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One round and over $2400+ of travel cash you can spend on Delta tickets!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Most of us Delta flyers have either a personal Delta AMEX card and/or a Delta Business AMEX card as if you are even a semi-regular Delta flyer you just have to have one of these to get max value and perks.

But step two of this is buying tickets. As you can see I have all of the cards I am about to talk about! Yes it is nice to fly on award tickets but every once in a while we have to pay for them. But you know, I hate spending my own money. What if I told you could have a bunch of travel cash to buy Delta tickets and earn MQMs and Skymiles as you fly! Let’s take a look.

  • Card one: Barclay’s Arrival card. This really is the best of the bunch and always lives in my wallet. You basically get 2.2% for purchases that is 2% for the item and then 10% points back when you spend them thus the net result is 2.2%. After minimum spend of just $1000 (now $3000) and redemption of 40,000 points you are getting $440 in value for this card alone.
  • Card two A&B: US Bank Flex perks personal and business cards. Again, once you meet the minimum spend of $2500 you will net have 20,000 points and they will let you buy a ticket up to $400 but NOT one penny more or you bump up to the next point group of 30,000. Still, $400 in value for both of these cards towards buying tickets.
  • Card three: Capital One Venture card – Please note Capital One pulls on all 3 credit bureaus unlike others that tend to just use one. The current offer after spend of $2000 (2x points per dollar spent) nets you 34,000 points worth $340. (note some readers are reporting 40,000 & $3000 spend when using cell phone to click links)!
  • Card four: CitiBank Thank You Premiere card. This program works much like the Chase one that you can spend the points to book travel via them. Note on this one you don’t get ALL the points until year two so it is a spend and waiting game, then spend again to get them all. Still 55,000 points after both spending rounds is worth $687.50 toward travel.
  • Card five: Chase Sapphire Preferred. What is not to like on this one. After spending $3000 you will net out 43,000 points. If you book via the Ultimate Rewards portal a Delta flight you will get $537.50 in value for the 43,000 points.

The bottom line is you could pick up all these cards and after you have them all have over $2400+ in points that you can buy ANY Delta tickets you want, any time, no black outs; if the ticket is for sale you can buy it. These cards are also from different banks and that can help if you are getting more than one card on the same day. You can NOT combine these points but you could buy tickets one at a time flying the same flights. Also know some cards, like Barclay’s Arrival & Capital One Venture, you just pay with the card then get credit back later via their web sites. The others you have to book via their portals but that works too!

Here are some downsides about this vs say getting Delta AMEX cards and using points for Delta travel. With points, and a bunch of work, you can get business class seats at a “good” price for your points vs just buying a ticket in business that would cost a bunch. Also, if you are medallion PM+ you can change award tickets free up to 72hrs before flight. With a purchased ticket you will have to pay all sorts of fees to change many times.

For me, I use these cards and points mostly for mileage runs but that is just me. For you, it could be just what you need to make a vacation a bit more reasonable on our Delta! Are these cards in your wallet? – René

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. Young_Tho®ough Reply

    You’re making that Barclays look really necessary for this year. Gonna try to flip over to chase visa and this if 2014 bonus offers are peak.

    • @Young – if you had the old Chase MC (many did and do) you 100% CAN get the Visa one now as all the Visa cards are a “NEW” product! 🙂

  2. Definitely agree – the cashback cards are becoming more and more useful. My wife just got the Arrival card this past week as well

  3. Barclay shot me down…said I have too many other credit cards right now. Despite having excellent credit.

  4. Tyrell Track Master Reply


    Rene – I have reason to believe that tickets bought with Ultimate Rewards points (and likely the others above) WILL NOT EARN MQDs…. zip, zero. You’ll get your MQMs, but nothing for the dollars.

    I got zipped on a recent United flight that earned me zero PQDs. The flight was bought with Ultimate Rewards points. I am still going back and forth with United about it. I strongly suspect Delta will do the same thing.


    • @Tyrell – nope you are flat out wrong. Here is the simple why, for Delta, they are just getting cash. Now with United, if you convert UR points and then spend like points you get nada as you are spending then United points. I have spent all these points with Delta (other than Citi TY yet) and all of them credit FULL MQMs and RDMs and even class of service bonus if you pay for higher fare class no problem. NO *DANGER* at all!

  5. Love your blog!!
    I have signed up for half a dozen cards in one year so I’m going to hold off for a awesome bonus

  6. christine pincince Reply

    i will b really looking closely at all cards for this year as now the fees r starting to roll in from last years rounds.

  7. Tyrell Track Master Reply

    Rene – no, that’s not what happened. I used Ultimate Rewards the normal way – to buy a ticket with a cash value on United. I received normal PQMs for the flight but the fare class was deemed “ineligible” for PQDs.

    The issue at risk here is the MQDs not the MQMs. I’m telling you, we have a hidden bomb in our midst here.

    • @Tyrell – there is a major goof up with UA then. This just can not happen but then again UA is UA. I have never ever had me or many other have an issue as again it is just a paid ticket on DL’s side. Just the way it is. I would fight this one big time with UA as they are wrong here and costing you points!

  8. @Tyrell, Rene is 100% correct. I just flew from ATL-PDX-ATL on a Delta ticket bought with Ultimate Reward points and received full credit as if I paid cash (which as far as Delta is concerned I did!). I also received my Medallion bonus RDM’s. This is why I’m shifting my focus away from Delta sign-up bonus CC’s (except Reserve of course) and to bank points cards this year.

  9. Is FlexPerks running some sort of Olympics-related bonus again? Last time I applied and was REFUSED unfortunately, they had something where every time the US won, the bonus points offer increased.

  10. Tyrell Track Master Reply

    Like I said guys, I’m still going back and forth with United about it. I will let you know how this resolves, but it does make me nervous that Delta might try the same sneaky trick…

    • @Tyrell – Delta can’t do any kind of sneaky trick as you call it because you are simply paying for a ticket with “cash” for lack of a better word. You have NO reason whatsoever to be in the slightest bit nervous about spending ANY of these forms of points. You will get full Delta credit for whatever they are offering at the current time. Now as to United, that is NOT an airline I care to fly or save my point with ever again after the MASSIVE partner devaluation!

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  12. Tyrell Track Master Reply

    Rene brother, IT IS CONFIRMED. (At least for United). I finally got off an epic phone call with them and they tell me that “Ultimate Rewards” tickets are considered “Bulk Fares” and will earn ZERO PQDs.

    I kid you not.

    Obviously, I hope that Delta will be wiser with their handling of these fares but until someone confirms it, I’m going to be very way about redeeming Ultimate Rewards. You guys should keep your eye on this!!!

    • @Tyrell – Do keep in minds phone reps are most times wrong (as you have seen in the past when you have posted comments about “CONFIRMED” info that was wrong from phone reps) – a United rep even more most times wrong. I am no United expert but what you are saying just does not hold water but will follow up. Again, with Delta, if WILL NOT HAPPEN and CAN NOT HAPPEN, as other have confirmed, as I have said over and over, you are just buying a ticket with UR points when flying Delta. The bigger issue is Travelocity that URs uses to book tickets. Now at this point Delta gives FULL credit when booking from other places like them or Priceline etc. If Delta ever were to only give credit fro booking at this would be the ONLY WAY this type of “currency” could be affected.

  13. @Tyler – That same thing happened to me: I paid for my ticket to Asia and UA only showed taxes/fees on the online receipt. Chase told me something similar to “UR points are not real money.” But since I’m not going for 1K, the Explorer card can help waive PQDs (up to Plat).

    • @bltn95 – I still feel this is some kind of goof-up but if it does pan out to be a Chase – UA change then the Arrival Card has just become king for paying for UA tickets! 😉 There is NO WAY they could change that one unless they stop taking credit cards as payment!

  14. Rene thanks for the Blog, love it! I just got my CapitalOne Venture card and when I confirmed the bonus they said it was just 20,000 points if I meet the $2,000 min. spend. Anything I can do?

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