Delta SkyMiles Cards Revamped, Now with Limited-Time Offers

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American Express just made two moves you need to know about. First, they revamped their Delta co-branded credit cards. Second, they just came back with limited time offers for both their personal and business Delta co-branded credit cards. 

In this article, I’ll show you what the new changes are and how those might affect you and also show you what the new limited-time offers are. 


Changes to Delta Cards

All of the new changes with regards to the annual fees and most benefits will take place January 30, 2020 (MQD waiver benefits will not be effective on December 31, 2019).

This means that if you want to avoid the higher annual fees and take advantage of some of the perks going away (while they last) you’ll want to apply before January 30, 2020 and also probably before the limited-time offers expire on October 30, 2019. 

Below, I’ll highlight the limited-time offers and then show you the changes that will come into effect later on. 

And one more thing, the business cards below will NOT count towards your 5/24 status but the personal cards will. I wouldn’t focus on getting a Delta personal card until you are over 5/24 since there are options to consider like the United Explorer Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred, etc. 


Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card limited time offer: 

  • 60,000 miles you spend $2,000 in your first three months and get a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase within your first three months.

60,000 miles is a nice stash of Delta miles for a pretty low spend requirement of only $2,000. The $50 statement credit adds value but make sure you know you only get it after you make a Delta purchase within your first three months.

You can actually do a lot with Delta Sky Miles (they aren’t always Sky Pesos). If you need help learning how to maximize your Delta miles, be sure to read our article on the best ways to redeem Delta Sky Miles. 

Positive changes: 

  • 2x on restaurants & U.S. supermarkets (up from 1X)
  • $100 Delta flight credit after $10,000 in spend within a calendar year

Negative changes: 

  • MQD Waiver will be removed
  • Delta Sky Club access for $29/visit will be removed
  • Annual fee increased from $95 to $99

The biggest loss is the MQD Waiver. This is a benefit that waived the MQD requirements for Silver Medallion, Gold Medallion, and Platinum Medallion when you spent at least $25,000 and that benefit will no longer be there.

MQDs are how much you have to spend with the airline to achieve status and they are:

  • $3,000 for Silver Medallion 
  • $6,000 for Gold Medallion 
  • $9,000 for Platinum Medallion  

The loss of the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card’s Delta Sky Club pay-to-play access is a bummer too since sometimes you might find yourself without a way to get into a lounge, and you’ll be willing to pay in order to avoid peasant status. As far as the annual fee increase, that’s a pretty nominal change and nothing I’m worried about. 

JFK Sky Club Sky Deck

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card limited time offer: 

  • 75,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • $100 statement credit you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first three months.

I like this card at 75,000 miles and think it’s a good choice to go with when trying to rack up Delta miles. Brad and I once used the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card to help us get enough miles to fly Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic from LAX to LHR with only about $5 in fees.

Positive changes: 

  • 3X on Delta (up from 2X)
  • 3X on hotels (up from 1X)
  • 2X at restaurants (up from 1X)
  • 2x on purchases made at U.S. supermarkets (up from 1x)
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit (every four years)

Negative changes: 

  • Miles Boost will be replaced with Status Boost
  • Delta Sky Club visit fee will increase from $29 to $39
  • Annual fee increased from $195 to $250

The big loss here is the loss of Miles Boost, the 10,000 Delta bonus miles you’d get with $25K in spend (you could do this twice for a total of 20,000 Delta bonus miles). That was a great way to earn both MQMs and bonus miles you could use on award travel, so I think that perk will be missed a lot.

The spike from $195 to $250 in the annual fee is pretty noteworthy, too. With no offsetting credit, that’s a pretty big shift of 22%. 

The 3X on hotels and Delta is nice, especially since not many co-branded airline cards offer 3X on airline purchases. 

I’m not too crazy about 2X on restaurants and US supermarkets but if you put a lot of spend on the Delta SkyMiles Platinum, then this card just got a lot more valuable. Overall, unless you’re a big spender on your Delta cards, these changes are pretty negative.  

It’s worth noting these Delta cards will still retain their benefits like Priority boarding, First checked bag free, 20% off in-flight purchases, and the one time main cabin companion certificate.

The Virgin Atlantic bar on the 787.

Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card limited time offer: 

  • 75,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $5,000 in the first three months

Positive changes: 

  • Centurion Lounge access 
  • 3X miles on Delta (up from 2x)
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check Credit
  • Two Delta Sky Club One-Time Guest Passes
  • Complimentary Upgrades
  • Additional 15,000 bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending both $90,000 and $120,000 in a calendar year (these are in addition the bonuses for $30,000 in spend and $60,000 in spend). 

Negative changes: 

  • Annual fee increased from $450 to $550
  • Miles Boost will be replaced with Status Boost
  • Sky Priority Security removed

I was pretty surprised to see Centurion Lounge access added to this card but it does come with some restrictions. For example, you only get it when flying Delta with a ticket purchased on your Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card. As for guest access, you can pay $50 per guest for up to two guests. 

The two one-time guest passes to the Delta Sky Club is interesting. This card comes with Delta Sky Club access but the perk will give you two passes you can use for guests which is a nice way to save and keep your group together when traveling.  

If you meet the $120,000 spend threshold (and earn 60,000 MQMs), you’ll earn Delta Gold Medallion status. That’s a lot of spend but I always find it interesting when you can pick up an airline status with no actual flying. Here’s the Delta elite requirements for your reference. 

Medallion TierMQMs or MQSs requirementMQDs requirement (only for US residents)
Silver25,000 MQMs or 30 MQSs$3,000 MQDs
Gold50,000 MQMs or 60 MQSs$6,000 MQDs
Platinum75,000 MQMs or 100 MQSs$9,000 MQDs
Diamond125,000 MQMs or 140 MQSs$15,000 MQDs

The complimentary upgrades are interesting but I’m wondering what the upgrade odds will be for most cardholders who don’t have Medallion status.

My guess is very low on most routes, but upgrades to Delta Comfort+ might be common? I do think it’s cool that apparently Reserve cardholders will get priority over other members in the event of a “status tie”

Overall, it’s a hard sell at $550 to me given that the Platinum Card offers way better lounge access but big spenders might be attracted to automatic status via spend. 

Hong Kong Centurion Lounge.

Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card

The no-annual fee Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card is also getting 2X on Delta and restaurants worldwide (previously is was U.S. only). It will also lose foreign transaction fees (previously it was 2.7% per transaction). 


Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card

Positive changes: 

  • 2x on restaurants & U.S. supermarkets (up from 1X)
  • 2x on U.S. advertising & U.S. shipping (up from 1X)
  • $100 Delta flight credit after $10,000 in spend within a calendar year

Negative changes: 

  • MQD Waiver benefit will be removed on December 31st, 2019
  • Delta Sky Club access for $29/visit will be removed January 29th, 2020
  • Annual fee increased from $95 to $99

The only differences with the business cards are changes related to bonus spend rewards. I’ve bolded them so that they stand out. 


Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card

Positive changes: 

  • 3X on Delta (up from 2X)
  • 3X on hotels (up from 1X)
  • 1.5X on purchases over $5,000 (up to 50,000 miles)
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit (every four years)

Negative changes: 

  • Miles Boost will be replaced with Status Boost.
  • Delta Sky Club visit fee will increase from $29 to $39
  • Annual fee increased from $195 to $250

Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card.

Positive changes: 

  • Centurion Lounge Access 
  • 3x miles on Delta spend (currently 2x)
  • 1.5X on all purchases after $150,000 spending
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre  Fee Credit
  • Addition of 2 Delta Sky Club One-Time Guest Passes
  • Access To Complimentary Upgrades
  • Additional 15,000 bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending both $90,000 and $120,000 in a calendar year

Negative changes:

  • Annual fee increased from $450 to $550
  • Miles Boost to be replaced with Status Boost
  • Sky Priority Security will end January 29th, 2019

Final word 

These new changes have both positive and negative sides but I’d wager most view them as negative changes due to the increased AFs and lost benefits. The new bonus categories are cool but only really matter for heavy spenders. 

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