Delta has made a raft of changes to its SkyMiles American Express credit cards, which it says will result in less frequent travelers getting more chances to earn miles, and loyal and regular flyers getting access to more exclusive benefits.
The changes announced on Monday affect Delta's Blue, Gold, Platinum and Reserve SkyMiles Amex cards, and come into force on Jan. 30, 2020.
"Each card is tailored to what our customers have told us is most important to them – ranging from ways to earn even more miles to travel perks along the way," said Delta senior VP of customer engagement Sandeep Dube in a press release.
Sandeep Dube, Delta’s Senior Vice President – Customer Engagement & Loyalty, and CEO – Delta Vacations. “Each Card is tailored to what our customers have told us is most important to them – ranging from ways to earn even more miles to travel perks along the way.”
But the changes have not all been well received, with One Mile At A Time's review noting that the changes to the Blue and Reserve cards are positive overall, but not so for the Gold and Platinum cards.
Here's a look at what changes – both good and bad – each card will receive.
Blue Delta SkyMiles Amex
– Holders can now earn 2 x SkyMiles at restaurants across the globe, having previously only been available at U.S. restaurants. The card already gives you 2x miles on purchases through Delta, and 1x miles on all other purchases.
– It will no longer charges foreign transaction fees.
– You can now use Delta's "Pay With Miles" feature with this card.
Gold Delta SkyMiles Amex
– 2x SkyMiles at restaurants and U.S. grocery stores – currently 1x miles.
– A $100 Delta flight credit after spending $10,000 on the card in a calendar year.
– The card no longer offers a Medallion Qualifying Dollar (MQD) waiver as of 2020, which previously card-holders could get after $25,000 of spending. The Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM) program gives loyal customers the ability to skip lines, receive unlimited complimentary upgrades, and received waived baggage fees.
– You'll no longer get access to Delta SkyClubs (which is currently available at a discounted rate of $29 per person).
– The fee for the card will rise from $95 to $99.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Amex
– 3x SkyMiles on Delta purchases and hotels – which is up from 2x miles on Delta and 1x on hotels.
– 2x miles at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (currently 1x).
– A $100 credit for TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry every four years.
– The cost for SkyClub access increases from $29 to $39 per person.
– Annual fee increases from $195 to $250.
Reserve Delta SkyMiles Amex
– 3x SkyMiles on Delta purchases (currently 2x miles).
– Access to American Express Centurion Lounges when flying Delta the same day.
– Two complimentary one-time Delta SkyClub passes each year.
– A $100 credit for Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check every four years.
– Complimentary upgrades for non-Medallion members.
– 15,000 bonus Medallion Qualifying Miles after spending $90,000 and $120,000 in a calendar year (lol).
– Annual fee increases from $450 to $550.
Bonuses for signing up now
Ahead of the changes to the cards, Delta is offering enhanced bonus miles if you sign up before the end of October.
This includes 75,000 bonus miles if you spend $2,000 in the first three months using a Gold Delta SkyMiles card – up from 60,000 miles currently.
If you sign up for a Platinum Card, you get 7,500 miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $3,000 in three months.
And if you go for the reserve card, you get 75,000 miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.