If you have held off on a new airline credit card, this would be a great time to pull the trigger on the Delta Gold card. American Express has increased the sign up bonus for both of their Delta Gold cards to 50,000 miles plus $50 in statement credit. When I say both I mean the Personal and Business cards. They are treated as separate cards so you can sign up for both cards and receive the bonus for both cards. Can you say 100,000 Delta miles for summer travel?
How far will 50,000 miles take me?
The answer depends on where you are looking to fly. Shorter flights such as Sacramento to San Diego can run as few as 5,500 miles one-way. If you want to go across the country your flight is likely going to require 12,500 miles. The good news is you do not need a Delta account if you want to search for award flights (IE: flights you buy with miles). Just choose the “miles” option when searching flight availability on Delta.com.
Want to go to Hawaii? You will only need 22,500 miles one-way which means you will have more than enough for a round-trip to Hawaii. Flights to Europe run anywhere from 24,000-30,000 one-way. Delta often has ‘award sales’ which is when you will see some Europe flights dip to 24,000 points one-way. (30k is standard)
If you planned to use your miles for shorter flights, like those for 5,500 miles one-way, you could get up to 9 one-way flights for “free”. You do have to pay the $5.60 security fee each time you fly with points/miles. These Delta flights from Sacramento to San Diego currently go for $117 one-way if you are paying cash. A little math tells us that $117 X 9 = $1,053. Using this example, you would be getting around $1,000 in value by using your 50,000 miles to fly this route. Who doesn’t like $1,000 in airfare for signing up for one credit card?
How much do I need to spend to get the 50,000 miles?
The good news is the spend is lower than most “higher-end” travel cards at $2,000 within 90 days. Most cards require $3,000 spent in 90 days. Do not fret, it is easy to spend the $2,000. You can use Plastiq.com to pay your bills, yes even mortgage, home rent, car payments, and student loans with your American Express credit card. Do you mail a check to your landlord, pay with Plastiq and they will charge your credit card then mail a physical check on your behalf. They even give confirmation when the check has been received and cashed. There is a fee of around 2.5% which means you’ll pay up to $50 if you use Plastiq to meet all $2,000 of your minimum spend. Read on..
Now remember, you get a $50 statement credit from American Express once you spend $50 or more on Delta.com using your new Gold card. You can buy yourself an online Delta e-gift card for $50 and you will be reimbursed automatically. This essentially washes out your $50 in fees to Plastiq if you pay all $2,000 in bills. If you don’t have a lot of bills you can have Plastiq send a personal check payment to a friend for a “service” and have your friend cash that check and “accidentally” pay you back in full. Your friend went out and grabbed you a 12 pack of beer? Send him/her a $1,000 check on Plastiq, you’d be halfway through your minimum spend!
Can I sign up for the business card if I don’t own a business?
Yes! You can get the business card without owning a real business. When applying just input your Social Security Number in place of the EIN (Employer Identification Number). Your business could be selling on eBay, babysitting, personal trainer, lemonade stand owner, you get the picture. American Express is very relaxed when it comes to approving folks for business cards. I am on my third American Express biz card and I don’t own a ‘real’ business.
Please note, if you have already received a sign up bonus for the Delta Gold card you are not eligible to receive it again. Keep in mind however, the personal and business cards are separate from one another. If you have already signed up for the Delta Gold personal card in the past, you can still get the 50,000 bonus miles once approved for the Business card. I have the Delta Gold personal and business cards and I received the 50,000 mile sign up bonus on both cards! If you have not had either card you CAN sign up for both cards on the same day and earn 100,000 Delta miles! Oh, and you do earn 1 mile per dollar spent even when working on your minimum spend so technically you will receive at least 52,000 miles per card.
If I am a stay-at-home can I still sign up for this card?
American Express states that income is “all available income”. That means that you can legally include all income from your spouse as your own. If you make $5,000 a year and your spouse makes $60,000 a year, your total yearly income on the credit application could state “$65,000”. (I am not giving financial advice, just stating the obvious*)
Do I get any perks with this card?
Yes! You get a free checked bag anytime you fly on Delta. It doesn’t matter how you pay for the flight, you will receive a free checked bag. Even better, up to 9 total people in your party can receive a free checked bag. They just need to be booked on your same reservation/itinerary. If you have a family of six, each one of you will get a free checked bag, saving up to $300 for a round-trip.
In addition to free checked bags you also get Zone 1 priority boarding! This means that you will board shortly after first class giving you access to the overhead storage very early. In my experience this priority boarding perk applies to all the flyers who are on your same reservation so make sure to book the flights at the same time. Also, many of Delta’s planes are equipped with touch-screens at each seat offering FREE movies and entertainment. Look for small TV icon when making your flight selection to ensure your plane will have a screen at your seat. For planes that don’t have built-in TV’s, Delta will typically provide free streaming entertainment services to your phone or laptop over WiFi.
Is there an annual fee with this card?
There is a $95 annual fee but it is waived for the first year. Keep in mind, you can cancel this card before the second year and you will not pay any fees. Also, you will not lose the leftover points if you cancel the card and your Delta points NEVER expire (ever). With American Express you can cancel the card up to 60 days after the annual fee has posted and receive a credit back for the annual fee. That means you could technically hold this card for 14 months without paying the annual fee. If you applied today you could keep the card through July of next year for $0. (zilch)
Even better, American Express will deposit your points just a few days after you meet your minimum spend. With my Delta Gold card I received my 50k Delta points just two weeks after applying. American Express will also overnight your new card with just a simple phone call (sometimes they will only send it two-day, but hey, better than snail mail). As soon as you get your card in the mail pay your bills so you will receive the points ASAP. Your first payment due date will be around 50 days after your card is approved. Make sure to pay the card completely off by your due date so you do not pay any interest, travel credit cards have high interest rates. As long as you pay each statement off by your due date you will NEVER pay a penny in interest.
Where will you travel for free this summer?