Update: The offer mentioned below is now expired.
Big news: American Express is increasing the introductory bonuses on most of its co-branded Delta credit cards until Tuesday, November 8. The increases apply to both personal and business versions of the cards.
Personal cards offering the increased bonuses include the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, while the business versions are the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express.
The limited-time welcome bonuses, which match the all-time highest ever publically-available bonus offered on these cards, are as follows:
- Gold (the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express): A total of 60,000 Delta SkyMiles (50,000 after spending $2,000 in the first three months of card membership, and an additional 10,000 SkyMiles after spending an additional $1,000 within the first six months).In addition, American Express is offering a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first three months, including tickets, gift card, or onboard purchases. These cards have an annual fee of $95, waived the first year.
- Personal and business versions of the platinum (Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express): 70,000 Delta SkyMiles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership.You’ll also receive a $100 statement credit by making any purchase with Delta. The $195 annual fee on this card is not waived the first year.
Using Delta SkyMiles
Delta SkyMiles remain incredibly useful despite several devaluations over the past few years. Although Delta doesn’t publish its award chart, it’s easy to figure out what the lowest (saver) price for a particular route is, and, especially if you plan your travel a few months in advance, Delta can be generous when it comes to releasing space in the economy cabin.
One-way redemptions start as low as 5,000 SkyMiles for short-haul routes, which can help you save a lot if you’re booking travel last minute.
Another way to use SkyMiles is to fly with Delta’s partners, some of which offer great business class experiences, including Virgin Atlantic, Air France, KLM and China Airlines or China Eastern (although the latter is said to have a better all-around product).
One sweet spot in the SkyMiles program which I enjoy hitting: economy-class redemptions between the U.S. and Europe, which start at just 60,000 SkyMiles round-trip. Availability for those saver-level awards is usually plentiful, and, at peak summer travel season when cash prices are extremely high, that can get you a value of more than 2 cents per SkyMile.
Gold vs. Platinum
There are a few key differences between the two cards, but also a lot of similarities.
Details and benefits of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express include:
- $95 annual fee, waived the first year
- A free checked bag for the cardholder and anyone else on the same reservation
- Priority boarding for everyone on the cardholder’s reservation
- 2x SkyMiles earned on Delta purchases, 1x on everything else
- Discounted access to Delta SkyClub lounges ($29)
Meanwhile, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express offer the same benefits (with a higher annual fee of $195, not waived the first year), plus:
- A companion certificate each year you renew the card, good for any economy ticket within the continental U.S. — that means that when you book a flight for yourself, you can get free second ticket for a companion. This perk alone can be worth more than the annual fee.
- Earn 10,000 bonus miles and MQMs each year you spend $25,000 or more on the card.
Medallion-Qualifying Miles (MQMs)
MQMs are miles that you earn every time you fly with Delta, and are part of how you earn Medallion status with the airline. To earn status, starting with the lowest tier (silver) you need to fly at least 25,000 miles (MQMs) or 30 flight segments a year, AND spend at least $3,000 excluding taxes and fees (Medallion Qualifying Dollars, or MQDs).
However, if you spend at least $25,000 a year on a Delta credit card, the MQD spending requirement is waived for any level of status except Diamond Medallion. That means that all you need to do is meet the MQM or flight segment requirement.
Both versions of the card offer a lot of value for anyone who flies Delta even a few times a year. With bonuses matching the highest ever publically-available, and perks that help offset the annual fees, now is a great time to open one of these cards.
Just remember that you can’t earn the bonus if you’ve had one of the cards before. However, the gold and platinum versions are considered separate products.