Effective today, members of Delta’s SkyMiles program can earn one mile for every $1 spent on Lyft rides.
In addition, through August 31, Lyft customers can earn three miles per $1 on rides to or from airports where Lyft offers service. And new Lyft customers who sign up viawill receive two $10 credits, applicable to the user’s first two Lyft rides within 60 days.
Lyft fares probably average less than $10, so this new partnership isn’t going to generate any great mileage windfalls for SkyMiles members. But it’s smart marketing on the part of both Delta and Lyft; linking the two companies together gets Lyft in front of Delta’s business travelers and gives Delta exposure to Lyft’s younger customer base. The same could be said of Delta’s relationship with Airbnb.
Lyft already has a mileage-earning relationship with JetBlue, but it’s limited to airport rides.
Also of interest is what this partnership is not: a Delta-Uber tie-up. While Uber remains the overwhelming rideshare market leader, its reputation has taken a hit recently with a string of negative publicity. That has resulted in a relative improvement in Lyft’s image, as the default good guy in the two-company competition. This new partnership amounts to receiving Delta’s seal of approval, which further burnishes Lyft’s image, and its future prospects.
Reader Reality Check
Lyft or Uber: Which do you use?
After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.
This article first appeared on SmarterTravel.com, where Tim is Editor-at-Large.