Limited Time: 60k Gold & 70k Platinum Delta Offers. Which is Better?

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I’m bumping this post up to the top of the blog roll as a reminder that these elevated 60k and 70k bonus offers for the Delta Gold and Platinum Amex cards are ending April 11, 2018 (this coming Wednesday). If you want to apply, do so before midnight tonight!  

Until April 11, 2018, the Gold Delta Card is offering 50,000 bonus Delta miles after you spend $2,000 in your first three months, plus an additional 10,000 bonus miles for spending another $1,000 in within the first six months. The card also comes with a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within three months of opening it. The Gold Delta Business Card comes with the exact same offer.

Also until April 11, 2018, the Platinum Delta Card is offering 70,000 bonus miles, 10,000 status miles (MQMs), and a $100 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in your first three months. The Platinum Delta Business Card has all the same benefits, the only difference is the sign up bonus is 70,000 SkyMiles + 10,000 MQMs for spending $3,000 in three months.

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Credit Cards.

These are the same record high bonuses we saw offered back in September of last year.

Quick Facts

  • Sign Up Bonus: Platinum: 70k miles, 10k MQMs, and $100 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Gold: 60k miles and $50 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first three months and an additional $1,000 within the first six months
  • Category Bonuses: 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases
  • Value of Delta Miles: Worth 1.3 cents each to me
  • Free Checked Bag for you plus up to three others on same Delta reservation
  • Priority Boarding
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Annual Fee:
    Platinum: $195, not waived (so a net of -$95 after statement credit)
    Gold: $95, waived for first year (so a net of +$50 after statement credit)
  • Eligibility: You can only get the bonus once per lifetime on public Amex offers. Example: if in the past, you have had only the Gold, you are ineligible to get the bonus on the Gold, but you can get the bonus on the Platinum. The Gold Delta Business Card is a separate product from the Gold Card so having already earned one’s bonus doesn’t affect your eligibility for the other.

Sign Up Bonus

The Delta Gold card is offering 50,000 bonus Delta miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. If you spend an additional $1,000 on the card within six months of opening it, you’ll get an additional 10,000 bonus miles for a total of 60,000. You also get a $50 statement credit after your first Delta purchase in the first three months. In the past, all Delta purchases including gift cards have activated the statement credit.

The Delta Platinum is offering 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 status miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. You also get a $100 statement credit after your first Delta purchase in the first three months. Same as the Gold card, in the past, all Delta purchases including gift cards have activated the statement credit.

I value Delta miles at 1.3 cents each, so the Gold’s sign up bonus is worth $830 to me.

(60,000 * .013 + 50)

I value the Platinum’s sign up bonus at $815 plus the value of the MQMs.

(70,000 * .013 + 100 – 195)

MQMs (Medallion Qualifying Miles) are not redeemable for anything; they are simply the counter by which Delta determines your status. You normally earn them by flying, but getting the Platinum card can save you some butt-in-seat miles.

The value of the MQMs depends on your plans for Delta status. I have no interest or path to Delta status. I have 0 MQMs for the year, and that probably won’t change, so I’d value 10,000 MQMs at $0. However, if you are 10,000 MQMs short of Delta Diamond, the value of the 10,000s MQM could easily be a few thousand dollars because of the extra upgrades and other benefits you’d receive compared to being a Platinum member.

I imagine there’s even less of you after Delta status now that the MQD Spending Waiver Diamond Status has been raised to a shocking $250,000 a year.

If you’re deciding which card to get, the big difference is how important Delta MQMs are to you.

What Delta Miles Are/Aren’t Good For

Delta is constantly, and usually without any sort of prior announcement, devaluing their award prices. That’s not to say their miles are worthless–not at all. Around 1.3 cents per Delta miles is a fair valuation. I just wouldn’t hoard them for long periods of time. Earn them and burn them as quickly as possible.

I think some of the best uses of Delta miles are for the flash sales they run about once a month, because you can book heavily discounted awards (like the one they ran last April to southern South America or the one they ran in May to Florida and the Caribbean). Otherwise, their economy prices are standard/sometimes cheap. If you want Business Class stick to Delta planes versus SkyTeam partners. Delta miles cannot book three-cabin First Class.

Using the Statement Credit

With the Gold card, your first Delta purchase earns you a $50 statement credit.

With the Platinum card, you first Delta purchase earns you a $100 statement credit.

The purchase doesn’t need to be large, a purchase as small as $1 should trigger the credit. The key is that the purchase is processed by Delta and not any other company.

Examples of a purchase processed by Delta:

  • Taxes on an award ticket (domestic ticket taxes are just $5.60!)
  • Checked bag fee or
  • Seat Upgrade
  • Onboard refreshments or snacks (on an actual Delta flight)
  • SkyClub (Delta lounge) day pass

If you don’t organically find yourself spending something with Delta, you could always purchase a Delta gift card and use it in the future.

Category Bonuses

You get two miles per dollar on all Delta purchases with both cards. I’d rather use the Amex Platinum card which earns 5 Membership Rewards (worth about 2 cents each) per dollar on airfare purchased directly from airlines, or the Chase Sapphire Reserve that earns 3 Ultimate Rewards (also worth about 2 cents each) per dollar spent on travel purchases.

Other Benefits

Both cards come with the standard checked bag benefit that most airline cards offer. This one is good when you fly Delta, and is also good for a free checked bag for up to three others on the same reservation as you. You’ll also get priority boarding with each card.

The Platinum card also comes with a chance to earn bonus MQMs every year. After you spend $25,000 on purchases on your Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card in a calendar year, you earn 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 bonus miles. And after you spend $50,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in the same year, you earn an additional 10,000 MQMs and an additional 10,000 bonus miles. That’s a total of 20,000 MQMs and 20,000 bonus miles in a calendar year.

Foreign Transaction Fees

The cards have no foreign transaction fees.

Annual Fee

The Gold card has a $95 annual fee. It is waived the first year.

The Platinum card has a $195 annual fee. It is NOT waived. In the first year, it is partially offset by that $100 credit for making a Delta purchase in the first three months, but this card is still $145 worse out of pocket than the Gold card. (The Gold card is +$50 because it has no annual fee the first year and a $50 credit, and the Platinum card is -$95.)

Remember Amex’s Rule

You can only get the bonus on each Amex card once per lifetime. These are two separate cards, so you can get the bonus on each. But if you have had the Gold card before, you are locked out of its bonus. If you have had the Platinum card before, you are locked out of its bonus. The Gold Delta Business card is a separate product from the Gold personal card. You can earn the bonus on one and still be eligible for the bonus on the other.

The only exception to Amex’s once in a lifetime rule is that sometimes you can get the bonus on the same Amex card twice if you receive a targeted offer.

Bottom Line

There are big sign up bonuses on the Delta Gold and Platinum cards that you can earn if you sign up by April 11, 2018. If you don’t value Delta status, these are similar offers. If you value Delta status, get the Delta Platinum card.

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Credit Cards.


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Might want to change the date in the “Bottom Line”. It was apparently a modified reprint of your article from last fall.

  2. Hi Sarah, Do you know if Amex condiders paying your taxes with the card as a purchase or cash advance? I’m thinking about the Gold business card but would need to put @$1000 on my taxes to meet the minimum spend. The $20 fee, or less, would be worth it for the sign-up bonus.
    Anyone out there try this?

    • Hi Carol, it is considered a purchase and not a cash advance if you process through one of the services outlined in this post that discusses paying taxes with credit cards. The online bill payment processor Plastiq also classifies IRS tax payments as purchases–I know because I used them last year. I need to update this post ASAP for this year’s tax season, but looks like Pay1040.com still has the lowest transaction fee out of those listed on irs.gov. Keep an eye on Plastiq as sometimes they’ll run a promo and lower their rate.. but for now it’s 2.5% which is significantly higher than Pay1040’s 1.87%. I use Plastiq anyways because I have built up referral credits, called Fee Free Credits, which I recommend you do in the future. If you get others to sign up for and use Plastiq, when they make payments, you get Fee Free Dollars. Then you can make payments on your card and pay no fee!

  3. Sarah – I was approved for the Platinum Business Card with the requirement of $3,000 spend in 3 months, not $4,000.

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