Rookie Wednesday: The definitive guide to gifting / sending Delta Amex card MQMs to others and other bonus point and spend answers.

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RenesPoints Rookie

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.

I should have composed this post a long time ago. Much, if not all, of this info is spread out in a bunch of posts but having it in one simple place is so much better (and especially so with the amazing and huge  70k+10k current increased Reserve card  bonus offer). Let’s dive in with a Q&A format:

Q) Can I gift the Reserve card new card bonus MQMs to (whoever)?
A) No. They go to the SkyMiles member who applies for the card.

Q) Can I gift the Platinum card new card bonus MQMs to (whoever)?
A) No. They go to the SkyMiles member who applies for the card.

Q) Can I gift the Reserve card spend bonus MQMs?
A) Yes, here is the link to do so once you have met the spend.

Q) Can I gift the Platinum card spend bonus MQMs?
A) No. Only the Reserve card allows gifting of MQMs.

Q) Is there any difference between the personal or business Delta Amex cards regarding MQMs?
A) No. While there are some card differences, the MQMs earned are the same for each.

Q) How long does it take after meeting spend to get new card MQMs?
A) Sometimes a few days after you cross the threshold. Most times the default is 1-3 days after your statement close date. Keep in mind annual fee does NOT count toward spend goals (but Amex often includes it and can throw your numbers off).

Q) How long does it take after meeting bonus spend to get my Reserve card MQMs?
A) Reserve card default is 1-3 days after statement close. A key to look for is when the SkyMiles bonus posts that is the alert you need that MQMs are ready to harvest.

Q) How long does it take after meeting bonus spend to get my Platinum card MQMs?
A) Much like new card spend goals, most times the default is 1-3 days after your statement close date. There is nothing you can do to push this, it is up to Amex and Delta. Often if you do not get the points it is your fault i.e. you are a little short of the real spend goal.

Q) If I hold (whatever Delta Amex card) does it impact my chance to get (whatever Delta Amex card)?
A) None-ish. Each card is a unique product and you can get the bonus 1x lifetime for each card. I said none-ish because Amex does have a max 5 credit card limit and all the Delta Amex co-branded cards are credit cards. Thus if you hold 5 of them in some combination you would have to cancel one to get another one.

Q) Should I upgrade my current Delta Amex card?
A) No!* (*see below)! You risk NOT get the bonus points and burning your 1x ever lifetime chance to get the new card bonus. Please, apply for a new card then decide what to do with old card.

Q) If I upgrade, will my yearly card spend carry over i.e. going from Platinum>Reserve?
A) Maybe. I know this is a bad answer but I have many data points both ways yes and no. My suggestion is get to the 50k spend before you try to upgrade as you have locked in the Platinum bonus at that point (i.e. once you have the bonus). Then, assuming you have already had the Reserve new card bonus in the past, you may be able to spend just 10k more and maybe get 15k more bonus MQMs for hitting 60k spend. Know this is a YMMV situation.

Q) Is there a limit how many times you can be gifted Reserve card MQMs?
A) No. If you have a ton of friends who want to gift you all the way to Diamond that could happen. Now you still have to complete the MQD spending or the MQMs mean nothing.

Q) Will my Platinum or Reserve card MQMs rollover?
A) All MQMs are treated the same. It does not matter if you get them from flying or from a card. The rollover is determined by how many MQMs you have and your MQD spending. Use those factors as a guide to rollover – not where you got the MQMs from.

Q) I gifted my +1 Gold Medallion status as a Diamond. If they get a card and the bonus MQMs will they rollover?
A) See above. Rollover is dependent on reaching the real MQM/MQD/Exempt levels. Gifted status does NOT gift MQMs – only status.

Q) I am doing a Delta status match / challenge. Will card MQMs count?
A) Officially no you have to fly i.e. BIS or butt in seat miles. Unofficially most report, since all MQMs are the same, that new card and card spend MQMs work just fine to meet your challenge.

Q) If I wait to claim my card MQMs into next year will they count on next year?
A) No. They count the year you earned them i.e. spend posting to Amex between 1JAN-31DEC each year. You cannot game this.

Q) What if my statement closes after 1JAN when do the MQMs count and post?
A) See answer above. The statement close date does not matter it is spend post dates that does matter.

Q) What if gift a friend my MQMs after 1JAN do the MQMs count for next year then?
A) Again, see answer above. Earn date matters not the date WHEN you gift them.

Q) I need MQMs next year not this year – will there be (whatever) offer next year?
A) Who knows. Normally Amex offers big bonus offers in the summer and fall. At least this has been the case for a number of years now.

Q) How do I find out how close I am to my bonus MQM spend?
A) Look at the bottom of your Amex statement for the running total. Do keep in mind sometimes they lump in the annual fee but that does NOT count. Always over spend by at least your annual fee each year to be 100% safe you did in fact hit the bonus number.

Q) If I have two Reserve or Platinum cards (in any combination) can I combine the spend for bonus MQMs?
A) No. Each card is it’s own unique animal for spend bonus totals and all spending is separate. The exception is for MQD exempt spend that is a combination of any and all Delta Amex cards.

Q) Can I hold more than 1 of the exact same Delta Amex card (say the Platinum card) and get multiple yearly bonus MQMs?
A) This has been a solid and cost effective strategy for many fliers. However, this past May 2017, in a bit of a mess, Amex “clarified” this to 1x bonus per card (and each card is a unique product).

Q) Will Amex match the current MQM card offer if I got a lower offer recently?
A) No. Unlike Chase that gives you ~90 grace period Amex does not. This is also one reason to only get Amex cards when you either really need them or the offer is the highest possible offer (hint: like right now! 😉 ).

Q) If I am an AU (authorized user) on someone’s Delta Amex does this disqualify me from getting the 1x lifetime new card MQM (and other points) bonus?
A) No. Being an AU in no way impacts your chance to get a new card bonus MQMs. Also on this topic, nor does being an AU count toward your maximum 5 credit card limit with Amex.

Q) Does Amex allow additional bonus MQMs if I spend beyond the 50/60k levels i.e. if I spend on the Platinum to 75,000 or the Reserve to 90,000 can I get another bonus of MQMs?
A) No. After you hit 50/60k spend and harvest all the MQMs there really is zero reason to spend another penny on these cards until 1JAN again. There are much better point cards when you don’t need to earn MQMs or MQD exemption.

Q) Does Amex ever offer MQMs as a retention offer if I call when the annual fee hits?
A) No. While Amex can give you SkyMiles (or a statement credit) for a retention call they can not issue MQMs to help keep you as a card holder.

Q) In the past Amex offers bonus MQMs for Membership Rewards points transfers to Delta. Will Amex offer this again?
A) LOL who knows! I wish they would as I really miss that offer from years gone by. Be sure and let me know if you see this! 😉

And I think that is all the possible questions I have been asked over the past decade or so about Delta / Amex MQMs and card bonus offer. But, I may have missed a few. Feel free to ask away in the comments below and I will be sure to update this list in the post if we come across any I did not cover! – René



  1. I’m an authorized user on amex delta plat–Does MQM boost go to the authorized user who hit the spend or to the account owner?

  2. Late comment….but I want to clarify how the card signup MQMs post. Do they post for the year in which they post (as opposed to the $30K bonus which posts in the year you spend)? For example, if I apply for the card in November 2017 and complete the $3K in January 2018, will the 10K signup MQMs post for the year 2018 (for 2019 status)? Thanks.

  3. @Ty – Officially it should be by the sign up date. But, IT being what it is, I have seen reports of either sigh up year or next. So sorry but YMMV. To be safe get spend done this year if you want it on this year or apply after 1JAN if you want on next year. Clear?

  4. Is it possible to have a Delta Amex card set up in my wife’s name and use my SkyMiles account on the application? Or does Amex/Delta match Skymiles name to Card name?

  5. @Geoff – Only if you want to risk Delta shutting down all your accounts. 🙁 In other words, no you can’t. The two need to match.

  6. I am short 118 MQMs to reach gold status by Dec 31. Do you recommend me paying the $595 or is there another option?

  7. René,
    2 rookie questions.
    1- Can my wife gift me MQM’s from a DL/AMEX card?
    2- Do I earn MQM’s on travel paid for w points? Last time I flew on points I was told no and recieved no MQM’s.

  8. @HuntingtonGuy –
    1) Yes from here spend on Delta Reserve card i.e. 30k and 60k bonus offers but NOT the new card bonus offer. That goes to card holder.
    2) All PWM i.e. Pay With Miles tickets earn full 100% MQMs including fare class bonus. They do not earn MQDs (other than any part paid with “cash”)!

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