Suntrust’s Delta Debit Card No Longer Available for New Accounts

I’ve been using the Suntrust Delta debit card to earn lots of miles.

It’s a pin-based debit card, so you can use it to pay taxes online with a fixed transaction fee (less than $3 per payment) while earning one mile per dollar. That’s a much better deal than paying ~ 2% for credit card payments.

Folks have also used it to buy and then deposit money orders — earning 1000 miles per transaction for less than $1 (money order fee).

This is a deal that has made no sense whatsoever, in terms of why in the world Suntrust has been offering it. Debit transactions are simply no longer a profit center because the transaction fees are capped. It doesn’t make sense to reward or incentivize debit transactions any longer. That’s why we’ve seen banks getting out of the business of debit card rewards.

And a card offering a full mile per dollar like this one has? it’s poor economic decision-making.

Along the theme of things that are too good to be true not lasting?

The card appears to be no longer open to new applications.

The Suntrust Delta debit card no longer appears under debit cards.

The direct page is gone.

And searching the word ‘Delta’ returns no results on the entire Suntrust website.

I still have my card, and I haven’t received any notice from Suntrust about its termination. My guess is that existing cardmembers won’t be grandathered forever, though. Hopefully, having just paid my $75 annual fee, I’ll be able to keep it for the entire year.

Update: Read the comments for ways that some readers are still having success signing up for the card. The window is likely quite narrow.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Damn it, applying for this card was on my to do list for tomorrow! I wonder if there is any chance of still getting one in person?

  2. Was given notice that my AS debit card will no longer work as of 5/1 a couple months ago… sad.

  3. I’m sure this has been a loss leader for Suntrust for a while now. I wonder what underlying financial numbers have changed that allow them to eliminate it. They certainly performed better on the latest round of stress tests than they had in the first few. There seemed to be a strong correlation in timing between their need for a large influx in cash deposits and the last big signup bonus for the card.

    I’ll be sad to lose mine, and I’m certainly not extracting anywhere near the value that you are. Getting $75 worth of miles has been quite simple. I just kinda wish I hadn’t closed the one I had for a joint account that I opened just for the big signup.

  4. Any news about UFBDirect. It has been earining 1 AA mile for $2. Looks like I am OK for now? Is that the only debit card left?

  5. @Stephen, but the links to sign up are dead. My guess is Suntrust hasn’t told Delta to pull those pages yet, or Delta’s IT hasn’t gotten around to it.

  6. Was at the branch last Friday and the bank officer said ST is phasing out the Delta debit card and it would be replaced. He didn’t know when or what would be the replacement.

  7. Delta Debit Card Still Live and being offered via Chat for me as of 3:49PM Eastern. But I’m with you Gary–the end is certainly near.

  8. I thought you don’t earn miles anymore from the cash-back portion of POS sales or from “cash-like” transactions – such as Money Orders.

  9. @ Jill — Awesome, thanks! I just called and opened my account. My partner is calling to open his now!

  10. Tried applying throught the chat window, and they said I needed to go into a branch to finish my application. When I went into the branch, the rep told me they weren’t accepting applications anymore for the card (ALTHOUGH IT STILL SHOWS IN THEIR SYSTEM). When I showed her the printout from the online chat where the rep said that I could apply for the SkyMiles card, she said “well, that’s odd, but OK” and she asked for my skymiles number and approved with the application for the SkyMiles debit card. So yes, it CAN be done, you just have to have the right rep to do it for you.

  11. Just confirmed with a representative at (online) chat that they are still offering (not for long)… Mins goes in tomorrow.

  12. I tried to open one last week while web still showed available, but couldn’t over the phone b/c there was a fraud hold on my checking account (from purse stolen years ago). Only today did I finally have time to do it. Before I went in to branch, I checked online and indeed the link was gone. The branch manager, however, had no problem processing the new card. If you want to do this GO NOW!

    Can anyone weigh in as to how long it took to receive the new card in the mail? I’d love to pay my taxes with it, but am not hopeful it will arrive by the 15th.

    If they cancel the card, I’ll be bummed that I waited this long to get in on the game. Grrr. And I guess I’ll ask for my annual fee back.

  13. @JILL – Awesome! Thanks for info… signed up over the phone and it seemed to work…

  14. “If something can’t go on forever, it won’t.” Since the early days of this card, Gary has noted that it is a financially unsustainable outlier among debit cards. Maybe Suntrust believes that they’ve adequately shored up their deposit base and no longer require the loss leader. Nonetheless, I’m glad I have it for now and will be ramping up my usage.

  15. I just went to the Delta link and then clicked on Visit the SunTrust personal banking site.
    Select either the SunTrust Solid Choice Banking℠,
    Balanced Banking℠ or Signature Advantage Banking℠ product.
    and was able to open on the SunTrust Chat line a checking account that links with my Delta account for miles. It take $100 to open and it is $75 annually. The Balanced Banking account includes a SunTrust MasterCard Classic Check Card or the Delta Skymiles Check Card.
    I did the whole thing in 15 minutes just using the SunTrust Chat line, no call, no branch visit

  16. @Joe S: In my experience, you can buy MOs at the USPS, but you do not earn miles for the purchase. As to why, I don’t know.

  17. Gary: there’s actually a debit card which offers 1.5 points per dollar charged, and redeems for gift cards at a 100:1 ratio (i.e. you get 1.5% cash back). It’s a CoreStone debit card which earns points with RewardSuite (… I don’t know the minimum balance commitment to get a CoreStone account, but if someone is putting significant spend on a debit card, it could be worth the trouble to get 1.5% cash back instead of 1 Delta point 🙂

  18. As of 7pm May 9, I just opened the required checking account via online chat (approx 20 minute process), funded with initial $100 minimum using an existing debit card and was told that the SkyMiles branded debit card will be in the mail.

  19. I just opened a required checking account online and was given the option to get a delta skymiles debit card.

  20. I have had the Skymiles MC Debit card for about a year and a half now with an expiration date in over a month. Feb 2015. i just called Suntrust and I will get a replacement no questions asked. For those whose are looking to sign up, and become new cardholders are unable to. Sucks but personally, I am a happy man 😉

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