Last Week to Take Advantage of Amex – Delta 50% Transfer and 25,000 MQM Bonus

by on May 25, 2011 · 60 comments

in American Express, Delta

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Just a friendly reminder that May 31, 2011 is the last day to take advantage of the showstopping 50% transfer bonus and 25,000 MQMs when you transfer 50,000+ American Express Membership Rewards points to Delta. Register here.

There is a substantial Q&A in the comments section of my original post, but here are some key things to take into consideration:
1) You can transfer the Amex points from anyone’s account – all that matters is the Delta SkyMiles account is registered in order to get the bonus. For example, I could “send” 10 people 50,000 points each from my Amex account and as long as each was eligible and registered for the bonus, they’d get the 50% and MQMs.
2) 25,000 MQMs will get you Silver elite status until February 2013. Silver will get you domestic upgrades, 25% mileage bonus, free exit row/ premium seats and overall better customer service.
3) This promotion has nothing to do with transferring Delta SkyMiles to other Delta accounts. It’s confusing because there is a 50% transfer bonus between Delta accounts, but this promotion is only for American Express Membership Rewards transfers to Delta.
4) If you don’t have any Membership Rewards points, but have an American Express card, you can open a Platinum card today (application link), and then immediately advance yourself 50,000 points and transfer them to Delta. Once the 25,000 sign-up bonus posts, you’ll need to accrue 25,000 points over the next year to pay back the advance. If you don’t gain back enough points, you get charged 2.5 cents a point. FYI: most other Membership Rewards cards (except Centurion) will only allow you to advance 15,000 points, so you probably won’t be able to get enough to get to 50,000 points unless you get the Platinum card. Once approved, American Express will overnight you the card, so you can have the account set up by this weekend. Check out this post, for a full review of the card.
5) If you are holding out to get a better Delta transfer bonus, I think you are crazy. This is as good as it gets, though I suppose there is a small chance it could get better, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
6) Once the points are transferred, you should have the 50% bonus and MQMs almost immediately, but it usually takes a day or two for your account to reflect the elite status.
7) Even though the Delta promo says “first transfers only,” my experience has been that if it lets you register, you are eligible for the bonus.

Feel free to ask any questions about the promo. I hope everyone can get in before it’s too late!

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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  • Mike L

    What’s great about this for me, since I had no status before, is the Delta Silver elite status. I will then parlay that into having CO status match me with a 10,000 mile challenge after July (so CO elite will last till Feb 2013). I’ll hit that status match challenge because I have a long haul trip coming up on CO!

  • Dallas

    Any advice for those of us who got the Platinum card as our first Amex and have hit the 1k spend for the old 50k bonus but have not received the MR points? I keep getting the “wait 8 weeks” line from customer service but would really like to take advantage of this Delta transfer bonus.

  • A. S.

    @Dallas: Go ahead and make the transfer — as TPG said, you’re allowed an “advance” and then when your bonus does post it will make you even again and you won’t owe AMEX anything. FYI, you have a year to “pay back” your points advance and your bonus should post well in advance of that.

    @TPG: I wonder what you base your last point on… I haven’t done this promo, because it’s not my first and I’m pretty sure I won’t qualify. What makes you say that it would work?

  • Erik


    Does this work for the Delta Plat card, or is it specifically for the AmEx plat card? Thanks!

  • The Points Guy

    @Dallas- kindly explain that you need the points for this Delta promo and thats the reason why you need the points. The right rep will automatically deposit the points in your account. If not, just do the advance as AS recommends

    @AS- If you aren’t eligible for the bonus it will reject your registration (like it did with me). As long as it accepts your registration, you’ll get the bonus, otherwise it would have rejected you.

    @Erik- Only American Express cards that get you Membership Rewards points (Platinum, Gold, Premier Rewards Gold, Green). If you have a Delta Plat, that means you can get a regular Platinum card and automatically advance yourself the 50,000 points needed for this promo.

  • Dallas

    @A.S. : The problem is that as a new cardmember (activated April) the system will not allow me to advance any points. Any idea when the ability to advance becomes active?

  • Rob

    I really wish I wouldn’t have missed out on the platinum 50k MR bonus that way I could have taken advantage of this offer. Any idea how long they usually wait to offer another platinum 50k MR bonus offer?

  • Dallas

    After nicely trying to request the points from a CSR and her supervisor, I still got the “call back in 8 weeks line”. Unfortunate that they are not willing to advance points even though they know I am owed 50k soon.

  • The Points Guy

    Rob- no idea when they will run it again, unfortunately. But when they do, you know I’ll be feauturing it!

  • The Points Guy

    Dallas- have you tried doing it online? Just try transferring 50k points and see if it prompts you to Advance. Some people have had success doing that.

  • Mike Pet

    I opened a new AMEX platinum account and could not transfer points in advance (note I did not have any other AMEX account.) Called and service rep told me I needed to pay my first bill before I could access the 50K bonus points ( I already hit the 1K spend.) I was counseled to pay my first bill..bill cycle closed yesterday & I paid it online today, which would leave enough time for system processing to get access to and complete my Delta transfer by 5/31.

    btw..I was told its a three billing cycle wait to qualify for the advance points feature.

  • PBailey19

    Ack – I posted this under the old (original) post by mistake. Sorry for the duplication.

    I have over 60,000 Amex MR points, so I could take advantage of this, but I’m wondering if I should. I’m fairly new to the FF game and learning fast (many thanks to you and your site, BTW). I fly for personal reasons about 4-6 times a year. I live in Denver (big United hub) and travel at least once a year to visit family in Atlantic Canada. (This spurred my interest into FF; that route never goes on sale and usually runs over $1000, but it’s a 25K award on Aeroplan).

    I’m building up balances on United, Continental, American, and Starwood – but I only have a token balance on Delta. Should I take advantage of this MR 50% transfer offer? What’s more valuable to me, 60K AmEx MR points, or 90K on Delta with Silver Elite status?

  • Sergey

    Does this promo (or part of it) work only for one-time transfer? Unfortunately, I am not eligible – I made a stupid mistake last December ( when Delta run this promotion) by transferring only 25K MR points (didn’t have more). My wife took advantage of this promo last month. Now I have 100K MR points and thinking where should I transfer them. If I transfer them to my wife’s Delta account – will she get 50% bonus (I know that MQM bonus is a one-time bonus).

  • Trench

    I have a lot of travel coming up in the second half of the year that would easily allow me to reach Silver Elite status without this promotion. If I take advantage of this, I’ll hit Gold this year. Will that persist until 2013 or will hitting Gold after using this promotion shorten the status lifetime?

  • j bizrandt

    Check this promo out – for new gold member

    Thank you for your recent points transfer. We hope you’re enjoying your new Gold Medallion® status. We value your business and would like to help you get the most out of your Medallion benefits. That’s why we’re ready to help you bridge the gap to the next Medallion status level.

    For a limited time, register, then fly just three paid round-trip domestic flights or two paid round-trip international flights, and we’ll grant you Platinum Medallion status. As an exclusive offer, this is just a small percentage of the standard Medallion Qualification Segments you would need to reach Platinum Medallion status.

    As a Platinum Medallion member, you get to choose one of these Choice Benefits, in addition to the Gold Medallion benefits you already enjoy:
    4 Systemwide Upgrades
    20,000 bonus miles
    Gifting Silver Medallion status to a friend or family member
    4 Delta Sky Club® One-Day passes
    Various travel/retail gift cards

  • John

    This offer just keeps getting better. I recently got the AmEx Plat card and advanced myself 50K points to transfer to Delta for Silver. I just got an e-mail from Delta offering me Gold Medallion just for flying 2 domestic segments or 1 international segment if I register and fly before December 31.

    “Thank you for your recent points transfer. We hope you’re enjoying your new Silver Medallion® status. We value your business and would like to help you get the most out of your Medallion benefits. That’s why we’re ready to help you bridge the gap to the next Medallion status level.

    For a limited time, register, then fly just two paid round-trip domestic flights or one paid round-trip international flight, and we’ll grant you Gold Medallion status. As an exclusive offer, this is just a small percentage of the standard Medallion Qualification Segments you would need to reach Gold Medallion status. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy more benefits faster. And it’s our way of thanking you for flying with us. ”

    Since it counts for trips that are already booked–and my boyfriend and I bought those crazy cheap tickets to Japan–looks like I’ll be Gold by the end of July.

    This blog is amazing–thank you!

  • Platinum madness

    Omg I will be rewarded for spending $600 on delta with plat status.

    Seriously how crazy is that!

  • Ibsen

    Not sure if this will impact us, but it is interesting:

    The SkyTeam airlines announced Thursday they will reduce transatlantic capacity by 7 to 9 percent after Labor Day, with Delta Air Lines saying it will pull down its Atlantic capacity by 10 to 12 percent.

    “Delta, Air France-KLM and Alitalia will cut its winter capacity by 15 percentage points from what they had been planning”

  • Josh

    So if every flyer has silver/gold status, is platinum the new silver?

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  • Platinum madness

    Plutonium status gets u free blanket and a shoulder bump from a PmNw FA arse

  • Platinum madness

    C1 just became the winner. There is no need to spend 50 or 60k to get valueless mqms unless u highly value skymiles. I think it is def possible to redeem for J espec with partners but I am ‘nearly’ as happy to Europe with coach on an A330 and intraEU is crap inF anyway. Surelynot worth 1000′s for J in BE/affairs etc.

  • Platinum madness

    I am sure many Real FF will be ‘shocked and dismayed’

  • Eli

    Just got a message from AMEX customer service that they won’t be able to fast track my bonus points into my account. I’ve sent a message urging them to reconsider. Does anyone have any tips for me? Would calling lead to a better result?

  • Mark

    I need help here, please answer my questions. 1)when i want to tranfers my mile i see this message, is this part of the deal, is there anyway that i can avoid this. “The Airline Excise Tax Offset Fee associated with
    this transfer will be $30.00 (or 6,000 points if you elect to pay the fee with points)

    2)Also can someone explain to me what Available Points Advance is, i am new to this i don’t understand

  • The Points Guy

    @mark- no way to avoid that fee- it’s a tax on all us airline transfers. You dont pay it when transferring to foreign airline programs

    The advance is a feature where Amex will front you points for free and all you have to do is earn them back within a year or else you get charged 2.5 cents a point

  • mark

    Thanks for your respond, so if i have enough points for this transfer i don’t need to worry about the advance feature, is this correct.

    On a side note it says that i have 15,000 advance points, that means i can use extra 15,000 piont that i don’t have is this correct?.

  • The Points Guy

    Mark- if you have enough points then you don’t have to worry about the advance feature. If you want to transfer 15k more points than you have, then yes- you can use your available advance

  • Ellen

    Hey there – I posted and almost immediately saw the 75K miles appear. I don’t see a change in status. Assume that takes a day or two to post? If I should see that quickly, plz advise and I’ll get on the horn with AMEX or DL. I did follow the sign-up instructions to a T!

    Thanks points guy. You are the BEST.

  • The Points Guy

    @Ellen- read #6- it usually takes a day or two for the status to reflect, so no need to do anything or worry. Enjoy!

  • mark

    what’s better, pay the $30 or use 6000 point for the taxes

  • mark

    what’s better, pay the $30 or use 6000 point for the taxes. What did you do

  • mark

    what’s better, pay the $30 or use 6000 point for the taxes. What did you do. Thanks for all the great article

  • Gene

    @TPG — Do you know of other people who have: 1) made an AMEX to DL transfer previously (maybe 2-3 years ago), 2) successfully registered for this promotion, 3) received a single transfer of at least 50,000 AMEX points to their DL account, and 4) received the 50% bonus and 25,000 MQM? I ask because I made a transfer nearly four years ago, and I am afraid of getting burned on this offer. I was able to register for the promotion.

  • ArlingtonTraveler

    I tried to register for the offer and it said I wasn’t eligible. I did a transfer about 4 months ago. I suspect Delta tracks transfers for at least some period of time (maybe 6 months) just like they do for the credit card bonuses. The good part though is that you don’t have to apply for a credit card only to find out you are not eligible for the bonus.

  • Darlene

    I am unable to register for this promotion, but then I saw your other post about Amex cardholders to get the next level of Medallion status if you’re a cardholder and have transferred points in the past — also ineligible! What gives? Shouldn’t I be able to do that if I’ve already transferred points?

  • Josh

    This deal worked perfectly for me. Signed up for the card at the end of April (new AMEX customer), first statement closed on 5.22 and although there is supposed to be a statement delay between points to become active instead of pending, the agent at AMEX did me a huge favor and made them active. Within 10 minutes I had transferred to Delta and the whole thing went off without a hitch.

    Huge props to TPG, huge props to AMEX for customer service and, I guess huge props to me for taking advantage of a sweet deal.

    (oh and by the way, even though Annual Fee is rich, I saw immediate value in not having to renew delta skyclub and have successfully gained access (+300pts!) on 4 flights since. Loving it!)

  • rohanfly

    I called Amex to try to hit them up with more mr points before I open the platinum card and they told me on 2 different days that they will run 50k mr sign up bonus on 7/13 — so maybe you may want to wait

  • ilimas

    If you are new to Amex, you will not be able to advance MR points. I tried. It took 8 weeks for the 50K MR points to post to my account even though my Amex online statement said I was going to get the 50K MR points. I paid my bill in full two weeks after I received my card. I called Amex and asked once to post the points, they said it would take 8 weeks. If I didn’t receive my points by the May 31 Delta promo deadline, I would have repeatedly called Amex until they tired of me and hopefully budged. Luckily, I didn’t have to, they posted this week! :)

  • pickaroonwyo

    I used my Amex plat MR’s and trasferred 50K to get 75K SkyMiles and Silver.

    Then I requested the 75K Gold PR Amex bonus after only receiving 25K. Received the 75K + 25K more “for my inconvenience”. Transferred the 100K MR to a second SkyMile account. Received 150K + 25 MQM. Then merged this to the first account to get Gold.

    I then borrowed 50K MR which I will soon be getting for spending $1oK on the Amex Business Gold. I re-registered for the 50% bonus and sent the 50K MR to my first account. Only received 62.5K SkyMiles.

    Oh well, I still as happy as a clam.

  • esque

    I was told by two operators and two supervisors that, since I had been an AmEx member for less than six months, that the computer system would n0t allow me to advance myself miles on the Amex plat (which I got earlier this month). Argh.

  • Joseph

    Your first two points pique an idea. I can send 50,000 MR points to a friend. They get 75,000 skymiles per the 50% first time transfer. Then that friend transfers to me 30,000 miles plus 50% transfer bonus giving me 45,000 miles. My friend also keeps 45,000 miles plus gains Silver elite status. (45,000 miles can acquire a roundtrip to South America). There will be some fees I realize. Anything wrong with this approach?

  • Sean

    @TPG, I have a quick question on your item #1 – the ability to send to multiple accounts.

    I have already done the promo for my skymiles account and would like to take advantage of it again for my wife’s account. I already have the MR required, would I simply need to de-link my Delta acct from MR and then link hers and do the transfer? They won’t do a name match cross check? She was able to successfully register for the promo and it appears in here SM account,

  • The Points Guy

    @Mark- pay the $30!

    @Gene- yes I know people and they got the points, bonus and MQMs. I have not heard of a single case of a person who registered and then did not get the ensuing goods.

    @Joseph- correct. Generally paying to transfer isnt best deal, but with the 50%, you are basicallly buying points at 2 cents a piece. If you are going to redeem them for expensive flights, then this approach may make sense

    @Sean- You don’t even need to delink yours. Just add hers, transfer and boom- they’ll be in her account. A very nice, unpublicized aspect of the Membership Rewards program!

  • Other Sean

    @ Sean #1,

    Let me pile on, DO NOT DE-LINK your account. I de-linked my wife’s account one time and it was major butt-pain to get it re-linked. I had to do it on the phone and they granted me a “one time waiver” to re-add my wife’s SkyMiles number as a linked account.

    Now that I know that, I currently have four SkyMiles accounts, a Flying Blue acccount, Starwood, and Intercontinental all linked.

    You can “enroll” in Skymiles via the Membership Rewards summary page to create another SkyMiles account in your name. Some people have reported success dumping MR into a new SkyMiles account and then merging later. This is against the SkyMiles rules so it carries the risk that ALL of your SkyMiles accounts get zero-ized. Personally I wouldn’t do it because my account is more than half-way to million miler. If I didn’t have previous loyalty to Delta it would be tempting.

  • Katie

    I transferred 50k points to my Skymiles account. Now, I have both my husband’s and my Delta accounts linked in MR and want to transfer 50k to him. Will I be prompted to choose which Delta account receives the points? I hope someone can help, I don’t want to accidently send the points to my account. Thanks!

  • The Points Guy

    @Katie- click on his account on your points summary and it will also ask you to confirm which account before it goes through. Don’t worry- just pay attention! :-)

  • Katie

    Thanks! I tried and no Delta account number was shown in the transfer process yet, it just says it’s transferring to “SkyMiles” and I’m stuck on an error now (Sorry, you must accept a points option to continue) and…there is nothing to choose. I guess I’ll try again later.

  • Bruce

    Instant approval for Plat Amex on Monday. Received card Friday. 1. Linked Skymiles account 2. Registered for promo at Skymiles site and 3. advanced 50,000 (of 60,000 available) Amex MR points same day. Miles posted to Skymiles account immediately! Now also shows 25,000 Medallion qualifying miles and assume Silver Medallion status will follow. Even if I don’t earn back the miles, cost of 2 domestic coast to coast round trip tickets far exceeds what the miles would cost after the 25,000 new member (spend $1,000 in 3 months) bonus posts. Jump on this soon if you’re even thinking about it and enjoy both the miles and the Silver Medallion while you work off the MR points advance. Thanks! :)

  • Rob

    @Bruce what number did you call for the MR advance? Any idea if I’d qualify, the only Amex I’ve ever had is the Hilton Surpass for the last four years? If you guys think I will, I may try to apply for the Platinum today, advance the 50k MR and do the transfer.

  • Eli

    I have 90k MR points to use. I have 15k DL and 100k CO. I’m planning on sending 70k MR points to Delta to get 120k DL and 20k to CO to get 120k there as well. Sound like a good plan? Any other suggestions?

  • The Points Guy

    @Eli- that sounds smart, but I wouldn’t rush transferring points to continental- there’s no incentive unless you need to book an award right now

  • Eli

    @TPG- so do you think I should just go all in and transfer all 90k to DL? The only reason I have 100k CO is because of credit cards. Never flown them before. I live in Minneapolis so DL is a way of life here :)

  • seifer

    Can I transfer miles from 2 separate membership rewards accounts into one skymiles accounts and have both get the 50% promo?

    If not, should I register for the 40% as well just in case so I at least get 40% on the second transfer?

  • Dan

    Thank you! Worked like a charm and the miles were posted instantly. Made getting the award ticket to Europe in the fall a no-brainer. I am not sure if this is the first time I have transferred to this account, but I’m not sure that matters.

  • seifer

    Does anyone know whether the bonus miles for 40% promo hits the sky miles account instantly when you transfer membership rewards points just like the 50% promo does?

  • seifer

    If you want to link your wife’s sky miles account to your MR account, do you add her acct number with her name or your own name attached? Curious if the systems cross-checks to ensure the MR account name (my own) matches the linked skymiles name (wife’s) in MR which matches the actual skymiles account name (wife’s). What name do you recommend using for the linked skymiles account – wife’s or my own?

  • AS

    Currently, there is an offer for 40% bonus too. What would happen if I register for both offers and then make a transfer?

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