards, the disappearance of mileage-generating debit cards has gone mostly unnoticed.

The demise of debit-card miles is at least in part a result of the Dodd-Frank bill that caps the amount card issuers can charge for debit card transactions. With their profits crimped, there was simply no overhead to support the marketing costs associated with issuing frequent flyer miles.

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But at least one bank is not only issuing mileage debit cards, but is promoting the cards with generous sign-up bonuses as well.

New SunTrust Bank customers who open a checking account linked to a Delta SkyMiles World Check Card by June 30 can earn up to 30,000 bonus Delta miles.

Card Details

  • Annual fee: $75
  • Monthly fee: $12 if checking account balance falls below $3,000
  • Earning: one mile per $1 in PIN Point of Sale and signature-based purchases and two miles per $1 in direct Delta purchases
  • Enrollment bonus: 15,000 Delta miles for opening a new checking account with a recurring direct deposit by September 30
  • First purchase bonus: 15,000 Delta miles after first non-PIN purchase by July 31
  • Delta SkyMiles World Check cards issued by SunTrust Banks are available in AL, AR, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, WV, VA, and Washington, D.C.

Deal or No Deal

The fees are offputting, especially the monthly fee for accounts that don't meet the minimum balance requirement.

But for those who maintain the requisite balance and use a debit card enough to earn a significant numbers of miles, this is definitely an option to consider if you live in one of the states where SunTrust does business.

There's also a sign-up bonus available for debit cards linked to business checking accounts: 25,000 miles after the first purchase made by July 31.

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This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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