Another Monday Delta Q&A today!

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This could have been a rookie Wednesday post, but I want to try to keep those on a specific topic rather than a mix. Even so, there are so many common Delta questions that seem to come up in comments and emails each week so let’s peek at some of the most common ones (and statements).

Q/S) I am not paying $100 EACH YEAR for Global Entry (GOES) and TSA Pre!
A) Good! I am not going to pay that either. It is $20 a year as the $100 fee is good for 5 years. I don’t know how much your time is worth, but to not have to stand in line when coming back into the USA is worth a TON to me. Also, even a NON-elite flyer will get TSA Pre Check as part of GOES. Please get this and spend $20 per year – this is the best travel value going right now and as most know, if you get a non-Delta Platinum personal and business cards it will rebate you the fee and if you get extra cards (on your primary account) for wife or others they also can get the perk!

Q/S) I meet my $30,000 yearly spend on my Delta Reserve and only got my bonus Skymiles NOT my bonus MQM’s – what gives?
A) Correct! If you do nothing and just wait the MQM’s will dump into your account. But, the better way, as talked about in the E18 in the Essential Tab, is to pick who you want to get the MQM’s. You can pick yourself or anyone with a Skymiles account you want to give them to! Keep in mind another question I tend get year end about these. Say you met the spend on 15DEC and plan to be “sneaky” and wait till say 15 JAN and then give yourself the MQM’s so they could count on the next year. That DOES NOT WORK! They will post on the year before MQM’s totals as that is when you earned them (and if you just wait they will auto-post that way).

Q/S) I never use Delta’s “Pay with Miles” because I can’t earn points when I spend them that way or get upgrades!
A) Well – sorta. In economy class you are correct. This year Delta did make a change when it comes to first or business class travel using the “Pay with Miles” feature (a perk of the Gold/Platinum/Reserve Delta AMEX cards). If you notice in the screen shot above example, a one way Detroit to Atlanta, booking it in first, and clearly spelled out in the box, we could take a discount with miles and still earn full MQM bonus and Skymiles etc. This can be a very smart way, depending on the price you find, to spend your points (even AMEX membership rewards points that transfer almost instantly to Delta btw). Say you find a business award ticket for 45,000 miles, but the cost to buy the ticket in first class is $450 or less. The smart thing to do is NOT book the award ticket and earn ZERO, but to spend the miles 1 cent at a time and EARN miles on this “free” ticket. Clear?

Q/S) Delta ripped me off! I was gifted Silver Medallion, flew 10,000 miles last year and did not get any rollover miles. I thought Silver was automatically 25,000 miles (so I should get my 10k right)?
A) Delta did NOT rip you off. Gifted status is just status NOT MQM’s. Gifted Silver (if you have no miles) starts you at ZERO. Same goes for gifted Gold status. You start at ZERO. If you, as a Silver, wanted to rollover 10,000 MQM’s you would have had to fly 35,000 miles last year. Just think all the perks, but none of the miles.

Q/S) I got the Delta Gold AMEX card because it said up to 9 free bags and when I went to check two last trip Delta wanted to charge me for my second bag. What gives?
A) Delta was right. The card ONLY give you, passenger one, 1 free bag. Now if there are two of you on the same reservation, you BOTH get 1 free bag. If there are 5 of you, you get 5 free bags, that is 1 EACH. If for some reason you get put on separate reservations or PNRs you can ask the agent when you check in to give you each your free bag as you are all together (but that can be a fight sometimes – stand your ground). Also, our friends at the Silver Medallion level, only get one bag free unless they have a Delta AMEX. Then, they could get up to 18 bags free (2 per person up to 9 people all on the same itinerary – that is 9 free from AMEX and 9 free as a medallion)! When it comes to Skyteam partners you need to check to be certain of the latest conditions.

Q/S) Why do you always talk in code on the blog. It makes me crazy when you do that.
A) OK sorry! I do this too much. This is a bad habit most of us have. Same goes for talking about issues or deals to much. I get comments like – gosh I know that already or I saw that already on MJ on travel’s blog etc. I get that, but you know a bunch of readers ONLY read Delta Points, not all the other BoardingArea blogs each day. So, I promise to try to not use code so much if you promise to look on the E15 in the Essential tab when you don’t understand a term and as to repetition please have more understanding for your fellow Delta Points readers.

Q/S) Why don’t you have a search box on the blog – gosh that would help so much!
A) Uh, we hide it in the right hand corner of all the BoardingArea blogs 😉

Q/S) I don’t use Twitter. How can I get the same Delta level of service without @DeltaAssist.
A) You can’t! Please just learn how to use twitter a little and @DeltaAssit. They ROCK and you are just hurting yourself by not taking the time to learn. I have a post HERE and HERE how to use them with or without a smart phone. Take 1 hour and do this. @DeltaAssist will not mind you bugging them a few times while you tweet them and learn. It is why they are there and everyone will tell you how great they are. Period!

Q/S) I already have the Delta AMEX (Gold/Platinum/Reserve) can I get anther one?
A) Maybe. There is no real point in getting another personal card (can be done, but why?) as you get no new card bonus. You can try upgrading, but I advise against this as many readers (and yours truly) have had nightmares getting AMEX to honor upgrade points even when promised on a recorded line! Many can get a business card. You don’t have to be a corporation to get the business card. Sole proprietors can get them (i.e. just you running your business). You don’t have to make money at whatever business you choose to run and be sure to put ZERO as business income if you don’t make any money from what you do (there is a spot for other income on the application). You may not get an instant approval, but you can always call AMEX and explain your reasons for wanting a business card for what you do. Lastly, keep in mind if you now have say a personal GOLD, and want to get the new card bonus on ANY of the 3 (all 3 are the SAME family) you must wait 365+ days after you canceled. You can NOT say get GOLD, keep it a few years, cancel and the next month get the Platinum and expect to get the new card bonus!

Q/S) I am now a (Skymiles member, FO or GM) & will soon be PM. What happens to Skymiles tickets I booked? Can I change them free?
A) You bet for FREE (up to 72hrs before flight) as much as you want. In fact, even if you have booked tickets for others out of your Skymiles account you can even change them free all you want as much as you want once your account updates and shows you as a Platinum Medallion member (takes about one day after you have enough MQM’s in your account btw).

So there we are. This was a bit of a long winded post of questions, but I get these all the time via e-mail and love to have a post like this I can just e-mail a link to when readers ask! Oh, and thank you for asking questions and feel free to ask more below on the comments part of this post so I can knock out a few more (and if you are reading this months from today – please see the comments from readers too as I am sure there will be a few good ones)! – 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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  1. I’m a Silver, and a college student and got GE and Pre check, I’m excited to try it out in a week on my first trip since getting it

  2. Q/S) I never use Delta’s “Pay with Miles” because I can’t earn points when I spend them that way or get upgrades!

    Rene – You can book economy class with “partial pay with miles” and still receive MQM’s and bonus miles. I commented on this last Wednesday post #9 and #17.

    June 5, 2013 at 10:58 am
    (but keep in mind unless booked all in first class you will not earn any points for this kind of redemption).

    Just to clarify, you can earn miles and MQM’s in coach if you use “Pay with Miles” for a portion of the ticket on eligible fares. I often book this way to reduce the cost of the ticket and still earn MQM’s, plus I earn medallion bonus miles!

    June 6, 2013 at 10:35 am
    @MO and Rene – Let me be clear, I’m earning MQM’s and bonus miles for economy (V) coach when using partial pay with miles. Ex; MSP to STL $203.80 – $150 pay with miles (15,000 miles) = $53.80 balance. I earned 1000 MQM’s and 2000 miles!

  3. @DP:
    Being a Plat Medallion already, I reached that status again last month.
    Does this mean I can pick 2 x from the Choice Benefits, once for 2012/13 and once for 2014/15?
    And if so, is it prudent to wait until the end of February to pick the DL credit voucher, since it’s valid for 12 months after issue date?
    Do you expect DL to change/remove the choice benefits for PM/DM status with the program changes coming January 1st?

  4. Oops … I believe I forgot to pick a choice benefit before February 28th of this year and never received a reminder from DL … arghhhhhh.

  5. “Lastly, keep in mind if you now have say a personal GOLD, and want to get the new card bonus on ANY of the 3 (all 3 are the SAME family) you must wait 365+ days after you canceled.”

    Hi, you mentioned that you must wait 365+ days if you want to get the new card bonus. However, I thought you only have to wait 90+ days if you want to apply and get bonus for a different card in the same family. For example, I have a Delta Reserve card and I was planning on cancelling it, wait 90+ days and get Delta Platinum card. Is this not possible?

  6. @Simon – 90 days is a guide for another AMEX product. The GOLD/PLAT/Reserve are all the SAME product as far as AMEX is concerned when it comes to a new card BONUS. You could go for the BIZ card (and of the 3) as they are NOT the same as the personal cards but then the same rules apply for the BIZ family of cards. So you can get the Delta Platinum but you will not get the new card bonus for 365+ days after you canceled the other one.

  7. Hello! So I experienced a “Help me Delta Points” moment today.

    My boyfriend and I booked a trip to Kansas City to eat at our favorite restaurant for his birthday. Come to find out the restaurant is only open on the day we fly into KC! While we have made reservations at 9PM (and we land at 4:30) we are worried about late flights which would destroy our dinner plans (We’ve been burned by Delta before going to LAX).

    So my much needed question to you and the community is this: Is there a way to change our flight into KC to an earlier flight without incurring astronomical change fees? He is a GM with Delta. Thank you!


  8. I need 10k MQMs for Silver but am not flying Delta again until next year. Anyway to get the targeted [Delta] offer?

  9. @DBest – there is NO way to FORCE any of the targeted offers. You can cancel all your DL AMEX and then also REMOVE all your DL AMEX cards at “MY DELTA” and then wait. Or, for $450, just get the personal or business DELTA AMEX Reserve card for $450. Cheapest mileage run ever and you get 10k RDM + 10k MQM. The RDM are worth at least $100 so for NET $350 is the way to go!

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