50,000 SkyMiles Bonus for Amex Delta Cards Ends Tomorrow

Sep 6, 2014

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

Just a reminder that the limited time offers for the American Express Delta cards are ending tomorrow; if you’ve been thinking of signing up, now is the time. The current bonus is 50,000 Delta SkyMiles after spending $1,000 in the first three months on the Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express, the Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express Business Card and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles American Express (personal version only), which also offers 15,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs). The promotion states that it is available until September 8, but I’ve been told my links will expire around 3pm ET tomorrow (September 7). It may still be available directly at Americanexpress.com, but I can’t guarantee that.

Which Card to Go For?
If you’re just looking to top up your mileage account and want basic benefits like free checked bags, the Gold version is the best long-term option. If you need MQMs and can hit high spend thresholds, then the Platinum version likely offers better value. The Platinum Delta SkyMiles card also comes with a companion ticket every year upon card renewal, so if you’re able to make use of that feature, then this card is definitely the one to choose.

Here are more details of the present offers:

 

Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express
Type: Personal or Business
Bonus: Get 50,000 SkyMiles when you spend $1,000 in 3 months, and earn a $50 statement credit after your first Delta purchase (also within 3 months).
Benefits: Earn 2X miles per $1 on Delta purchases, 1X miles on everything else. Check your first bag free on every Delta flight for you and up to 8 people on your reservation. Priority Boarding and 20% In-Flight Savings. Discounted Delta SkyClub access ($29 per visit). With the Business version, save 3% to 10% automatically on business expenses from FedEx, Hertz, OfficeMax, and more with OPEN Savings. No foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95, no annual fee for additional card.

Why Get It? This is the highest public signup bonus we’ve seen on this card in a while. I’ve made no secret of my frustrations with Delta regarding their recent devaluation and the planned shift to a revenue-based loyalty program, but you can still find ways to put SkyMiles to good use.

 

Platinum Delta SkyMiles American Express
Type: Personal (business version also available, but with lower signup bonus)
Current Bonus: Get  50,000 SkyMiles and 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months, and earn a $100 statement credit when you make your first Delta purchase within 3 months.
Benefits: Earn 2X miles per $1 on Delta purchases, 1X miles on everything else. Check your first bag free on every Delta flight for you and up to 8 people on your reservation. Earn a bonus of up to 20,000 SkyMiles and 20,000 MQMs annually (10,000 of each for $25,000 in calendar year spend, and another 10,000 of each for a total of $50,000 in calendar year spending), Priority Boarding and 20% In-Flight Savings. Annual Companion Certificate for one roundtrip economy ticket in the 48 contiguous United States. No foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $195

Why Get It? Again, this is the highest public offer we’ve seen since the 55k bonus from over a year ago, though that one had a much higher spending requirement. This card holds value for those looking to boost their MQM’s through spending. The companion ticket that you receive every year after card renewal might also be worthwhile for Delta frequent flyers out there, and can easily offset the annual fee of the card if you maximize it.

You can earn Delta Platinum Medallion without ever stepping foot on a plane with these four credit cards
You can earn Platinum Medallion just from spending on credit cards.

How To Leverage For Elite Status

Delta’s highest tier of Medallion status is Diamond status which requires 125,000 MQMs a year to earn, but if you were to spend enough, you could earn 100,000 MQMs each year just from the co-branded credit cards without even stepping on a Delta plane. The Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express and Delta Reserve Business Credit Card each earn 15,000 MQMs when you spend $30,000 in a calendar year, and another 15,000 MQMs once you spend $60,000.

So you could net 60,000 MQMs annually by spending $120,000 a year on the Reserve cards, in addition to the 20,000 MQMs earned for spending $50,000 on both the Delta Platinum Amex and Delta Platinum Business Amex. In total, by spending $220,000 per year, you could actually bank 100,000 MQMs without stepping on a plane. Therefore, if you’re loyal to Delta and a big spender, getting these cards could help make it easy to maintain your Medallion status.

While I currently value SkyMiles around 1.2 cents per mile, with Delta having already made so many recent changes, I have to think they’re unlikely to devalue again anytime soon. That doesn’t add any value to the present card offers, but it does make them a safer bet if you don’t have immediate plans to redeem your SkyMiles. With the low spending requirements and some interesting benefits, these cards are definitely worth considering, especially with the increased sign-up bonuses.

 

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