Some Delta Amex Card Members Can Now Earn More MQMs Through Credit Card Spend

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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One of the positive aspects of the Delta SkyMiles program is that you can earn quite a few miles towards elite status through credit card spend. This opportunity has been available on Delta’s Platinum and Reserve Cards, which are their premium cards with annual fees of $195 and $450, respectively.

Historically you can earn up to 20,000 MQMs per year with the Delta Platinum Cards, and up to 30,000 MQMs per year with the Delta Reserve Cards. Many card members are reporting that they’ve just received offers to earn up to 50% more MQMs through Delta Amex spend this year.

Specifically, for the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, members can historically earn:

  • 10,000 bonus MQMs and 10,000 bonus miles after spending $25,000 in a year
  • An additional 10,000 bonus MQMs and 10,000 bonus miles after spending $50,000 in a year

Then this year some members can earn an additional 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 bonus miles after spending $75,000 in a year, for a total of up to 30,000 MQMs and 30,000 bonus miles.

For the Delta Reserve Credit Card, members can historically earn:

  • 15,000 bonus MQMs and 15,000 bonus miles after spending $30,000 in a year
  • An additional 15,000 bonus MQMs and 15,000 bonus miles after spending $60,000 in a year

Then this year some members can earn an additional 15,000 MQMs and 15,000 bonus miles after spending $90,000 in a year, for a total of up to 45,000 MQMs and 45,000 bonus miles.

Here’s what the terms say regarding this offer:

This special offer is exclusive to 2018 and may be discontinued in subsequent calendar years at American Express and Delta’s sole discretion.

There’s no guarantee the promotion will return, though it’s written in a way that suggests that this may become a permanent feature.

The terms don’t mention anything about this promotion being targeted, though the only way to know about it is if you’ve been emailed, so I suspect this may be targeted (I’m working on getting clarification). Furthermore, it seems like this is only available on the personal versions of the cards, and not the business versions.

Some find it to be worthwhile to spend money on a Delta co-branded credit card to earn status, while others feel like it’s not worth it, since there are so many cards that offer more valuable points.

This past year one big benefit was taken away from co-branded Delta cards. Previously spending $25,000 on the card in a calendar year would earn you a waiver of the MQD (Medallion Qualifying Dollars) requirement for status. While that’s still the case for Silver, Gold, and Platinum members, Diamond members need to now spend $250,000 to get that waiver.

So if someone is going to spend $250,000 to get that waiver, it’s nice that they’ve added these thresholds. At the same time, if you’re not going to spend $250,000 and are going for Diamond then it’s less worthwhile than ever before to earn extra MQMs, since you’ll still have to spend the full $15,000 required to earn Diamond status.

Speaking of Delta Amex Cards, keep in mind that through April 11, 2018, four popular Delta Amex products are offering increased sign-up bonuses, which are a great way to pick up Delta miles:

  • 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

Bottom line

I’m guessing that big spend on Delta Amex cards may be down this year due to the changes they made to the MQD requirement for Diamond members, so they’re seeing if this increases engagement. As of now it appears like this promotion may be targeted, though hopefully this is expanded into a permanent feature.

(Tip of the hat to Gaurav)

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Comments

  1. Hey Ben, off topic but potentially good Amex offer combo in my account today, spend 1,500 on Air New Zealand, get $300 back, and then spend $500 at a Hilton property in Australia, get $75 back. I had it on 3 out of 4 cards, my Plat, PRG and Blue Business Plus.

    So potentially get $600 of two business class tickets, at 5x and 3x respectively, and then up to $225 off 1,500 in hotel spend. Not the best deal I’ve seen, but not bad either.

  2. There was also spend 1,000 at a Hilton in Hawaii, get 200 off. I think they all overlap, time wise. If you have the time and money, could be quite the Amex offer trip.

  3. Are you sure this isn’t open to everyone? The terms don’t cite it isn’t….Also doesn’t require a login to see the promotion…

  4. Question about the last image/graphic in this post: Can I really opt to take $2250 MQD *instead* of the MQD waiver? I will be close to achieving $15000 MQD through Delta/partner spend this year and would rather take the $2250 MQD rather than a Platinum MQD waiver. Is this an option (or am I misunderstanding the graphic)?

  5. I think you nailed it with your reason for decreased spend. I have been a Diamond since inception with a Reserve card , and have drastically reduced spending on my Delta Amex Reserve, and moved it to CSR.
    I do not care about the additional MQM if I have no chance of hitting Diamond, and can earn the MQM needed for Platinum by flying , so once I hit $30K , I am done with the card , where in the past I easily reached $75K or more

  6. It wasn’t advertised on my AmEx home screen for my AmEx Delta Reserve (personal) card, but the link confirmed that I was eligible.

  7. @Bob – I logged into my AmEx account on my browser then clicked on the hyperlink above titled “this year some members can earn” below the photo of the Delta tail livery. It took me to an AmEx page saying “You’re automatically enrolled in this exclusive offer” which showed the same spend/earn graphic. Hope this helps

  8. “I’m guessing that big spend on Delta Amex cards may be down this year due to the changes they made to the MQD requirement for Diamond members”.

    Hah! Absolutely. As a Delta Diamond (for the last time, I suspect) I used to put everything on my Delta AX. Their change in policy was what drove me to this site and my awakening to the benefits of playing the points game 🙂

    So far, I’ve put $10K’s on OTHER cards this year, rather than my Delta AX. And my loyalty to flying Delta — particularly internationally where the options are so much better — is gone. My current Delta AX card expires in a few months and I will NOT be renewing.

  9. This is the wording copied from the email I received:
    “As a valued Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card Member, you are eligible to earn an additional 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 10,000 bonus miles on top of your usual Miles Boost® of 20,000 MQMs and 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $75,000 in purchases.”

    Assuming all Card Members are valued, it should be open to everyone.
    As a side note I did earn my 20,000 MQM & bonus miles last year.

  10. Started playing the Delta MQM / credit card game a few years ago. This shenanigan will most likely cause me to switch to American Airlines or United. It’s funny because I spent $60K on my reserve card in 2017 but less than $90k– didn’t receive the ‘special offer’ for 2018. True enough- I don’t fly much, but I do appreciate status, would probably spend $90K this year to get 45K MQM.
    I have enjoyed flying Delta, and the perks of the card, and I am playing their game -yet they snub me?
    Once again Delta shows its myopic business practices.
    Delta is a true Debbie Downer, and it’ll be Delta DONE for me– heck- I’m tired of ATL airport anyway… 🙁

  11. Ben and others: Has anyone heard whether the offer is restricted to the personal card or if it also extends to the Business Delta Reserve?

    And what does one do if an AmEx card rep over the phone provides incorrect information? Are they bound by it?

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