Great Deal: Delta AmEx Cards Increased Sign-Up Bonuses

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!

Update: These offers for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express are expired. Learn more about the current offer here.

UPDATE: This limited-time offer is expired. You can find the best current offers here.

Links:

While Delta SkyMiles aren’t my favorite mileage currency in the world, there are some markets where they offer the best value proposition of any program, in my opinion.

Delta-BusinessElite

As a result I’m quite excited about the fact that American Express is offering some increased sign-up bonuses on their co-branded Delta SkyMiles credit cards through June 30, 2015, as follows:

Personal cards

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

  • 50,000 SkyMiles after making $2,000 in purchases within three months
  • $50 statement credit after making Delta purchase within three months
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

  • 60,000 SkyMiles after making $2,000 in purchases within three months
  • 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles
  • $100 statement credit after making Delta purchase within three months
  • $195 annual fee

Business cards

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

  • 50,000 SkyMiles after making $2,000 in purchases within three months
  • $50 statement credit after making Delta purchase within three months
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card*

  • 60,000 SkyMiles after making $2,000 in purchases within three months
  • 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles
  • $100 statement credit after making Delta purchase within three months
  • $195 annual fee

*I’m mentioning this card because I believe the offer is publicly available, though I can’t find a link to the landing page at present.

Should you apply for the Gold or Platinum card?

If you don’t have any Delta cards yet, are you better off applying for the Gold or Platinum versions of the card? If you’re going for status with Delta, I’d say the Platinum cards are a great option, given that you you get 10,000 MQMs with the cards. If you get both the personal and business Platinum cards that’s 20,000 MQMs right there, which is 80% of the way to Silver status.

But if it’s the miles you’re after, I’d say the Gold cards are the better options, as you’re earning 50,000 miles upon completing qualifying purchases, with the annual fee waived the first year.

Regardless of which card you go with, you can earn a statement credit by making a Delta purchase within the first three months.

Can I get this bonus if I’ve had a Delta SkyMiles card in the past?

As far as the terms of the offers go, the following are listed for the two personal versions of the offer:

If we identify you as currently having an American Express® Card account, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer. This offer is also not available to applicants who have or have had this product.

While the following is listed for the business version of the offer:

Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product within the last 12 months.

In practice I’m not sure to what degree they’ll be enforced, but those are the rules…

I already have one/two/five American Express cards. Can I still apply?

Nowadays you can have a maximum of four American Express credit cards and four American Express charge cards.

It doesn’t matter whether they’re personal or business, so that means you can have four American Express business credit cards, or two American Express personal credit cards and two American Express business credit cards. Split it up however you’d like.

All four of the Delta cards above are credit cards and not charge cards.

Can I apply for both the personal and business versions of the Delta Amex cards?

These are all considered separate products, so you should be eligible for the bonus on each of these cards, assuming you haven’t had them before. So if you’ve never had any of these cards, you’re theoretically eligible for all of them.

However, American Express might not approve multiple applications in a day. It’s fine to apply for two cards in a day, though they may only process one after waiting a few days. So just don’t expect to be approved for multiple cards in one day.

What kind of a Delta purchase is required for the statement credit?

All versions of this offer come with a $50-100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within three months.

So what kind of a purchase would qualify for the purposes of fulfilling that requirement and earning the statement credit?

For example, the section about the statement credit for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card reads as follows:

One statement credit for $50 will be issued to your Card account after a Delta purchase is charged to your Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Purchases to meet the spend requirement include those made by both the Basic and Additional Card Members on the Card Account. Purchase must be made directly through Delta. A purchase may not qualify for the statement credit if it is submitted under a merchant code that has not been categorized as a Delta merchant code as of the date of the purchase(s). Credit will be issued as a Card Member statement credit approximately 8–12 weeks after your first Delta purchase. Additional Card Members on your account are not eligible for this offer. To receive the $50 statement credit, your Card account must be active, in good standing, and not in default at the time of fulfillment.

You can earn a $50 statement credit after you make a qualifying Delta purchase on your Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership starting from the date your account is approved. In rare instances, your period to make a Delta purchase may be shorter than 3 months if there is a delay in receiving your Card. Also, purchases may fall outside of the 3 month period in some cases, such as a delay in merchants submitting transactions to us or if the purchase date differs from the date you made the transaction. (For example, if you buy goods online, the purchase date may be the date the goods are shipped). For questions regarding your Card account, please call the number on the back of your Card.

Based on those terms it doesn’t seem like you actually have to purchase a Delta ticket, but rather just have to make a purchase coded by Delta. So an onboard food or beverage purchase should qualify, as should purchasing a Delta gift card (which can be for as little as $50).

Why would I want SkyMiles?

It’s no secret that Delta SkyMiles are far from my favorite program, but if used strategically SkyMiles can still be incredibly valuable, and in many cases are more useful than say, American AAdvantage or United Mileage Plus miles:

  • Virgin Australia releases the most nonstop saver level business class award space between the US mainland and Australia, so it’s great to be able to redeem for that without fuel surcharges
  • Virgin Atlantic has one of my favorite transatlantic business class products, and redeeming Delta SkyMiles for travel on them is one of the only ways to do it without fuel surcharges
  • Delta SkyMiles partners with both Air Tahiti Nui and Air France, which are the only two airlines flying nonstop between the US mainland and Tahiti
  • Nowadays SkyMiles do leave you fairly well positioned for award travel to Europe, especially if you live in an international gateway city, or a city served by Alaska Airlines.

KLM-Business-Class-747-04
Redeem Delta SkyMiles for KLM business class

Beyond that, SkyMiles are one of the easiest currencies to accrue. There are over a dozen credit cards that directly or indirectly earn Delta miles, so it’s possible to rack up miles quite quickly.

Bottom line

Don’t get me wrong, all things considered SkyMiles isn’t my favorite currency. And I don’t have faith in the future of the SkyMiles program, in terms of them not eventually trying to go fully revenue based.

That being said, for the time being SkyMiles are still unarguably valuable, especially for travel on Virgin Australia to Australia, for travel on Virgin Atlantic to Europe, etc.

Virgin-Atlantic-Upper-Class
Redeem Delta SkyMiles for Virgin Atlantic business class

So if you can earn fast and burn fast then I think Delta SkyMiles are still worth accruing.

Given that you can also transfer points over from Starwood Preferred Guest and American Express Membership Rewards, it’s pretty easy to accrue SkyMiles relatively quickly or top off an account, which certainly mitigates the risk.

With the low minimum spends this is an easy 100,000+ miles. This is also the highest offer I can remember for these cards (in particular the Platinum), so if you’re considering those I’d definitely jump on this offer.

Personally I plan on picking up both a personal and business card through this offer.

Links:

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Comments

  1. “If we identify you as currently having an American Express® Card account, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer.”

    So if you don’t have any AMEX cards, you are good to go. But if you have one open, you can apply, make the minimum spend, pay the AF if applicable, and then they will decide if they will give you a bonus or not. And the reason they would decide to give you a bonus they didn’t promise you is what? 🙁

  2. If you already have an Amex card, I think you can call them and have them check to see whether you’d be eligible for a bonus or not. I called when I got the platinum card and they told me when I could apply for a new card and be eligible for a bonus in the future.

  3. Does the AmEx Delta Platinum card get entry into the Centurion Lounges? Does it have any of the other Plat benefits such as 2-for-1 business class fares?

  4. Lucky, I applied for the SPG Amex card several weeks ago. How long do I have to wait until I can apply for this card and not be denied? Does Amex have anything set in stone between applications? I’ve got a credit score in the 800s and never been denied a card. Thanks.

  5. The thing that made this offer worth it for me, last time it came around, is that if you have one of these cards you can redeem each mile for a 1-cent credit (in 5,000 point / $50 increments) against a normal paid flight, which is better rate of redemption than I can ever seem to get by redeeming Skymiles in any other fashion. So a 50,000 mile bonus is worth $500 at a minimum.

  6. @ Todd — To clarify, you were approved for the card? If so, your card will automatically be converted into one with the new benefits.

  7. @ Doug — It doesn’t get access to the Centurion Lounges. It has a separate set of benefits.

  8. Lucky,
    I was approved for the SPG Amex card several weeks ago. However, now I want this Amex DL Platinum card and offer. If I apply for this now, will they automatically decline my Amex DL Platinum approval since I just applied for another Amex card several weeks ago? Does Amex have any sort of required wait time between applications of different cards?

  9. @ Todd — Generally you’re best off waiting 30 days between AmEx personal applications, so I’d wait that long. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  10. Lucky,

    Is it possible to sign up for a personal gold and personal plat and get both bonuses? Can you take the same course of action with this business? Thanks.

  11. The Gold Delta SkyMiles offer I received also includes access to Delta Sky Club for $29. Would that count as a Delta purchase to receive the $50 statement credit?

  12. My understanding is that on the personal cards, the “if you’ve had this card before” term is strictly enforced — if you’ve ever had a Platinum Delta SkyMiles Amex (specifically) you cannot get another sign-up bonus. However you could get a Gold Delta SkyMiles Amex bonus if you’ve only ever had the Platinum. And the “if you have any Amex cards” term does not seem to be enforced at all (I have gotten sign-up bonuses on a few Amex cards recently despite being an existing Amex customer).

  13. Ben,

    If I wanted to apply for the Gold and Platinum personal cards, could I and be approved for both? Should I wait a certain amount of time in between applying?

    Thanks for all of your GREAT work!

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