There are some good alternatives for Canadians when it comes to airline loyalty credit cards.  Capital One and Delta Air Lines have teamed up to offer Canadians a faster way to earn travel miles with the new and improved Delta SkyMiles World MasterCard.

The changes are good news for existing Delta SkyMiles cardholders, who’ll now earn more miles per dollar spent and receive a larger annual renewal bonus.  This is also the first airline miles credit card to offer 2 miles per dollar spent.

Related: WestJet Dollars Frequent Guest Program

Delta SkyMiles World MasterCard benefits

The new and improved Delta SkyMiles World MasterCard by Capital One Canada includes:

  • 25,000 Miles Welcome/First Purchase Bonus*
  • Earn 3 Delta miles per dollar spent on Delta travel
  • Earn 2 Delta miles per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Annual bonus: 10,000 miles when you spend $25,000 annually
  • Redemption: Canada & U.S.** 25,000 – 60,000 miles
  • $120 Annual fee
  • No fee for additional authorized users

* 10,000 miles first purchase bonus and an additional 15,000 miles if the customer spends at least $1,000 within the first three months of account enrolment

** Continental US/Canada long-haul economy return

The Delta SkyMiles World MasterCard by Capital One Canada also comes with World MasterCard benefits, including:

  • Travel emergency medical – Provides emergency medical coverage anywhere in the world. As the primary cardholder, you, your spouse and your dependent children, when travelling with either parent, are covered for trips up to 22 days, if under 65 years of age, and for trips up to 8 days, if 65 years of age or older.
  • Travel accident insurance – Receive up to $500,000 travel insurance coverage for you, your spouse and your dependent children when you charge the full cost of your tickets to your Capital One credit card.
  • Trip cancellation insurance – If an illness, injury or other covered cause prevents you from starting your trip, you’ll be covered for up to $1,000 of eligible cancellation expenses per insured person, to a maximum of $5,000 per trip.

Redeeming Delta SkyMiles

Using the Pay with Miles model, customers can assume that 10,000 Delta SkyMiles is worth $100. Redemptions are set up so customers can use increments of 10,000 miles to reduce the cost of their ticket by $100 each.  The Pay with Miles redemptions are flexible based on the price of the ticket.

  • For fares less than $100, you can redeem 25,000 miles to cover the total fare.
  • For fares between $100 and $250, you can redeem 10,000 miles for $100 off the total fare or increase the redemption to 25,000 miles and increase from that point in increments of 5,000 miles – $50 off – to cover the total fare.
  • For fares between $250 and $1,000, you can redeem 10,000 miles for $100 off the total fare or increase the redemption in increments of 5,000 miles – $50 off – to cover all or part of the total fare – 15,000 miles for $150 off, 20,000 miles for $200 off, etc.
  • For total fares equal to or greater than $1,000, you can redeem 10,000 miles for $100 off the total fare or increase the redemption in increments of 10,000 miles – $100 off – to cover all or part of the total fare – 20,000 miles for $200 off, 30,000 miles for $300 off, etc.

Alternatively, you can use the Buy Miles program to top up your SkyMiles account.  Buy Miles is fairly straightforward, and the standard transaction terms include:

  • Minimum mileage per transaction, per recipient is 2,000 miles
  • Maximum mileage per transaction, per recipient is 60,000 miles
  • Buy mileage in increments of  2,000
  • The rate per mile is $0.035
  • Plus applicable taxes

How many miles can I earn with the Delta SkyMiles World MasterCard by Capital One Canada?

If you regularly fly with Delta, here’s how many miles you can earn annually with the Delta SkyMiles World MasterCard when you spend $500 a month on Delta flights and $2,000 a month in other purchases:

  • Welcome/First Purchase Bonus – 25,000 miles
  • 3 Delta miles for every $1 spent on Delta – 18,000 miles
  • 2 Delta miles for every $1 spent on all other purchases – 48,000 miles
  • Annual bonus for spending $25,000 – 10,000 miles
  • Total Delta SkyMiles earned in the first year = 101,000 miles

Based on the Pay with Miles redemption option, you can earn $1,010 in travel rewards in the first year.  When you subtract the $120 annual fee, you’re still left with $890 per year.  After the first year, your total travel miles value drops to $640 a year.

As of August 26, 2013, all current and future Capital One Delta SkyMiles World MasterCard customers will benefit from Priority Boarding on all Delta and Delta Connection flights.

Priority boarding (or Zone 1 boarding) means cardholders and their travel companions may avoid the long general boarding queue, and best of all, boarding earlier means a good chance there will be overhead room for your carry-on baggage – no more bags at your feet taking up precious foot room.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the improved Delta SkyMiles World MasterCard from Capital One Canada has a much higher earn ratio – 3 points per $1 spent with Delta and two miles per $1 spent on everything else – and a very generous Welcome/First Purchase Bonus compared to the previous version of the card.  That puts this card in the class of some of the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada.

When you add the generous annual bonus that nearly covers off the annual fee – this card is a great fit for Canadians, particularly those who enjoy flying regularly with Delta.

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