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The American Express Delta SkyMiles card, which usually has a tiny sign up bonus not worth our attention temporarily has a 70k sign up bonus.
First, I’ll analyze the value of the sign up bonus both ways I analyze sign up bonuses–absolute-value method and rebate-percentage method–then I’ll tell you how to get the 70k offer if you want it.
The 70,000 SkyMile sign up bonus breaks down like this: 25k after first purchase and 45k after $5,000 in spending in the first six months.
Additionally you can earn a $100 statement credit on your first Delta purchase within three months of opening the card.
The annual fee is $95, but it is waived for the first year.
This is how I value that offer:
70k SkyMiles are worth $854 according to my Mile Value Leaderboad. Delta miles are worth less than any other type of mile I’ve valued at only 1.22 cents each.
The $100 statement credit is worth $100 to me because I would make a point of making a Delta purchase in the first three months.
Having the card means the cardholder and up to eight others on the same reservation can get one checked bag for free. Checking a bag costs $25. I would not use this benefit, since I am a one-bag evangelist, so I value this at zero, but others would certainly benefit.
Having the card entitles the cardholder to Zone 1 priority boarding, which means no fight for the overhead bin. I value this benefit at about $2 per flight, and I would estimate having two Delta flights in the first year of having the card, so this is a $4 benefit for me.
There is no annual fee the first year, so I add up the benefits to find the absolute value of the sign up bonus. $958 is the sum of the benefits for me ($854 + $100 + $4). If you value early boarding or checked bags more, you’ll value the sign up bonus higher.
The absolute value of the sign up bonus is $958. The rebate percentage is 19.2%. To get the rebate percentage, I simply divided the value of the sign up bonus by the minimum-spending requirement to unlock all of it. ($958 / $5000)
If you don’t understand the absolute-value method or the rebate-percentage method, or if you don’t know which is more important for your spending profile, read The Two Ways to Value Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses.
$958 is a pretty big sign up bonus. Since this will probably only be around for a limited time, and normally the SkyMiles card’s sign up bonus is much lower, you may want to get this card now, especially if you are a big spender who should primarily look at the absolute value of sign up bonuses.
A 19.2% rebate on the minimum spend is a much more modest way to view the bonus. This would only be the third biggest AMEX personal card by the rebate-percentage method that small spenders and upcoming-mortgage customers should use. The personal 50k Platinum Mercedes-Benz has a 102.5% rebate and the 25k personal Gold has a 29.8% rebate.
I’m normally in the rebate-percentage camp because I’m a small spender, but I have a big purchase coming up that I will put on this card. That temporarily puts me in the absolute-value camp and $958 is a great sign up bonus.
So I applied and got instantly approved.
How to Get the Card
That’s easy. Copy and paste the following link:
Delete “JOHN” and insert your first name. Delete “SMITH” and insert your last name. Delete “1234567890” and insert your SkyMiles number.
The application page is a little buggy. Don’t worry that it won’t let you input your first name. And don’t worry that if you click on a box, it will ask you to fill in a box that you didn’t click. And don’t worry that your answers don’t seem to visually line up with the application’s questions.
Clicking “Continue to Verify” will take you to a page with the name magically filled in and your answers in the right spots. If the answers on this page aren’t correct, there is a problem.
After submitting I got a screen saying my application had been received and I’d hear within 14 days. But within 14 minutes, I got an email saying I was approved and that I’d get the card in the mail in seven to ten days.