Update: These offers for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express have expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
Through September 19, 2018, we’re seeing increased welcome bonuses on Delta’s four co-branded Gold & Platinum American Express cards.
These offers are compelling, and among the best we’ve ever seen. The great news is also that you’re eligible for each of the cards, so if you applied for the two Gold cards in the past, you could apply for the Platinum cards this time around, for example.
With four different bonuses, one question I’ve been asked is which card is best to apply for. Is there a major difference between the personal and business versions, and between the Gold and Platinum versions? Here are my thoughts on that:
There’s virtually no difference between the business and personal version
The personal and business version of the Gold card have the same welcome bonus and annual fee, and the personal and business version of the Platinum card have the same welcome bonus and annual fee:
- The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express & Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express are each offering 60,000 bonus miles after you make $3,000 in purchases on your new card within your first four months — the cards have $95 annual fees, which are waived for the first year
- The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express & Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express are each offering 70,000 SkyMiles plus 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles after spending $3,000 within three months — the cards have $195 annual fees
Aside from your intended spend purposes (are you using the card for business or personal purposes?), the only other real difference in deciding between the personal and business version of a particular card is that applying for Amex business cards (whether credit or charge) doesn’t count towards Chase’s 5/24 limit, and is quite risk free.
Redeem your SkyMiles for travel in Xiamen Air’s 787 business class
Comparing the welcome bonus of the Gold & Platinum cards
Valuing welcome bonuses is somewhat subjective, so my valuation is based on the following:
- I value Delta SkyMiles at 1.2 cents each
- The tricky thing to value is the 10,000 MQMs that comes with the welcome bonus on the Platinum cards; this can be hugely valuable if you’re going for status, while it’s virtually worthless if you’re not going for status
With that in mind, let’s crunch some numbers.
- 60,000 SkyMiles upon completing minimum spend; I value those miles at ~$720
- The cards have $95 annual fees, waived for the first year
That means I value the welcome bonus on either of these cards at ~$720.
- 70,000 SkyMiles upon completing minimum spend; I value those miles at ~$840
- 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles upon completing minimum spend; the value of that really depends on the person
- The cards have a $195 annual fee
I value the miles at $840, but then you have to subtract the $195 annual fee, which brings the value of the bonus down to $645. This doesn’t factor in the MQMs, which could be extremely valuable if going for status with Delta.
Status with Delta can help you score upgrades
The welcome bonuses on all four co-branded Delta Gold & Platinum cards are worth considering, and largely I’d decide which to apply for based on which card you haven’t had before. For someone who hasn’t had any of the cards, and is looking to pick up 1-2 of the cards, my general advice would be as follows:
- If you’re not going for status with Delta and/or wouldn’t get value out of MQMs, the welcome bonuses on the Gold Delta SkyMiles Personal Card & Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Card are marginally better
- If you are going for status with Delta and/or would get value out of MQMs, the welcome bonuses on the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Personal Card & Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Card are likely better