What is the cheapest thing you can buy to trigger Delta AMEX new card credit?

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$100 back & 20% off – That works!

Me, like many of you, got in on the recent amazing new card offer from AMEX and Delta for a ton of SkyMiles for getting a new card (and bonus MQMs for the Platinum card). Each of those also include a bonus for your first Delta purchase. But just what counts and what works?

First off, it is important to note that you do NOT need to spend the entire amount to get the full credit. This means, depending on the card you have, just about any spend will trigger your either $50 or $100 credit. So what are your options?

The simplest one clearly is just buying a Delta ticket with the card or even an award that will trigger the credit. Paying for a ticket will net save you money or even just paying for taxes and fees for your award will also work just fine. But what if you are not in the market for a new ticket or award during the short “window” of time after getting a new card? There are other choices.

As you can see from the screen shot above another good choice is buying just about anything aboard a Delta flight (other than Gogo wifi service). The kool part is that you still get the 20% discount for the purchase and even just a $2 set of Delta billboard headsets will trigger the FULL credit back for your new card. In my case, they did not have any headsets on-board but I still purchased them as I really did not care about them I just wanted the credit for the purchase and this to my knowledge is the cheapest thing I could buy.


But what if you have no plans to fly or buy tickets of any kind during the time period window you have to enjoy this perk of getting a new card? Well you have one more option, that is, simply buy a Delta gift card on Delta.com. The lowest amount is $50 so you are going to have to at least buy that amount and if you happen to have a $100 credit waiting then this will trigger the full amount as well.

Are there any other options? The key issue is getting the purchase to “code” as a Delta purchase. While I have not tested this myself a Sky Club membership should work as well as if you are offered a chance to pay to upgrade a flight to first class or even Comfort+ (but the latter I have not tested either).

Bottom line is this credit, similar to the AMEX Offers to You are yet one more great way to get value out of your new Delta AMEX card – be sure not to let them slip away as your time is limited after you get your new card! – 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. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.




  1. I am very surprised that a Delta guy like yourself was able to get in on an Amex Delta new card offer, with the once in a lifetime policy.
    What’s up?

  2. If you are Platinum/Diamond, you can buy an award ticket and cancel it after it posts to get the miles and taxes reimbursed plus the $100 credit with NO SPEND!

  3. Getting an AmEx Delta Reserve card is on my to do list for early 2017. But whenever I click on a Reserve card link in one of your articles, “it” seems to “know” that I already have the AmEx Delta Platinum card. I say that because the page displayed by clicking the link and then the sublink for “compare cards” offers me only an upgrade, which I know (thanks to you) will not earn the MQM sign up bonus. Is it just me?

    I’ve considered going directly to the AmEx site or calling AmEx, but I’d like you to get referral credit and am leery of trusting an AmEx phone rep’s promise. Advice, please.

  4. @Glen – If you are using mobile device it defaults that way. Try a desktop or use your mobile browser in desktop mode and it will pop up!

  5. Rene: This is happening on my PC laptop. Haven’t yet tried to use your link on a mobile device. I use Chrome as my default browser on the PC and receive your posts via GMail. I wonder if Google’s tracking software is a factor.

  6. @Glen – Really? Humm…. Strange. I pull up the personal and biz links and both show all 3 cards. I have tested in Chrome, IE and Safari.

  7. I do see all three cards, but when I click the Reserve card image to see its features, the AmEx site declares that this would be an “Upgrade” for me. [BTW, I’ve never had a Reserve card, but I did upgrade from Gold to Platinum years ago. Pretty sure I got the Platinum initial bonus then.]

    Also, although the page promotes the Reserve Card’s MQM spending bonuses at $30K and $60K, there’s no mention of an MQM bonus for the first transaction.

    There must be a workaround. I’ll explore the AmEx site more aggressively and try using a different device to access AmEx. Thanks.

  8. Ah hah! Clearing all cookies from Chrome got me past the original hurdle. Out of curiosity, I then clicked “I’m already a cardholder” instead of filling out the online application form. That hit a dead end as shown below, but I’ll deal with that issue after January 1. Thanks for all your quick responses.
    >>”Currently, our systems are not responding. Please try again later or call the phone number included in your offer.” We apologise for the inconvenience and look forward to serving you<<.

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