With Amex offering a jaw-dropping 90,000 mile welcome bonus for both the consumer and business Delta Platinum cards, I figured that this was a great time to repost this deep dive. Here’s everything you need to know…
Here are the current offers for both the consumer and business versions of the Delta Platinum card:
Should you apply?
Many cards are worth getting for the welcome bonus alone. In this case though, if that’s your only interest, you may prefer to sign up for the Delta Gold card since it has a lower annual fee:
If you’re a regular Delta flyer and you value the Delta Platinum card’s annual companion ticket and/or the ability to earn MQMs through spend, then the Platinum card probably makes sense to you. On the other hand, you might do even better with an ultra-premium Delta Reserve card. See: Delta Reserve complete guide.
Are you eligible?
In most cases with Amex, if you’ve had the same card before, you can’t get a welcome bonus when signing up. Consider, though, that each variation of Delta card is considered a different product. Over time, it’s possible for you to earn the welcome bonus on all of the following cards since each one is a separate product:
|Card Offer Mini|
Here are additional Amex application tips:
Amex Application Tips
Check application status here.
How to meet minimum spend requirements
Eligible purchases to meet the Threshold Amount do NOT include fees or interest charges, purchases of travelers checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or purchases of other cash equivalents.That said, many techniques for meeting minimum spend are perfectly fine. Here are some techniques that are safe for meeting Amex minimum spend requirements (click each link for more information):
- Domestic economy class companion certificate (subject to taxes & fees) each year upon card renewal. See: Delta companion certificates quick guide.
- $100 Global Entry fee credit every 4 years (or 4.5 years for TSA Precheck)
- Priority boarding
- First checked bag free.
- 20% Back on In-Flight Purchases
Elite Status BoostsWith the Delta Platinum card, you'll earn 10,000 MQMs (Medallion Qualifying Dollars) and a MQD Waiver when you spend $25,000 within a calendar year. And you'll earn another 10,000 MQMs when you spend $50,000 within a calendar year. These features are awesome for those who highly value Delta elite status and can use the extra help that this card offers. Note that the ultra-premium Delta Reserve cards offer even more MQMs through spend: 15,000 MQMs for each $30,000 spent within a calendar year (capped at $120K spend). Year 2021 Only: Status Boosts earn 25% more MQMs.
Amex shows your progress towards these status boosts when you log into the American Express website to view your account:
- Trip Delay Insurance: Coverage kicks in after a 12 hour delay. Details here.
- Baggage Insurance: Up to $500 per person for checked luggage, and up to $1,250 per person for carry-ons. Must pay transportation in full with your card to be covered. Details here.
- Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: Secondary car rental insurance. Must pay for rental in-full with card. Details here.
- Extended warranty: Up to 1 extra year.
- Purchase protection: Covers damage, loss, or theft up to 90 days after purchase. Details here.
Cell Phone Protection
- Coverage includes phones that are stolen or damaged.
- Cracked screens are covered.
- Max $800 per claim or $1,600 per 12 month period.
- A $50 deductible applies to each claim.
- “You must charge your monthly Eligible Cellular Wireless Telephone bill to your Eligible Card Account.” (interestingly, the terms do not say that you must pay in full each month, but maybe that’s implied?)
- Policy details can be found here.
There are few ways to earn Delta SkyMiles with this card:
Obviously, if eligible, you can earn miles by successfully signing up for this card and meeting the minimum spend requirements:
The refer-a-friend offer shown above for the Delta Platinum card was in effect when this post was first written. Offers can and do change over time. Consider this only an example of the type of offer you may find.
By logging into your American Express account, you should be able to find an offer to earn miles when referring friends. It's often the case, but not always, that your friends can get bigger bonuses through your referral link than through a public offer.
Note that your friends can use your referral link to sign up for any Delta card. They are not limited to the one that you have. For example, a friend can use your Delta Gold or Delta Platinum friend-link to sign up for the Delta Reserve card. Similarly, a Delta Reserve referral link can be used to sign up for the Delta Gold or Delta Platinum card. Regardless of which Delta card they sign up for, you will earn a referral bonus if they are approved.
Delta Platinum cards have different bonus categories depending upon whether you have the consumer or business version. Here are the details:
Consumer Delta Platinum
The ability to earn 2X at US Supermarkets with the consumer version of the card is a great option for those who highly value both Delta SkyMiles and the ability to earn MQMs through high spend.
|Card Info Name and Earning Rate (no offer)|
Business Delta Platinum
The ability to earn 1.5X is a great option with the business version of the card for those who highly value both Delta SkyMiles and the ability to earn MQMs through high spend and who have frequent large purchases.
|Card Info Name and Earning Rate (no offer)|
You don’t need a Delta credit card to redeem Delta miles for award flights, but there is one feature that requires having a Delta credit card: Pay with miles…
Pay with Miles
Delta's "Pay with Miles" feature is limited to primary cardholders of any Delta card (Blue, Gold, Platinum, or Reserve). This feature lets you pay for cash tickets in part or in full with Delta SkyMiles at a value of 1 cent per mile. You must pay in increments of 5,000 miles. Every 5,000 miles you apply decreases the ticket cost by $50. In other words, each mile is worth exactly 1 penny with this feature.
No miles earned: Flights that are paid for in this way earn full MQMs (Medallion Qualifying Dollars) and MQSs (Medallion Qualifying Segments). However, only the portion paid in cash earns redeemable SkyMiles and MQDs (Medallion Qualifying Dollars). The latter two issues reduce the value of the Pay with Miles feature.
Tip: Unless the full ticket amount is an exact multiple of $50, I recommend stopping short of paying the whole fare with miles since you'll get lower value from the last 5,000 miles. For example, if you want to use this feature and your ticket costs $228, I recommend paying 20,000 miles to decrease the cash cost to $28. Otherwise you would have to pay another 5,000 miles for that last $28 (which is a poor value).
Keep, cancel, or product change?
If you regularly make good use of the card’s annual companion certificate, then the card basically pays for itself with that feature alone. And for those who seek Delta elite status, the ability to earn MQMs through spend is great. If neither of these apply to you, then you’re probably better off cancelling or downgrading to the lower fee Gold card or the no-fee Blue card.
One way to decide is to use our spreadsheet to compare similar cards. See: Which Ultra Premium Cards are Keepers?
Here’s a full list of Delta branded cards available in the United States:
|Card Name w Details & Review (no offer)|