Which Delta Amex Sign-Up Bonus Is Best?

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


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Through April 11, 2018, we’re seeing increased welcome bonuses on Delta’s four co-branded Gold & Platinum American Express cards.

Delta Amex Increased Sign-Up Bonuses

These offers are compelling, and among the best we’ve ever seen. The great news is also that you’re eligible for each of the cards, so if you applied for the two Gold cards in the past, you could apply for the Platinum cards this time around, for example (see my previous post about how many Delta Amex cards you can apply for).

With four different bonuses, one question I’ve been asked is which card is best to apply for. Is there a major difference between the personal and business versions, and between the Gold and Platinum versions? Here are my thoughts on that:

There’s virtually no difference between the business and personal version

The personal and business version of the Gold card have the same welcome bonus and annual fee, and the personal and business version of the Platinum card have the same welcome bonus and annual fee:

  • The Gold Delta SkyMiles Personal Card & Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Card 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 Personal Card & Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Card 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 a $195 annual fee

Aside from your intended spend purposes (are you using the card for business or personal purposes?), the only other real difference in deciding between the personal and business version of a particular card is that applying for Amex business cards (whether credit or charge) doesn’t count towards Chase’s 5/24 limit, and usually won’t even count towards your credit score.


Redeem your SkyMiles for travel in Xiamen Air’s 787 business class

Comparing the welcome  bonus of the Gold & Platinum cards

Valuing welcome bonuses is somewhat subjective, so my valuation is based on the following:

  • I value Delta SkyMiles at 1.2 cents each
  • I value the $50-100 statement credit at close to face value, because as I explained yesterday, you can buy a Delta gift card that never expires to satisfy that requirement
  • The tricky thing to value is the 10,000 MQMs that comes with the sign-up bonus on the Platinum cards; this can be hugely valuable if you’re going for status, while it’s virtually worthless if you’re not going for status

With that in mind, let’s crunch some numbers.

The Gold Delta SkyMiles Personal Card & Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Card are each offering:

  • 60,000 SkyMiles upon completing minimum spend, including 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; I value those miles at ~$720
  • A $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within the first three months; I value that at $50
  • The cards have $95 annual fees, waived for the first year

That means I value the welcome bonus on either of these cards at ~$770.

Meanwhile the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Personal Card & Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Card are each offering:

  • 70,000 SkyMiles after spending $3,000 within three months; I value those miles at ~$840
  • A $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within the first three months; I value that at $100
  • 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles after spending $3,000 within three months; the value of that really depends on the person
  • The cards have a $195 annual fee

I value the miles and statement credit at $940, but then you have to subtract the $195 annual fee, which brings the value of the bonus down to ~$745. While the bonus is worth slightly less for someone not going for status with Delta, that’s not factoring in the 10,000 MQMs. If you’re going for status with Delta, then that would be a no brainer.


Status with Delta can help you score upgrades

Bottom line

The sign-up bonuses on all four co-branded Delta Gold & Platinum cards are worth considering, and largely I’d decide which to apply for based on which card you haven’t had before. For someone who hasn’t had any of the cards, and is looking to pick up 1-2 of the cards, my general advice would be as follows:

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Comments

  1. I signed up prior to the increased bonuses (50k after 1k spend), what are the chances I can get matched to the higher offer for the Personal Gold Card? And what method do you suggest for inquiring, chat, call, secure message?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. The Points Guy just released the best/worst US airlines for 2018. Would love to hear your thoughts on the list and whether or not you agree.

  3. @Lucky:

    In several posts now, you mention that applying for the Amex business card will not affect 5/24 status or even personal credit history. Can you please elaborate on how that works? Does it mean that if you have a card with Amex already and you apply for a business product, they will not perform a hard inquiry?

    I am asking because I want to apply for one of the Delta cards and also take advantage of a targeted offer (Citi) I received before the end of March. I have too many inquires in the past six months from cards I added to portfolio, so the less inquires the better. Thanks in advance.

  4. when you try to book a dummy airplane ticket there’s an option for the gold credit card instead of $50 statement credit they will give you 50,000 points with $150 statement credit.

  5. At each anniversary, the Platinum cards offer a free companion ticket which more than offsets the $195 annual fee. I have from both cards.

  6. I have the Gold (baggage fees for a single trip offset the annual fee), while my mother has the Platinum. Beware, the fare buckets which you can use the companion pass for are limited. There have been many years she’s not used her companion pass. If you’re flexible with travel plans, it’s not too difficult to use. BUT Delta’s banking on you letting it expire, which many people do and continue to pay the annual fee each year.

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