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Through November 8, 2017, there are increased sign-up bonuses on Delta’s co-branded American Express cards, as follows:
- The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express & Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express are each offering 50,000 SkyMiles after spending $2,000 within three months, plus 10,000 additional SkyMiles after spending an additional $1,000 within the first six months, plus a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within the first three months; the cards have $95 annual fees, which are waived for the first year
- The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express & Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express are each offering 70,000 SkyMiles plus 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles after spending $3,000 within three months, plus a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within the first three months; the cards have $195 annual fees
While we’ve seen some increased sign-up bonuses on Delta Amex cards in the past, these bonuses are as good as they get. Personally the bonuses are especially interesting to me this year, as I start to shift some of my loyalty to Delta. I’m currently completing a SkyMiles Platinum Medallion challenge, and am trying to decide what status to go for next year.
How the Delta Platinum Amex can help you earn status
While the Gold Delta SkyMiles Personal Card and the Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Card seem ideal for the casual traveler, the current offer on the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Personal Card and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Card seems especially compelling for someone who is going for status with Delta.
In addition to the huge sign-up bonus of 70,000 Delta SkyMiles per card, you can also earn 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles per card when you spend $4,000 within three months.
If you were to apply for both cards and plan the spend so that it’s completed in early 2018 (which is possible since it’s less than three months until the end of the year), you could start off 2018 with 20,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles just for completing the minimum spend.
On top of that, you could earn further Medallion Qualifying Miles based on the spend you put on the card. Specifically, for both the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Personal Card and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Card you can earn:
- 10,000 bonus MQMs after spending $25,000 in a calendar year, a further 10,000 bonus MQMs after spending a total of $50,000 in a calendar year
- 10,000 bonus redeemable miles after spending $25,000 in a calendar year, a further 10,000 bonus miles after spending a total of $50,000 in a calendar year
- A Medallion Qualifying Dollar waiver for Silver, Gold, or Platinum status by spending at least $25,000 on the card in a calendar year (you now need to spend $250,000 to get a waiver for Diamond)
Put another way, if you spent $50,000 on a Delta Platinum Card for non-bonused spend you’d earn 70,000 redeemable miles plus 20,000 bonus MQMs. You could do that on both the personal and business versions of the card, meaning you could earn up to 40,000 MQMs that way, in addition to the 20,000 MQMs that you can earn as part of the sign-up bonus.
That means acquiring the two cards and spending a total of $100,000 could net you 60,000 MQMs, which is nearly enough for Platinum status alone. I’m not saying it’s worth putting that much spend on the cards, but just demonstration how many MQMs you could earn.
How I plan to use this to earn status
I’m just finishing up a Delta status challenge, and already have a discounted business class ticket booked to Beijing for early next year, which will earn me over 20,000 MQMs. Assuming I apply for both versions of the Delta Platinum Card and complete the spend at the correct time (which I plan to do, as I haven’t had either card before), I’ll already be at over 40,000 MQMs.
If I have both cards, I could essentially earn 10,000 bonus MQMs per $25,000 of credit card spend, up to 40,000 additional MQMs. I wouldn’t put $100,000 of spend on my Delta Amex cards, but if I did, I would have already qualified for Platinum status.
Under the old system that might have been worthwhile as a way of earning Diamond status, but nowadays you’d have to spend $250,000 on co-branded Delta cards to get a revenue waiver for Diamond status, so that might not be worth it anymore.
However, the great thing is that Delta offers rollover MQMs, meaning that any MQMs you earn above the status you qualify for rolls over to the following year. So for example, if I finish 2018 with 125,000 MQMs but don’t qualify for Diamond due to the revenue requirement, I’d start 2019 with 50,000 MQMs. That’s pretty compelling as well, especially as the main thing I’m trying to get out of Delta status is some benefits when traveling domestically.
While all four increased Delta sign-up bonuses are great, the current bonuses on the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Personal Card and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Card are most interesting to me. I haven’t had either card before, and being able to earn up to 20,000 MQMs as part of the sign-up bonus is pretty awesome, in addition to being able to earn further MQMs through actual spend. That doesn’t even account for the 70,000 bonus SkyMiles you can earn as part of the sign-up bonus.
I really feel like I’m making the switch to Delta a bit too late here, and am realizing that it must have been fairly easy to earn Diamond status in the past.