I have canceled all my travel plans that I had booked for this year. Early on, before some cruise lines decided to park all their ships for 60 days, I posted that I am not getting on a cruise ship anytime soon (nor booking anything new – even with all the stunning offers).
Heck, I am even suspending my “creative spending” trips out and about in my local area for the time being.
Yep – I am staying home for the next few weeks.
Do keep in mind as you read this that I am a Delta frequent flyer. I currently hold their “top” Diamond Medallion status and have already qualified for Platinum Medallion for 2021.
I also posted that Delta should take steps, now, to extend everyone’s elite status for a year. One hotel chain has already taken this step. I am not the only one concerned about my status. The Financial Times recently posted “Frequent flyers fear loss of airline loyalty points” and notice what one Delta frequent flyer stated:
“Nick Schwab, a Detroit-based software developer, said he would probably lose his platinum status with Delta Air Lines this year because so many tech conferences have been cancelled.
He added that this meant he would probably also cancel his $250 a year Delta-linked credit card.
“If I’m not going to be flying, there is no point using it to earn points that I would put towards upgrades,” he said. He added he would need an incentive to stay within Delta’s loyalty scheme, such as a waived credit card fee or a one-year extension of his elite status.” From The Financial Times – (BOLD MINE)
The part I wanted to focus on was that he is clearly a Delta Amex Platinum Cardholder (I know this from the annual fee quoted in the piece). He is considering canceling the card since he is not flying that much.
Is this a good idea? Maybe, but likely NO!
Why? Let me explain.
For the Delta Reserve cards (personal card and business card, as well as the Delta Platinum (personal card and business card) you pay the annual fee upfront for the year. If you cancel, you do NOT get that back (not even prorated refund). So why cancel now if your next year’s fee is months away?
So wait? Yes. Here is why.
First up, if you have made the firm decision to cancel – wait for the next year’s fee to bill. Why? The above cards all come with a BOGO or “Buy One Get One – Free” cert (See E22 post) that dumps into your “My Delta” when the fee bills. At that point you have 30 days to get your annual fee back — but the BOGO cert sticks in your Delta account and can be used for 1 year (you just have to pay with ANY Amex card).
Why else hold the card?
Amex Offers! If you are not taking advantage of these you are just being lazy. They can be very lucrative (as you can see). Since Nick, quoted above, has already paid the yearly fee, why not keep the card for now and try to earn a few more bucks back with Amex Offers until the next year’s fee bills? He may even get targeted offers better than the stock ones they put up for everyone to claim and earn.
OK, any other reasons? A few more.
Let’s assume, over the next few months, we get this bug squished and it is again safe to get on an airplane (shocker – but I bet it happens faster than expected). Nick, who is a Platinum Medallion, already gets free bags due to his status but others who do not have status may enjoy the perk of the free bag (as well as free for those with them on the same reservation – up to nine). Why pay a bag fee in a few months when you did not have to?
Last one: MQMs.
Who knows what Delta is going to do — if anything — to adjust the elite earning thresholds this year. They may not be as bold as I have suggested (that is, simply extend the expiration by a year). They may simply lower them and then earning MQMs from the Delta Amex card could be just as needed to keep the status for 2021.
Bottom line: if you are giving up flying Delta forever – then, yes, you may want to cancel your Delta Amex card (whatever flavor). You could consider a downgrade to a cheaper card like the Delta Amex Gold card but ONLY if you have already had that card once in your life. If you downgrade and have not yet had it you give up your 1x lifetime shot at a new card bonus. Better to apply for a new Delta Amex Gold card if you have not had it and THEN cancel your higher fee card (if that is your choice). – René
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