Delta used to be my favorite airline in terms of flight experience, customer service, and loyalty program. However, that was some time ago! I still think they’re one of the best airlines in the country with great service and solid airplane products, but their loyalty program has gone down the drain and has been quite evidently hated on by almost every travel writer in the blogosphere.

In an effort to revamp interest in their loyalty program, and to drive revenue for both Delta and American Express, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card increased their sign up offers to 50,000 bonus points each and both cards coming with some unique perks through September 8th. This bonus offer is not eligible for those who have held either card in the past. The Amex Delta cards normally don’t interest me whatsoever, but I’ve taken notice in the 50,000 point offer along with a $50 statement credit for the Gold Card and a $100 statement credit for the Platinum Card (when you make a Delta purchase – if you’re not planning on purchasing a flight just buy a gift card).

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  • Receive 50,000 SkyMiles when you spend $1,000 in 3 months
  • Earn a $50 statement credit after your first Delta purchase (also within 3 months).
  • Earn 2X miles per $1 on Delta purchases, 1X miles on everything else. 
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight for you and up to 8 people on your reservation.
  • Free Priority Boarding and 20% off of In-Flight purchases.
  • Discounted Delta SkyClub access at $29 per visit.
  • No Annual Fee for the first year and then $95 each year after. No foreign transaction fees.

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  • Receive 50,000 SkyMiles and 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months.
  • Earn a $100 statement credit when you make your first Delta purchase within 3 months.
  • Earn 2X miles per $1 on Delta purchases, 1X miles on everything else. 
  • Check yourfirst bag freeon every Delta flight for you and up to 8 people on your reservation.
  • Earn a bonus of up to 20,000 SkyMiles and 20,000 MQM’s annually (10,000 of each for $25,000 in calendar year spend, and another 10,000 of each for a total of $50,000 in calendar year spending).
  • Priority Boarding and 20% off In-Flight purchases.
  • Annual Companion Certificate for one roundtrip economy ticket in the 48 contiguous United States.
  • $195 Annual fee and No foreign transaction fees.

My Strategy for Both Cards:

I just signed up for both cards using the 2 browser method (opening up one application of each in different internet browsers, i.e. Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, and applied for both cards at the same time in order to only receive on credit pull). I figured it’s easy enough to spend $2,000 in 2 months (using Amazon Payments) for both cards and get 100,000 free Delta Skymiles and $150 in statement credits. Why is it I said in 2 months and not 3 months? Well funny you should ask…American Express will waive the annual fee if you cancel the card within 60 days of card opening. So you can essentially receive 100,000 Skymiles + 15,000 MQMs + $150 statement credits for both cards without spending a penny of your own money! So even though I’m not crazy about Delta Skymiles, this just seems like too good of a deal to pass up and there are definitely some good award options that I can make use of from Delta (which I’ll outline below). I’ll probably hold onto the Gold Card for the year until the annual fee comes up to take advantage of some of the added perks that come with it, but I have no reason to keep the Platinum Card. My strategy is in process as both applications are being reviewed…wish me luck!

The Best Use of Delta Skymiles:

Saver award tickets can be hard to come by in Delta’s reward program, however, if you do some research and are flexible enough, you can find some great ways to use these newly acquired Delta Skymiles. The best deal is the 160K round-trip business class award to Australia which has pretty great availability thanks to partner airline Virgin Australia. And if you’ve never been to Tahiti and have been dying to visit that photo that’s always been your computer’s screensaver, then you can even stop off for free in Tahiti along the way to Australia on Air France or Air Tahiti Nui which fly nonstop between the United States and Tahiti.

Enjoy a free stopover in Tahiti!

Enjoy a free stopover in Tahiti!

Delta is also one of the only airlines that allows a free stopover on domestic tickets, so you can fly to 2 different cities on a single 25K award booking which is pretty amazing.

Accumulating Delta Skymiles:

If you need to top off your Skymiles account, you can transfer Membership Rewards Points from the Amex Gold, Platinum, or EveryDay Cards or you can transfer 20,000 Starpoints from your Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and receive a bonus of 5,000 miles for a total of 25,000 Delta Skymiles.

So if you’re like me and you want to diversify your point holdings in various different airline loyalty programs to save for when you’re in a pinch, these offers by Delta/American Express can be very worthwhile. Comment below and discuss why you would or wouldn’t apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card or the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card.

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