This past April, American Express instituted a policy that made the receiving of sign-up bonuses restricted to once per customer. It was a sad move as it used to be that you could get the bonus as many times as you could get the card. With the new policy, it makes many of us ineligible for any more personal American Express card bonuses (small business cards do not have that policy).
Possible Workaround for Amex Bonuses
However, when going through some of the terms and options in light of the increased Delta Amex bonuses, I saw something that I thought was quite interesting. It very well could be a possible workaround for repeat Amex bonuses.
The trick here is to upgrade existing American Express cards to the Delta card that you want. Interestingly enough, you can also upgrade non-Delta cards to a Delta Amex card!
The current bonus offer on the Delta Platinum card (as I wrote yesterday) is for 15,000 MQMs and 50,000 award miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
On one of our accounts, we received the following upgrade offer:
Upgrade from Delta Gold to Delta Platinum
If you upgrade from the Delta Gold card to the Delta Platinum, you will receive 5,000 award miles and 5,000 MQMs after first purchase in the first 12 months. The terms for this upgrade offer are:
- You are only eligible for this upgrade bonus miles offer if you have not previously received welcome bonus miles or upgrade bonus miles at the Consumer Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card level on the Card Account being upgraded. In addition, if you have multiple Card accounts linked to the same Delta SkyMiles account, you are only eligible for this upgrade bonus miles offer if you have not received welcome bonus miles or upgrade bonus miles within the last 24 months for another Card account linked to the same Delta SkyMiles account as the Card Account being upgraded. American Express reserves the right to modify or revoke offer at any time.
The bolding is mine to show the most important parts, namely that you can upgrade your card even if you have already received the bonus before! There are a couple of parts to that – first, if the card you are planning on upgrading had ever been a Platinum Delta card, it is ineligible. So, if this Delta Gold has been downgraded from the Delta Platinum, you would not be eligible for the bonus. Second, if any card linked to your Skymiles account has received a bonus in the last 24 months, you are ineligible.
But, the good news about this is if you once had this card but currently have the Delta Gold or some other Amex card, you can upgrade that card to the Delta Platinum card and still get some miles!
Upgrade from SPG card to Delta Platinum
I had noticed the option before to actually change co-branded cards in an upgrade fashion, but that is an option! The offer on the account is for 15,000 award miles and 5,000 MQMs after first purchase in the first 12 months. The terms are the same as above. This means that, even if you have had the Delta Platinum card before (receiving the bonus more than 24 months ago), you can still upgrade your Amex SPG card to the Delta Platinum card and receive some miles with it.
Upgrade from Delta Gold to Delta Reserve
The offer for Delta Gold to Delta Reserve is the same as the regular sign-up bonus with the Delta Reserve – 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after the first purchase (except, you have 12 months to make that purchase). The terms are the same as above.
Upgrade from Delta Platinum to Delta Reserve
The offer for Delta Platinum to Delta Reserve is 5,000 bonus miles and 5,000 MQMs after the first purchase in 12 months. The terms are the same as above.
Upgrade from Hilton HHonors card to Delta Reserve
The offer for Hilton HHonors card holders is 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after the first purchase in 12 months. The terms are the same as above.
How To Get These Upgrades
When you are in your American Express account, click on the tab in the left corner and select to see all personal credit cards. Scroll down the list of cards until you see Upgrade instead of Apply Now. Any card that says Upgrade is a card that you can upgrade to without applying for a new card altogether. Once in the upgrade window, select the account you want to upgrade and you are all set!
Does This Matter?
Granted, Delta Skymiles are not the most valued airline currency out there, but the ability to rack them up as easily in time past has subsided thanks to Amex’s new policy on repeat customers/bonuses. If you have already had all the Delta cards in the past and would like some more bonus miles (or bonus MQMs), it is nice that you have the option to upgrade to those cards.
In addition, the option to upgrade a different co-branded card to a Delta card is really nice as well. It can be very useful if you were considering closing one such card. Now, you can get some bonus miles out of it first! If you have paid an annual fee on the card you are going to upgrade from, it will be prorated towards the annual fee of the card you are upgrading to.
It is an interesting allowance on the part of American Express. Hopefully, it will help some of you!