Why you should apply for a Delta Amex card this October

Oct 17, 2019

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express

American Express’ cobranded Delta credit cards provide many perks that can be appealing to both frequent and infrequent Delta flyers. This is because each card is targeted at a different type of traveler.

Even if you only fly Delta a few times a year, one of these cards may be a good fit for you, and if you’re looking for a boost toward Delta elite status or complimentary access to Delta Sky Club lounges, these cobranded Delta credit cards have you covered.

If you’ve been waiting to apply for a Delta credit card, October is the month to do so. Three of Amex’s Delta consumer cards — the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express — have elevated welcome offers this month, ending on Oct. 30.

But increased welcome offers aren’t the only reason to consider applying by Oct. 30. We recently learned that all of Amex’s cobranded Delta credit cards will see some changes to their benefits, earning rates and annual fee on Jan. 30, 2020. By applying now you can lock in the current annual fee for your first year while also snagging an increased welcome offer.

Let’s consider each of the Amex cobranded Delta credit cards that have an elevated welcome bonus through Oct. 30, 2019.

Related: Choosing the best credit card for Delta flyers

In This Post

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

The Gold Delta Amex is great for occasional Delta flyers who can benefit from a complimentary first checked bag and priority boarding on Delta flights. These benefits apply for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on the same reservation — you can even use these benefits when flying on a basic economy ticket. Plus, these perks are tied to your SkyMiles account once you have the Gold Delta Amex, so you don’t even have to use your that card to purchase your ticket in order to receive the perks.

How many checked bag fees do you need to incur each year to come out ahead with the Gold Delta Amex? The annual fee on this card is currently $95, and the fee is waived for your first year (see rates and fees). The annual fee will increase to $99 for renewals and new applications on or after Jan. 30, 2020 (see rates and fees).

Since Delta’s checked bag fees start at $30, you’ll only need to check four bags per year to come out ahead. And since up to eight companions travelling with you can also check their first bag free, you could even come out ahead after one flight if you’re travelling as a group in which at least four people check one bag each.

Baggage arrives from Delta Air Lines Inc. flights at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Friday, March 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, Calif. © 2019 Patrick T. Fallon for The Points Guy
You and up to eight companions on your reservation can check your first bag free when flying Delta if you have the Gold Delta Amex. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/The Points Guy.)

The Gold Delta Amex Card currently has an increased welcome offer of 60,000 miles after you make $2,000 in purchases within your first three months. You’ll also get a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first three months.

Based on TPG’s valuation of Delta miles at 1.2 cents each, the welcome-offer miles are worth about $720, so the total offer is worth $770, assuming you’ll make a Delta purchase within your first three months.

Currently, the Gold Delta Amex offers 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases with Delta and 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else. Earning rates will improve slightly for purchases on or after Jan. 30, 2020, hiking the spending bonus to 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets. And, starting Jan. 30, 2020 you’ll get a $100 Delta flight credit each year after you spend $10,000 on your card during that calendar year.

This card is ideal if you can utilize the Delta perks it offers, including checked baggage and priority boarding benefits. And, if you don’t have better-earning cards for airfare, dining and groceries — or you’re working toward the $100 Delta flight credit that will be available starting Jan. 30, 2020 — the Gold Delta Amex may also be a good choice for some of your spending.

See our full card review and then apply by October 30 for the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express with a 60,000 mile bonus. Terms apply. 

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

The Platinum Delta Amex is most useful for frequent Delta flyers who need a slight boost toward earning a particular Delta elite status with Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs), or who can maximize an annual companion certificate for domestic flights in the main cabin.

One of the main perks of the Platinum Delta Amex is its MQD waiver. Based on this waiver, you can still qualify for Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion Status if you have earned the required MQMs or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) and make at least $25,000 in eligible purchases within the qualification calendar year on your card. You can also earn a MQD waiver for Diamond Medallion Status if you have earned the required MQMs or MQSs and make at least $250,000 in eligible purchases within that qualification year on your card.

Another primary benefit on the Platinum Delta Amex is Miles Boost, which allows you to earn 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $25,000 or more on your card in a calendar year. Plus, you can earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $50,000 on your card in a calendar year for a total of 20,000 bonus miles and 20,000 MQMs. However, starting Jan. 30, 2020 this benefit will be renamed Status Boost™ and you’ll only earn MQMs through this benefit.

Platinum Delta Amex cardholders also get a domestic round-trip companion certificate after each account anniversary. This companion certificate will allow you to bring a companion for free — you’ll only need to pay the taxes and fees on the companion ticket and purchase an adult round-trip L, U, T, X or V fare. Depending on how you use this certificate, it could easily justify the card’s annual fee which is currently $195 but will increase to $250 for renewals and new applications on or after Jan. 30, 2020 (see rates and fees).

Delta
Bring a companion with you on a domestic round-trip for almost free with the Platinum Delta Amex’s Main Cabin companion certificate. (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy.)

Platinum Delta Amex cardholders can pay $29 (will increase to $39 as of Jan. 30, 2020) per person per visit to enter a Delta Sky Club lounge with up to two guests when flying Delta. Although the fee is steep, having lounge access when you need it may provide value.

Starting Jan. 30, 2020, cardholders can get a Global Entry application fee or a TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursed when its charged to your card. You can get a Global Entry application fee reimbursed every four years or a TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursed every 4.5 years.

Through Oct. 30, the Platinum Delta Amex is offering an elevated welcome offer of 75,000 miles and 5,000 MQMs after you make $3,000 in purchases within your first three months. And, you’ll get a $100 statement credit after you make a purchase with Delta using your new card within your first three months.

Based on TPG’s valuation of Delta miles, these welcome-offer miles are worth about $900. The entire bonus is worth about $1,000, assuming you’ll make a purchase with Delta within your first three months.

Currently, the Platinum Delta Amex offers 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases with Delta and 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else. Earning rates will improve slightly for purchases on or after Jan. 30, 2020, rising to 3 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and purchases made directly at hotels, 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets and 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else.

Although these increased earning rates make spending on the card slightly more rewarding, you may already have cards in your wallet that provide better earning in some of these categories. You’ll have to decide if the companion certificate, MQD waiver, ability to earn MQMs, ability to purchase Delta Sky Club access and other perks justify adding the Platinum Delta Amex to your wallet.

See our full card review and then apply by October 30 for the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express with a 75,000 mile bonus. Terms apply. 

Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

The primary way in which the Delta Reserve stands out is complimentary lounge access when flying Delta. If you fly Delta frequently, this can provide significant value. You’ll have Delta Sky Club access and you can bring up to two guests for $29 (will increase to $39 as of Jan. 30, 2020) per person per visit.

Starting Jan. 30, 2020, you’ll also get two one-time guest passes for Delta Sky Club admission as well as complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounges when flying Delta with a ticket purchased on your Delta Reserve card.

Delta Reserve cardholders also get a domestic round-trip companion certificate after each account anniversary. This companion certificate allows you to bring a companion on a domestic round-trip in first class, Delta Comfort+ or Main Cabin for free — you’ll only need to pay the taxes and fees on the companion ticket and purchase an adult round-trip I, Z, W, L, U, T, X or V fare. Depending on how you use this certificate, it could easily justify the card’s annual fee which is currently $450 but will increase to $550 for renewals and new applications on or after Jan. 30, 2020 (see rates and fees).

Delta A220 first class, photo courtesy of Darren Murph
Use your companion certificate to bring a companion on a first-class domestic round-trip. (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy.)

Like the Platinum Delta Amex, the Delta Reserve also offers an MQD waiver that will allow you to qualify for each tier of Delta elite status if you’ve earned the required MQMs or MQSs but not the required MQDs. You’ll get the MQD waiver when you make at least $25,000 in eligible purchases within the qualification calendar year on your card for Platinum, Gold and Silver status or $250,000 for Diamond status.

The Delta Reserve also offers the Miles Boost benefit, which allows you to earn 15,000 bonus miles and 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 or more on your card in a calendar year. Plus, you can earn an additional 15,000 bonus miles and 15,000 MQMs after you spend $60,000 on your card in a calendar year for a total of 30,000 bonus miles and 30,000 MQMs. However, starting Jan. 30, 2020 this benefit will be renamed Status Boost™ and you’ll only earn MQMs through this benefit. High spenders will also earn an additional 15,000 MQMs after spending both $90,000 and $120,000 in a calendar year.

Starting Jan. 30, 2020 cardholders will also get a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit when they charge an application fee to the card. You’ll be eligible for a Global Entry fee credit every four years or a TSA PreCheck fee credit every 4.5 years. Plus, non-Medallions will also get access to complimentary upgrades starting on January 30.

Through Oct. 30, the Delta Reserve is offering an increased welcome offer of 75,000 miles and 10,000 MQMs after you make $5,000 in purchases within your first three months. Based on TPG’s valuations, these bonus miles are worth about $900.

Currently, earning on the Delta Reserve is the same as on the Gold Delta Amex and Platinum Delta Amex: 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases with Delta and 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else. But, starting Jan. 30, 2020, the Delta Reserve will start earning 3 miles per dollar spent on purchases with Delta. If you’re putting a lot of your spending on the card to earning a MQD waiver or reach a MQM threshold, you’ll certainly appreciate the increased earning on purchases with Delta.

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, you may want to put flights on the card to have access to Amex’s new travel protections. And, starting Jan. 30, 2020, you’ll certainly want to put Delta flights on the card if you’re traveling from or through an airport with a Centurion Lounge and don’t have The Platinum Card® from American Express, since you’ll get access to Centurion Lounges when you purchase your airfare with the Delta Reserve.

See our full card review and then apply by October 30 for the Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express with a 75,000 mile bonus. Terms apply. 

Bottom line

If you’ve been considering an Amex-cobranded Delta credit card, October is the month to add it to your wallet. The increased welcome bonuses available this month can net you a nice stash of miles quickly.

The benefits on these cards — such as a first checked bag free and priority boarding for you and up to eight companions on the same reservation — may also justify keeping the card in your wallet for many years to come.

Here are the official application links: Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card and Delta Reserve Credit Card. Apply by Oct. 30, 2019 for access to elevated welcome offers.

Featured photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy.

For rates and fees of the Gold Delta Amex, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Platinum Delta Amex, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve, please click here.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.