Rookie Wednesday: Does Having Lots of Credit / Travel Cards Hurt Your Credit Score?

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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.

I, Chris, have around 18 open credit cards in my name right now (René tells me he has 22 after getting 3 new ones approved on Monday). Continue reading

Rookie Wednesday: What Amex card is the best choice to pay for your Delta Amex BOGO cert tickets?

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.

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.

One of the best perks of both the Delta Amex Platinum card personal (learn more) and business (learn more), as well as the Delta Amex Reserve personal (learn more) and business cards (learn more), are the BOGO certs (buy one get one free – plus tax – see E22 post) you get each year (starting in year two of card membership). They can save you enough each year alone to make holding the card worthwhile.

1st class, C+ or coach on these!

There are other perks to these certs. Some are published, some are not (but work). One published perk is that you can book tickets for anyone with these certs (and it is 100% AOK to do so – again, see E22 post). Want to fly your mom & dad up to see you? Just book it for them.

Another sweet perk is that if you are a medallion, even with the certs applied, you and your +1 on the same reservation ARE now eligible for medallion upgrades. Comfort plus upgrades (if you book main cabin coach seats) tend to clear instantly for Platinums and Diamonds and you still then have a shot at 1st class as well. Oh, and you can now even apply an RU or Regional Upgrade certs to these flights should you wish to do so (yes, this is new-ish fyi)!

But one question that is not talked about much is how to pay for this cert, that is, what card to use. Yes, I know that when you look at the T&C of the certs they clearly state:

“Primary Ticket and Companion ticket must be purchased with your Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express.” – from Delta.com

…but the fact is you don’t have to. Currently you can pay with any Amex card (in fact anyone’s Amex card – like your mom and dad’s card for example if they are the ones flying up to see you). And this is good why? If you do pay with your Delta Amex card you are only earning 2 SkyMiles per dollar for the spending. That is really sad to get back only about 2 cents in rewards. You can do MUCH better.

Who does not like 5x points?

But what if you are the one flying? What card do I suggest you consider paying for your BOGO flights with? The clearly first choice is the non-Delta Amex Platinum card (learn more) because you can (if you choose Delta as your preferred bonus airline) earn:

5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines.

This way you are, even if you at some point send your Membership Rewards points to Delta getting 5 SkyMiles per dollar spent (points transfer almost instantly to Delta fyi)! What if you do not have this card. What would be another wise choice?

Believe it or not even Amex “branded” cards from other banks qualify to be used as a payment method (#ProTip – be sure to register these type of cards for shopping rewards like Amex “Offers For You”). The Wells Fargo Propel cards (read more) give you 3 points per dollar spent on airline tickets so even choosing this card you are getting 50% more points than using your Delta card!

Lastly, as I am sure many will ask, you can NOT combine payment of the BOGO certs with Delta gift cards (from Delta.com or other stores) or e-credit vouchers from old tickets or bump vouchers.

The bottom line is the Delta Amex BOGO certs are a sweet part of card membership year after year and can on it’s own be reason alone to hold the Delta Platinum or Reserve cards. But when you go to spend them – make sure you get maximum value in return for your dollars spent! – René