Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
So many posts are inspired by reader questions. As a Delta frequent flyer, I “know” the rules but I have to admit the one time I flew American last year I had a ton of rookie type questions as their program is nothing like Delta’s. So let’s dive in and knock out a ton of common rules and questions folks often ask.
First what cards can you get? Currently, and if you are reading this not on the 4th of February, today, 2015 please check as things can change on a dime, you can get the new card bonus only once ever for the personal cards. All three of the personal Delta AMEX cards are viewed as the “same” card for the new card bonus. The Delta AMEX business cards are all viewed as separate and unique products. As long as you canceled 365+ days ago, for that specific card, you can get that new card bonus again.
Delta, unlike many airlines, does NOT need you to actually PAY for the ticket with the Delta AMEX card for you to get the perk of a free bag for you and up to 8 more on your itinerary. The important thing is to make sure you have your card in your “My Delta” info as you see above.
Another question is if you pay for a ticket for say your sister or mom do they get your Delta AMEX card bag perks? No, unless you are flying with them. The same thing goes for priority boarding i.e. zone 1 boarding. You have to have them with you on the same PNR or itinerary to get that perk. Having said that, if you are on separate PNRs and let the gate agent know they are with you when you board zone 1 there should be no problem. For bags free, be sure to LINK reservations and I would even confirm, and print confirmation, from DeltaAssist that they are noted in the records that they are linked together.
Next question is about the new card bonus MQMs from either the Delta Platinum or Reserve card. Can you send them to someone else? No. They go to the Skymiles number entered into the card application.
Now with the Reserve card, once you do spend $30,000 and again at $60,000, you can send those BONUS MQMs to whoever you want. You have some time after you earn them to choose what to do. I have a post HERE (E18) that shows the steps. You will normally see the points available about 1-3 days after your AMEX statement closes. The key thing to look for is the bonus SKYMILES that go to you (they cannot be sent to someone else). Once those bonus Skymiles hit your account that is the alert to you that your MQMs are also ready to be redeemed.
The Platinum card, once you earn $25,000 and $50,000, again it is the number used on the card application that gets those bonus MQMs. Both the bonus Skymiles and MQMs go to that account only. You will normally see the points post automatically about 1-3 days after your AMEX statement closes.
Also, as reader Justin remind us us in the comments, the annual fee does NOT COUNT towards your yearly spending goals. Be sure to always over spend by that amount or more. Another warning, be careful with returns. If you have a return or even a AMEX warranty claim that will also count against the spend totals for the year and could leave you short of your goal!
The BOGOF or Buy One Get One Free certificate from the Platinum and Reserve cards. These are issued year two about 1-3 weeks after your year two annual fee is billed to you. You then have a little over one year to spend and fly them (i.e. you must complete the trip before the expiration date). “Officially” you have to hold the card to use them and pay with the card they came with. However there is some nice wiggle room here 😉 Lastly, you can NOT combine say a bump voucher or other voucher to pay for the BOGOF ticket. It must be paid in full with a Delta AMEX card.
As we talked about with the free bag, it is all important if you want more upgrades from holding the Delta Reserve card that it show up in your “My Delta”. I, because am overly cautious and don’t really trust Delta IT that much, have my AMEX Reserve card as the ONLY card in “My Wallet” just to make sure.
These are the main questions I often get regarding the Delta AMEX card perks and what does and does not work. Have I missed any? Don’t see the answer to your question here? Look in the comments below and I will be sure to cover them there. – 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.