Amazing American Express Membership Rewards Promotion: 50% Delta Bonus and 25,000 MQMs

by on November 1, 2010 · 28 comments

in American Express, Delta

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Wow. That’s all I can say. American Express normally runs 10-40% transfer bonuses to Delta, but I’ve never seen anything like this. Before you transfer any points, double-check with Delta and American Express that you are eligible for this offer.

“Once you register, you’ll earn a 50% mileage bonus on all the Membership Rewards® points you transfer into your SkyMiles account by December 15, 2010.
And if you transfer 50,000 points or more, you’ll also receive 25,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs). That’s enough to give you Medallion status and benefits like waived baggage fees, unlimited upgrades, preferred seating, and more.”

So not only do you get a 50% bonus, which is unusually high, but you also get enough Medallion qualifying miles to get you to Silver elite status- or bump you over a certain threshold if you already have a lot of MQMs. This is a huge amount of elite qualifying miles- for example you’d get that many miles for flying LAX-Sydney roundtrip AND LAX-Tokyo roundtrip. Or to get 30,000 MQMs from the Delta Reserve card, you’d need to pay the annual fee of $450 and then spend $60,000 in a calendar year.

Even if these 25,000 won’t push you over to the next elite level, Delta has rollover, so any miles over your current level, but below the next, will rollover to the next year’s qualification. Its always nice to start the year with a healthy balance of Medallion Qualifying Miles.

If you have an American Express Membership Rewards account, but don’t currently have 50,000 points, American Express will let you take out an advance of up to 15,000 points (not available on corporate cards).

If that’s not enough you can buy points for 2.5 cents each, max of 500,000 points a year.

If you don’t have an American Express card, you can get a Gold Card here that comes with a 25,000 point sign-up bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first three months. Offer expires 11/8/2010.

While I generally don’t recommend Amex to Delta transfers, this offer is too lucrative to pass up!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Jonathan

    What are the advantages of an AMEX vs. a Delta AMEX for earning points? With Delta you earn 1 point for 1 dollar spent everywhere. Is that the same for AMEX? So basically a regular AMEX is better than a Delta AMEX, even if you primarily fly Delta?

  • The Points Guy

    Regular Amex Memberhip Rewards are much more valuable and flexible. They can be transferred to many airlines on all of the three main alliances. When you earn Delta Amex miles, they can ONLY be redeemed on Delta, which has a three tier inflated award system.
    The only time Delta Amex’ really make sense is if you need them for the MQMs. The Platinum and Reserve cards give MQMs for spending thresholds. If you need this to make elite status (you can get up to 30,000 MQMs a year from the Reserve), then that value could outweigh the flexibility you lose.
    But in general, regular Amex points are much, much better.

  • Glo

    I used this promotion. If you went to AmEx to x-fer points to Delta, it asked how may points you needed. In my case I entered 150,000. It immedately recalculated x-fer needed to 100,000. Amex and Delta said the bonus would take 25-48 hours to post. … How things changed in 24 hours. Now I am told that the bonus will not post until 4 weeks after the end of the promotion (Nov. 15). This delay in reward was not mentioned on AmEx website or when I contacted them by phone. They have now pulled the promotion from their website. Delta says it is AmEx problem and their emplyees were confused when I called because they are currently running a similiar program that involves x-fers from one Delta frequent flyer account to another and that reward would post immediately.

  • glo

    Check out the American Express offer. It has been pulled from the American Express website.

  • The Points Guy

    The offer is still live. I just did a transfer and the bonus points and MQMs showed up instantly. It may have been taken off Amex’ website, but if you registered for the promo and gave it a day to sync up, you should be good to go.

  • Brent

    Both my wife and I clicked the link, signed up for the offer on Delta and transferred 51,000 points each yesterday. The points showed up immediately, but I’ve yet to see any bonus points or MQMs. If they don’t show up in a couple of days, who do you recommend I reach out to first, AMEX or Delta? Any suggestions/names/numbers to get past the red tape would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for the great tip and the excellent site!

  • The Points Guy

    Delta awards the MQMs, so they’d be the people to contact. If you run into any major difficulties, let me know, but you should get your MQMs in due time. Please report back so others know how your situation panned out, in case they find themselves in the same boat. Thanks!

  • http://[email protected] Brent


    I signed up and transferred 51,000 points on the 12th, and the Bonus Miles and 25,000 MQMs were posted on the 14th. That’s a LOT better than the “4-6 weeks after the promotion ends” small print text!

    Thanks Points Guy for turning me on to such an amazing promotion. I went from ending the year Gold to ending the year Platinum. This rocks.


  • Neverpayretail

    Thanks Points Guy. I had just over 50,100 points on my Amex Card and tranfered for 50K miles yesterday. 50K shown up in my Delta account instantly and 25K Bonus miles shown up today. For Transaction Fee of $30, 75,000 Miles already enough for my trip abroad next year!

  • KJ

    Hey there!

    Just wanted to say that I transferred 50K points from my amex to delta and the bonus points and MQM showed up immediately. I had a question: I now have 64,857 MQM for the year (gold status). I am planning on taking a trip to India (dec 26 – jan 23)…how much better is platinum vs gold? Would you recommend I take a trip just to achieve the next level status? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • The Points Guy

    KJ, I’d personally go for Platinum. The difference between Platinum and Gold is:
    1) Better upgrades. If you travel a lot domestically, you will get more upgrades
    2) Unlimited award redeposits. When you are platinum you can cancel/change award ticket reservations for no fee. A huge benefit to me
    3) Choice benefit- when you hit platinum, you can choose a gift such as gifting silver medallion to a friend, $200 gift card to delta/tiffany/others, 4 System Wide Upgrades

  • LP

    Have any of you all signed up for the promotion and already gotten the bonus miles, but you were not contacted by Delta/Amex originally for this offer? I signed up for the promotion while it was live, because I saw it from this blog (not because I was contacted by Delta). It says in the fine print that in order to be eligible, you have to have been contacted by Delta for the promotion. Just wondering if this is true, before I transfer my points. thanks!

  • The Points Guy

    I wasn’t targeted but it worked like a charm for me. If it let you register, you should be good to go.

  • russ

    You are correct. Unless you received the email direct it wont let you into the program. It will let you register but it really doesn’t work.
    So I transferred 50k and when I went into manage my account it showed up in the 50% program immediately but not this prgram for the 20k gift of MR miles. I went into my promotions and it doesn’t show up and they said they have no record of it. I went back in and re-registered and it said I was already registered.
    I called them on it and I just wasted an hour on the phone with them (Skymiles).
    They essentially said if you didn’t personally get the email you can’t use the program. They said the program was an AMEX generated deal and not Skymiles and you had to be the original target to use it.
    Makes sense. Why would Delta do the Macys deal? Amex makes more sense to have done a deal with Macys. I thought something was up when the offer said if you weren’t a Skymiles member go ahead and sign up.
    Cost me $30 to transfer those when yesterday I had already hit the $99 max.What a rip!

  • The Points Guy

    Russ- you are confusing promotions. LP was curious if he didn’t receive the email whether he’d get the 50% bonus and MQMs- which you absolutely can.

    You are talking about the brand new gift promotion, which states in the T&C “Gifts will be shipped 4 to 6 weeks following the end of the promotion. ”
    So you won’t know if you will get the 20,000 point refund until mid February. To be safe I’d recommend doing that transfer December 16th after this 50% bonus promo is over. That way there is no confusion about which promotion you want.

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  • yolanda mills

    I did fransferre 50.000 reward points to choose the $250.00 Macy’s gift card but don’t see it anywhere that it is confirmed and no one at Delta can tell me if I will receive it or what I choose. They tell me I should have receive an email from them to confirm the gift that was chosen but never did. Very misleading. They did give me the 50% bonus which I did not want . Have enough miles in the account.
    Please tell me where to go next. Amex or delta

  • The Points Guy

    Hi Yolanda- they say the gifts will be mailed 4-6 weeks from the end of the promotion, so you may still get it. I agree- these promotions are very confusing and they don’t give an option for which one you want. This is a joint Amex/Delta promo so it doesn’t matter who you contact. For both the promo T&C list contacts: “Please refer Delta customer service representative to 973641; American Express Representative to S659:0004.”
    Good luck- let us know how it works out.

  • Cameron

    Registered for the 25k MQM/50% transfer bonus. Transferred 50k points from Amex which hit my Delta account immediately. Have not seen the bonus hit yet so will give it a couple of days and then call Delta or AMEX. Read the other messages to determine if this was normal but can’t really decide? Seems like most are saying the bonus is hitting immediately.

  • The Points Guy

    Cameron- you should be fine. Check tomorrow, but almost everyone has gotten the point bonus and MQMs within a day or so.

  • Cameron

    Thanks, love the site – and everything posted a few hours ago. Almost 24 hours exactly, that’s a great promotion. Tipped me over the line back to Platinum. whew…that was a close one – saves me from a trip to australia to keep status

  • Steve A.

    Hello PG. I did not have enough miles at the 12/15 deadline to take advantage of the 50K transfer from MR to Delta. My question is do you think this promtion will be repeated again in 2011? I have the MR points now but was wondering your opinion on this.
    Thanks in Advance.

  • The Points Guy

    To be honest, I doubt they will run this again. The normal transfer bonus is 10-40% and no MQMs. However, I was surprised they ran such a monster promo this time, so who knows what’s up next. Whatever happens, I’ll be covering it here!

  • MSGirl

    Received an email late today with very similar promotion. Registered for promo with Delta and completed trnasfer fron MR. Transferred miles, bonus miles and MQM have ready posted to my account.

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  • LookingforMQM

    I have started travelling from SFO to ATL and will be doing that for next several month’s. Just wondering.. has anyone seen a deal/promotion for reserve card (besides the Standard 10K MQM miles + 30K if you spend $60K)?
    Will appreciate help/information

  • The Points Guy

    @LookingforMQM, I have not recently seen a better promotion- while some Amex cards have rapidly changing promos, the Reserve terms rarely get changed. But you can be sure if there is a change, I’ll cover it here!

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