Want 25,000 Delta miles? Get busy!

Loyalty programs are all about manipulating consumers' behavior, giving them extra incentive to purchase one product instead of another. And bonuses are used to ratchet up the incentive power even further, for a limited period.

While those bonuses typically target a particular product, special offers are sometimes used to promote a range of products, or to promote the program itself. That's the case with a new promotion from Delta, which offers bonus miles to encourage SkyMiles members to engage with the many partner companies that award Delta miles for purchases.

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Program members can earn up to 25,000 bonus miles for completing 25 unique partner activities completed between January 15 and March 15. The more partner activities, the more bonus miles you earn.

Three partner activities net 3,000 bonus miles; six activities net 6,000 bonus miles; 12 activities are good for 12,000 bonus miles; 20 for 20,000 bonus miles; and 25 unique partner activities earn 25,000 bonus miles.

To participate, first register. Next, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the definition of "unique partner activity." For example, a stay at a Doubletree and a stay at an Embassy Suites hotel count as a single activity, since both are members of the Hilton family of hotels. So if you're anticipating making multiple hotel stays during the promotion period, spread them among the various hotel families (Hilton, Marriott, Starwood, InterContinental, etc.).

Such multi-partner offers can't help but remind mileage junkies of Northwest, which has made complicated mileage bonuses a hallmark of its marketing. But where Northwest routinely designs its offers with unnecessary layers of complexity, Delta's promotion is as straightforward as an inherently complicated offer could be.

Take a lesson, Northwest.

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