Until July 6, 2016, the Delta Gold card is offering 50,000 bonus Delta miles and a $50 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in your first three months.
Until July 6, 2016, the Delta Platinum is offering 60,000 bonus miles, 10,000 status miles (MQMs), and a $100 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in your first three months.
This is the largest bonus I’ve seen on the Platinum card. I’ve seen up to 70,000 on the Gold card, but this is still quite high for a card that normally offers only 30,000 miles.
- Sign Up Bonus:
Platinum: 60k miles, 10k MQMs, and $100 statement credit after spending $2,000 in first three months
Gold: 50k miles and $50 statement credit after spending $2,000 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
- 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)
- You can only get the bonus once per lifetime on Amex cards. 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 50,000 bonus Delta miles after you spend $2,000 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. All Delta purchases, including gift cards, are activating the statement credit.
The Delta Platinum is offering 60,000 bonus miles and 10,000 status miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 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. All Delta purchases, including gift cards, are activating the statement credit.
I value Delta miles at 1.3 cents each, so the Gold’s sign up bonus is worth $700 to me. (50,000 * .013 + 50)
I value the Platinum’s sign up bonus at $685 plus the value of the MQMs. (60,000 * .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.
You get two miles per dollar on all Delta purchases with both cards. I’d rather use the Citi Prestige® Card, which earns 3x ThankYou Points per dollar on all air travel and hotel purchases (including Delta purchases.)
The card comes 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.
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.
No Annual Fee
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 this 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.
There are big sign up bonuses on the Delta Gold and Platinum cards. If you don’t value Delta status, these are similar offers. If you value Delta status, get the Delta Platinum card.