Delta and Starbucks have a new reciprocal earning partnership, which is only upside. There’s even a bonus for linking your accounts, which you should do in order not to leave miles on the table.
- Link at DeltaStarbucks.com by December 31 and earn 150 SkyMiles
- Plus 150 bonus Starbucks Stars with a qualifying purchase
Then on an ongoing basis you’ll earn:
- Earn 1 Delta mile per mile spent at Starbucks (excludes gift cards, tips and alcohol)
- On days you’re flying Delta, you’ll earn double Starbucks Stars
In addition Delta is introducing a new 2024 choice benefit for Platinum and Diamond members of 4000 Starbucks Stars. I value a Starbucks star at 3 cents apiece, recognizing that depending on how you redeem them it’s possible to get up to 7 cents apiece.
Compared to new choice benefits like a $250 travel credit or $500 statement credit for Diamonds with a co-brand Reserve card, taking Starbucks stars as a choice benefit seems silly – though better than donating your choice benefit to Delta’s own sustainable fuel efforts that they are doing anyway.
This isn’t the first Starbucks earning relationship with an airline. Starbucks Canada earns with Air Canada Aeroplan. The intention has been to roll out the Aeroplan earning relationship to the United States as well, but it’s been slower than anticipated.
The only reason I can come up with not to link your Delta and Starbucks accounts is if you expect (1) the Aeroplan relationship to expand, and (2) to be unable to change partner earning preferences once it does. In other words, because Aeroplan miles are far more valuable than SkyMiles.
However I’d go ahead and link accounts, on the hope that if the Aeroplan earning partnership expands it will be possible to make the switch at that time.
This brings Delta customers into Starbucks, and Starbucks customers into Delta. Both are premium customer segments, and the Delta-Starwood relationship (while expensive) worked for both parties. It also helps Delta marginally in Seattle, where it competes heavily with Alaska Airlines. Indeed, Delta passengers departing Seattle today receive a card to redeem for 150 Starbucks stars.