Instacart Emerges as Another Way to Earn Delta SkyMiles
At the start of the pandemic, I tried the grocery delivery service Instacart for the very first time — and, despite the fees, I was pretty impressed. Of course, in a bid to save some money, I’ve since transitioned to using their Aldi pick-up option instead, but still make fairly frequent use of the app overall. Now, merging my pandemic-era splurge and (hopeful) post-pandemic travel plans, Delta SkyMiles customers can earn bonus miles when they shop using Instacart.
After linking your SkyMiles account, regular Instacart users can earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on the app, minus taxes, tips, and fees. As for those with Instacart Express, they’ll earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent (with the same restrictions). To connect your SkyMiles account, open the Instacart app, tap the three-line icon in the upper left corner, then Account Settings, and select Loyalty Card. From there, tap “add” next to Delta SkyMiles, enter your account number and last name, and you’re all set.
Speaking of Instacart Express, frequent flyers with Silver or Gold Medallion status can opt for a three-month free trial of Instacart Express, while Platinum and Diamond Medallions can take advantage of a 12-month trial. With Instacart Express, customers receive free delivery on orders over $35, 5% rebates on pickup orders, and other such benefits. Just be aware that, after your trial is up, you’ll be automatically charged for a year of Express (currently $99) unless you cancel beforehand.
Instacart is actually the latest partnership Delta has formed that’s resulted in bonus SkyMiles for customers. Way back in the far-off year of 2017, the airline began allowing Lyft passengers to earn 1 mile per dollar spent on regular rides or 2x miles on U.S. airport rides — although you’ll need to decide if this opportunity is more valuable to you than a similar one from Hilton as Lyft now only allows you to choose one loyalty partnership at a time.
More recently, Delta announced a deal with Turo, with customers earning 500 SkyMiles each time they rent a car on the platform. Currently, they’re also offering a 2,000-mile bonus to those who link their SkyMiles account and make their first booking on Turo.
As a side note, after years of saving up SkyMiles from some of my business trips (at least the ones that my editor isn’t booking using miles himself), I actually made my first redemption a couple of weeks ago. When I noticed the option to upgrade to Delta Premium Select for our trip to France next week, I went ahead and took advantage. In total, the two upgrades cost around 50,000 miles — which isn’t cheap, but I wasn’t really using them for anything else. Plus, this now gives me a chance to compare Delta’s premium economy product to Air France’s, which I also recently had a chance to try out. The moral of the story is that, while these small amounts of miles might not do you much good now, perhaps they’ll come in handy for upgrades or short flights in the future.
Of the various Delta SkyMiles partnerships that have been unveiled in recent years, I believe that this latest one with Instacart is the one I’m most likely to use personally. And while I’m no longer relying on the app as much as I was for a hot minute a couple of years ago, it’s still nice to place an Aldi order every once and a while. So, although I don’t see myself racking up free flights with my grocery store purchases, this is yet another freebie I’m more than happy to nab while I can.