I am often asked what is the better option; to upgrade my current GOLD -> Platinum or PLATINUM -> Reserve Delta card or just go for a new business card if I have the personal card or the personal card if I have the business one. My answer is almost always to go for the NEW card offer AND print screen shots of everything to have a clear and undeniable record of what you were supposed to receive. The problem with upgrading is you are relying on what the rep you talked to said (they may or may not have the right info EVEN when it is on a recorded line)! Please take a look at just one example that came in from a reader; we will call him BOB:
Hi Rene, I thought I would share with you the Delta AMEX upgrade nightmare I am going through at this moment. Apparently, there are internal rules that neither Delta nor AMEX will release governing the procedure for upgrading cards. As you suggested before, I have called 5 times, endured 3 ½ hours of frustration and gotten different answers each time.
Day 1 : – I spoke with agent A. My AMEX Platinum spend is currently $54K and I just received my 10K MQM boost. If I spend an additional $6K and and upgrade to Reserve, I will earn additional 15K MQMs. Annual fee credit for Platinum will be prorated for unused months, annual fee for Reserve will be prorated until card anniversary date. AMEX gift card purchases do not qualify for spend.
Day 3: – Spoke with agent B. AMEX gift card purchases do quality. My second AMEX Biz. Platinum employee card will remain Platinum with no additional annual fee. If I upgrade the employee card to Reserve it’s a $175 fee.
Day 19: Call #1 – I was ready to upgrade today. Agent C at AMEX says I won’t get new Reserve card and security number until after year end and so cannot earn any spend toward Reserve threshold for current year even though account number does not change. I should wait until January which means I won’t get additional Reserve MQMs for current year. Annual fee credit for Platinum will be prorated for unused months, annual fee for Reserve will be prorated until card anniversary date. I hang up and call back.
Day 19: Call #2 – Called back and got agent D at AMEX. Agent D shows my current applicable spend at $54,101 while my on-line statement spend shows $55,003. Card upgrade takes 24 hours and then I can start spending on it; do not need to wait to receive physical card. Not all charges count toward spend, such as the card annual fee, prepaid cards, etc. Agent D points me to online cardholders agreement for Platinum card, and on page 3 “How you receive miles” it says purchases of or reloading prepaid cards or cash equivalents are not eligible purchases. I asked to confirm with supervisor.
Day 19: Call #2 continued – Supervisor A, agent E. Platinum AMEX spend above $50K threshold does NOT apply to Reserve card threshold. You must start all over again with the new card. I asked where to find this information and supervisor A, agent E claimed to be reading an internal AMEX document that could not be shared with me. Advised me that it would be best to wait until after first of the year.
Day 19: Call #3 – Called Delta Diamond line and asked for internal Delta desk that deals with AMEX. Agent F read me Delta’s policy that said miles can be carried over from Platinum to Reserve spending threshold. Unfortunately, agent F cannot share that language as it is part of Delta’s Knowledge Management System. Agent F suggests I contact Delta Customer Care in ATL to get it.
Day 19: Call #4 – I speak with agent G in Customer Care. Agent G says they have no information about credit cards and I have to call AMEX. Agent G offers to call them and get a qualified agent on the line.
Day 19: Call #5 -Agent H is an angel! Agent H confirms and emails me the AMEX language for each of my confusing questions.
Differences between spend-to-date amount from AMEX reps and AMEX web is that reps only show charges that have been posted to the most recent statement, and not new charges after the statement date.
Whenever a Cardmember upgrades within AMEX Delta products, any spending that has not already received a Miles Boost bonus will be carried over to the new product and be applied toward the next spending threshold.
If a Cardmember has unbilled December transactions needed to meet the spend threshold, the MQMs will not be issued until the statement closing date in January but they will count toward the year that just ended on December 31st.
Points / Miles / Rebates Cardmembers earn points, miles, and cash rebates for Gift Card purchases made at retail locations. Points will not be earned if purchases are made online or at a TSO.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express CardBasic Annual Fee: $450 (Reserve $175 – Additional Card color Steel Blue) (Platinum – No Fee).
Product Upgrade from Delta Platinum to Delta Reserve – Annual fee of $150 is prorated and credited to account. Then, New annual fee of $450 is prorated for remainder of year until anniversary date.
Upgrade Bonus: By upgrading from Platinum Delta to Delta Reserve you are awarded 10K MQMs with reaching $60K spending threshold and the additional 5000 MQMs as the upgrade bonus.
I upgraded my card, and spoke with agent H’s supervisor to share how great agent H is!
Thanks for this Bob! So there you are. It is not impossible to get a good deal, but you know YMMV. Also, at least 1/2 of all the above is just wrong from reps. For example, AMEX gift cards DO count toward your yearly spend as I buy a bunch of them each year. But what do you expect from phone reps with lots of bad info.
Personally, years back, I did an upgrade and lost credit for ALL my spend for that year. Had to start at ZERO. Burned once, OK, just never going to be burned again. From now on I will just close one account, get a biz card, wait a year, then rinse and repeat! – René
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