How To Use The Delta Amex Statement Credit

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Through April 11, 2018, we’re seeing increased sign-up bonuses on Delta’s co-branded American Express cards:

One aspect of these sign-up bonuses that confuses some people is the statement credits:

How exactly does that statement credit work? Here are the basics you need to know:

  • Any purchase made directly through Delta will trigger the statement credit; you don’t actually have to spend $50 or $100, but rather a $1 purchase would do the trick (if you were able to find something that cheap)
  • The credit will be issued within 8-12 weeks of the eligible purchase, though in practice it typically posts much faster than that
  • You can only earn that statement credit once per card
  • It doesn’t matter who you’re making a purchase for, as long as it’s billed to your Delta credit card (so you could pay award ticket taxes for someone else’s ticket, for example)

What are some practical ways to make a Delta purchase with your new Delta credit card, without actually buying a ticket?

  • You can pay the taxes on an award ticket, as that starts at just $5.60
  • You can pay a checked bag fee or upgrade your seat
  • You can purchase a drink or snack onboard your next Delta flight
  • You can purchase a Delta SkyClub membership or day pass
  • If you have SkyClub access, you can buy a premium drink in the SkyClub
  • You can purchase a Delta eGift card, which come in a minimum quantity of $50; there’s no fee to purchase it, and the gift card never expires

delta-statement-credit

What wouldn’t qualify?

  • Purchasing a Gogo wifi pass on a Delta flight, since that’s billed by Gogo and not Delta
  • Purchasing anything from the Delta Shop, since that’s not billed by Delta

Lastly, just to be thorough, here are the terms & conditions associated with the $50 statement credit on the Gold personal card:

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, starting from the date your account is approved. 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 earn the $50 statement credit, your Card account must not be canceled or past due at the time of fulfillment. Purchases to meet the spend requirement do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers (balance transfers are not available on Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Cards), cash advances, purchases of travelers checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards; person-to-person payments, or purchases of other cash equivalents. Additional terms and restrictions apply. You can earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase on your Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership, starting from the date your account is approved. In rare instances, your period to make your first 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). If your application is not received by 4/11/2018, we will not process your application even if we later receive your application. American Express reserves the right to modify or revoke offer at any time.

Bottom line

To me the statement credit offered as part of the sign-up bonus isn’t a gimmick. At a minimum, you’re getting a $50 Delta gift card as part of the sign-up bonus, since you can just buy a $50 gift card to trigger the bonus. If applying for the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Personal Card or Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Card you could buy a $50 Delta gift card and then get a $100 statement credit, which means you’d basically be getting a $50 Delta gift card plus $50 cash.

When valuing the sign-up bonus on this card, definitely keep this in mind, as it should be worth pretty close to face value.

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Comments

  1. One and done benefits do not appeal to most folks. It’s a gimmick. Sustained benefits are what people want

  2. You can also just buy a premium drink in the Delta SkyClub – that triggers the statement credit.

  3. Can be a gimmick if you don’t even plan to book a flight immediately since it has to be done in the first 3 months. Besides is this signup bonus even good? Haven’t there been better…

  4. @ Fay — If you’re not planning a flight you can just buy a gift card that you can use towards a Delta flight at any point in the future. That’s why I don’t consider it a gimmick at all.

  5. It says that “purchases of gift cards; person-to-person payments, or purchases of other cash equivalents,” do not qualify for the statement credit. Are you aware of some exception that allows delta gift cards to qualify as opposed to other gift cards. I’m aware that in years past, the delta gift card idea worked, but if you look at old blogs on it, Delta has clearly changed the wording to encompass gift cards.

    Are you aware weather or not anyone has gotten a statement credit based on buying a delta gift card, THIS YEAR, with the new wording?

  6. I signed up for the Platinum Delta card on 3/16/2018. I was told, by the Delta representative, I would need to by a inexpensive item from Delta to receive the $100 statement credit. Delta does not sell merchandise. I did see on this website that a gift card would apply for the credit. I purchase a $50 gift card. I have since read the fine print and a gift card does not apply. I wish I had never signed up for this card. The Delta representative sold me under the bus!

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