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No More 'Always Double Miles' for Delta Frequent Flyers

Members of Delta's loyalty program who carry the SkyMiles credit card issued by American Express should enjoy the card's double mile feature while they can.

The word is out that SkyMiles members will no longer earn double miles when charging gas, supermarket, and pharmacy purchases to a Delta SkyMiles credit card.

Here's the announcement on a reader's latest statement:

You will continue to accumulate double miles for qualifying Delta Air Lines purchases. However, we are eliminating all other categories of Always Double Miles purchases." For billing periods that begin on or after January 1, 2009, the definition of "Always Double Miles purchases" in the Agreement Regarding the Accumulation of Delta Miles in Connection with Your Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express is deleted, and the reference to "Always Double Miles purchases" in the second, third and fourth paragraphs of that Agreement are deleted and replaced with "Delta Purchases."

If your Card Account was opened on or after November 1, 2007, this change will not go into effect for your Card Account until one year after the date your Card Account was opened.

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In other words, cardholders will still earn double miles when charging Delta tickets—as you would with any airline-affiliated credit card—but not when charging other purchases. For many, the always-double-miles feature was the one benefit that gave the SkyMiles cards a competitive edge over other airline cards.

In spite of the fact that it's set to be terminated, both Delta and American Express are still promoting the cards' double-mile benefit on their websites. Caveat emptor.

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