Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles with AmEx Delta SkyMiles cards

American Express Delta SkyMiles

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If you’re looking for a way to earn a generous amount of airline rewards to use toward free travel, the Delta SkyMiles cards from American Express may be your answer. The Platinum Delta SkyMiles card has launched a limited-time offer that gives new cardholders 70,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $3,000 in the first three months, while the Gold Delta SkyMiles card gives new card members 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first four months.

The bonus offers are scheduled to end on Sept. 19, 2018.

Which Delta SkyMiles card is better in the first year?

Along with introductory bonuses, the Platinum and Gold Delta SkyMiles cards offer a variety of ways to earn rewards. Both cards, for example, offer 2 miles per dollar on purchases made directly with Delta Airlines and 1 mile per dollar on everything else. The Platinum Delta SkyMiles card also offers an annual bonus of 10,000 miles and 10,000 MQMs after spending $25,000 in a calendar year, and an additional 10,000 miles and 10,000 MQMs (for a total of 20,000 miles and 20,000 MQMs) after spending $50,000 in a calendar year.

But with the card’s platinum status, also comes a platinum price tag – The Platinum SkyMiles card charges $195 annually, while the Gold card waives its annual fee of $95 the first year.

See how these cards compare in the table below.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles vs. Gold Delta SkyMiles

  Platinum Delta SkyMiles card
Platinum Delta SkyMiles card
Gold Delta SkyMiles card
Gold Delta SkyMiles card
Rewards rate
  • 2 miles per dollar on purchases made directly with Delta
  • 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases
  • Terms apply
  • 2 miles per dollar on purchases made directly with Delta
  • 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases
  • Terms apply
Introductory bonus
  • 70,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Offer ends Sept. 19, 2018
  • Terms apply
  • 60,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in the first 4 months
  • Offer ends Sept. 19, 2018
  • Terms apply
Annual fee $195 $95, waived first year
Estimated earnings in first year ($15,900 spend) $964 $1,024

As you can see from the table, although the Platinum and Gold SkyMiles cards offer the same rewards rate, the Gold card offers more value in the first year of card membership. However, the Platinum card offers much more value for heavy spenders. If you plan to charge $50,000 in a calendar year, you can potentially earn 90,000 bonus miles and 30,000 MQMs in the first year alone – valued at approximately $1,215.

Recent changes to the Delta SkyMiles cards

The Gold Delta SkyMiles card’s introductory bonus typically ranges between 30,000 and 60,000 points, while the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card’s bonus historically ranges from 35,000 to 75,000 points.

Gold Delta SkyMiles recent changes

Change date Introductory bonus
Aug. 1, 2018
  • 60,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in the first 4 months
  • Offer ends Sept. 19, 2018
  • Terms apply
April 12, 2018
  • 30,000 miles if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • $50 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase in 3 months
March 1, 2018
  • 50,000 miles if you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • Additional 10,000 miles if you spend an extra $1,000 in the first 6 months
  • $50 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase in 3 months
Nov. 9, 2017
  • 30,000 miles if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • $50 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase in first 4 months
Sept. 27, 2017
  • 50,000 miles if you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • Additional 10,000 miles if you spend an extra $1,000 in the first 6 months
July 6, 2017
  • 30,000 miles if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • $50 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase in 4 months
May 25, 2017
  • 60,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in the first 4 months
  • $50 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase in 4 months

Platinum Delta SkyMiles card recent changes

Change date Introductory bonus
Aug. 1, 2018
  • 70,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs)if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Offer ends Sept. 19, 2018
  • Terms apply
April 12, 2018
  • 35,000 miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
March 1, 2018
  • 70,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • $100 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase in 3 months
Nov. 9, 2017
  • 35,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
Sept. 27, 2017
  • 70,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
July 6, 2017
  • 35,000 miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
May 25, 2017
  • 70,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) if you spend $4,000 in the first 4 months

As you can see, the introductory bonuses for these cards are currently at their peak.

What can you get with 70,000 SkyMiles?

While Delta offers a variety of redemption options for your SkyMiles – including merchandise and gift cards – your best option, by far, is redeeming SkyMiles for airfare on Delta or with one of Delta’s SkyTeam alliance partners. The number of required miles is closely linked to the cost of the fare, and you will find a good value with most flights and fare levels. We value SkyMiles at 1.61 cents per miles on average, so 70,000 miles can get you around $945 worth of airfare on Delta.

Redemption option Average mile value (cents) Value of 70,000-mile sign-up bonus
Flights 1.61 $945
Flight upgrades 2.2 $1,540
Miles + Cash 1 $700
Pay with miles 1 $700
Delta Vacations 1 $700
Car rentals 0.6 $420
Delta Sky Club Membership 1.1 $770
Merchandise 0.4 $280
Gift cards 0.3-0.5 $210-$350
Magazines 0.8 $560
Experiences varies --
Charity donation 1.61 $1,127

Who is eligible for the sign-up bonus?

American Express has one of the strictest sign-up bonus policies in the industry, restricting cardholders to earning the bonus on a particular card only once in a lifetime. If you currently own or have previously owned a Gold or Platinum Delta SkyMiles card, you are not eligible for the bonuses on those cards.

Should you apply now?

Because American Express places a once-in-a-lifetime limit on sign-up bonuses on its cards, it’s important to time your card application properly to earn the largest introductory bonus possible. That said, since the 60,000-mile and 70,000-mile bonuses are currently at their peak, now is a great time to apply – just be sure to sign up by Sept. 19, 2018. 

Also, if you are considering the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card, keep in mind that you must spend $50,000 in a calendar year to receive the card’s highest possible annual bonus. Since a calendar year is from January 1 through December 31, the earlier in the year you apply for the card, the more time you’ll have to reach the required spend threshold.

See related: Delta SkyMiles guide: The best ways to earn and use Delta SkyMilesWhich Delta SkyMiles card is best for you 


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Updated: 08-16-2018