Delta Air Lines and MasterCard are working together to bring new co-branded debit card options for Delta SkyMiles members. The two companies will work over the next several months to build a network of local bank branches across the U.S. to offer a Delta SkyMiles Debit MasterCard for individuals and businesses.
The card is currently available for current and new customers of SunTrust, available in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Local banks will serve other areas of the country and Delta will release the information about the partnerships as they are established. The Delta SkyMiles Check Card from SunTrust has been converted to a Debit MasterCard and cardholders are receiving the new card in the mail.
Each partnership will establish what will be offered with the card, but typically, debit cards earn one mile for every $2 spent, or one mile per $1 spent.
Along with offering cardholders the ability to earn Delta miles on qualifying purchases, the card is expected to offer merchant discounts as well as extended warranties and satisfaction guarantees. There will be three versions of the card: Platinum Debit MasterCard, World Debit MasterCard and Debit MasterCard BusinessCard.
Bottom line: Debit cards have proved popular with frequent flyers who like the option of including a debit card along with their credit cards for mileage accumulation and members outside of the area SunTrust serves have been looking for a local option. According to a report in Digital Transaction News, Rob Sheets, MasterCard senior vice president and group head of merchant relations says that if this Delta plan works, MasterCard might take the idea to other sectors such as hotels.