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As I first wrote about a couple of weeks ago, through July 5, 2017, American Express is offering the biggest ever sign-up bonuses on their co-brand Delta credit cards. These include the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card and Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card. Specifically, the details of the bonuses are as follows:
- The Gold Delta SkyMiles Card is offering 60,000 SkyMiles after spending $3,000 within four months, plus a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase within the first four months; the card’s $95 annual fee is waived for the first year
- The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card is offering 70,000 SkyMiles plus 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles after spending $4,000 within four months, plus a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase within the first four months; the card has a $195 annual fee
There are many things that frustrate me about the SkyMiles program, including their lack of transparency and award charts, and the changes they make without notice. However, to me that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of these great offers, which are the best offers we’ve seen on the cards.
One good thing about SkyMiles, unlike some other points currencies, is that they have a legitimate “floor” value, in my opinion.
Personally I think redeeming SkyMiles for international premium cabin redemptions still represents the best use of these points. You can redeem 70,000 miles for a one-way business class ticket to Europe, or 80,000 miles for a one-way business class ticket to Asia, for example. However, for those who don’t want to search for this saver space, you can also redeem SkyMiles as cash towards the cost of a Delta ticket.
If you have Delta’s co-branded credit card then you can redeem SkyMiles for one cent each towards the cost of a ticket, in increments of 5,000 miles.
For example, take the below ~$199 ticket between New York and Los Angeles. If you have Delta’s co-branded credit card you could redeem 20,000 miles to cover the cost of the ticket, or redeem 15,000 miles and pay $49.20, etc.
In other words, the 60,000 bonus miles offered by the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card give you at least $600 worth of travel on Delta, while the 70,000 bonus miles being offered by the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card give you at least $700 worth of travel on Delta.
That doesn’t account for the $50 and $100 statement credits (respectively) offered by the card for Delta purchases, which would potentially get you even more value.
Again, there are much better ways to use those miles. I’d still rather redeem them for premium cabin international tickets. However, for those who don’t want to deal with Delta’s lack of award charts, you can at least get a penny per point towards the cost of cash tickets. So assuming you’re able to apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card and/or Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card, I’d seriously consider doing so.