I have a round on the way soon (past due but for spend reasons I am delaying). I am planning on adding a Delta Reserve personal card as I want to add 10,000 MQM’s to my total this year without needing to add to my somewhat excessive 9.5 days of trans-con flights for 47,000+ MQM’s & almost 100,000 RDM’s. My total cost for those flights broke down this way:
Cost to buy the tickets was $ 1,700
Vouchers used to buy was $ 800
Total cost for AIR all-in $ 900
To me the value of the RDM’s, at a MINIMUM with “Pay with Miles” makes this trip a break-even adventure.
Now why do I start with this and how does this tie in to my reader’s question about what DELTA AMEX card to get? Here is why. My cost to “BUY” my MQM’s, thanks to vouchers, was an extremely good 1.9CPM. Without the vouchers I would be looking at 3.6CPM. Getting another AMEX Reserve card, since I have the business one already, would cost me another $450 fee for one year. So, my CPM for this 10,000 MQM’s from the card would be 4.5CPM. Still not an unreasonably high cost since I would not have to give up 2-3 days more of my year to get the points.
So at long last this bit of background needs to be clear so you understand the answer to what card. Look at what each cards offers.
DELTA AMEX GOLD card. Here are the perks:
You get 30,000 bonus miles toward Award Travel when you spend $500 on the Card in the first three months of Card membership. You get to check your first bag for free on every Delta flight plus up to 8 more traveling with you on the same itinerary. Receive Zone 1 priority boarding on Delta flights . Receive 20% In-flight Savings on food and entertainment in the form of a statement credit. $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
After the first year when you pay the annual fee you get a buy one get a coach $99 domestic companion ticket plus tax. (ends 25JAN2013)
DELTA AMEX PLATINUM card. Here are the perks:
You get 20,000 bonus miles upon your first purchase with the Card (5,000 of which are Medallion Qualification Miles). Get 5,000 bonus miles when you sign up for two Additional Cards. Spend $25,000 and earn 10,000 MQM’s and 10,000 Bonus Miles. Get the same bonus again if you spend $50,000 per / calendar year.You get to check your first bag for free on every Delta flight plus up to 8 more traveling with you on the same itinerary. Receive Zone 1 priority boarding on Delta flights . Receive 20% In-flight Savings on food and entertainment in the form of a statement credit. $195 annual fee. After the first year when you pay the annual fee you get a buy one get a coach FREE domestic companion ticket plus tax.
DELTA AMEX Reserve card. Here are the perks:
You get 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM) upon your first purchase with the Card. Unparalleled Miles BoostSM – Spend $30,000 and earn 15,000 MQM’s and 15,000 Bonus Miles. Get the same bonus again if you spend $60,000 per / calendar year. Also enjoy Delta Sky Club access (only for you free – $29 for up to 2 more with you). You get to check your first bag for free on every Delta flight plus up to 8 more traveling with you on the same itinerary. Receive Zone 1 priority boarding on Delta flights . Receive 20% In-flight Savings on food and entertainment in the form of a statement credit. After the first year when you pay the annual fee you get a buy one get a 1st or coach FREE domestic companion ticket plus tax. $450 annual fee.
You can also, if you run any kind of big or small or personal business (i.e. you are a sole proprietor) you can get the business cards of by clicking the button after the personal links.
Now what should you consider? The answer is consider your situation. If you only fly once or twice a year the GOLD card is likely good for you to consider. You can buy a Skyclub pass with it for a discount at $29/visit. You get Zone 1 boarding just like Silver Medallions. You get a free bag for you and those with you.
You get the buy one get one for $99 domestic ticket. MQM’s just are not a draw for you.
Next, you fly Delta. Not a ton, but say enough to get 10-20,000 MQM’s a year. The PLATINUM card should be looked at. 5,000 MQM’s for the $195 fee is nice and could put you over the top for status next year at a raw cost of 3CPM without flying. Plus, all the perks of the GOLD card with a buy one get one for FREE domestic ticket.
The last group is for the RESERVE card. You fly Delta a lot and/or spend a lot! You will make or almost make GOLD MEDALLION or PM or DM! You can use the boost of 10,000 MQM’s from the first $1.00 spent on the new card to make it over the top. Or, like me, you want to get as many roll-over MQM’s so next year you can earn whatever status level you want by flying less. Plus, since you fly a ton, FREE access to the Skyclubs could be worth the fee alone!
So there you are. The choice really is simple when you look at all your personal circumstances. The only hard choice is if you want to go for a personal card one year, then a business card the next, or hold both at once. That is a personal choice that is up to you! – René
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.
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