UPDATE: This offer has expired.
Although you are most likely grounded right now and spending times canceling flights, you are probably also day dreaming about your next vacation. When that will actually happen is very unknown right now, although you can still spend this time working on building your account balance. Back in February, Delta came out with some of the best publicly available offer we’ve seen to date. This spans across seven different personal and business credit cards. With this offer you can earn up to 100,000 bonus miles depending on the card you apply for (and meet the minimum spend requirement). If now is an okay time for you to apply for another card, these cards do expire April 1, 2020, so you’ll want to apply now. (Although only apply if you are in the right position to do so).
Remember with all American Express cards, you are only allowed to receive the offer once in a lifetime, however, all seven cards are treated separately. For example, if you already have the personal version you are still eligible for the business version; have the Gold, apply for the Platinum.
If you’ve read up on the Delta credit cards in the past, one thing to note is that these cards have been revamped. For starters, the annual fee is now higher, although more benefits have been added. (Which may or may not make up for the annual fee, depending on how you use the benefits).
Free checked bags
With the Gold, Platinum and Reserve card, you’ll receive your free checked bag for both you and 8 other passengers on the same itinerary. Additionally, you’ll receive Priority boarding, 20% in-flight savings and discounted SkyClub access — this extends to the additional passengers on the itinerary as well. (The Blue card does not come with these benefits).
I personally find those benefits pretty basic, but the free checked baggage can really save you some money depending on how you fly.
Earn Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs)
With the Platinum card only, every year you are a cardmember, you are able to earn 10,000 MQMs for the first $25,000 in spend on the card during the calendar year, up two times per year. This will help you get one step closer towards status (up to 20,000 MQMs per year).
With the Reserve card only, you’ll also be able to earn additional MQMs, but even more than the Platinum card benefit. With this card you are able to earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your card during the calendar year, up to four times per year. If you are a big spender, this can truly help you earn the desired status (up to 60,000 MQMs per year).
(Note: This is a change from previous benefits, where you’ll no longer earn redeemable miles as well).
Annual companion ticket
With the Platinum card only, you’ll receive an annual companion certificate which can be used within the 48 contiguous United States. You’ll only pay the taxes and fees.
With the Reserve card only, you’ll also receive an annual companion ticket on your account renewal, but it will be valid for any cabin class (including first class).
Maximize your Delta miles
If you fly Delta often, you’ll want to get the card that will earn you the most number of miles on your flight. Both the Platinum and Reserve card (personal and business) will earn you 3x miles while the Gold card (personal and business) will earn you2x miles.
On the Platinum Business card, you’ll also earn 1.5 miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, up to 50,000 additional miles per year. If you make large purchases, this can definitely add up.
On the Reserve Business card, you’ll earn 1.5 miles per dollar after you spend $150,000 on your card in a calendar year. (Eligible purchases after spending $150,000 do not include Delta purchases).
With the Gold card only, you’ll receive a $100 Delta flight credit after you spend $10,000 on the card per year.
This is a new benefit for both the personal and business version of this card.
Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
Both the Platinum and Reserve card (personal and business) will give reimburse the fee paid for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85). Even if you already have one of these two perks, you can always pay for a friend or family members application and it will still trigger the statement credit.
Airport Lounge access
With the Reserve card (personal and business), if you are flying on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight, you’ll receive complimentary Delta Sky Club access and access to the American Express Centurion Lounges.
If you are only able to earn Delta status on miles flown and not the Medallion Qualifying Dollar (MQD) requirement, having the Platinum or Reserve card will help you out. If you spend $25,000 in a year on the card, you’ll receive a waiver for the MDQ requirement.
Since all are American Express cards, you are eligible to take advantage of the many American Express statement credit offers that I write about often! This can help often the annual fee and help you save money!
With many different cards, which card is best for you?
So while all three cards have similar benefits, the Platinum and Reserve card have some extra benefits — which makes sense due to the higher annual fees. One main reason to get the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express or Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express over the Gold card is if you are looking to earn additional MQMs to earn status. That is if you are able to put that much on your card. Also, the Platinum card comes with an annual companion certificate upon account renewal and paying the annual fee (domestic economy class that can be used within the 48 contiguous states + you have to pay applicable taxes/fees).
Now, with the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express you are getting the same benefits as above, but the opportunity to earn even more MQMs in a year. If you are able to earn the maximum 60,000 MQMs solely from the Status Boost credit card spend, then this will get you automatic Gold status (which only requires 50,000 MQMs). However, Platinum and Diamond status are more ideal statuses which requires 75,000 and 125,000 MQMs earned within the calendar year. If the only way you’ll be able to earn one of these two statuses is with credit card spend combined with actually flying on qualifying flights, then this is a great benefit. The other big perk of the Reserve card is that the annual companion certificate can even be used in first class and you’ll receive complimentary Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
With all that being said, if you are just looking for the basic perks and a good limited time bonus, then the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express or Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express might be your best bet. The annual fee is waived for the first year, you’ll still receive a high welcome offer, you’ll get to check your bag for free and you’ll receive priority boarding.
The Platinum and Reserve card offers are the highest we’ve ever seen publicly available, although you will not get all of the points until your first anniversary year. The Gold card is on par with the increased offers we’ve seen in the past. These are overall solid offers and a great opportunity to increase your Delta account balance. But just make sure to be responsible with your credit card applications right now.
I am personally running low on Delta miles and I have found them to be quite valuable lately. I will be taking this increase offer as an opportunity to increase my account balance!