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Since early March, Delta’s co-branded American Express cards have been offering some of their best welcome bonuses ever. These increased bonuses are limited time, and expire on April 11, 2018. That means you have about a week remaining to take advantage of these excellent offers.
If you’ve been considering applying for one (or two) of these cards then the clock is ticking, and I’d recommend applying as soon as possible.
- The Gold Delta SkyMiles Personal Card & Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Card are 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
While Delta SkyMiles aren’t my favorite mileage currency, these offers are still worth considering. If nothing else, SkyMiles can be redeemed for one cent each towards the cost of a Delta flight (more on that below), meaning that a 60,000-70,000 mile welcome bonus gets you $600-700 worth of travel on Delta.
Here are the basics you need to know about these cards:
Should you apply for the Gold or Platinum Delta Amex?
If you don’t have any Delta cards yet, are you better off applying for the Gold or Platinum version of the card? If you’re going for status with Delta, I’d say the Platinum is a great option, given that you get 10,000 MQMs with the welcome bonus, and have the opportunity to earn more MQMs with spend.
But if it’s the miles you’re after, I’d say the Gold is the better option, as you’re earning 60,000 miles upon completing qualifying purchases, with the annual fee waived the first year.
Regardless of which card you apply for, you can earn a statement credit by making a Delta purchase within the first three months.
Redeem Delta SkyMiles for Air France business class
How does the $50-100 statement credit work?
The Gold versions of the card offer up to a $50 statement credit, while the Platinum versions of the card offer up to a $100 statement credit. In both cases you need a qualifying Delta transaction:
- Any purchase made directly through Delta will trigger the statement credit; you don’t actually have to spend $50 or $100
- 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)
Examples of purchases that would trigger a statement credit include paying the taxes on an award ticket, paying a checked bag fee, buying a snack or drink on a Delta flight, purchasing a Delta SkyClub day pass, or purchasing a Delta gift card. You can come out ahead quite nicely with this benefit.
Buying a SkyClub day pass would trigger the statement credit
How you can redeem Delta SkyMiles towards the cost of a ticket
There are still instances where it can make a lot of sense to redeem SkyMiles towards premium cabin award tickets. However, I think there’s value in looking at the least value you should be getting out of a points currency as well.
This is a unique feature of the SkyMiles program. Specifically, if you have a Delta 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. The Pay With Miles benefit is available exclusively to those with select Delta co-branded credit cards, and even elite members without the credit card don’t have access to this benefit.
The best part is that when you redeem miles using this feature you’re still eligible for complimentary elite upgrades, you’re still eligible to earn MQMs and MQDs, and you can even earn redeemable miles for the portion of the ticket you paid cash for.
Like I said, this isn’t personally how I’d want to redeem SkyMiles, but it does establish a nice minimum for the value you can get out of the miles.
These Delta Amex welcome bonuses can earn you a lot of travel on Delta
Who is eligible to apply for these Delta Amex cards?
Here are the general restrictions you should be aware of if applying for these cards:
- You can have a maximum of five American Express credit cards, not including charge cards, which are cards like The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, and the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express; it doesn’t matter how the business and personal cards are split up
- All four of these are considered separate products, so you can apply for any of the cards that you haven’t had before
- Amex typically only lets you apply for two of their credit cards every 90 days
- See this post for what you need to know about applying for Amex business cards
Redeem Delta SkyMiles for Virgin Australia business class
The welcome bonuses on the Delta Amex cards are as good as they get. If you don’t yet have the Gold Delta SkyMiles Personal Card, Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Card, Platinum Delta SkyMiles Personal Card, and/or Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Card, I’d seriously consider applying. You can potentially earn the welcome bonuses for two of these cards during the remaining promotion period, for up to 140,000 bonus Delta SkyMiles.