Well, this darkly worked out for our blog.
First, we’ve covered the news about massive changes coming to Delta’s frequent flyer program er, loyalty program er, mega-spenders club.
Then, we wrote about a dysfunctional family whose husband-father left the wife-stepmother to fend for herself at an airport after he couldn’t wait for her anymore.
And now, we have sort of a perfect blend: a post about Delta’s dysfunctional “family” of SkyMiles credit cards rule that prohibits you from collecting certain welcome bonuses. (We know we’re a little late to the party.)
The Family of Delta SkyMiles Amex Cards
Remember the good old days (you know, like, maybe a few weeks ago) when you could have a Delta Platinum Amex card but still qualify for the Delta Gold Amex’s welcome offer? Perhaps it was a great promotion and you wanted to pad your SkyMiles account. (After all, Delta lets you pay for practically everything with SkyMiles: checked baggage fees, premium drinks in Sky Clubs while you can still access the lounge, and more. Plus, there is the TakeOff 15 benefit that truly, genuinely adds even more value to some great Delta flash sales.)
Those days are done. (H/T Danny the Deal Guru)
You’re now eligible for welcome offers only for Delta consumer/personal cards that are “above” or more premium (read: have a higher annual fee) than a card you currently hold or have already held.
(Oh, you also aren’t eligible to earn a welcome bonus on a card you’ve previously held — even if it’s been years and years.)
For example: Delta Reserve Amex Cardholders — you’re done earning Delta Amex welcome bonuses. Sure, you can apply for Platinum, Gold, and Blue cards all you want. But you don’t qualify for their welcome bonuses anymore.
If the highest Delta Amex Card you’ve had is a Platinum (not this one!), you’re eligible for whatever welcome bonuses the Reserve offers. Assuming you’ve never held the Reserve, of course. But not the Gold or Blue (if there even is one for the blue).
If you’ve held only the Gold, the Platinum and Reserve cards are your only hope for a welcome offer.
Monkey Miles put together a handy-dandy chart on this post that may help you.
What About Business Cards?
So far, the business cards aren’t subject to the Delta SkyMiles Amex family of credit cards rule.
Why the Change?
First, Amex is well-known for its restrictive “lifetime” language when it comes to earning welcome bonuses. You generally can’t earn a card’s welcome offer — even if it’s different from past promotions — more than once in your lifetime.
That being said, some offers occasionally pop up and don’t include the “lifetime” language. You just have to read the offer terms to see if you’ve found one of them.
I get that Delta and Amex may not necessarily want people “playing the system” and earning tons of bonus points on special offers.
Delta seems to think SkyMiles and the SkyMiles Amex cards are pretty special. They crow about Delta Amex spending accounting for nearly 1% of the US GDP.
Not to mention, think of the annual fees that might come in from people paying annual fees on multiple cards because they like the Companion Certificates — or forget or ignore that they’re dishing out money for nothing. (Apologies, Dire Straits.)
So, put your money and your darn miles where your mouth is, Delta. If SkyMiles is so great, why not let people collect as many as possible? Keep ’em coming back for more.
Then again, is it Amex who insisted on this change? Maybe they’re sick of buying SkyMiles — especially with Delta potentially decimating their Amex relationship.
The Delta SkyMiles 2025 changes continue to be head-scratchers.
To quote a fantastic Don Henley song: “The more I know, the less I understand.”
Unless something changes, you’re no longer eligible for a Delta Amex’s welcome bonuses on a card “lower” than one you’ve already earned. I think it’s customer- and business-unfriendly. Then again, it tracks with much of what Delta has been up to lately.
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