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The Delta credit cards have increased their welcome offers to coincide with the new increased annual fee on the cards and the offers are pretty interesting. In addition to incentivizing cardholders to keep their cards beyond the first year by offering bonus miles at anniversary, Amex and Delta are offering an unprecedented 20,000 MQMs as part of the welcome bonus on one of them. Read on for the details of the new offers.
The Offers & Key Card Details
Note: For more information on each of these cards as well as links to apply, simply click the card name to go to our dedicated Frequent Miler page for each card.
While it seems reasonable to expect an increase in offer here given the increase in annual fee on these cards, I’m pleasantly surprised by the new offers.
Keep in mind of course that Delta SkyMiles are not the most valuable airline currency, but with regular flash sales presenting opportunities to get north of a cent per mile for economy class redemptions and the occasional partner award opportunity, these offers can certainly be decent fr someone looking to boost up a Delta account.
Offering bonus miles at first anniversary is certainly an intriguing way to entice people to keep the card beyond the first year. If you also value the other benefits of these cards, I could see these bonuses convincing you to keep the card for at least two years.
A couple of cards feature new bonus categories, including restaurants, US supermarkets, and money spent directly with hotels (see the details above). We previously covered a number of the key changes along with some analysis of their relative value (See: Delta credit cards: huge changes coming.) While you could earn better category bonuses on cards that earn Amex Membership Rewards points and transfer those points to Delta, it’s at least nice to see some chances for bonus categories for those who will otherwise spend on these cards toward Delta status or MQD waivers.
Speaking of status, the ability to pick up 20,000 miles toward elite status (MQMs) as part of the welcome bonus on the Reserve cards is terrific for those chasing status who expect to come up short of the next level. That should go a long way toward making that next level more reachable. As a reminder, Silver status with Delta only requires 25,000 MQMs. The bonus on this card will get you almost half way to Gold.
Since you can also earn MQMs from spend on those cards, $60K spend in a calendar year would get you Gold status without stepping on a plane. Platinum status would then be within reach with moderate flight activity (given that $25K spend across one or more Delta cards will grant you an MQD waiver up to Platinum status). Queue up the first commenter to note that “when everyone has status, no one has status”, but it would seem like useful status could be fairly easy for some. Keep in mind that Delta Diamond still requires either $15K in MQDs or $250K in Delta credit card spend (across one or more Delta credit cards) to get an MQD waiver.
Overall, these offers are all good values for spend in year 1 and the Platinum and Reserve cards are likely keepers beyond year 1 for the anniversary points and benefits. The Reserve cards in particular look like a great deal for those chasing status despite the bump in annual fee.
Keep in mind that these offers contain lifetime language, so you will not be eligible for the bonus on a card that you have or have had, regardless as to whether or not you received a welcome bonus. However, you are eligible for the bonus on each of the cards that you have not had before (provided Amex does not give you a pop-up message during the application process advising otherwise).