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08-02-2016, 08:55 PM #1
Is this Amex Offer Worth It?
I have a Skymiles Delta Gold card- which I am very happy with. But today I got a mailer for an offer to upgrade to the Platinum card.
With the upgrade, I get:
* The opportunity to earn 25,000 bonus miles by spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.
* The opportunity to earn 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs by spending $25,000 in the year, or 20,000 bonus miles and 20,000 MQMs if I spend $50,000 in the year.
* A companion certificate each year I renew.
To get this I need to go from a $95 annual fee to $195 annual fee.
Let me start out by saying there is now way I can spend $25,000 in the year. So I will not be earning the 10,000 bonus miles. But I could spend the $2,000 in 3 months.
I am on the fence about the upgrade. I certainly travel pretty often. But airfare is cheap right now. And miles don't seem as valuable when airfare is cheap.
08-03-2016, 09:10 PM #2
I love getting my companion ticket every year. So the other stuff is just gravy. I say go for it.
08-04-2016, 07:44 AM #3
It is an okay offer.
The bonus offer is for you to spend $2,000 to get 25,000 miles. (You already said you will not be going after the larger bonus offer, so I will not take that into account.)
After you send your $2,000, you will be able to buy a $200 to $250 ticket with your new miles. That is a 10% to 12.5% return, which is okay. Compare that to American, which gives new cardholders 30,000 miles after spending only $1,000. That is just one example. There are much better bonus spending offers out there.
On top of that, you need to pay an extra $100 per year for the annual fee. In return, from the second year on, you will get a companion ticket - worth $200 to $250 (based on current airfare prices). After 2 years, you will spend $200 to get a $200 benefit. After 3 years, you will spend $300 to get a $400 benefit. And so on. That is not too shabby.
Yes, I think there are better offers out there. But if you travel often, and are pretty exclusive to Delta, this deal makes sense. If you only travel 2 -3 times per year by plane, and just got the Skymiles card for the free checked bag, I'd stick with the Gold and forego the platinum offer.
If you don't check at least 4 bags per year (one each way on two round-trip flights), I'd cancel the card.
08-04-2016, 04:55 PM #4
I think LAThinker lays out the factors you should weigh in your decision. It really comes down to how much you fly Delta, and whether you can make good use of the companion certificate.
Otherwise, I think your spending would be better off being used on getting a more generous bonus offer. In fact, there are several no-annual fee cash back cards earning $100 to $150 of bonus cash when you spend $500. This equates to a bonus yield of 20% to 30% above the regular cash back rate.
If you're interested in one of those cash back cards instead, I'd suggest checking out these cards:
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- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Ally CashBack Card
- Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®
- Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
- Amex Blue Cash Everyday
08-08-2016, 09:55 AM #5
I was just checking out the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card. If you don't already have the gold card version, the sign up offer is even sweeter. And one of the best out there.
- Earn 35,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months.
- Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
- Earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 10,000 bonus miles after you reach $25,000 or more on purchases within the calendar year.
- Companion Certificate - Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card.
Those 35,000 bonus miles combined with the $100 statement credit must be worth at least $450. That is a sweet 45% return on a $1,000 initial spend. That more than pays for the annual fee.
And that means that your annual fee each subsequent year will get you a companion ticket. So you get the free checked bag privilege, extra miles on all your Delta purchases (2x from the card plus whatever else you earn from the regular sky miles program.)
And, of course, if you are willing to bend the rules a little, you can buy gift cards that you turn into payments for your bill (by turning them into money orders). This can get you well on your way to turning tons of MQMs and medallion status essentially for free.
08-10-2016, 10:38 AM #6
I opted to upgrade to the Platinum Skymiles card.
I cover the extra cost - and then some - this year with the signup bonus offer. And then the companion ticket pays for the fee every year after. Essentially, I get an okay signup offer and checked bags for free, and a way to extra miles on the airline I use most often. So it just makes sense.
Of course, after the outages and flight cancellations of the last few days, I have some concerns. Let's just hope Delta puts those kinks behind it.
08-12-2016, 12:40 PM #7
I think you made the right choice.
Any interest in learning how to use manufactured spending to hit the minimum threshold targets, and even to earn tons of MQMs?
08-16-2016, 09:08 AM #8
Okay, I'll bite. What is manufactured spending?
08-17-2016, 07:35 AM #9
Manufactured spending is a method to create purchases on your credit card that you will not have to come out of pocket for (or which you only need to pay de minimus transaction fees).
The main method is to buy prepaid cards with your credit card, use them to buy money orders, and then deposit those money orders into your bank account.
Using this method, you can easily achieve minimum spend thresholds on multiple credit cards, or even create the appearance that you are a big spender.
I have a thread explaining my technique located here: How to get bonus rewards
As pointed out in the thread, you can also use manufactured spending plus your own spending on an airline card to help you earn elite airline status, even without being a frequent traveler. All with little cost to you.
08-18-2016, 10:25 AM #10
I must admit, it is tempting to go for medallion status. Especially for little out of pocket cost. But as much as I do like to travel, we do not do it that much.