Last day: Earn up to 100,000 miles with these Delta Amex offers

Mar 31, 2020

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

Editor’s note: This is a regularly recurring post updated with new card information. Keep in mind that some comments below may refer to old offers. 

At TPG, our top priority is providing our readers with the information you need to make educated decisions about travel and your rewards-earning strategy. This is not the best time to travel, domestically or internationally, but we are sharing these card offers because they could provide value to cardholders once coronavirus concerns have subsided.f

You only have one more day to earn up to 100,000 Delta SkyMiles from Delta-branded credit cards.

Every Delta SkyMiles credit card — four personal and three business cards — got a major revamp earlier this year that included new, sleek card designs, enhanced benefits and (most important) elevated welcome bonuses for a limited time. In fact, this is the first time that all seven of the Delta Amex cards have elevated offers at the same time — and the bonuses represent all-time highs for some of them. Although these changes did include a few discontinued perks and increased annual fees across most of the card lineup, the updates add value for many cardholders.

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Understandably, some people are hesitant to apply for an airline credit card right now with the shrunken state of the travel industry because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But these cards offer an opportunity to build a nice stockpile of miles that you can use on a stellar redemption down the road. You could apply for one of these cards now, complete the spending requirement over the next three months and then have enough miles to plan a great getaway — something all of us TPGers are desperately looking forward to.

Related: U.S. airlines begin to extend waivers into April

Let’s take a look at the new benefit structure of each card and evaluate the current welcome bonuses available to new cardholders. Then read on to hear what leaders at both Delta and American Express have to say regarding the changes.

In This Post

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $99 (waived the first year, see rates and fees)

Limited-time welcome bonus: Up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months and an additional 10,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card membership. (Offer expires April 1, 2020.)

New earning structure: 2x on eligible Delta purchases, restaurants and U.S. supermarkets

The Gold Delta Amex continues to be a strong, entry-level cobranded airline card. Previously, cardholders earned double miles on Delta purchases, but you now have additional bonuses: 2x miles at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets. Since you may not be spending much with Delta right now, the ability to earn bonus miles on everyday expenses while hitting your welcome bonus over the next few months is nice. Delta has also added the ability to earn a $100 Delta flight credit when you spend $10,000 over the course of the calendar year. That equates to spending $833 per month, which isn’t a hard threshold for many cardholders to hit. The card is keeping its standard elite-like perks, including a free checked bag and priority boarding.

The limited-time welcome bonus is an excellent value and should be easy to hit. You’ll earn double the typical welcome bonus by spending just $2,000 in the first three months, and you don’t even have a spending requirement to earn the additional 10,000 miles. They will automatically be awarded after your first anniversary of card membership. Apply before April 1 if you want to take advantage of this offer. Altogether, this bonus is worth $840, according to TPG valuations.

Though the annual fee is increasing on this card, the change is minimal ($4, to be exact). However, two benefits have been discontinued: the ability to earn a Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) waiver by spending on this card and the ability to buy discounted Delta Sky Club passes for $29 per person. Casual Delta travelers with the card may not use either of these perks regularly, but existing cardholders who have used these benefits in the past may be disappointed at the changes.

APPLY HERE: Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $250 (see rates and fees)

Limited-time welcome bonus: Up to 100,000 bonus miles (an all-time high). Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months, plus an additional 20,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card membership. (Offer expires April 1, 2020.)

New earning structure: 3x on eligible Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2x at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets

Like the Gold Delta Amex, this card is getting a makeover. The Platinum Delta Amex has a new name and card design, but unlike the Gold card, it now comes in metal. We confirmed with a spokesperson from American Express that existing cardholders won’t receive metal cards automatically but can request a conversion from plastic to metal.

In addition, you’ll now see enhanced earning rates and a new perk added to the Platinum Delta Amex. Cardholders will now earn 3x on Delta purchases and at hotels, an increase from its original 2x on Delta purchases and 1x on hotel stays. Plus, you’ll also earn 2x at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets. The Platinum Delta Amex will also be the latest card to offer a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit (up to $100 every four years for Global Entry, every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck). Finally, it’s keeping most of its current benefits. You’ll still receive an annual companion certificate, first checked bag free, priority boarding and 20% inflight savings on food and beverages.

The current limited-time welcome bonus offers up to 100,000 bonus miles, worth up to $1,200, according to TPG’s valuations. For only a $3,000 spending requirement, plus the stipulation that you have to renew the card to get the full 100,000-mile bonus, this is a lucrative bonus. Unlike past offers, you won’t earn any bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), but this is still a huge haul of miles — especially when you consider that some Delta award tickets have recently appeared for as little as 2,500 miles each way.

There are a couple of negative changes to the Platinum Delta Amex. For starters, the annual fee is increasing to $250 (from $195). Discounted SkyClub passes are also jumping from $29 to $39. In addition, Delta has changed the Miles Boost feature that rewarded big spenders. For those chasing elite status, you’ll still earn 10,000 bonus MQMs after you spend $25,000, and then another 10,000 MQMs when you reach $50,000 in spending in a calendar year, but you’ll no longer earn any redeemable miles as part of that benefit.

All in all, the Delta Platinum will continue to be great choice for regular Delta flyers who are hoping to benefit from elite-like perks while attempting to earn status. If you’re a big spender, though, be sure to crunch the numbers to see if the higher earning rates will offset the loss of the bonus miles at the $25,000 and $50,000 spending thresholds.

APPLY HERE: Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $550 (see rates and fees)

Limited-time welcome bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months, plus an additional 20,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card membership. (Offer expires April 1, 2020.)

New earning structure: 3x on eligible Delta purchases (up from 2x in the past)

Like the Platinum Delta Amex, the newly named Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card will now earn 3x miles on Delta purchases and is also getting a refreshed card design and metal form. Though its annual fee is climbing to $550 (see rates and fees), there are many new benefits offered on the revamped card:

  • Additional 15,000 bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $90,000 in a calendar year, and another 15,000 bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $120,000 in a calendar year (on top of the existing 15,000 MQM-earning opportunities at $30,000 and $60,000 in calendar year spending)
  • Two, one-time guest passes for the Delta Sky Club (to complement the existing individual Sky Club membership)
  • Complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounges when flying Delta with a ticket purchased on the card (up to two guests may also enter for a fee of $50 each)
  • Complimentary upgrades for non-Medallion members
  • A Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit (every four years for Global Entry, every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck) (up to $100)
  • Terms Apply

These benefits are on top of many existing benefits, including the annual companion certificate (valid for main cabin, Comfort+ or first class), a first checked bag for free and priority boarding.

Like the Platinum version, Reserve cardholders will no longer earn redeemable miles for meeting certain spending thresholds as part of Miles Boost. Additionally, Sky Priority security access is being eliminated.

The limited-time bonus offer is similar to the Platinum Delta, with a very important addition. As part of the initial bonus earned when you spend $5,000 in the first three months, you’ll also get 20,000 MQMs to help you hit elite status. Combined with the new MQM earning thresholds and the MQD waiver you receive after spending $25,000 in a year, you could hit Platinum Medallion status with Delta by spending $120,000 on the card in 2020 — without taking a single Delta flight.

APPLY HERE: Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $0 (see rates and fees)

Limited-time welcome bonus: 15,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months. (Offer expires April 1, 2020.)

New earning structure: 2x on eligible Delta purchases and restaurants worldwide

Delta’s no-annual-fee cobranded Amex, now called the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card, is the only revamped card to offer new benefits without cuts in existing perks or a hike in the annual fee. Cardholders will now be able to earn 2x on restaurants worldwide (previously only at U.S. restaurants) on top of 2x on Delta purchases. The card is also eliminating foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees) and giving cardholders access to Pay with Miles, which can help you offset part of the cost of a flight with your miles. And when you take a flight, you’ll continue to enjoy 20% savings on Delta inflight purchases.

The Blue Delta Amex will be offering a limited-time welcome bonus of 15,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first three months — worth $180, according to TPG’s valuations.

This isn’t the flashiest of the Delta credit cards, even with the added benefits. However, it remains a strong option for beginners who are simply looking for a way to supplement their Delta SkyMiles earnings with a no-annual-fee cobranded card .

APPLY HERE: Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card

Delta business cards

Delta
Delta’s three small-business cards have also undergone a refresh. (Photo courtesy of Delta)

Delta’s Amex business cards are also all getting makeovers with new names, new card art, new perks and their own limited-time welcome bonuses. Most of the changes mirror the personal cards, but with enhanced bonus categories more suited to small-business owners — a major priority in this refresh, an Amex spokesperson tells TPG.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

Annual fee: $99 (waived the first year, see rates and fees)

Limited-time bonus offer: Up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months, plus an additional 10,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card membership. (Offer expires April 1, 2020.)

New earning structure: 2x on Delta purchases, restaurants, U.S. shipping and U.S. advertising in select media

Like the personal version, this card is expanding bonus categories beyond Delta flights and adding a $100 Delta flight credit after $10,000 in spending each year. Also like the personal version, however, Discounted Sky Club access and the MQD waiver will also be eliminated. The addition of three new bonus categories is good news for those who want to put more than just travel purchases on the card. However, the removal of discounted Sky Club access and the MQD waiver is still a negative for those who would have used the perks. If you’re hoping to have a card to help you hit elite status, you’ll have to look elsewhere — though many small business owners will likely appreciate the higher earning rate on shipping and advertising purchases within the U.S.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

Annual fee: $250 (see rates and fees)

Limited-time bonus offer: Up to 100,000 bonus miles. Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months, plus an additional 20,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card membership. (Offer expires April 1, 2020.)

New earning structure: 3x on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 1.5x on each eligible purchase over $5,000 (up to 50,000 miles per year), 1x on all other eligible purchases

Business owners who regularly make larger purchases will enjoy the new ability to earn 1.5x on all purchases over $5,000 — a perk similar to The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. Like the personal Platinum Delta Amex, the business version is adding a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, but it’s also raising the cost of discounted Sky Club passes to $39 and eliminating the bonus miles you get through Miles Boost (the bonus MQMs aren’t changing). This all comes with an increased annual fee of $250.

For frequent Delta flyers, the additional miles earned on all Delta purchases is a positive, and the new bonus categories will be great for big spenders and those who regularly travel overnight. However, you’ll want to carefully evaluate your spending habits to ensure that these extra miles will offset the loss of redeemable miles through Miles Boost.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

Annual fee: $550 (see rates and fees)

Limited-time bonus offer: Up to 100,000 bonus miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs). Earn 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months, plus earn an additional 20,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card membership. (Offer expires 4/1/2020.)

New earning structure: 3x on Delta purchases, 1.5x on all purchases after spending $150,000 in a year

Like the personal version, the Delta Reserve Business Amex is the card undergoing the biggest changes. You’ll now get 3x miles on all Delta purchases plus 1.5x miles on all purchases after spending $150,000 in a year. The card is adding two Sky Club guest passes (in addition to your individual Sky Club membership that comes with the card) along with two additional opportunities to earn 15,000 MQMs through spending at $90,000 and $120,000 (on top of the existing 15,000-MQM-earning opportunities at $30,000 and $60,000 in calendar year spending). Cardholders can access Centurion Lounges when purchasing a Delta ticket using the card, and they’ll also enjoy complimentary upgrades for non-Medallions.

Of course, there are tradeoffs. The card’s annual fee is increasing to $550, you’ll no longer earn bonus redeemable miles at the Miles Boost thresholds and you no longer get Sky Priority security access. For business owners who are loyal Delta flyers, though, these changes are likely a positive overall — especially for big spenders who can accelerate their ability to earn Medallion status.

What do Delta and American Express have to say?

delta-tsa-precheck-security-lga-laguardia-nyc-new-york-city
According to both Delta and Amex, these updates are designed to offer both better earning rates and a smoother travel experience. (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

Prior to the launch in January, we spoke with leaders from both Delta and American Express, who said these changes were the product of customer research.

According to Amex, one of the most common requests from customers was to increase earning potential across products to allow them to earn miles more quickly. We see that in the expanded bonus categories across all cards, most notably the raised 3x earning on Delta purchases with the Platinum and Reserve cards. The new bonus categories added to the Gold and Platinum Delta personal cards make them more attractive for daily use rather than just for Delta spending, which also makes these cards more attractive than your standard airline card during a time when people are staying at home rather than traveling. Additionally, the business-specific categories across the business versions of the cards help differentiate these products from their consumer counterparts.

Earning is just one part of the equation, as both Delta and Amex reiterated the goal of smoothing the entire travel process.

Related: Guide to Delta elite status

“We are always incredibly focused on the travel journey, and we really wanted to lean into what can we do to make that end-to-end trip experience even smoother,” said Eva Reda, executive vice president of global consumer partnerships at American Express.

This is reflective of a broader trend in the travel industry: New (or expanded) partnerships that help consumers enjoy a better overall experience when they hit the road.

“It goes beyond just air travel,” said Sandeep Dube, Delta’s senior vice president of customer engagement and loyalty and CEO of Delta Vacations. “At the end of the day, we know we are a trusted consumer brand. Our customers expect us to take care of them not only on [Delta flights] but beyond what we directly manage. You’re going to see more and more efforts from us where we partner with other entities to deliver an exceptional customer experience across the entire journey.”

The coronavirus pandemic will pass eventually and travel will resume. Having cards that help you travel the world is a worthwhile investment.

It’s ultimately up to consumers to determine whether to add these cards to (or keep them in) your wallets. There are clearly some drawbacks to these changes from Delta and Amex, but many travelers may come out ahead with the new suite of perks.

Bottom line

(Photo courtesy of Delta)
(Photo courtesy of Delta)

These updates to Delta’s cobranded Amex cards have been in effect for months now, but it’s exciting to see the lucrative, limited-time welcome bonuses that accompanied the long-awaited launch. Offers of up to 100,000 bonus miles are a big deal. Although not all of the Delta card changes are positive (no one likes paying higher annual fees), there is a lot to like about the additional earning opportunities and benefits. And the new card art is great.

Although most of these limited-time offers are tiered, there are no secondary spending requirements. If you’re willing to hold onto the card for at least one year, you’ll earn the second haul of bonus miles after your first anniversary of card membership. The new offers are only valid through April 1, 2020, so you’ll have to act fast to catch these opportunities to earn up to 100,000 miles.

If you currently have one of these cards in your wallet, the higher annual fee won’t hit until your renewal. If you (like me) are obsessed with the new card designs, Amex did confirm that existing cardholders can request a new card with the updated design and (if applicable) in metal.

Unfortunately, given the once-per-lifetime welcome bonus restriction from American Express, you can’t earn a welcome bonus on one of the above cards if you currently have (or previously had) the older version. However, if, for example, you currently have the Gold Delta Amex and have never held the Platinum Delta Amex, you shouldn’t have any problem applying for and earning the welcome bonus on the Platinum version.

Delta SkyMiles have long been considered the least valuable currency among the three legacy U.S. airlines, but that’s starting to change. Delta’s increasingly frequent flash award sales have opened up some stellar deals over the last year, and many TPGers actually prefer Delta over any other U.S. carrier. If you want to pad your SkyMiles balance to take advantage of the next award sale, or earn perks like priority boarding and free checked bags to make your Delta travels more comfortable, a SkyMiles credit card is a great way to do it.

Make sure you apply for these cards before tomorrow, April 1, 2020 if you want to take advantage of these welcome bonuses before they disappear.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Blue Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Card, please click here.

Featured photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy.

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.