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Rookie Wednesday: How to Gift Delta (Amex) MQMs Points – All the Ways and all the Rules! What works and what does not (and what you should never do)!

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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.


RenesPoints Rookie

Welcome to a regular feature on the Renés Points blog. This blog 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 featured topic.

Thanks for the bonus SkyMiles Amex!

Much like last year I again have finished my $60,000 in Delta Amex Reserve card spend and that means yet another 15,000 bonus Delta elite qualifying MQMs have been earned.

Make sure you get this right

Now in my case, as you can see by the above total medallion miles I already have, I really don’t need the MQMs to reach Diamond medallion yet again for the 2020 elite qualifying year. So I used THIS LINK to access the page on Delta.com to choose to keep or gift my Amex bonus spend MQMs (only works if you are logged in to Delta.com fyi).

You have to do these one at a time fyi

Thus I decided, as I have many times over the past few years, to gift the Delta Amex spend bonus MQMs to a good frequent flyer friend.

Copy of the Delta email to my friend

I will be going over all the 2019 updated rules and just what is possible later on in the post but for now know it really is simple to do.

The info bits my friend got

And the coolest part about it is the results are almost instant. That is the case if you are choosing to keep the elite points or if you are gifting them.

MQM points hit almost instantly

Also as you can see from the above my friend ONLY got the MQMs. If you look at the very first shot and my Delta.com SkyMiles statement you will see the 15,000 bonus SkyMiles for reaching the spend was deposited into my account with no input from me (nor any option to change where those go – they come to me when my statement closes).

Now that the basics, with screenshots from Delta.com, is out of the way let’s get down to all the Q&A about what works and what does not.

First the really simple stuff. You cannot gift Delta Amex Platinum card MQMs — either from the personal card or business card points. You can not gift the Platinum welcome bonus MQMs nor the 25k or 50k accrued spend bonus MQMs. They all go to the user who applies for the card and puts in their SkyMiles number. Now before someone asks, if you do put in another SkyMiles number (say someone with the same last name as you), if may work but I would never EVER do this. You are not only breaking the rules (with Amex and Delta) but risking bans from both Amex and Delta. So just never ever do this – OK?!

Now on to the Delta Reserve cards that are the cards you want to focus on if you want to benefit from this post.

Let’s start with all the simple rules that I am always asked (and there are a bunch of them).

Delta Reserve Business Card from American Express.
Bonus MQMs and Sky Club access? Yes, please!

‘There are two Delta Amex Reserve cards. Every breathing person on the planet can get the new card bonus for the personal and business card once in their lifetime (some say the “lifetime” is 7-10 years but not confirmed). The new card bonus MQMs (and SkyMiles) go to the card member who applies and can not be gifted (and don’t put another member’s number in as that is a bad idea as shown just above).

Everyone can hold both the personal and business card at the same time. It does not matter how many or what other Delta Amex cards you have (or hold) other than staying under a total of 4 (or some say 5) American Express credit cards (charge cards do not count against you in this). Also, just because you may or may not have received the new card bonus MQMs for other cards does not impact your ability to receive the Reserve card bonus MQMs.

Another common question is about business cards. Yes, you can get it even if you do not run a “real” business, that is, those who say buy and sell on eBay can get one. You can get the business card with your SSN or with an EIN if you want. There is a remote chance you can get the bonus more than once with different EIN numbers but this may or may not work – know this going in.

That knocks out the new card bonus MQMs questions so on to the spend bonus MQMs with a bunch of quick Q&A bullet points.

  • Can I gift both of my Amex Reserve card(s) bonus point MQMs.
    Yes. Each year and every year you meet the spend requirements.
  • Can I keep one set of bonus MQMs and gift the other one?
    Yes. It is your choice for each. Just know you only have 90 days after you earn them to choose.
  • Is there a limit how many MQM gifts I can receive?
    No. You can receive unlimited gifted MQMs from unlimited people.
  • Do gifted (or kept) MQMs rollover each year in January?
    Yes-ish. They do 100% rollover as long as you qualify for rollover MQMs.
  • Do gifted (or kept) count towards Delta million miler status?
    Yes. All MQMs no matter how you get them count toward your lifetime status.
  • Do gifted MQMs count towards those who are going for a status match (challenge) with Delta?
    Officially no but in reality yes. Or at least that is the way it has been for a long long time.
  • In years past, Amex offered a 3rd (vs. the 2 standard) spend bonus MQMs, will Amex / Delta offer this ever again (or this year)?
    No idea (but I hope so next year). The one year they offered it is was a real mess in terms of who did or did not get the 3rd spend bonus MQMs (for both Reserve and Platinum cards in this case).
  • Can I delay claiming my MQMs and have them count on another year?
    No. While you do, officially, have 90 days to claim the MQMs, they count for the year they were earned. Do not expect to wait until after 1JAN to claim them and have them count on the following year’s elite status. Even if you do wait they will count on the previous year (Delta will back date them).
  • How long does it take for either gifted or kept MQMs to count (hit my account)?
    Both are almost instant. However, if the MQMs push you to the next elite level it can take 1-3 days for your status to officially update.
  • Can I reach (whatever) Delta elite level solely on gifted (or kept) Amex MQMs?
    Yes but… That is, you still have to have either the MQD spend level or MQD exemption to reach whatever level you want or are going for.
  • If I cancel my Delta Amex Reserve card will they claw back the gifted or kept MQMs?
    No, once you accomplish the spend they are yours to do with as you please.. However, you want to be careful with new card bonus MQMs. Don’t rush to cancel any new Amex card you get. You have 30 days (after year 2 fee bills) to cancel and get the full next year fee back.
  • Can I get two sets of bonus spend MQMs with only one year card fee?
    Yes, with much spending and work. Say you apply, like, now, and spend 60k by year the end of this year. Then you again spend 60k after 1JAN next year. Then you cancel next year around now. Then yes you could harvest two sets of spend MQMs with only 1 card fee.
  • Does creative spending i.e. manufactured spending still work to knock out spend for these bonus MQMs?
    Some yes, some old ones no. The Amex RAT teams (rewards abuse teams) are working hard to shut down creative spending techniques. However, many still do work as well as AOK blessed ones like paying your taxes each year.
  • Maybe off MQM topic but will the BOGO cert (see: E22 post) go away if I cancel my card?
    No. Once loaded into your “My Delta” account it will stick for 1 year (to fly and use).

These are the most common asked and searched for questions when it comes to Delta Amex MQMs. But are there any I have missed? If so please ask away in the comments section below and I will update this post with any others you have! – Rene

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.

9 Comments

  1. Barry Graham

    I earned my third MQM boost with my Delta Platinum card on December 31st and Delta gave me the extra 10000 MQM on January 1st. I thought this was incorrect but since they would have rolled over anyway I didn’t say anything.

  2. I finally gave up trying to get Amex to credit the extra spend bonus (for the 3rd one) last year, which kept me from hitting Platinum. I got there through creative spend, however, so I did not press too hard.

  3. are there any data points out there about 90K in spend and getting an MQM bonus?

  4. Barry Graham

    @owen that could be a mistake if you are less than 10000 short on a future year since you would have rolled them over. Did you get the email saying you were entitled to the third bonus?

  5. @KG: In terms of $90K on just one Reserve card, I believe the Ts & Cs state that only two 15k MQM bonuses can be earned per card. I did $90K on two Reserve cards ($60K on my Biz Reserve and $30k on my personal Reserve. Got 45k MQM that way.

  6. Barry Graham

    @Chris I think @KG is referring to the third boost that some of us were given last year. I got one for my Platinum card not my Reserve. Some got for the Reserve. It came in the form of an e-mail saying that we would get an extra boost for spending $75K (platinum) or 90K (reserve) I did not get such an e-mail this year.

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