Last October I finally pulled the trigger and opened a bank account with Suntrust Bank in order to sign up for the Delta SkyMiles World Debit Card (not an affiliate link). The Delta Suntrust card is one the last debit cards on the market that earns a full 1 mile per of spending. Unlike most debit card rewards programs this one actually awards you miles for both pin based purchase and signature based purchases!
Yesterday, Rene over at Delta Points put out an alert warning that Suntrust is soon going to stop issuing new Delta debit cards, according to his undisclosed source. Rene is not one to jump on random rumors so I would have to assume that this is probably true. It sounds as though existing card holders will be grandfathered into the program but no new accounts will be issued starting within the next several months.
The Delta debit card does carry a hefty annual fee of $75 which may make it cost prohibitive for some. The sign-up bonus is not huge. But then again this is a debit card so what do you expect? You will receive 5,000 bonus SkyMiles after your 1st qualified purchase with you Delta debit card.
There are 3 different Suntrust bank accounts which are eligible for the Delta debit card and each has minimum requirements in order to avoid a monthly service fee. The lowest requirements are on the Balanced Banking account which requires you to maintain a minimum daily balance among your Suntrust bank accounts of $3,000 in order to avoid a monthly fee of $12.
If used right this card can provide an excellent stream of miles from your everyday purchases or for you manufactured spending. Although the terms specifically state that miles are not earned on the purchase of money orders nor payments for stored-value cards, I have time and time again earned thousands of miles for buying money orders at Wal-Mart.
I can buy $1,000 money order for $0.74 and earn 1,000 miles in the process. 25,000 miles earned at $0.74/1,000 = a round-trip domestic ticket for $18.50 + $75 annual fee. Not a bad deal. I would highly suggest mixing in plenty of everyday spending as well so you don’t throw up too many red flags at the bank and get your account closed.
The terms do state: “The Delta SkyMiles Check Cards are issued by SunTrust Banks, Inc. and are available in AL, AR, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV and Washington D.C.” However, if you are in any other state you can still get the card. You just simply have to apply either by phone or via the online chat function of the website. I opened mine using the online chat 6 months ago with no problems.
Even if you don’t have a local SunTrust branch in your area, making deposits couldn’t be easier. SunTrust offers mobile banking allowing you to deposit checks right from your smart phone. Of course there is always the option of direct deposit or ACH transfers in and out of your other bank accounts online as well.