I cannot tell you how many e-mails I get with folks telling me that once the 1st of the year rolls around it will be time to go for a Delta AMEX card of some flavor. The choice will be either the personal card or possibly the business card. But there are some things to consider before you go for one of the above.
First off, many were wise to wait if you had some rollover MQMs and want to start the year off right. The bonus MQMs from the Platinum or Reserve cards alone can offset the non-waived fee in value for many flyers who have MQMs as their goal. But don’t forget the bonus SkyMiles that come with these cards as well once you meet the minimum spending requirements.
But a very important thing to consider is will you get the bonus points. If you have EVER held any of the above three personal cards, either by getting the card new, or making the mistake to upgrade to the card, you are then ineligible for the new card bonus for that card – period! This is currently the hard and fast rule by AMEX. Yes, you can get the card again, but don’t expect the new card bonus.
This is also why so many go for the business AMEX Delta cards because the rule here is that you can cancel, wait 365+ days, and then get the new card bonus again. This is, in my option, a much wiser choice for AMEX to take to attract new card holders. Plus, just about anyone can get the business cards using their SSN number to get a card for their use for whatever business purpose they have. While you don’t have to have an EIN number, some do get one just for “banking purposes” but that is up to you.
Some other data points. Many are not just working on earning MQMs but also working toward their MQD exempt status so that they do not have to worry about that part of the elite equation since earning your elite status is dependent on BOTH elite points AND MQD spend or being MQD exempt. Do keep in mind your spend on all your cards total, both personal and business, count toward your $25,000 total needed to be exempt. Lastly, if you have authorized users on your primary account, like adding your wife to you account, then that spend also counts to YOUR total MQD exempt spending total.
I also often get questions about waiting even longer for some higher bonus MQM offer from AMEX. For the Reserve card, I cannot ever recall a better offer than the standard one. For the Platinum card there have been a few but do keep in mind they have, each time, been late in the year and it can be harder to spend the sizable about (for some) to get the bonus MQMs that way with the end of the year at hand (spend for MQM bonus is based on calendar year NOT your card holder year).
I am always amazed just how many pushed it to year end again in 2015 to get the needed points they required. Some failed and did not get it done and now must pay, before 31JAN16 for credit on 2015, BAT CRAZY prices sad to say. Don’t let that be you this year. Look at what you need NOW to get what you need. Plan your spend. Look at Elite Mileage Runs right now when they are so dirt cheap compared to year end when you often must pay through the nose. Be travel smart not travel desperate at year end. – 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.