Amex raised delta card fees this year. But, there’s now a 100k mile offer for the platinum and reserve cards, through 4/01. (Plus, 15k referral offer good for if you know someone who has a Delta Amex. Referral offers are generated from delta.com/friend100k, limit 55kmi/person)
I’m not getting a new card but I still have a delta platinum from last year that I intend to cancel later this year after it passes 1 year.
IMO, the platinum offer works out the best, but the gold one has lower “investment” and is not that bad either. I’ll use 0.01 for Delta point values, though 0.011 seems to be the lowest I see listed as general values.
Sign-up costs/profit assuming a downgrade at month ~15 —
Annual Fee - $0 first year, then $99. Net fee for 15 months of $24.75
60k points with $2k/90 spend. 10k points “8-12 weeks” after renewal. Value: $700
Net profit: $675.25
Delta Platinum sign-up bonus:
Annual Fee - $250. Net fee for 15 months of $312.50
80k miles after $3k spend in 3 months. 20k miles at first renewal. Value: $1000
Additionally, free checked bags and main cabin boarding (makes basic economy usable if you actually book the flights with the points.) Additionally, a domestic “companion certificate” after renewal – I don’t know what to value this at.
Net profit: $687.50 + Companion Certificate + checked bags/boarding
Reserve has the same offer as the Platinum. Seems terrible value, but you do get Centurion lounges (only while on Delta flights booked with the card… at least according to terms). Very hard for me to value that at worth $300.
I’m guessing you wouldn’t use it on a cheap flight but I’d guess $150-200 for a free economy flight for a companion? Either way, with the $20k miles at first renewal, it easily makes up for the annual fee, even if you had to pay for it all. With planned downgrade as soon as you’ve used the companion certificate, it should work out well.
Only caveat is you’ve got to decide if it’s good enough to jump in since AMEX bonuses are once per lifetime now.
Also, they have a welcome bonus qualification tool if you’re not sure whether you had that particular card before.
I was hoping it would be valid once issued and not revoked, like points transfers… guess i’ll see a couple months after mine hits 12 months in Aug or Sept. I also think I saw the cert requires a fee still paid. Plus I think it’s not valid on basic economy, so the first ticket costs more. That additional cost plus the fees must be subtracted from the flight value.
Amex might also give an incentive to keep vs downgrade if I call in then, but I don’t fly Delta much at all so I probably don’t want that.
I’m guessing the fees are the standard ones like Southwest charges $5.50 per flight for TSA/airport fees. The cap at $75 is worrisome though since I don’t know how the normal non-airline fees could get that high on domestic flights.
I have no idea if basic economy qualifies or not. From Delta’s point of view, they might as well give you another basic economy ticket since the handout is effectively less than if you book standard ticket and companion was also given a standard ticket. They may control that by whether they make it available on specific flights or not.
Again, I agree with you that putting an exact tag on this benefit is very difficult but it’s relatively significant. The deal is not bad even without renewal. You’re looking at over $800 benefit + $100 if you were gonna do TSA precheck or Global entry + ability to use basic economy instead of economy, all for $250 annual fee. Not bad money in itself $550/$650 + cheaper tickets.
Then assuming downgrade 3 months after renewal, it’s hard to see many scenario where 20k points + a companion certificate would not be worth $62.50 extra. Only one I could see is if you’re sure to never fly Delta in the future.
It’s on the main page and in the terms. It’s valid only on Main Cabin, round-trip within the contiguous 48 states up to four segments, unless you reside in one of the other states. It does list government taxes and fees (but doesn’t say the fees are only government). Probably just the airport fees, but like you I don’t see how the $75 cap would be applicable if that were really the case that those were the only fees. I guess you could get there with 4 segments if you happened to pick the highest airport cost airports.
When you have free checked bag and boarding from the card, to me the basic economy ticket is functionally identically except not picking your exact seat when booking (which you could lose anyways if there’s a plane swap). That’s why they require main cabin – because it costs more.
After bad press from intentionally separating people in basic economy purchased on the same order, they now will try to place basic economy seats together. They did so automatically sometime the day before on my flight back from iceland last year after the system initially split them up and there were no non-upgrade seats I could select myself. On the flights to Iceland I was able to select seats myself within the last 24hrs.
Agreed on 20k worth keeping past the first renewal, that’s why I included the 20k and downgrade after renewal. That also should leave ample extra time to avoid the “rewards abuse” example that Amex gives (downgrade or cancel in first year). For myself, I had a different offer last year where I received 50% up to $500 Delta spend as a direct credit (received $430) plus 50k points, and the annual fee was only $195 at the time.