Until July 5, 2017, the Gold Delta Card is offering 60,000 bonus Delta miles and a $50 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in your first three months. The Gold Delta Business Card has all the same benefits, the only difference is the sign up bonus is 60,000 SkyMiles for spending $4,000 in three months.
Until July 5, 2017, the Platinum Delta Card is offering 70,000 bonus miles, 10,000 status miles (MQMs), and a $100 statement credit after you spend $4,000 in your first three months. The Platinum Delta Business Card has all the same benefits, the only difference is the sign up bonus is 70,000 SkyMiles + 10,000 MQMs for spending $5,000 in three months.
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This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a 70k bonus on the Delta Platinum card, but it is the largest bonus we’ve seen on the Platinum card. 60k for the Gold card is a great offer for a card that normally offers only 30,000 miles.
- Sign Up Bonus: Platinum: 70k miles, 10k MQMs, and $100 statement credit after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Gold: 60k miles and $50 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first three months
- Category Bonuses: 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases
- Value of Delta Miles: Worth 1.3 cents each to me
- Free Checked Bag for you plus up to three others on same Delta reservation
- Priority Boarding
- No Foreign Transaction Fee
- Annual Fee:
Platinum: $195, not waived (so a net of -$95 after statement credit)
Gold: $95, waived for first year (so a net of +$50 after statement credit)
- Eligibility: You can only get the bonus once per lifetime on public Amex offers. Example: if in the past, you have had only the Gold, you are ineligible to get the bonus on the Gold, but you can get the bonus on the Platinum.
Sign Up Bonus
The Delta Gold card is offering 60,000 bonus Delta miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. You also get a $50 statement credit after your first Delta purchase in the first three months. In the past, all Delta purchases including gift cards have activated the statement credit.
The Delta Platinum is offering 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 status miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. You also get a $100 statement credit after your first Delta purchase in the first three months. Same as the Gold card, in the past, all Delta purchases including gift cards have activated the statement credit.
I value Delta miles at 1.3 cents each, so the Gold’s sign up bonus is worth $830 to me.
(50,000 * .013 + 50)
I value the Platinum’s sign up bonus at $815 plus the value of the MQMs.
(70,000 * .013 + 100 – 195)
MQMs (Medallion Qualifying Miles) are not redeemable for anything; they are simply the counter by which Delta determines your status. You normally earn them by flying, but getting the Platinum card can save you some butt-in-seat miles.
The value of the MQMs depends on your plans for Delta status. I have no interest or path to Delta status. I have 0 MQMs for the year, and that probably won’t change, so I’d value 10,000 MQMs at $0. However, if you are 10,000 MQMs short of Delta Diamond, the value of the 10,000s MQM could easily be a few thousand dollars because of the extra upgrades and other benefits you’d receive compared to being a Platinum member.
If you’re deciding which card to get, the big difference is how important Delta MQMs are to you.
What Delta Miles Are/Aren’t Good For
Delta is constantly, and usually without any sort of prior announcement, devaluing their award prices. That’s not to say their miles are worthless–not at all. Around 1.3 cents per Delta miles is a fair valuation. I just wouldn’t hoard them for long periods of time. Earn them and burn them as quickly as possible.
I think some of the best uses of Delta miles are for the flash sales they run about once a month, because you can book heavily discounted awards (like the one they ran in April to southern South America or this one they ran earlier this month to Florida and the Caribbean). Otherwise, their economy prices are standard/sometimes cheap. If you want Business Class stick to Delta planes versus SkyTeam partners. Delta miles cannot book three-cabin First Class.
You get two miles per dollar on all Delta purchases with both cards. I’d rather use the Amex Platinum card which earns 5 Membership Rewards (worth about 2 cents each) per dollar on airfare purchased directly from airlines, or the Chase Sapphire Reserve that earns 3 Ultimate Rewards (also worth about 2 cents each) per dollar spent on travel purchases.
Both cards come with the standard checked bag benefit that most airline cards offer. This one is good when you fly Delta, and is also good for a free checked bag for up to three others on the same reservation as you. You’ll also get priority boarding with each card.
The Platinum card also comes with a chance to earn bonus MQMs every year. After you spend $25,000 on purchases on your Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card in a calendar year, you earn 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 bonus miles. And after you spend $50,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in the same year, you earn an additional 10,000 MQMs and an additional 10,000 bonus miles. That’s a total of 20,000 MQMs and 20,000 bonus miles in a calendar year.
Foreign Transaction Fees
The cards have no foreign transaction fees.
The Gold card has a $95 annual fee. It is waived the first year.
The Platinum card has a $195 annual fee. It is NOT waived. In the first year, it is partially offset by that $100 credit for making a Delta purchase in the first three months, but this card is still $145 worse out of pocket than the Gold card. (The Gold card is +$50 because it has no annual fee the first year and a $50 credit, and the Platinum card is -$95.)
Remember Amex’s Rule
You can only get the bonus on each Amex card once per lifetime. These are two separate cards, so you can get the bonus on each. But if you have had the Gold card before, you are locked out of its bonus. If you have had the Platinum card before, you are locked out of its bonus.
The only exception is that sometimes you can get the bonus on the same Amex card twice if you receive a targeted offer.
There are big sign up bonuses on the Delta Gold and Platinum cards that you can earn if you sign up by July 5, 2017. If you don’t value Delta status, these are similar offers. If you value Delta status, get the Delta Platinum card.