Delta’s Million Miler Gifts: Should Delta Copy United and American (For a Change)?

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

 

A Delta Million Miler brag tag on baggage.

Achieving Million Miler status is a pretty big accomplishment. Each time you accrue a million miles on an airline, the carrier gives you a gift of some sort.

Delta gives you annual Silver at 1M or Gold status at 2M & 3M or Platinum at 4M (depending on how many millions of miles you’ve earned) and some luggage or jewelry.

United, meanwhile, steps it up. While UA may not give you premium luggage or shiny bracelets, they gift both you and a companion annual elite status. American gives you miles and upgrades.

Nice, right?

Is it time for once Delta copy United and American — and up their Million Miler game? Continue reading

Limited Time Offer for the American Express Business Green Card

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

American Express Business Green Card

Learn how to apply for this card!

The American Express Business Green Card just launched a limited time offer for new applicants. But is it worth signing up? Or are there better offers available?

Continue reading

Why and How Delta Flyers Can Benefit from Chase Ultimate Rewards

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

This view of a gorgeous sunset on an awesome cruise was paid for with Chase Ultimate Rewards points!

For better or worse, I’m a loyal Delta flyer. Delta’s co-branded American Express cards sort of come with that territory. But Chase’s credit cards, however, are starting to pique my interest (especially now that I’m finally dipping under 5/24!) when it comes to actual point accrual and redemption. And their low to no annual fees sure are interesting, too. Continue reading

How Can the Delta Reserve Credit Card Reserve Cards from American Express Be Improved?

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

Delta Air Lines jets at New York Kennedy JFK Airport

Delta American Express cards offer cardholders decent-ish benefits. But points earnings and other areas leave something to be desired.

Where are some areas Delta and American Express can improve its premium Reserve cards? Continue reading

A Study Says People Are Skipping Vacations Because of Cost. Are You One?

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.
A stack of money. Heap of one hundred dollar bills on money background. Fake money. Shallow depth of field. Selective focus. (Photo credit: ©iStock.com/Maximusnd)

(Photo credit: ©iStock.com/Maximusnd)

Did you take a Labor Day weekend trip? Or was cost too prohibitive? You’re definitely not alone if you fall into the latter group. Continue reading

Rookie Wednesday: Positioning Trips to Start an Elite Mileage Run

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

Rene's Points Rookie travel post.

Discovering a great mileage run deal from your home airport or city is always fantastic.

But what if you live somewhere like Omaha, Bismarck, or Casper — and most of the good runs begin in Chicago, New York, Vegas, or somewhere in California?

Take a positioning trip to wherever your mileage run starts!

While not ideal, it may be your only choice. (Don’t forget Adam at Juicy Miles can personalize an MQM or MQD run for you!)

“But that’s more time and money!” you may fear.

Time, yes.

Money? Maybe not. Or at least, not as much as you think. Using some points and credit card benefits, it can be done. Continue reading

ROOKIE WEDNESDAY: Know the Difference Between Delta Amex MQD Waiver and MQM Spend Bonuses

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

Rene's Points Rookie travel post.

Several readers privately approached me about this topic, which leads me to assume more people have the same concern. Let’s address it here so everyone’s on the same page and receives what they expect from their Delta Amex cards.

Continue reading

Save Big Money on Luggage — Stack Cashback with This Amex Offer!

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.
Save money with Amex Offers and cashback portals!

(Photo: ©iStock.com/ceazars)

Need some luggage, a laptop case, or backpack for the upcoming school year? Check your Amex cards for an eBags Amex Offer — and stack with cashback portals! Continue reading

[OFFER EXPIRED] One Month Left: Increased Welcome Bonuses on Two Hilton Credit Cards

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

One month remains to take advantage of two increased welcome bonuses on a pair of Hilton Honors American Express cards — including one with no annual fee.

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Increased Delta Reserve Amex Bonus: 10,000 MQM, 80,000 SkyMiles, $100 Statement Credit – Through July 31

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

The Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express.Learn more about the Delta Reserve Card from American Express at https://renespoints.boardingarea.com/dlres
The personal Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express is offering an increased MQM bonus for the next week. However, the offer is available only through referrals from current Reserve cardholders. Already hold the card? You can earn a SkyMiles bonus for referring someone! Continue reading

UN-CONFIRMED: Buying Delta Gift Cards for Amex Platinum Cards Now DEAD?! What Still Works for Delta Flyers Yearly $200 Travel Credit Reimbursements.

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

$50 Delta.com Gift card credit seems really DEAD now sad to say!

Well, this stinks. At the first of the year (as I have year, after year, after year – after year) I tested buying with a computer Delta e-gift cards for my Amex Platinum Cards (learn more here) travel credit rebate. I did this for a number of reasons. First, I tend to fly Delta a lot and it is nice to lock in the credits because Delta gift cards never expire (you just have to track them yourself – no way to save them on Delta.com). I could choose another airline for credit (that still works with gift cards) but why when this works.

My new cards over the past few months!

I started getting reader reports that at some point during 2019 this long, long, long term way of locking in value died. So I tested early in June with a new Amex Platinum card (learn more here) and… Yep… It worked just fine. This is in spite of the T&C from Amex about what qualifies:

Statement Credits: Incidental air travel fees must be charged to the Card Member on the eligible Card Account for the benefit to apply. Incidental air travel fees charged by both the Basic and Additional Card Members on the eligible Card Account are eligible for statement credits. However, each Card Account is eligible for up to a total of $200 per calendar year in statement credits across all Cards on the Account. Incidental air travel fees must be separate charges from airline ticket charges. Fees not charged by the Card Member’s airline of choice (e.g. wireless internet and fees incurred with airline alliance partners) do not qualify for statement credits. Incidental air travel fees charged prior to selection of a qualifying airline are not eligible for statement credits. Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases, and award tickets are not deemed to be incidental fees. The airline must submit the charge under the appropriate merchant code, industry code, or required service or product identifier for the charge to be recognized as an incidental air travel fee. Please allow 2-4 weeks after the qualifying incidental air travel fee is charged to your Card Account for statement credit(s) to be posted to the Account. We rely on airlines to submit the correct information on airline transactions, so please call the number on the back of the Card if statement credits have not posted after 4 weeks from the date of purchase. Card Members remain responsible for timely payment of all charges. To be eligible for this benefit, Card Account(s) must be not canceled and not past due at the time of statement credit fulfillment.” – From Amex (bold mine)

And when I posted my reconfirmed post a number of readers reported in the comments section of the post they also had success with getting the credit just as I have. But reports, over the past month, have kept coming in that it is now REALLY dead for good. So I re-re-tested.

If you take a look at the screenshot above you will see that my $50 charge from this month, July, has yet to credit (normally it only takes a few days). Grrr…. That stinks!

What I take from this is this: Buying Delta gift cards for the yearly credit may be really dead now — or it may just be a tech hiccup that goes away. Either way, it is no longer a confirmed and a reliable option year after year as it has been for the better part of a decade. So what now.

**RELATED POST: American Express’ Internal Costs Reach Record High – What Does It Mean for Card Holders?**

If you again look at my statement screenshot above you will notice a few credits. These are from the fees from booking an award ticket. That, also as it has for many, many years, is working. Will it keep working? Who knows – but it should. That is how I will now use my credits. But what else should work with Delta?

These should still work in Sky Clubs!

  • Paying for gift cards inside the Delta Sky Clubs should still work. Normally I would never ever recommend this as you can buy Delta gift cards at greatly discounted prices at retail stores when there are sales or Amex Offers for You that you can stack (as well as paying with the right card for max points). But after this latest change this could be a workaround and the $100 cards should be fine.
  • Paying for guest to enter the Sky Club with you should still trigger the credits. Some really like this way of getting credit each year (I am not a fan but to each his / her own).
  • Paying for bag fees. I really dislike this one as well because if you are any kind of even semi- regular Delta flyer you should at least hold the Delta Amex Gold card (learn more here) to get free bags for you and those who fly with you on the same reservation. But, for this post, it should work for the credit.
  • Paying for things onboard Delta jets should still also get you full credit like food and drinks. Just keep in mind that the one thing onboard that does NOT — and has never — worked is buying Gogo as that is not billed by Delta (as of this post anyway).
  • If you have fees to change a ticket that should also work but I have had reports that if you go over $200 that the trigger does not work. Just know small amounts should be fine.
  • Paying for a seat fee. This one can be tricky because if Delta codes this as an “upgrade” it may be rejected. Call this one a YMMV choice.

Do note I did not call Amex to see about manually having the credit issued now that it no longer posts. It could work but I really don’t want to go that route (bad things can happen when you call). So, have I missed anything? Are there other Delta related charges you have received credit for that I have missed in my list above? Let us know in the comments below! – René

 

Goodbye, Hilton Ascend Amex – Hello, Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card (and New Welcome Bonus)! [OFFER EXPIRED]

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card (learn more about this card).

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card (learn more about this card)

American Express rebranded their Hilton Ascend card — and today introduced the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card (learn more about this card). Plus, Amex announced a limited time offer for its Hilton Honors American Express Card (learn more about this card).

Continue reading

10 Important Tips About the Amex Offer for Delta Air Lines Flights

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

DeltaOne 757 jets at JFK airport.

During the long, holiday weekend, American Express released an Amex Offer for Delta flights: spend $200, get $40 back. But be wary of almost a dozen disqualifiers.

An Amex Offer for Delta Air Lines flights to BOS, RDU, and SEA.

Click to see terms and conditions.

I received the offer on my Platinum Card from American Express (learn more). My American Express Gold Card (learn more) and Business Platinum Card (learn more) from American Express OPEN did not receive the offer. (Which is fine because my personal Platinum card earns 5x Membership Rewards points on flights purchased directly through Delta!)

So before you buy gift cards, treat seatmates to rounds of cocktails and Flight Fuel on a flight to anywhere, or guest your family into a Sky Club, read these little caveats.

  1. This is a big one: this Amex Offer for Delta purchases is valid only for flights whose destination is either:
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Raleigh-Durham (RDU)
  • Seattle (SEA).

So if you’re looking for a reason to visit one of those three cities, here’s the perfect opportunity! (And possibly a way to save money on a Delta Medallion status match!)

If your home airport is one of those three, it appears a roundtrip to anywhere someplace than the other two does not qualify. For example, if you fly from Boston, only roundtrips to Seattle or Raleigh-Durham will be eligible for the credit. (Doctor of Credit reports there’s another offer from BOS, RDU or SEA to any airport in the USA.)

What’s up with those three destinations? Delta recently crowned Boston its newest hub. Raleigh-Durham is a Delta “focus city.” And I’m pretty sure Delta just wants to crush Alaska Airlines in Seattle.

 

However —

  1. Itineraries with connections are not eligible. People not living somewhere with nonstops to BOS, SEA, or RDU will have to begin a separate trip to a city that does. For example, I can’t go BUR-ATL-RDU. My only close option is LAX-RDU.
  2. Multi-city and one way flights also are not eligible.
  3. Only the base fare is eligible toward the Amex Offer. Taxes, other fees, Gogo WiFi, travel insurance, mileage boosters (but you already know not to buy that) don’t apply.
  4. The terms specifically mention the Amex Offer is good for flights only. Gift cards, Sky Club guest passes, onboard food and beverage, etc., should not credit.
  5. Reservations must be made directly with Delta: via the Fly Delta app, Delta.com, or main reservation phone number (800-221-2121). I bet reservations made through Medallion phone numbers will work, too. Reservations made through online travel agencies (i.e. Priceline, Kayak, Amex Travel) are not eligible for the credit.
  6. Nothing in the terms excludes Pay with Miles tickets. Remaining cash balances after applying SkyPennies should qualify for this offer.
  7. Likewise, the paid fare of a BOGOF companion ticket obtained through a Delta American Express Platinum personal (learn more) or business card (learn more) or Delta Reserve Amex personal (learn more) or business card (learn more) should qualify, as well. Remember: you can use any credit card to pay for the cash portion of a companion pass. You’re not obligated to use the Delta Amex Platinum or Reserve card through which you obtained the BOGOF.
  8. $200 minimum fare(s) must be purchased by September 5. Nothing in the terms says flights must be completed by that date. So this may be a good opportunity to save some money on holiday flights to BOS, SEA, or RDU.
  9. Delta Private Jets and On Demand Charter services aren’t eligible for this offer. (Oh, how I wish that were a dealbreaker for me.)

We’ll see if there are any good Elite Mileage Runs to any of these three cities. (Because there are so many restrictions to this Amex Offer, consider contacting our friend Adam to customize a trip for you!)

UPDATE

We found a mileage run that appears to work with the Amex Offer restrictions!

Hat tip: Points, Miles, and Martinis. (Which, coincidentally, are three wonderful things!)

Amex Eliminates FHR Resort Credit in Vegas? What’s the Solution?

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.
Select Las Vegas Fine Hotels and Resorts and Chase Luxury Hotels and Resorts are seen on the Las Vegas Strip. (Photo credit: ©iStock.com/d25higgins)

(Photo credit: ©iStock.com/d25higgins)

American Express appears to have eliminated a key perk of Fine Hotels & Resorts in Las Vegas: no more $100 resort credit. But a much cheaper credit card is here to save us! Continue reading

Post-Independence Day Thoughts: Being a Travel Loyalty Program “Free Agent”

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.
Handsome young man is standing near the panoramic window in airport terminal with suitcase while waiting for the flight.

©iStock.com/Vasyl Dolmatov

While my friends, family, and I enjoyed some Fourth of July festivities Thursday (and rode out an earthquake!) the subject of travel inevitably came up. Continue reading