Reminder: Delta Amex Increased Sign-Up Bonuses End June 30
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Earlier this month, American Express announced increased welcome bonuses for three of its co-branded Delta SkyMiles credit cards. These offers expire on June 30, so if you’re planning to apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card or Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, now is the time to act!
Here’s a quick rundown of the current offers:
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card and Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card
Current Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months, and earn a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first three months.
Key Benefits: Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, and 1 mile per dollar elsewhere. Get Zone 1 priority boarding and a free checked bag on Delta flights for you and up to 8 companions traveling on the same reservation. Save 20% on eligible in-flight purchases (like food and entertainment). No foreign transaction fees. The business version also comes with Amex OPEN Savings benefits.
Annual Fee: $95 (waived the first year)
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
Current Bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus miles (plus 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles) after spending $2,000 in the first three months, and earn a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first three months.
Key Benefits: Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, and 1 mile per dollar elsewhere. Earn 10,000 MQMs after spending $25,000 on the card in a calendar year, and another 10,000 MQMs after spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year. Get a domestic Main Cabin companion certificate each year upon card renewal. Get Zone 1 priority boarding and a free checked bag on Delta flights for you and up to 8 companions traveling on the same reservation. Save 20% on eligible in-flight purchases (like food and entertainment). No foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $195
Both of these cards also allow you to get out of the Medallion Qualification Dollar requirement by spending at least $25,000 in a calendar year, and include an array of other perks like discounted SkyClub access, various travel coverages and even the occasional free meal!
If you’re a casual traveler in a Delta hub city (like Atlanta or Detroit), I think the Gold card is a no-brainer. The welcome bonus alone is worth $600 based on TPG’s most recent valuations, and those miles can get you two round-trip economy tickets within the US and Canada, or can be put toward upgrades on longer flights. The free checked bag benefit can save you $50 on every round-trip domestic flight; taking just two of these trips per year results in savings that cover the annual fee, and it becomes even more valuable when you have companions on the same reservation. The card is also a great bet when traveling internationally, since it started waiving foreign transactions fees last May.
The Platinum card is a better choice for more devoted Delta flyers, especially those who value Medallion status but could use help qualifying each year. I actually opened this card last fall when the welcome bonus was similar, and the 10,000 MQMs helped me requalify for Platinum Medallion status. Hitting the $25,000 and $50,000 spending thresholds each year unlocks an additional 10,000 or 20,000 MQMs, and is a great way to earn Delta status without flying. The baggage fee waiver and no foreign transaction fee benefit match the Gold card, but the higher welcome bonus (worth an additional $120) and the companion certificate can easily offset the higher annual fee.
Keep in mind that American Express now restricts welcome bonuses to new cardholders who have never had a given product before, even if you cancelled the card years ago. However, this policy applies to individual cards, so if you’ve had the Platinum SkyMiles card before, that shouldn’t stop you from earning the welcome bonus on one of the Gold SkyMiles cards.
The Delta SkyMiles program has taken its lumps over the last few years with changes like switching to a revenue-based model, removing award charts from its website and restricting mixed-cabin awards. Despite these changes, SkyMiles are far from worthless, and can be a great option for booking partner awards (especially now that many partners have been added to Delta.com). If you’re interested in applying for one of these cards, be sure to do so in the next few days to take advantage of these increased welcome bonuses!