Credit Card Perks & Benefits


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  1. Hi Rene,

    Have you noticed that when you utilize your BOGO certificate from your AmEx Delta Reserve card that the ticket prices are higher than if you look for a non-redemption ticket. I’m not sure if this a function of the class of fares eligible for the BOGO certificate or if it’s just how Delta has chosen to price BOGO eligible tickets. I noticed this the first time last year (2015) as I didn’t recall seeing this in prior years when you input the certificate AFTER selecting the flights versus the current system where you have to select the certificate BEFORE selecting the flights.

  2. @DLPTATL – We have been talking about this in today’s post. Here is what you must do when this happens:
    You do search (if first A & I or coach LUT). You do screen shots w/out cert when you find fares that match then call and have them or supervisor apply cert and match price or else mention bait-N-switch pricing. Often must get dot-com support to help but whatever it takes = winning.

  3. @Rene – Thank you for the reply, just saw the commentary on today’s post (5/3/16) as well. This is very helpful as the flight selections/pricing when searching BOGO fares has definitely been limiting the prospects for an optimal redemption for this year’s cert. Hoping I’m as convincing as you are on the time on the phone to get a fair fare.

  4. If I use a plat companion cert, can I still do SDC (I am PM)? What about for my companion who doesn’t have status (but a SM member)? Would it have to be that there was still the same fate class in the certificate seats?


  5. @Aaron – In the T&C of the cert it says:
    Changes are subject to the rules of the fare purchased and are subject to seat availability
    So, my guess is both would have to be GM+ to not have fee but I bet as PM you can get fee waved due to cert as it may be more of a pain to charge you than not for the rep. After that if coach BOGOF used then yes the normal SDC rules of fare class but if BOGOF in 1st then any open 1st class seat (under 1st class rules).

  6. Rene,

    We are not big spenders but would like to get to the $25K card spend waiver. Do ATM withdrawals count as AMEX/Delta spend towards that amount? I know the APR is terrible but we pay off each month. The fee may be worth it as well one time. Out one-man contractor does not take credit.

  7. I was trying to use the companion certificate I got from Delta Reserve Amex card. On, from my Wallet, when I select this certificate, all my bump vouchers become grayed out. Is it not possible to pay with bump voucher on a companion ticket? If that’s the case, would calling reservation help?

  8. Do you mean, I have to use the Amex card, from which the certificate came from? Thanks for your reply.

  9. The companion certificate from my DL Platinum card just posted to my account. If I close the card (to avoid the AF), will Amex claw back the certificate?

  10. Two data points for your consideration:

    Traveling with an Amex Companion Certificate on 6/4 (the platinum kind, not reserve). At T-24, was offered to “upgrade” to C+ for a fee. Knowing the rules of the companion cert, I was hesitant to even try. As it turns out, I was able to purchase a C+ sidegrade for both me (FO) and my wife (no status).

    On the return trip a few days later, no C+ seats were offered, even though more than 5 were available at T-24. I tried to sweet talk the GA (it was not a full flight and she wasn’t busy), but no luck. She said she wouldn’t be able to override the system even if she wanted (rolleyes). Flight left with 4 open C+ seats.

  11. Hi Rene;
    Long time follower of yours, appreciate all of the valuable insight you provide in keeping us all informed. I have been trying to book some travel on Delta through Amex travel to take advantage of that 30% points refund that I always seem to forget about via the business platinum card. My question is it seems there is no way to avoid the dreaded “e” fare in so that anything I book through Amex travel in Economy is going to not allow seat selection, upgrades, etc. Is there any work around that you can see? This issue is very difficult to search for so I apologize if it has been answered before. Thanks for your time.

  12. @Thomas – You have more things to worry about than just that – consolidator fares! Yep, readers have reported AMEX travel can code that way so your points may not be what you think they will be. To me, transfer to KLM and others is a MUCH better use than spending AMEX points to buy Delta tickets. If you want to use points to buy use US BANK FLEXPERKS as I get 4-6% back on my spend on that card #TIP

  13. How many of your annual 125K MQMs do you get from credit card spending and how many are mileage runs?

  14. Hey Rene – Dear Wife and I are making our first trip to Asia (Beijing) next month. I would like to get our spend while there on my Amex Reserve card. Other than Hotel, I understand that using any CC’s will be sketchy. Most advice is to get ATM PRC cash once arrived. Any Ideas? BTW – Me DM, Wife GM, if it matters.

  15. Hi Rene – I hit my MQD waiver with my Reserve Card around the first week in September. How do I know how close I am to the $30k to get my bonus MQDs and MQMs?

  16. @Marlene –

    There are no ‘Bonus MQD’s’

    You simply get an MQD Exemption waiver (for Medallion status with Delta) after spending $25K Annually. You can, however get two MQM bonuses; one when you reach $30K in spend the second when you hit $60K spend (minus any credits, reversals and MINUS you annual card fee of $450)

    You also can check your running totals online by running a Y-T-D Summary report inside your AmEx account on your account’s website.

  17. Sorry if posted elsewhere, but I looked before writing this question:

    I know AMEX will combine my spend from multiple Delta AMEX cards I hold towards the MQD Spend Waiver. Will they also combine my spend for the MQM bonuses? For instance, if I have a Reserve card and a Platinum card and have $15K spend on each card, do I get credit for $30K in spend towards a MQM bonuses?

    Since both cards have different MQM bonus thresohlds, I assume the Reserve spend bonus of 15,000 MQMs for $30K in spend must occur on the same Reserve card and the 10,000 MQMs for $25K in spend on the same Platinum card.

  18. What is the cutoff date to get the MQM bonus for hitting $30,000 or $60,000 on the Delta Reserve card? I thought it was any spending before Dec 31 but I just chatted with Amex and asked them about a delay in giving me the MQM’s for the first $30,000 and the rep told me it won’t hit until the statement billing date. She then told me the end of year cutoff is the last statement date in December. Is this what you know to be correct also?

  19. If I buy travel insurance, will it be coded as a travel credit for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card?

  20. Hi Rene,
    I was wondering what your opinion was for the optimal cards to hold for MR points? Obviously the new enhanced business platinum is a must, but are there any supplement cards that should be obtained to maximize MR points?

  21. Hi Rene — I have read a couple of your posts which mention redeeming FlexPerks points for higher fare classes than the lowest available. These posts were from a couple years back before Delta switched “Comfort+” to a separate cabin. I’m wondering if you know if FlexPerks points can be used for Comfort+ (Fare class W+)? And if so how is this done? My ticket in Comfort+ is under the $400 20,000 points limit but I’m not sure how to book what I want.


  22. @John G – You know that is a GREAT question and I have not yet tested it. I may have to book one and try (unless you are willing to try for me and do a guest post on experience) 😉

  23. Hi Rene…Love the blog — It’s always super helpful! This may be an amateurish question, but I haven’t actually seen it written anywhere…Is it possible to gift your Delta MQD exempt waiver to a person that is not a cardholder? Thx!

  24. @Michelle – Great idea but no. Only possible workaround would be add you as authorized user then you can spend on their account

  25. I am trying to do an end of the year mileage run to retain my platinum status and I want to use my Flex Perks account to buy the ticket and keep it under $400 for the lowest redemption value. I want to avoid buying a Basic Economy “E” ticket instead of a minimum of a main cabin class ticket. How do I know the class of ticket that US Bank is providing before actually purchasing the ticket?

    I also can answer on how to get a Comfort Seat class ticket with Flex Perks; under advanced search options, use business class instead of economy class under “class of service” and it will offer W class.

    Thanks, Bill

  26. Rene: I called and they said that you can’t do mileage runs with turnarounds of less than 4 hours between the landing of the last arrival flight and the beginning of the return flight when I tried to book a r/t on Delta to return on the plane that I landed on. They claimed it was an airline rule which I disputed so I hung up and called back. Next rep was able to book a r/t with a 40 min layover so no problems.

    Thanks, Bill

  27. Just found out Flexperks is charging $25 for a phone call to get the flights that were unavailable online.

    Regards, Bill

  28. Rene
    My AMEX Delta card has closed for this month (Dec 20). My next closing will be in 2017. If I purchase on this card before the end of 2016, and do not pay until 2017, will the spend/miles count towards 2016 or 2017? If I pay it off before the end of 2016, will that make a difference?
    Thank you

  29. @John – Any charges that POST in 2016 count on this year no matter when you buy or when you pay. Any charges that POST on or after 1JAN count on next year.

  30. Rene,
    I regular get varying sign up bonus offers for the Delta Amex cards, e.g. 15,000 MQMs on the Delta Platinum, but have never seen an offer higher than 10k sign up on the Reserve. Does Amex ever up this sign up offer? Thanks, Doug

  31. @Doug – Nope. 10k MQMs is as good as it gets. And I have NEVER “regular-ly” seen 15k on Platinum. Only once in past 5 years that I can remember and then for very short time.

  32. Wife and I each have our own Chase Sapphire Reserve card and we each earned the 100,000 bonus points after minimum charge. My wife is no longer traveling as much as we expected. She will generally only be on my itinerary for vacations.

    We transferred her Ultimate Reward points to my account and she now has zero UR points.

    If she cancels the Chase Sapphire Reserve card just before the annual renewal, will there be a problem in terms of Chase trying to claw back those UR points out of my account?

    Thank you.

  33. I only travel on my husband’s travel itinerary. We each have an Amex Gold Delta card so that we each have Zone 1 boarding and free first checked bag.

    Given that I only travel with my husband, the free bag benefit from my card is of no value since I get that from being on my husband’s itinerary. My question surrounds Zone 1. Does everyone on my husband’s itinerary get Zone 1 boarding or do I need to have my own Amex gold Delta card to also get Zone 1 boarding?

    Thanks in advance

  34. 1.) If I reach Diamond and gift Gold to my partner, and we travel on the same itinerary, if I’m upgraded on a flight, can he be upgraded on flights too as my companion? I read that DL elites can upgrade their companions at the same level as their own elite status even if they have no status of their own. But, does the companion go to the bottom of the upgrade list, or have the same priority as the Diamond who pulls them in?
    2.) If I reach Diamond and gift Gold to my partner as a Choice Benefit, can he reach Platinum/Diamond through DL Amex cc spend (by earning MQMs on his Amex DL Reserve cc/Amex DL Platinum cc) more easily than starting from Basic? In our household, that might mean a lot less annual spend than both of us trying to each reach Diamond through spend on our own individual Amex DL cards.

  35. You convinced me to get the the Business AMEX Platinum card – thank you. The card now offers 5x MR points for airfare booked on Will using interfere with my earning MQMs? I called Amex Travel and they said using them would be the same as using in terms of MQMs.
    Thank you!

  36. Rene, my wife recently received the Business amex platinum card with the 100k bonus after spend. The 50% back on booking air fare seems like a huge perk. Can we use the free FC companion ticket with it that we get from the Delta branded reseve card we have? Thanks!

  37. @Chat – Officially no. Frequent Miler has a post about a one time exception after the fact but it is a YMMV thing.

  38. Hi Rene – I wanted to follow-up on Question #28 above, regarding hitting the $30,000 mark for the Delta AMEX Reserve card. will the boost only occur at the statement date or can it occur mid-period? Meaning, I was able to reach over $30,000 spend during the year, however have not received the bonus yet, is this delayed until the official statement date?


  39. @Anthony – When you see the 15k SkyMiles hit your My Delta account that is the signal the MQMs are ready to harvest.

  40. Rene,

    I ordered four $50 Delta e-gift certificates online using my personal Amex Platinum (non-Delta) card as I have done for years. This year, despite still having the $200 remaining credit for incidentals, Amex did not apply the credit to offset the four $50 charges (each individually made).

    The details for each charge are as follows:



    Reference: 3201708xxxxxxxxx
    Category: Travel – Airline

    Flight Details
    Passenger Name: PASSENGER/DELTA
    Ticket Number: 0060583xxxxxx
    Document Type: PASSENGER TICKET

    Obviously, I didn’t purchase a ticket for $50 that runs from LAX to LAX.

    Any ideas what went wrong with my approach?

    Thank you.

  41. @Rene – So it turns out it took a few extra days, but the credit finally posted. Typically it happens the day of posting.

    Crisis averted!

    Thanks for the response.

  42. @JP – It always takes a few days from my experience. Always. Happy for another data point that all is well.

  43. Hello,

    I’m planning to purchase 4 x $50 gift cards with my Amex Business Platinum card to use the $200 fee reimbursement. Can I use these gift cards to pay for the primary ticket in conjunction with the companion certificate from my Delta Platinum card?


  44. @Marshall – No. The Bogof certs must be paid for in full with an AMEX card (any Amex card and anyones Amex card).

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