Limited Time: Lots of Delta Miles Up For Grabs
A few days ago I wrote about a Delta promotion which gives you 1,000 extra SkyMiles any time you earn miles with a new Delta partner — including Lyft. 1,000 isn't that many, but every mile helps when you're saving for a redemption.
The terms and conditions of the promotion suggest that financial and credit card partners are included, too. That means that if you’ve never had a Delta-branded American Express card, nor transferred Amex Membership Rewards points to Delta, either of those would count as new partner earning for the sake of the bonus.
(Note: In reality, as long as you haven't earned miles through Amex since March 2016, that counts as "never" for this promotion.)
If you have a "traditional" Amex which earns Membership Rewards points, you could also transfer at least 1,000 to Delta and trigger the bonus that way. You could also open a Delta co-branded Amex card and spend on it. Normally, 1,000 extra SkyMiles wouldn’t, by themselves, be worth opening a new credit card. Instead, they’d just be a nice cherry on top of a signup bonus. As it turns out, now looks like a good time to get the bigger bonus and the cherry.
This week, Amex raised the publicly-available signup bonuses of their Delta cobranded credit cards to the highest they’ve ever been. The Gold Delta SkyMiles card is offering 60,000 SkyMiles after spending $3,000 within four months of opening the card, while the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card is offering 70,000 miles for $4,000 spend in the same timeframe.
There are other perks, too, besides the signup bonus. The gold card offers a $50 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase in the first four months, while the Platinum offers a $100 credit — If you're not flying Delta soon, you can buy a gift card to put towards a later flight. Having either card gives you priority boarding, a free checked bag and discounted access to Delta SkyClub lounges ($29). The Platinum card also has an extra perk: a free companion certificate each year you renew the card. That means that if you buy a coach ticket (within the continental U.S. only), you can get a second ticket for free. The Gold card has an annual fee of $95, waived the first year, while the Platinum’s fee is $195, not waived.
A lot of people complain about Delta SkyMiles, and its true that they’ve devalued significantly over the years — especially if you’re trying to book international business class seats. However, I really think their reputation isn’t fair, and I’ve gotten some great value from them over the past year, including a roundtrip to Edinburgh, a short-haul roundtrip to Burlington, and, for my upcoming honeymoon, two one-ways from Maui to New York, stopping in L.A. and flying the second leg in DeltaOne business class (I'm planning a post about the honeymoon bookings). Each of those redemptions got me at least 2 cents-per-point, a great value for SkyMiles.
The increased signup bonuses are around until July 5th, but you should hurry if you want the extra 1,000 miles — that promotion is only around until June 30, and Amex cobranded credit card points are awarded when your statement closes. To be safe, you’d want to apply in the next few days so that there's enough time for a full statement period before the promotion ends.
Keep in mind that these bonus are once-per-lifetime. If you've had one of these specific cards before, you can't get the bonus again (unless it's been at least 7 years since you closed the card).
And for anyone who’s relatively new to this: no, opening this card will not hurt your credit score (unless you plan to rack up a ton of debt and carry a balance, or don’t pay your bills on time). I’m going to write a post about that at some point, too, but for now, I’ll "point" you in the direction of The Points Guy (pun absolutely intended).
Let me know if you apply!