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How to ‘borrow’ miles with Delta Amex Fly Now, Pay Later

by on Fri July 14, 2017 • No Comment

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The Delta SkyMiles credit cards from American Express have a new feature that lets you top up your account with miles if you’re running short by borrowing them from Amex.

Here’s how it works…

  • If you’re short on miles, you can borrow them from American Express by logging into your Amex (not Delta) account, clicking on ‘Benefits’ and choosing ‘Fly now, Earn later.’


  • You can borrow as little as one mile, and the maximum you can borrow is set by American Express depending on your account history.

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  • The miles are often deposited into your SkyMiles account instantly, but can take up to 72 hours.
  • You have 6 billing periods to pay the miles back, and you can do that by earning the miles via spending on your Delta Amex. Miles earned for flights and other activity don’t count toward paying back your mileage debt. You’ll see a tracker while logged in to your Amex account to check your progress.


  • If, after 6 billing periods, you haven’t earned back the full amount you borrowed via your Delta Amex, you will get charged 2.5 cents per mile remaining.
  • You can borrow one set of miles at a time, so make sure you ask for enough in your first request.

Here’s an example…

Let’s say you are 5,000 miles short for the next award trip you want to book.

You can borrow 5,000 miles, then over the course of the next 6 months, use your Delta Amex to earn 5,000 miles back. If you do that, no fees are charged.

But if you don’t earn the 5,000 miles via card spending, you’ll get billed for the remaining miles you haven’t earned back at 2.5 cents a piece. So, you could end up paying $125 for those 5,000 miles.

The good news is there’s no interest charge. So if you earn back all the miles you borrowed in the 6 month window, you don’t have to pay anything.

Why would you do this?

If you’re just short of the miles you need for an award you’re booking right away, this is a decent way to earn them without paying full price.

Buying miles directly from Delta costs around 3.5 cents per mile, so the chance to borrow without having to pay in cash if you earn enough miles back is a good bet compared to buying them outright.

But there are other ways to earn 5,000 Delta miles quickly if you’re creative.

The SkyMiles Shopping mall lets you buy from online stores you’re already using and earn 2, 3, 4, or even 5x miles at many of them. And you can stack miles with your Delta SkyMiles credit card, so you earn an extra mile on all your purchases.

And SkyMiles Dining lets you earn up to 3,000 miles in the first month after you register, and dine at participating restaurants, including takeout and delivery.


The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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