Money

American Express updates Delta SkyMiles cards with limited time welcome offers and new benefits

A Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-300 landing at Athens International Airport AIA.
Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images

American Express announced on Monday, September 30, the upcoming relaunch of consumer and business Delta SkyMiles® American Express Cards. Starting January 30, 2020, Delta SkyMiles® American Express Cards will have benefits that offer more ways to earn miles and feature new travel benefits, such as access to The American Express Centurion® Lounges and up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fees.

In the meantime, there are new limited time welcome offers available from October 1 to October 30, 2019. Applicants who apply and are approved during this time can take advantage of the welcome bonus and the new benefits will be automatically added to the card on Jan. 30, 2020.

Below, CNBC Make It breaks down the new offerings.

Limited time welcome offers

Eligible new Delta SkyMiles® American Express cardholders who apply and are approved between October 1 and October 30, 2019 can enjoy the new offers listed below.

Consumer cards

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card:

  • 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first three months
  • $50 statement credit after using the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express card on a Delta purchase in the first three months

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card:

  • 75,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first three months
  • $100 statement credit after using the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum card to make a Delta purchase in the first three months

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card:

  • 75,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after spending $5,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first three months

Business cards

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card:

  • 70,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first three months
  • $50 statement credit after using the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business Card to make a Delta purchase in the first three months

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card:

  • 80,000 bonus miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $6,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first three months
  • $100 statement credit after using the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business Card to make a Delta purchase in the first three months

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card:

  • 80,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after spending $6,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first three months

Benefit updates to Delta SkyMiles® American Express Cards

American Express and Delta worked together to come up with enhanced rewards and more perks for cardholders.

"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," Sandeep Dube, Delta's SVP of customer engagement and loyalty, and CEO of Delta Vacations, said in the press release.

There's an extensive list of changes to the new cards and we've listed the main additions below. For complete benefits and changes, visit NewDeltaAmex.com. Note that additional terms apply and benefits take effect starting January 30, 2020.

Consumer cards

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card:

  • 2X miles on purchases made directly with Delta and now at restaurants worldwide (previously U.S. only)
  • No foreign transaction fees (previously 2.7% per transaction)

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card:

  • 2X miles on purchases made directly with Delta and now at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets
  • $100 Delta flight credit after spending $10,000 annually
  • $99 annual fee (previously $0 first year, then $95)

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card:

  • 3X miles on purchases made directly with Delta (previously 2X) and now on purchases made directly with hotels
  • 2X miles at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fees
  • $250 annual fee (previously $195)

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card:

  • 3X miles on purchases made directly with Delta (previously 2X)
  • Access to The American Express Centurion® Lounge
  • 2 Delta Sky Club® one-time guest passes
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fees
  • Access to complimentary upgrades for card members without Medallion® Status
  • $550 annual fee (previously $450)

Business cards

"We found when we spent a lot of time with our mutual customers that business owners want to earn for business spending," Courtney Kelso, Senior Vice President of U.S. Commercial Cards at American Express, tells CNBC Make It. This request from customers helped inform the revamped rewards program.

Below, we break down the changes you can expect on January 30, 2020.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card:

  • 2X miles on purchases made directly with Delta and now at restaurants worldwide, on U.S. shipping and U.S. advertising
  • $100 Delta flight credit after $10,000 annual spending
  • $99 annual fee (previously $0 first year, then $95)

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card:

  • 3X miles on purchases made directly with Delta (previously 2X) and now on purchases made directly with hotels
  • 1.5X miles on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fees
  • $250 annual fee (previously $195)

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card:

  • 3X miles on purchases made directly with Delta (previously 2X)
  • 1.5X miles on purchases after spending $150,000 per calendar year
  • Access to The American Express Centurion® Lounge
  • 2 Delta Sky Club® one-time guest passes
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fees
  • Access to complimentary upgrades for card members without Medallion® Status
  • $550 annual fee (previously $450)

While nearly all of the changes are positive for cardholders, the annual fees are increasing for the Gold, Platinum and Reserve cards. However, that typically occurs when card issuers expand cardholder benefits.

"We believe that we've added so many new ways to earn more rewards, new travel enhancements and so much more value to the card that the annual fees will be commensurate with that value," Kelso explains.

Don't miss:

Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!

VIDEO3:0703:07
Here's what U.S. Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon carries in his wallet
make it

Stay in the loop

Sign Up

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

CNBC.COM