Amex adding once in a lifetime family language to Delta consumer cards

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Delta has been running around like bull in a china shop this week, managing to make almost every corner of the SkyFans universe angry with massive changes to both its elite program and to SkyClub access for credit cardholders. Evidently, it’s not done.

American Express has a rule that only allows customers to get a credit card welcome offer “once in a lifetime,” which in practice means once every 5-7 years. However, the various flavors of Amex Delta business and consumer cards have been considered different products, thus allowing folks to sextuple-dip the welcome offers. That seems to be changing.

Danny the Deal Guru noticed that there is some “family language” now appearing on Delta consumer cards that prohibits getting a welcome offer on one card if you’ve had other cards within that family. Danny said that it was showing all the Delta consumer cards, but I’m actually seeing different language on each one. Delta Business cards seem to be unaffected.

a group of credit cards

What’s Changed

I currently see different language on each of the Delta consumer cards, under the terms and conditions:

Delta Gold Card

You may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer if you have or have had this Card, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card or previous versions of these Cards.

Delta Platinum Card

You may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer if you have or have had this Card, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card or previous versions of these Cards. 

Delta Reserve Card

You may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer if you have or have had this Card or previous versions of this Card. 

Right now, it looks like the Gold is off the table if you’ve had any of the three cards previously. However, you’d be eligible for a welcome offer on the Delta Platinum card if you’ve already had a Gold (but not the Reserve), while the language on the Reserve card is business as usual.

Quick Thoughts

The specificity in language between the Delta Platinum and Gold cards seems intentional, as opposed to a slow roll-out of a family rule across all cards.

It looks like Delta and Amex don’t want to keep you from moving up to more expensive premium cards, but it does want to keep you from moving in the other direction. Based on how it stands now, if you wanted welcome offers on all three, you’d be able to do that by applying for the Gold, Platinum and Reserve in sequence. However, if you previously had the Reserve or the Platinum and were planning to circle around later and get one of the other cards, you’re now out of luck.

This could change, of course, like it did recently when Amex slowly added more restrictive language to the various flavors of Platinum cards. If anyone sees a change in the language on any of the cards, let us know and we’ll update this post.

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