One of the benefits of hosting my European parents here in US is that meeting minimum spending requirements on a new credit card becomes a non-issue. The cost of restaurants and entertainment for six people adds up fast. But it’s my family, so I try my best to be a good/generous hostess. As a result, we met the $3,000 spending on my husband’s new Amex WF Propel World within a month.
Since I like to use my limited spending towards new offers, I started looking at various credit cards. I plan to sign up for Citi Thank You Premier, but won’t be eligible for bonus till the middle of May. And I certainly don’t want a month and a half to go by without a hustle of some sort.
I was intrigued by Delta co-branded credit cards. As you’ve guessed from the title, I ended up passing on them, which I will explain at the end of the post. However, let me highlight reasons on why you may want to consider them. You can read about two personal versions here, and business version here
You may only receive one bonus/per card/ per lifetime. All current offers are supposed to expire 4/11/2018, but I’m certain they will be back. So, I’m definitely not trying to create a false sense of urgency. All three cards pay us commission, and I hope you consider supporting the blog if you choose to apply.
Let’s take a look at Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express because it has the lowest barrier to entry and a waived first-year fee:
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after you spend an additional $1,000 with your new Card within your first 6 months. Offer expires on 4/11/2018.
- Earn 2 miles on every eligible dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on other purchases.
- Check your first bag free on Delta flights – that’s a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
- Settle into your seat sooner with Priority Boarding.
- Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
So, assuming you are able to spend $3,000 in 3 months, you will collect 60,000 miles+$50 credit after Delta purchase.
Delta’s (bad) reputation
Delta has a terrible reputation in the miles and points hobby, and there is a good reason for it. Years ago, they used to require you to redeem miles on a roundtrip ticket, and award availability was pathetic. These days there is zero transparency when it comes to award pricing. You basically pay what they tell you to pay. But!
Using miles is so much easier than it used to be. Plus, you can redeem them on one-way awards, which is huge for families who have little flexibility. While things got worse for premium Delta cabin flyers, they actually got better for economy lovers.
But don’t take my word for it. One of my readers lives in Los Angeles, so let’s take her as an example. Suppose, she wants to take her family to Seattle and fly on a Saturday in June. Here is a sample pricing in miles:
Burning miles will yield around 2 CPM (cents per mile). Not too shabby! Plus, everything can be done online, no need to call as is usually the case with foreign programs. Sure, you may be able to find lower cost revenue alternatives to Delta. Still, there is no arguing that paying 6,500 miles for a non-stop flight from LAX to SEA is a sweet deal. That 60,000 miles bonus can go quite far. Value will depend on a route, and redeeming on places like Hawaii is not the best use of Delta miles. You will be better off using programs like Korean Air SkyPass or Air France Flying Blue.
Can’t find any award availability for the route and date you are looking for? Just use your bonus towards revenue Delta fare and get 1 cent per mile. So, in that case, 60,000 miles will yield a $600 discount. Again, not too shabby. Plus, don’t forget, you will be able to check in one bag for free, which is a nice perk.
There is one big reason I’m keeping an eye on Delta co-branded offers. For years I’ve wanted to stop in Amsterdam on my way to Belarus. Things just never lined up, but I’m hoping to do it next time we go. As it turns out, Delta flies non-stop from Orlando to Amsterdam, and summer availability for four people is quite decent at the lowest level:
The times are also very convenient and would allow my husband to work part of the day:
Some dates even have availability in Delta One class, and I wouldn’t mind splurging miles on one seat to treat my very large husband.
That said, we don’t have plans to fly to Europe for at least 2-3 years. That’s why I reluctantly decided to put these Delta offers on a back burner…for now. As I’ve said earlier, I’m quite certain they will be back. Plus, Delta may discontinue this route by the time I’m finally ready to book it. Besides, I have other priorities right now. Speaking of…
Hunting for 25k offer on Amex Everyday card
As I’ve mentioned before, Amex likes to play games with customers and usually saves the best offers for strangers. A quick tip for new readers: make sure to check CardMatch tool. I’ve recently written a post on being able to find 50k Amex Premier Rewards Gold offer for my husband in incognito mode. The bonus has already posted, so we are now proud owners of 53k Membership Rewards points.
There is one issue with Amex Gold card. It has an annual fee of $195 that is supposed to hit upon renewal next year, and I certainly have no intention of paying it. According to terms, we have to keep the card for at least 12 months or risk losing the bonus. Fortunately, you can get a refund of the Amex fee within 30 days of the date when the statement with it posts to your account. That will give me plenty of time.
However, I would like to keep the points intact and my husband has no other MR cards. Enter Amex Everyday. It has no annual fee, so there is no pressure to cancel it. Unfortunately, the affiliate offer only comes with 10,000 points (yawn). Fortunately, according to DoC and few other blogs, it may be possible to find 25k offer in incognito browser.
I tried, and was only able to pull up 15k offer. I did all kinds of stuff: left the browser open for few hours, refreshed it multiple times and nothing. I was ready to give up on it for now, but decided to ask my husband to check it on his iPad. Voila! The elusive 25k offer finally showed up.
The offer of 60k Delta miles to me is worth more than 25k Membership Rewards, but there is a twist. I absolutely had to come up with a plan to preserve my MR points after canceling Amex Gold Premier card. I don’t have any other flexible points currency, and want to hang on to my stash in case there is a sudden need for it.
I’ve written about MR program highlighting its strength and weaknesses. While it’s not as valuable or versatile as UR program, the fact that you don’t have to pay an annual fee is a game-changer for me.
Delta cards, we’ll meet again, I’m sure of it.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.