A Delta Points quick tip – OVER PAY your Delta AMEX credit card by a bunch!

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delta points tips for amex spend low credit line

I have a sizable line of credit with my business Delta AMEX Reserve card. Nothing like ½ a million, but over 50k and I use it!

When I was approved for my personal SPG card as well as for my personal Delta Reserve card however, I was given dinky little 3-5k credit lines. For point enthusiasts that is just not very much when there is so much “Ice Cream” around to enjoy.

So say you are approved for a tiny line too. Sure you can call and ask for a higher credit line, but you always want to be careful with AMEX as too much activity in this regard has been reported as one of many triggers for the dreaded AMEX Financial Review (we all want to avoid that, right)!

Another thing you can do before you cancel another card is to have most of the credit line from that card sent over, but this option is very limited and does involve canceling a card or taking so much credit from it to make the card practically useless.

So what can you do? One of the most simple things that people never think about is simply, at anytime in the month, sending a big fat check to the payment processing like you would at the end of your billing cycle. What is the end result? As you can see from my statement, my tiny little credit line has swelled with my large payment giving me much more buying power.

This strategy is especially useful if you say need just a little more spend to get over the top to get your MQM bonus spend that generates from the Reserve card when you A: meet the $30,000 or $60,000 spend points and B: your statement closes. So please keep this little tip in mind if you, like me, get a rather dinky credit line on your next point card! – René

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22 comments

  1. Do you know if the “overpay” amount will go towards the $30k or $60k before it’s actually spent, or are you just increasing your available credit & you don’t actually get $$$ towards the MQM requirement until it’s used?

  2. @Mark R. – great question. You ONLY get credit when you spend it. As you say it is just a way to increase the available credit until you spend it; then your line goes back to what it is normally (but you accomplished your goal in the meantime).

  3. You can also transfer some of the credit line on the older higher limit card to the new one. AmEx requires the donor card to be 13 billing cycles old. It’s simple to do online or call in.

    Rene no wonder you make the 60K spend on the Reserve so quickly!

  4. Credit Cards companies generally frown on this because it is viewed as”Layering” a form of money laundering…I have also found if you do this you can charge more each month on the card but each transaction has to be under the set limit for for the card(3-5K in this case)

    Chase is the exception but they will call you to try to give the money back…

    anyway thanks for all the advice

  5. @Jimmy – there are limits with everything. As you can see I have been an AMEX member since the 1990’s and have been doing this for years. Sometimes small amounts, sometimes bigger amounts depending on what I need to buy.

  6. Rene – Completely unrelated comment, but I need some quick input on award tickets. If I understand correctly, the price of a multileg ticket is essentially the greatest cost of all of the legs, correct? This is how you get 25k low level tickets (by finding all legs that equal 25k points). If this is the case, then how come the multileg flight plan I’m trying to put together is coming in at 92,500 points? All legs of that trip individually show as 40k, so shouldn’t the entire ticket be 40k? Am I missing something?

  7. @John – almost. Let’s make it simple. Say you fly ATL-DTW-MSP round trip. If you look at each leg, each way, outbound you see 25+25 that = 25k for that direction. If you find the same on the return then the round trip also = 25k. But, say the return shows 40+40 = 40k for the return. Then, if you plug it all in the 25+25+40+40 = 32,500 total. Why? outbound you pay 1/2 of the 25k price and return 1/2 of the 40k price thus 32,500.
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    So look leg by leg and see what legs are pricing too high and look at other routes.

  8. Hmm. I’ve looked at every leg, and the absolute max is 40k. There are a total of 9 flights taking me from MSP-SLC-RNO-SLC-MSP-YYC-MSP-IAH-CVG-MSP. There are 7 that price in at 40k, and two that come in at 25k. So, in theory, shouldn’t it be no more than 40k?

  9. Ok….figured out my issue….can only do one stopover on award tickets. I’m stopping over in RNO, YYC and IAH….hence why it’s coming in at 90k instead of 40k like I expected. My bad. Thanks for the help!

  10. During my FR, I was tld that one of the factors that triggered it is the frequent overpayment. You should put a disclaimer somewhere

  11. @Asar – Txs for your feedback and emails. I think if someone has a VERY low credit line, say under $1000, then yes caution should be exercised. I can tell you I have been prepaying for years in many different amounts without issue but more data points always help! Maybe a key part is the frequent overpayments that we can key in on as well. Another clear key is mix up spend as much as possible.

  12. Great tip. You can also use your Bluebird card to send a big payment. Thus ‘increasing’ you’re credit line.

  13. @MO – I would be careful with “paying” and AMEX with and AMEX. I use my BlueBird to pay my mortgage and tax bill and other bills that do not take a credit card OR charge an upcharge to pay with a CC.

  14. Amex definitely frowns on this. in fact, they will refuse to do it on the phone. the work around is, as you say, direct from your bank account. on the phone, they bring up the $ laundering- which is silly, but whatever.

    i do this a lot. i have to because a bunch of liens hit my credit report (6 figure and not real- but i was out of the country and not checking, so they were on there a while). i got cards cancelled left and right and Amex dropped me from 150k in limits to 4! so, i have no choice.

    i’m concerned about the level of spend on low limit cards and the overpayments (a couple each month). but… are they really going to do a FR on an 18 year member making them a lot of swipe income with zero risk to Amex? if FR calls i’ll word it as such. i will not go thru a FR for 4k in accounts- i’ll cancel on my own. chase i can’t live without, amex… no problem, their loss more tham mine. SPG points awards are priced so high beyond the low end that those points are best for miles- and there are 5x opportunities elsewhere for that…

  15. Is maxing out a single BB card ($5k) with beans every month too much for Amex? I haven’t had any issues with Chase, but am hesitant about doing the same with my Delta Plat. I do mix in lots of legitimate purchases (large & small) as you suggested…

  16. @DBest – that I feel is the key and I also run 5k on my BB each month. As long as it is not all one sided, and a mix of big and small, and consistent numbers each month no flags IMO should go up. But all data points do help.

  17. Has anyone figured out how to know during the month exactly where you stand on the $5K limit? I know some checks apply toward the limit and some do not. Is there any place you can see the monthly total?

  18. Rene, I think you are limited to $5K in “unregistered” payees. I think when the payee is registered, it does not count against the $5K. So, if I loose track of who is and is not registered, I’d like to know how much of the $5K I have used for the month. I cannot seem to find that info on the website. Thanks.

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