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.
As I talked about in this post, the
50,000 bonus Skymiles (expired) from 4 different cards is a great offer. But what bonus points can YOU get and what if you have or have had the cards before? What is OK and what is not? Let’s break them down rookie style.
First let’s look at the rules that are in place since 1MAY2014.
- For the personal Delta AMEX cards, if you have at any time in your life received the new card sign-up bonus then you will not be able to get a bonus again.
- For the business Delta AMEX cards, the rule is what we had in place for all cards before. That is, you must cancel, wait 365+ days, then you can apply again and get the new card bonus again.
Please note that these apply ONLY to the primary card holder. If you have had, say, a Delta AMEX Gold card where your husband was the primary, this in NO WAY excludes YOU from getting the bonus points.
What about the question I get all the time. If I got, say, the GOLD Delta AMEX card in the past, can I get the Platinum or Reserve card now and the bonus? If you HOLD the card your chance is just about zero as AMEX will see you are a card holder. Not just that but if you hold ANY AMEX consumer card you will not be able to get the current Delta new card bonus (OUCH)! The official wording says:
Consumer Delta Gold, Platinum:
If we identify you as currently having an American Express® Card account, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer. This offer is also not available to applicants who have or have had this product.
What about the business cards then? Well as long as it has been 356+ days since you canceled any of the big 3 you should be fine as it is more about time between bonus deals not what card you held. Or again the official wording is:
OPEN Gold Delta Skymiles Business Credit Card:
The OPEN Gold Delta Skymiles Business Credit Card welcome bonus offer is not available to applicants who currently have the product or who have held the product within the last 12 months. Small business owners who hold or have held an American Express Consumer card will qualify for this offer if they have not held a Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card account within the last 12 months.
Can you hold more than one Delta business card at once, say a Gold and a Reserve card? For example, get one in your name and one in the EIN of your other company? Officially, no you can’t, at least per Delta, as you can only hold one personal and one business Delta card at a time that go to your Skymiles account. Does this mean that it 100% will not work?
I have had readers report that they do hold two business cards this way so YMMV. EDIT: Per updated info from AMEX you CAN get the new card bonus for all 3 cards and they are all unique products! Say you have the Delta Platinum business now and you got it more than 90+ days ago, you could then go for the Delta Gold business now and get the bonus as it is NOT the same card. Just know Delta may not like this and this updated rule DOES NOT apply to the consumer Delta cards only the business Delta cards.
What about my wife / +1 sending me their MQMs? Keep in mind the ONLY card that lets you send MQMs to another person is the Delta AMEX Reserve card. And then, ONLY the points you earn from spending $30/60,000 each year. The new card bonus MQMs go to the card holder – period! With the Platinum card you CANNOT send points to anyone. It goes to the Skymiles number linked to that card!
Can I apply for both the personal and business Delta AMEX cards at the same time / same day? Yes, but some words of warning. I would go for the personal card first, hopefully with instant approval, then go for the business. You will get a decision pending on the latter. You can then call the next day and tell AMEX why you want both cards. Some reps say you have to wait 5 days. Others say 1 week (same thing really, 5 business days). So should you just wait a week and apply for the business card later? You can, but either way should give the same results depending on your credit worthiness.
OK, I understand about the bonus points. But can I just get the card again if I have had it in the past as I want the card for the perks? Sure. Just know, as you just said, you are only getting the card not the bonus points. This likely applies to both the Skymiles & the MQMs, but there have been mixed reports on the MQM bonus. Just don’t expect ANY points if you had a new card bonus in the past, per the current rules.
Another good reminder to touch on at this point is the spending year. Understand the spending year is CALENDAR YEAR not the personal date for you when you got the card. MQM minimum spend to get bonus points? Does not matter when you got the card, it ends each year 31DEC and that is POSTING date of any transaction NOT the purchase date. Same goes for your MQD exempt spending – you must get it done and posted by 31DEC each year.
When it comes time for the annual fee, what should you do? I value my cards so I pay the fee ($450 per card for the Reserve each)! You could cancel, or see if AMEX wants to toss you some points to keep you, or downgrade. Do keep in mind that one of the current “rules” with AMEX is you can only hold a total of 4 credit cards at once (that is a total of 4 combined, personal and business). You can have additional charge cards. But if you are thinking of going for another AMEX card in 91+ days you may want to think about canceling over downgrading. The other issue too can be moving credit lines over to another card before you cancel. Just be VERY VERY VERY careful they do not do a credit pull to move the line over. If they want to do that most times say NO unless the credit pull is at the same time you are going for other cards on the same day maybe. At least that is my take on it.
Here is a fun one. Should you call or click? That is, say you have a chance to upgrade or go for a new card. Should you just call and see what they say? Please, never just call. Reps can say anything and you may not get the points at the end. By clicking and printing the page of the offer you are going for, you have a MUCH better chance of the offer, whatever it is, being honored as stated.
Are there any exceptions to these “rules”? You betcha! I have tons of reports of people having TWO Delta AMEX Gold personal cards at the same time. Others say they had the GOLD and went for the Platinum and got the new card bonus (i.e they went for the Platinum after 1MAY2014 and still got the bonus points including the MQMs). Ditto for the business cards even without an EIN number. So strange things can and do happen, but use these rules as a guide.
Any other questions? Ask away! – 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.