American Express Delta 50% Bonus and 25,000 MQM Update

by on January 25, 2011 · 40 comments

in American Express, Delta

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Update: The offer mentioned below for the Amex Platinum Card has expired. View the current offer here.

So if you don’t know, there are two concurrent American Express Membership Rewards to Delta transfer bonuses.

Everyone is eligible for the 30% Bonus (expires March 31, 2011) .

First time US transferees are eligible for 50% plus 25,000 MQMs when transferring 50,000 or more points (expires May 31, 2011). If you need Amex points, you can get 50,000 for spending $1,000 within three months with the Amex Platinum card ($450 annual fee).

To confirm that your account is registered, log into your Skymiles account and then go to Skymiles -> Manage my account -> View my Skymiles promotions. If you are paranoid that you won’t get the credit, take a screenshot and save it so you can show you were registered.

Some people on Flyertalk have reported getting both the 30% bonus AND the 50% bonus & 25k MQMs. It seems if they registered first for the 30% bonus, then the 50%, let them sync up for a day or two, and then did the transfers; the bonus miles/MQMs posted instantly. I can’t guarantee that method will work, but it’s worth a shot.

If you are “not eligible” for the 50%  bonus because you’ve done a transfer in the past, then you can simply create a new Skymiles account, under a random name or for a family member/friend. Note: you won’t be able to combine miles (unless you want to pay transfer fees or risk an account audit), but you will be able to take advantage of the 50% (and possibly 30%) bonuses.

So if you already have Medallion status, do something nice and set your family member/friend up with a Skymiles account and transfer the 50,000+ points. Then book your award from that account since you can book award tickets for anyone,  and your family member/friend has Silver elite status (free bags, priority seating, upgrades, mileage bonuses, etc) until February 2013. Not a bad deal!

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express.  Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.  This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

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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  • Sam

    Called and confirmed with Delta Promotions, you can have more than one Skymile account under your name, no need to open under family name or random name. You can transfer miles into the second Skymiles account and earn the MQMs , however you can not merge the accounts.

  • MK

    Your outline mentions that the silver is good til Feb 2013, is that a typo or do silver members get two years

    Thanks Great Site

  • The Points Guy

    Hi Mike-
    If you qualify for elite status in 2011 it is good for ALL of 2012 and expires in Feb 2013 (unless you requalify in 2012). For example. most people qualify towards the end of the year, so it wouldn’t be fair if it expired a couple months later- so Delta actually lets you have the sttaus as soon as you earn it and then for the entire next calendar year + 2 months grace period.

  • MK

    Thank you. I just signed up for the Amex Express Plantinum for the 50,000 reward with 1,000 spent.

    I am planning on going to Istanbul in Nov of 2011 and return from BCN. I have 80,000 american airlines miles and a $1,000 voucher. However I was unable to book the exit row seat on the Iberia segment from BCN to MIA or the exit row seat on BA from LON to IST as by booking through American is a code share and subject to 24 hour prior depature rule.

    I will also have 75,000 delta miles as soon as I can get it done.

    I understand you have a service to help people. What are you charges and do you think you would be able to help me I am 6’4″ and as you know exit rows or upgrades are necessary for such long flights.

    At the moment I am trying to sell my vouchers and then book the Premium Voyager on Air France. Their cost for 2 people is 2,742.00 versus a Delta ticket for two for $1,860.00

    Again Great Site.

  • The Points Guy

    Hi Mike- I sent you an email, but you have a bunch of options. You can book AF Premium economy and then use miles to upgrade to business. Or buy Delt and get exit row seats (which you will be able to select as a silver medallion if you transfer 50k to Delta and get the 25k MQMs).
    We can find something that works. Trust me, I am 6’7″, so I completely understand where you are coming from- regular coach seats (barring an entire row to myself) are not an option for me

  • MG

    Will AMEX card charge transfer fee as well when I transfer 50000 point to my Delta account?


  • The Points Guy

    MG- per Amex: “We charge this fee to offset the excise tax we must pay on transfers. For each point that you transfer into a frequent flyer program of a U.S. airline, a fee of $0.0006 per point will be charged to your Card account, with a maximum fee of $99.”

    A 50k MR transfer would equal a $30 fee

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  • Heather

    Ok, this looks like a great deal, but my AMEX card is a HHonors card, and this card is not part of the American Express Membership Rewards program. So, which AMEX card would you recommend I sign up for to take advantage of the Delta transfer?

  • The Points Guy

    You need 50k amex Points to get the bonus, so getting an Amex Platinum card is the quickest way- 50,000 points when you spend $1000 within 3 months. The delta promo ends may 31 so plenty of time to get the signup bonus. The plat card is $450, but comes with a ton of benefits

  • Heather

    Thanks. I searched for that 50,000 bonus promo if you spend $1000, but do not see it for the Platinum card. Do you have a link to a page that shows this? Thank you.

  • The Points Guy
  • J Brooks

    How does 30% stack up against Delta’s normal offerings? No rush to redeem, but wondering how long you might expect 40-50% bonus to be away (like in Dec).

  • David

    I just got a letter from AmEx enticing me to sign up for the Gold Premier Rewards Card with a 50,000 membership rewards points bonus (when spending $500 in first three months.) I’m wondering if you think this is worthwhile, particularly with Delta’s current transfer bonus which I’d love to take advantage of.

    I’ve also considered Delta’s AmEx card in the past when they’ve sent me seemingly lucrative offers. Currently Delta’s offer of 25,000 points doesn’t seem so great considering others that they’ve had in the past. Do you think it’s worth waiting for a good Delta promotion? If I were to only get one, which would you recommend? I’m not interested in the Platinum Card because of the annual fee.

    I’m concerned that getting multiple cards in a short period of time and/or transferring points will negatively affect my credit score. Do you know anything about that? Your help is greatly appreciated!

  • The Points Guy

    David- 50k for the Gold Card is an excellent offer, especially if you value Delta miles and MQMs.

    Don’t do the Delta Amex card- your points will be locked there, whereas with a regular Gold Amex, you have the ability to transfer to a number of different partners, often at good bonuses.

    As for the credit impact, you should be fine as long as you don’t need to apply for a big mortgage in the near future. You may notice some inquiries, but they should only affect the score a couple of points and they drop off after time.
    Transferring points has absolutely no effect on your credit.

  • David

    Great, thank you for your advice!

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  • Craig

    Does first time transferees mean you have NEVER transferred points fromAmEx to Delta, or just mean the first time for this offer?

  • Alexis

    Yikes! I didn’t know about the 50% bonus + 25 k miles… I only knew about the 30% bonus, & “tested the waters” by transferring 5,000 miles. Woe is me. I have 50k miles in Amex Rewards and would love to turn that in to 50k + 25k bonus + 25k = looks like 100k to me. Any thoughts on how I can get around the first time transfer rule? (I understand from this thread that I can open a new account w/ Delta, but it would be easier if I could get the “first time” rule waived, and I’d love to be able to combine with the 60k+ I already have in my Delta account.)
    thanks for what you do.

  • Jeremy

    TPG, first thank you so much for all of your great advice. I was able to sign up for the 50k AMEX Platinum bonus and transferred to Delta for the 50% bonus earlier this month. Today my wife signed up for the AMEX Gold 50k promo you posted about and was approved. I’m thinking that I could sign up for a new Delta Skymiles account and have her transfer her points into that account once she gets her card and then merge the two Skymiles accounts. That would result in my primary Skymiles account having 150k miles with 50k MQMs. Am I missing something or would that really work?

  • Esque

    Am I correct in inferring, from following various links, that the 50k AMEX Platinum bonus is no longer active, and the bonus has gone down to 25k?

  • The Points Guy

    The official offer is 25,000, but you may be able to call in and get an extra 25,000-50,000 points as I outlined in this post

  • Dave

    I currently have 230,000 american express points and have just signed up for the delta gold card with a 25,000 additional bonus coming. Do you think it is worth transferring all of the 230,000 for the 115,000 additional miles that would come from the transfer? I primarily travel with Alaska Air and the majority of of my miles are there but having Delta miles would provided traveling flexability for international flights.

  • Sherry

    I live in Atlanta, and I am not a frequent flyer.
    I have a Gold AmEx, and did the transfer a three months back and earned the 25K Medallion Miles, earning Silver Medallion Status.
    We got a Delta Platinum AmEX card then, so now we have both cards.
    We would have sprung for a Plat AmEx if we flew more than a couple times a year, and especially if we were going to travel to Europe with an regularity.
    But as we just moved a year ago, we are not doing much traveling.
    It was my understanding that if we charged $25K on the Delta card, we would retain the Medallion status for another year.
    In truth, the awards and benefits are not exactly crystal clear.
    I flew to Indiana in March and later to NYC, and both times the Medallion status made a big difference in the quality of traveling. Both to and from Atlanta I was upgraded–just with SILVER!
    (I did select my flights in NYC based on the ones where it looked like I there would be a high livelihood of upgrading.)
    I would love to not only maintain Medallion Status but to hopefully somehow get up to Gold.
    It seems that once you’re Gold rather than just Silver, you’re able to earn so much more, and get many more benefits.
    We are able to spend over $25K on a card.
    Any advice?
    we hope in the next year to be able to Europe.
    That would be the time to think about a a Plat. AmEx???
    But it seems a loyalty card might be still a good bet?
    Novice at this so any help you can offer would be much appreciated.
    Thanks for your great blog and your time!
    Sherry in Atlanta

  • The Points Guy

    @Sherry- the Platinum Delta card benefits are listed here:
    “If in any calendar year your Eligible Spending on your Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card is $25,000 or more, you will be awarded 10,000 Miles Boost(SM) Medallion Qualification Miles (“MQMs” as defined in the Delta SkyMiles Membership Guide and Program Rules), and if in that same calendar year your Eligible Spending on your Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card is $50,000 or more, you will be awarded an additional 10,000 Miles Boost MQMs (“Additional MQMs”).”
    So max, you will get 20,000 MQMs in a year which is 5,000 short to retain Silver.

    If you want to discuss your strategy in depth on the phone, I offer phone consulttions and award booking services:

  • sherry

    thanks, Points Guy

  • Laurie

    Yes, I just clicked on your platinum AmEX link and it is showing just $25k bonus.. have they changed it?

  • Debra Zimmerman

    I noticed that there is also a 50% bonus special right now on transferring Delta Sky Miles points between friends and family members.
    Since I am not eligible for the Membership Rewards 50% transfer, can I transfer 100,000 miles to my boyfriend’s Delta account, so he gets 150,000 points, and then have him transfer 75,000 to mine so I get a 50% bonus on those miles? Its a great deal if I can do it!!!

  • MJL

    Is there any bonus on SPG transfer to Delta?

  • Alexis

    Thanks for all your great info.

    I was able to open a new Delta Sky Miles account and get the bonus, transferring 50k miles from Amex Gold (which were a sign-up bonus). I also got the 25k MQMs — didn’t realize that they are not separate (I thought I was going to get 100k total, but it’s 75 k total, 25k of which are MQM which qualifies me for lowest grade of Medallion status)

  • The Points Guy

    @Debbie- you can, but it’ll cost you $1,000ish to get those 50,000 extra points- 2 cents a mile isnt the best deal

    @MJL- no bonus SPG to Delta besides the regular SPG bonus of 25% per 20,000 transferred (I don’t recommend transferring SPG to DELTA)

    @Alexis- they are separate. You get 75,000 Redeemable miles PLUS 25,000 MQMs.

  • flyatlanta

    For Alexis’s questions, I had the same issue. I only got 75000 total including 25000 MQMs. I called Diamond Desk and talked to CSR as well as the supervisor, it doesn’t get me to any where. I asked for marketing department for promotion T&C and they only suggest me write complaint.

    Just about to do that. It is frustrating even the Delta CSRs are not clear about the T&C of its own promotion

  • The Points Guy

    @Flyatlanta- What is unclear? its a 50% bonus (50% of 50,000 transferred is 25,000 so 25,000 plus 50,000 = 75,000).

    The MQM bonus is separate. MQMs are NOT the same as Skymiles. They are elite miles which only count towards elite status. Medallion Qualifying Mile.

  • Alexis

    “Up against the barrier of a common language,” as Dylan Thomas said (speaking of Americans & Brits). You get 75k miles that you can fly with– and 25k miles which are ONLY good towards Medallion status. We who have not had Medallion or other exalted status take a while to get the concept of “miles” which can’t be used to fly with– but we learn.

  • Dave

    Hey Points Guy, I need 4,000 MQM miles to keep my Gold Medallion for next year. I see where I can now purchase MQM miles but wondered if there is another way to acheive this.

  • Anonymous

    Check my posts from this week- have written several posts about getting mqms without flying

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