How to Earn NWA (Northwest) Miles

by Jessica on December 16, 2009

by Jessica | December 16th, 2009  

northwestWith all the airline companies struggling to stay afloat in this economy, it’s no wonder there are airline mergers going on. What mergers mean for the traveler depends on the airlines involved – but at least in the case of Delta and Northwest becoming one entity, it means that Northwest’s former WorldPerks frequent flyer program is no longer. Now, even when you visit the offiical Northwest frequent flyer section of their website, you’re redirected to a Delta site.

In other words, don’t be confused when all of a sudden you’re transported from NWA to Delta. That’s supposed to happen.

Another “in other words” is that the answer to the question of how to earn NWA miles is now the same as the answer to the identical question about Delta. For convenience, however, we’ll go over the different ways you can earn Northwest miles here – even if now they’re called Delta miles.

The Northwest miles program is now Delta’s SkyMiles program, and this is a list of the different ways you can earn miles toward free airlines tickets and other rewards.

Air Travel
All frequent flyer programs make it so the easiest way to earn miles is to fly on that airline – and Northwest/Delta is no different. Flights taken on Delta’s family of airlines earns you the most miles in terms of air travel, too. With flights on Delta, Delta Connection (including Chautauqua, Comair, Freedom Airlines, & SkyWest), & Delta Shuttle you’ll earn a minimum of 500 points or the actual number of miles flown (whichever is more), and you can earn up to 150% extra points if you’ve paid full price for your ticket or are flying in business or first class.

When you fly on one of Northwest/Delta’s partner airlines, you’ll earn miles as well – it just varies depending on the airline you’re flying. You also have to make sure you’re giving them your Delta/Northwest SkyMiles number and not signing up for another airline’s frequent flyer program.

Other airlines on which you can earn Northwest/Delta SkyMiles are:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air France
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Alitalia
  • China Airlines
  • Continental Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • Singapore Airlines

Hotel Stays
Some airlines have lots of hotel partners, and some are more stingy. Northwest/Delta is on the generous end of the spectrum. So generous, in fact, that listing all the hotels they partner with in this article would take too long – which is why I’m not going to do it. There is, however, a link to the complete list. Don’t say I never did anything for you.

As is typically the case, the number of miles you’ll earn with a stay at one of the partner hotels varies by the hotel. But it’s also important to look at what’s required of each program before you pick a hotel – because some of them require that you’re not just a member of Northwest/Delta SkyMiles but also of that hotel’s rewards program in order to get points. Sometimes this won’t be worth it, but other times you can earn extra miles if you’re a member of both programs – so it’s worth looking into.

Car Rentals
Delta/Northwest has an array of hotels on its partnership list, and the same is true of car rental companies, too. The number of miles you’ll earn varies with the the car rengal agency you use, so check the official site for details so you know you’re getting the most miles for your money.

The car rental companies with which you can earn Delta/Northwest SkyMiles are:

  • Alamo – 50 miles per day
  • Avis – 50 miles per day on rentals of 1-4 days, 500 miles per rental of 5+ days
  • Budget – 50 miles per day
  • Dollar – 50 miles per day
  • Europcar – 60 miles per day
  • Hertz – 50 miles per day on rentals of 1-4 days, 500 miles per rental of 5+ days
  • National – 50 miles per day
  • Sixt – 500 miles per car rental or limo transfer
  • Thrifty – 50 miles per day, 250 miles for parking 3 times in 1 year at same Thrifty parking facility

In addition to car rentals, the Northwest/Delta SkyMiles program also partners with some limo/shuttle services to get you to and from the airport without having to drive yourself. If you show your SkyMiles number when you book a ride online with SuperShuttle, you’ll get 50 miles per direction you’re transported – and if you do the same when you book a limo transfer online with LimoRes, you’ll earn 500 miles automatically and up to 5 miles for every $1 spent on reservations.

Credit Cards
If you had a Northwest Airlines credit card, the bad news is that you’ll need to switch to a Delta credit card now. If you already had a Delta credit card, the good news is that you’ll got one less credit card in your wallet when you cut up that old Northwest card you had, right?

Some of the Delta/Northwest airline miles credit cards are for people who live outside the United States, and you can find out more about those by visiting the official website (link at the bottom of the page). The US-based cards are listed here, and they’re all from American Express.

  • Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express – 1 mile per $1 charged, double miles on Delta/Northwest purchases; 10,000 bonus miles after your first purchase on the card Apply for the Delta Reserve Credit Card
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express – 1 mile per $1 charged, double miles on Delta/Northwest purchases; 20,000 bonus miles after your first purchase on the card Apply for the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express – 1 mile per $1 charged, double miles on Delta/Northwest purchases; 20,000 bonus miles after your first purchase on the card and 5,000 more bonus miles by adding other people to your account
  • Classic SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express – 1 mile per $1 charged; 5,000 bonus miles after your first purchase on the card and 2,500 bonus miles/year when you charge $10,000 during that year
  • Options SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express – 1 mile per $1 charged on Delta/Northwest purchases, 1 mile per $2 charged on anything else; 1,000 bonus miles after your first purchase on the card and 1,000 bonus miles/year when you charge $5,000 during that year

In addition to the above-mentioned credit cards, Delta/Northwest has an agreement with SunTrust Bank so that debit cards on SunTrust accounts can also earn you miles. Those cards are Visa check cards, and there are three different kinds – the number of miles you’ll earn depends on the card you choose. You can learn more about the details of those cards at the official website.

Shopping & Dining
Even if you’re not a shopaholic, there are certainly things you spend money on throughout the year – so wouldn’t it be nice to earn Delta/Northwest miles for that money you’re already spending? There is a nice variety of retailers and service providers that have partnerships with Northwest/Delta, some of which are listed here:

  • Netflix
  • Shutterfly
  • Orkin
  • LasikPlus
  • Nutrisystem
  • Neiman Marcus
  • 1-800-Flowers
  • FTD
  • Teleflora
  • Broadview Security
  • IdentityGuard
  • SkyMilesShopping
  • SkyMiles Subscriptions

The SkyMiles branded things on that list are collections of participating merchants that let you earn miles just by accessing their online shops via the SkyMiles website. It’s easy enough to do, and it opens up a whole new array of possibilities of places you can shop and earn miles at the same time.

To earn SkyMiles while you’re dining out, it’s very simple – you need to register with the Delta/Northwest SkyMiles Dining program and then enter the information for the credit or debit card you use most often when you’re eating out. Then, every time you eat out at one of the restaurants or other eateries listed on the SkyMiles website and use that card to pay the bill, you’ll earn miles for the money you’re spending – as much as 5 miles per $1.

Vacations & Cruises
Delta/Northwest has its own vacation and cruise booking agencies, and every time you book a trip through them you’ll earn miles. The travel agency is called Delta Vacations, and it’s a partner with the vacation planning programs of both Hilton and Marriott.

The Delta cruise booking wing is called SkyMiles Cruises, and they offer cruises on all the big cruise lines – all you have to do is book whatever cruise you were already interested in taking through the Delta/Northwest program and you’ll earn miles.

Real Estate & Financial Services
These aren’t everyday expenditures like some of the things in the list above are, but they’re often big-ticket items – so a miles-per-dollar earning setup can get you on the road to a free ticket pretty quickly. The various real estate and financial services that can help you earn miles with Delta/Northwest are:

  • Chase Mortgage
  • Chase Auto Loans
  • Fidelity
  • TD Ameritrade
  • LendingTree
  • Liberty Mutual

The number of miles you can earn depends on the service you’re using and (sometimes) how much money you’re spending, so be sure to read the details on the official website (linked below).

Phone & Internet Services
Chances are very good that you spend money on internet and mobile phone service each year, so that’s yet another thing you might as well earn miles for while you’re already spending money. Some of the phone and internet services with which you can earn Northwest/Delta miles are:

  • BlackBerry
  • Mozy
  • Call in Europe
  • T-Mobile HotSpot
  • Network Solutions
  • Travelling Connect
  • SkyMiles Wireless

To learn more about the Northwest/Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer program, see the official Northwest SkyMiles website.

photo by randomduck

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