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10 Things to Know About Bonus MQM on the Updated Delta Amex Cards

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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.


MQM bonuses earned through credit card spend are a big perk of four Delta American Express cards. Some of those benefits are being tweaked starting next year as part of the big Delta Amex refresh.

Only three weeks remain to take advantage of the great welcome offers for new Delta Amex applicants NOTE: SOME OFFERS EXPIRED so now’s a good time to tackle some questions we’re frequently asked when it comes to MQM bonuses from Delta credit cards.

1. Which Delta American Express Cards Earn Bonus MQM?

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express.Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express 

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express 

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve Credit Card from American Express 

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve for Business Credit Card

 

Delta Air Lines Airbus and Boeing 757 are seen at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

2. Do I Get MQM Just for Being a New Cardholder?

If you haven’t yet held an American Express card, you’re eligible for that card’s welcome bonus. And the four mentioned Delta Amexes each offer bonus MQM for new approvals meeting the minimum spend requirements: SOME OFFERS EXPIRED — PLEASE SEE CURRENT OFFERS LISTED THROUGH EACH LINK.

Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express: 10,000 bonus MQM after spending $5,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first three months of approval.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express: 5,000 bonus MQM after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first three months of approval.

Delta SkyMiles Reserve for Business American Express Credit Card: 10,000 bonus MQM after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first three months of approval.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express: 5,000 bonus MQM after spending just $1,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first three months of approval. (Yep. You read that right. A $1,000 minimum spend requirement. That’s it.)

3. Less Than Three Months Remain in 2019. If I Meet a Welcome Bonus’ Minimum Spend Requirement in January 2020, What Happens?

The welcome bonus MQM will likely be applied retroactively to 2019 and rollover, if applicable. That’s what happened when I signed up for a Delta Reserve card a few Decembers ago and met the spend in January.

That being said, I personally recommend trying to knock out the minimum spend requirement before the year is up.

Remember your annual fees, interest, and late fees don’t count as eligible purchases

DeltaOne 757 jets at JFK airport.

4. How Can I Earn More MQM With My Delta Amex Card(s)?

Those four Delta American Express cards offer MQM bonuses when you reach certain spending thresholds during a calendar year:

Let’s break down into brands or “flavors” as we often say.

Delta Platinum Cards

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express.Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express  (or the “personal Delta Amex Platinum”)

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express  (or the “business Delta Amex Platinum”)

When you spend $25,000 during a calendar year on one personal Delta Amex Platinum or one business Delta Amex Platinum, you receive 10,000 MQM.

If you spend another $25,000 that same calendar year on the same Delta Amex card, you receive another 10,000 MQM.

So spending $50,000 on one Delta Amex Platinum card during a calendar year would earn you 20,000 bonus MQM.

Again, the spend requirements are per card — not across cards. Spending just $15,000 on personal Delta Amex Platinum and just $10,000 on a business Delta Amex Platinum will not trigger the MQM bonus.  But spending $25,000 on a personal Delta Amex Platinum will make you 10,000 MQM richer.

Make sense?

Delta Reserve Cards

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve Credit Card from American Express 

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve for Business Credit Card

Hang on, kids. This is where it gets a little confusing.

Through the end of 2019, you receive 15,000 MQM when you spend $30,000 on either a personal Delta Reserve or Delta Reserve business card. If you spend another thirty large on that card (for a total of $60,000), you get another 15,000 MQM.

Through January 29, 2020the same rules are in effect for those 29 days only. Receive 15,000 MQM when you spend $30,000 on either a personal Delta Reserve or Delta Reserve business card. If you have a massive credit limit and somehow do it again on that card (for a total of $60,000), you get another 15,000 MQM.

Starting January 30, 2020, Delta launches “Status Boost” — a fancier way of saying “MQM bonus.” The only difference is that you can now earn four MQM bonuses on each Reserve card (as opposed to the current two)! Once/if you spend $90,000 and $120,000 on one Reserve, you’ll receive 15,000 bonus MQM for each tier.

(So if you currently hold two Reserve cards just to get the 60,000 bonus MQM, one card will do the job next year.)

Per American Express: “During the period from January 1 – January 29, 2020, if eligible purchases on the Card are $30,000 or more, the Card Member will be awarded 15,000 bonus miles up to two times. In addition, any eligible purchases made during this period will count toward earning MQMs for the remainder of the calendar year.”

Based on that wording, it sounds like you don’t have to worry about January 1-29 spend being wiped out on the 30th.

Delta One 767 window seats

5. Can I Earn Bonus MQM from Each Platinum and Reserve Card?

Yes.

If you hold all four MQM-earning cards, you can technically receive 160,000 bonus MQM (starting January 30, 2020) from yearly card spend alone.

  • $50,000 on the personal Delta Amex Platinum = 20,000 MQM
  • $50,000 on the business Delta Amex Platinum = 20,000 MQM
  • $120,000 on the personal Delta Reserve = 60,000 MQM
  • $120,000 on the Delta Reserve business = 60,000 MQM

However, you can only “max out” a card product’s MQM bonus once per year. For example, having two separate business Delta Amex Platinum cards on your account won’t permit you to earn 40,000 MQM after spending $50,000 on each.

6. Does Spend from Additional Cardholders Count Toward MQM Bonus Requirements?

Sure does! So if you have a significant other, children, employees, etc., and make them authorized users, any purchase they make on your card counts as spend toward your MQM goal.

A large stack of credit cards.

7. Do Authorized Users/Additional Cardholders Receive MQM?

No. They only perk they get is you footing the bill. 😉

8. Can MQM Earned Through Delta Amexes Be Gifted?

The only MQM that can be gifted are the 15,000 MQM bonuses earned when you reach $30K and $60K (and $90K and $120K next year) on a Delta Reserve personal or business card.

(René — ultra-generous mensch that he is — gifted 15,000 MQM to someone earlier this year and wrote about all about the process.)

You can:

  • keep each 15,000 MQM bonus for yourself
  • give one 15,000 MQM bonus to someone and keep one for yourself
  • give both 15,000 MQM bonuses to someone (they can be two separate people)

If you forget to decide with 90 days of the notification email, the 15,000 bonus MQM will automatically be applied to your SkyMiles MQM total.

8a. Can the Welcome Bonus MQM for the Reserve Cards Be Gifted?

No. Only the primary cardholder receives those.

8b. Can the Welcome Bonus MQM for the Delta Platinum Amexes Be Gifted?

No.

8c. Can Any Bonus MQM for the Delta Platinum Amexes Be Gifted?

No.

8d. Seriously?!

Seriously.

8e. So the Only MQM That Can Be Gifted to Someone Are the Ones Earned from Spending a Lot of Money Each Year on a Delta Reserve Amex?

Bingo!

9. Do MQM Earned Through Delta Amexes “Rollover” to the Next Medallion Qualification Year?

If you’re a Medallion, yes. They’re essentially the same as MQM you earn flying.

10. Do MQM Earned Through Delta Amexes count towards my Delta Million Miler status?

Yes. Both the new card bonus MQMs as well as all spending bonus MQMs all count towards your Delta Million Miler status.

Questions?

Any questions about the MQM earned from Delta Amex cards? Please ask them in the below Comments section!

–Chris

 

Other Delta Amex Topics We’ve Covered This Month

Now is a fantastic opportunity to apply for Delta Amexes because many have great welcome bonuses SOME OFFERS EXPIRED — PLEASE SEE CURRENT OFFERS LISTED THROUGH EACH LINK. — and you can lock in a year at their current annual fees.

We’ve covered several related topics during the past several weeks including:

Big Welcome Bonuses Expire WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30! (SOME OFFERS EXPIRED — PLEASE SEE CURRENT OFFERS LISTED THROUGH EACH LINK.)

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve Card 

Delta Reserve Business Card from American Express.Delta Reserve Business Card 

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express.Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express

Delta Gold American Express CardDelta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card 

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.

34 Comments

  1. @ Chris-

    Thanks. So, if you use the Reserve card up to January 29th, 2020, and spend the $60K, one can earn the 30,000 MQM’s?

    If so, does the spend reset starting January 30th and still allow to earn 60,000 MQM’s if one spends $120,000?

    Just looking for a clarification. Thank you for this detailed article.

    • @Sam – René jumping in here for Chris. My understanding is it does NOT reset after 29JAN2020. The only thing you get by hitting 60k spend (posted charges not charge date i.e. get all the charges posted before 29JAN2020) before 20JAN2020 is that you get 30k SkyMiles bonus. I intend to do this!

      Then, for the rest of of 2020, I can spend my way to the 120k for the next two bonus MQMs (with no bonus SkyMiles). Clear?

  2. @Rene-

    Thank you!

    Another question- If you spend in December 2019 but the statement closes in January 2020, typically do those transactions count date of statement closing so it would be for January 2020 or date of posted charges? Also, in order to qualify for making the $60K in spend before January 29th, 2020 does the statement have to close before that date? I hope this makes sense and was just wondering. Thanks again

    • @Sam – As Chris points out, 99.99999999% of the time the statement close date does not matter (say it closes on 15JAN). If you met the spend i.e. charges post by 31DEC the MQMs awarded will count (in this case) for 2019 i.e. they will be retro MQMs back to 2019.

      I have, for YEARS, made charges on 31DEC and they all counted on the posted date i.e. into the following year.

      As to your last question, again, statement date in 2020 does not matter for those charges. They just have to post before 29JAN2020.

  3. I saw a post somewhere else that said holders of the free additional cards to the Delta Reserve card (not the $175 additional card) can get free access to the Sky Club. Is this true?

    • @Mark R – No. You have to have the $175 add-on card and just about the ONLY perk they get is SkyClub access for that fee.

  4. HuntingtonGuy Reply

    Thanks for this one. I am happy they saw fit to restore the $90,000 spend bonus. I am not likely to be a $120,000 spender on a single card but the $90,000 will be helpful and will help in my decision to thin the card herd abut. With the seemingly ever increasing annual fees, this is not so much generous as it is a reasonable add.
    Nice to read positive news for a change re DL branded Amex cards.

  5. Do any of the cards give you the bonus miles anymore, other than the boost miles? I thought I read that Delta eliminated the bonus miles and now just award the MQM’s. That is a huge #deltadescendfurther…

    • @dennis: The 10k (on DL Platinum Amexes) and 15k (DL Reserves) won’t be included on the “new” Delta Amexes.

      But depending on where you use the card (restaurants, etc) you may come out ahead because of the category bonuses.

  6. Rene, Thank you for the informative post. I am still confused on one thing however.I have currently charged 60,000 on my card. If I charge another 30,000 on my Delta Reserve Card by Dec 31, 2019, how many additional MQM bonus miles will I get? Or, am I better off to wait till January 2020 to charge the additional 30,000 miles

    • @David – The change to a 3rd and 4th spend bonus does not start until next year (i.e. after 29JAN2020). You will get zero bonus MQMs now for spending 90k or 120k this year.

  7. Whoa…this is the first time I read that the MQM bonus requires $25k on the SAME Platinum card. Since they get grouped on Delta.com, I didn’t even think twice about it. Thank goodness I still have time to correct! You saved me from a pretty miserable start to 2020.

    • @James: Glad we could help. Trust me, you’re not the first person who thought the MQM bonus could be spread across cards.

      Good luck!

  8. Could one theoretically qualify for Diamond without flying? I think you could do this by spending $250K on delta reserve and delta reserve business (MQD waiver + $120K MQM), and then get a flight worth 5K MQMs.

    I heard that you cannot get the MQM bonus for both the personal and reserve delta amex, is that hogwash?

    • @Nick – Beyond HOGWASH! You can hold all 4 of the “big” Delta Amex cards and earn bonus for all of them i.e. personal and biz Delta Amex Plat and Reserve as well and biz Delta Amex Plat and Biz. Tested and CONFIRMED! 🙂

      Having said that – you CAN NOT – have say 2 of the SAME card example 2 personal Delta Plat and earn for both. See the difference?

  9. I looked closely over the new rules to see if they where prohibiting earning of miles for purchase of Delta gift cards. I remember reading your columns early this year, but don’t see anything in the ‘new’ rules that address this.
    Does anyone know what the current status might be?

    • @Carol – Are you talking Delta gift cards? Those are AOK for normal buys on Delta cards. As to other gift cards, more and more places are providing level 3 data to Amex and excluding earning points when you buy gift cards.

  10. Yes, Delta gift cards … that I can keep in my Delta wallet for use on future purchases. Just planning ahead. The purchase might be needed before year end in order to reach the spending threshold to qualify for the MQM bonus.

  11. Hey all

    First y ear above silver (will be gold by 12/31).

    Question for @Chris or @ René; Say I end the year with 57,000 MQM., where do I start next year? Gold+7000 MQM?

    Thanks!
    Chuck

    • @Chuck: Congrats! You’ll start the year with 7,000 MQM (assuming you have either met the Amex MQD waver or have $6000+ in MQDs).

  12. Hi! How long does it typically take to receive a notification email after hitting the $30k+ spending threshold? My app is showing I hit that several weeks ago but I haven’t received my 15k MQMs. Thanks!

    • @Lauren: Hi! You should receive it when your Amex issues your statement. If you don’t see it, though, give Amex a call. (My father had an issue with that and a call got the issue resolved.)

  13. In question #5 above you state that you can receive all the mqm’s for each card but then right after state you can only max out on a cart type once. That seems like a contradiction. So if you have a personal and a business reserve card, can you accumulate 120k mqms ( 60 from ea) or no?

  14. Question: I get that spend is credited when the purchase is posted. But when are bonus MQMs earned from spend credited?

    Example:

    233MQM short of gold.
    $213 short of the 25K Amex MQD waiver & the1st-year Amex Platinum Delta personal card bonus MQMs

    If I spend $213 in charges posted by December 31st, I will meet the 25K spend requirement and qualify for the MQM bonus.

    Will this MQM bonus also put me over the threshhold for Gold, or will they be applied to my account too late?

    • @kdmf – MQMs are based also on the post date. I.E. even if your statement close date is into 2020 (say 15JAN2020) all your posted spend for 2019 counts for 2019 and the MQMs earned will be for 2019 as well as the spend waver that will have been for 2019. Keep in mind your spend waver resets to ZERO on 1JAN so your waver, if you spend $213 more, is only good until 31DEC.

  15. August Hammonds Reply

    So just to clarify, for 2019 calendar year, if I have a separate Delta Reserve personal card and Delta Reserve Business card, am I eligible for the 30k MQM boost on each of those cards (total of 60k MQMs across both cards) if spending requirements are met on each card? I thought I saw fine print in Delta website (for 2019 calendar year) in regards to MQM boost not being eligible across multiple cards if it’s the same type of card so I didn’t know if a Delta Reserve personal and business card qualified as the same type of card since they both Delta Reserve cards. Thank you!

  16. Hello and Happy New Year! On around December 20, 2019, I was at Silver Medallion, I hit the MQD waiver (was at about $27,000 in spend on my Delta Reserve Amex) and on MQMs, I was approximately 3500 miles short of the 50,000 needed for Gold. So by about December 28, 2019, I exceeded $30,000 in spend on my Delta Reserve Amex, which as I understand it will give me 15,000 bonus MQMs which will comfortably put me over the 50,000 MQMs needed for Gold. As of today, January 2, 2020, the Delta app still has me as Silver. Any idea of when my status should change over to Gold due to the retroactive application of the 15,000 bonus MQMs? I have a few trips planned in January so I’m curious when this will changeover. Thanks! (And your site provides really helpful info, thanks!)

  17. sav Banerjee Reply

    Hey guys-
    Thx for the insights on this complicated matter!
    I’ve had the amex platinum for 4 years, and got the 10k bonus MQMs every year.
    In Jun/July 2019, I got an “offer” to “upgrade” the platinum card to reserve and did so mid-year. Total spend on that platinum turned reserve now is $28k. Statement closed Jan 3.
    I didn’t make the $30k spend cut for reserve bonus MQM, but surpassed the Platinum spend for the year ($25k). Also met MQD card waiver.
    I should receive 10k bonus MQMs for 2019, yes?
    If yes, they will post after Feb 3 statement? the $25k spend was met in December statement, but I don’t see that in January (only December spend is posted currently)

    • @sav Banerjee: If you upgraded your Delta Amex Platinum before reaching $25k spend, then you won’t get the MQM because you switched to a different product. If your statement closed January 3 and you were eligible to receive the MQM bonus from the Platinum, the MQM would have posted by now.

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