Using The Delta Platinum AMEX For Free Travel
Delta frequently offers a great deal of promotions on their main American Express Skymiles Cards. You can earn 50,000 to 75,000 Skymiles when you run a certain amount of spend through these cards within a three month period. Out of their seven co-branded cards, the best value in my opinion comes from the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card and Delta Skymiles Platinum Business Card. The Platinum Cards offer the best sign up bonuses and the annual fees for both cards is $195 which is great considering the benefits and perks of both cards.
Delta Platinum Sign Up Bonus
The increased sign up bonus on the Delta Platinum Cards are usually 75,000 Skymiles after spending $3,000 within the first three months of having the card. So by the time you hit the spend goal, you will have the 75,000 Skymiles plus at least 3,000 additional Skymiles for the spend you had to run through the card for a total of 78,000 Skymiles. The good thing about this is that the sweet spot for most western Europe and eastern Asia destinations are around 70,000 Skymiles to 100,000 Skymiles. This gives you the chance to fly on miles to big international cities such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, and Paris. Delta does not have an award chart, so you will have to jump over to Delta.com to see how far Skymiles can take you.
Depending on the days, you can fly as cheap as 50,000 Skymiles to London. While everyones availability and work schedule is different, I always recommend taking the route that uses the least amount of points, even if that requires leaving a day early or in the middle of the week. Regardless of what day you choose, the 78,000 Skymiles earned from the flight covers all of the flights listed in the chart, which means I could technically leave and return any day that I want.
Do note that Skymiles will only cover the ticket cost and not the taxes, surcharges, and fees. So while you will have to dish out a few dollars along with your Skymiles, you will still save a good deal of money booking with your miles. Also, all American Express credit card sign up bonuses are once per lifetime. So if you've had the Delta Platinum or Delta Business Platinum, you will usually not be eligible for the sign up bonus and AMEX will inform you of this before you apply for the card. There are times in which Delta/AMEX will have offers with no 'lifetime' language. If you've had these cards before, I recommend reading the terms and conditions of the sign up bonus. If you don't see any lifetime language, you should be in the clear to earn the bonus again.
Free Checked Bags
With the exception of the Delta Skymiles Blue Card, anyone who holds the Delta Skymiles Gold, Platinum or Reserve personal or business cards will receive their first checked bag free for themselves and up to 8 companions traveling on the same itinerary. This adds even more savings if you don't have Delta Medallion Status or if you do have Medallion status and you want an extra checked bag on top of the free bags you already get. Checked bags with Delta will cost you $25 one-way for a total of $50 round trip. Depending on how often you fly Delta, you can save hundreds of dollars per year. Personally, me and my family saved $650 on baggage fees the first year of using this perk and from then on I knew that this card would have a permanent placement in my wallet.
Once you've used your sign up bonus and you're nearing your second year of having the card, is there a reason to keep your Delta Skymiles Platinum Card and pay the $195 fee again? Yes. Those who decide to enter their second year of having the card will receive a Companion Pass annually on the card anniversary. This companion pass is good for a friend (aka 'companion') to travel with you in main cabin for just the cost of taxes and fees to anywhere in the 48 lower states. So for example, lets look at a flight from Tampa, Florida to Portland, Oregon. A week trip in mid-August would cost you $498.00.
Using the Delta Platinum Companion Pass, a person of your choosing would be able to join you for just the cost of taxes and fees. That means the second ticket would cost you $77.53 saving you $420 easily covering the $195 fee paid the first and second year of having the card. This companion pass will be deposited into your account every year starting with the second year of you having the card (when you pay the annual fee the second time).
Those with the Delta Skymiles Reserve or Delta Skymiles Business Reserve cards will earn a first class companion ticket. Both Delta Reserve cards come with an annual fee of $450 and includes a great deal of additional benefits on top of the companion ticket. If you fly First Class, the companion ticket will pay for the $450 annual fee multiple times over without even considering the additional benefits.
If you're looking to earn Delta Medallion Status, you can run heavy spend through the Delta Skymiles Platinum (or Reserve) cards to earn extra Delta Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). For every $25,000 in spend, you will earn 15,000 MQMs and 15,000 Skymiles. You can earn up to 30,000 MQMs and 30,000 Skymiles after spending $50,000.
If you don't plan on spending $25,000 across the card, that is a-okay. The many other perks that come with this card easily makes up for the fee. Besides, you can earn more Skymiles per $1 spent using Membership Rewards Points earning credit cards since those points transfer to Delta at a 1:1 ratio.
It's always a good idea to take advantage of increased promotions as you never know when it might come back around. The 75,000 Skymiles promo for Delta Skymiles Platinum Cards is a good time to hop on board and apply for the card. Pair the sign up bonus of this card with a sign up bonus from a Hotel Loyalty Program and you can book a whole vacation for cheap. Pick up one of the Marriott Credit Cards and earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points or the Hilton Credit Cards and earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Points. Meet the required spend, earn the hotel points, and redeem them to for several free nights.
Check out the available sign up bonuses of the Delta Platinum Cards as well as the other Skymiles cards by clicking here. If you're approved, I will also receive 10,000 Skymiles. Regardless of the card you apply for, be sure that you're getting the best sign up bonus for the tier you're apply for. The best bonuses for each tier are:
- Skymiles Blue Cards - 10,000 Miles or Higher
- Skymiles Gold Cards - 60,000 Miles or Higher
- Skymiles Platinum Cards - 75,000 Miles or Higher
- Skymiles Reserve Cards - 75,000 Miles or Higher
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