While there are certain credit cards that almost always provide a good starting point for new miles and points collectors, as one becomes a veteran and most of the low-hanging fruit has been picked, identifying the highest value opportunities becomes more crucial. The Delta Gold and Platinum Credit Cards by AMEX are both offered at a higher-than-normal bonus than usual. Here, I'll delve a bit deeper into the subject and work out the value of these offers.
AMEX Delta Personal & Business Cards
Both of these credit cards are offering higher than average bonuses, which is typically 30,000 bonus miles after $1,000 spend. With the statement credit, these offers become even a bit more tempting. I assume one could purchase a $50 Delta gift card to trigger the $50 statement credit on the Gold card to or the $100 credit on the Platinum. That card could later be used to pay the taxes and fees on an award booking made with the sign-up bonus miles, so assuming a Delta ticket is planned for the future, the statement credit is as good as a cash rebate.
Personal Delta Gold Credit Card and Business Delta Gold Card Offer Analysis
The Gold card is a no-brainer, since it would earn 50,000 miles (sometimes enough for two roundtrip domestic flights) and, if played the way I mentioned above, $50 in Delta gift cards with zero annual fee in the first year. Unfortunately, we've both already had this card, so we'll be considering the business version or the Platinum cards. If I got a Gold card for my business, I would receive about $625 worth of Delta miles (at 1.25 cpp valuation) + $50 in Delta gift cards, for a total of $675 in Delta flights.
Personal Delta Platinum Credit Card and Business Delta Platinum Card Offer Analysis
The tricky part about the Platinum is that, while 60,000 Delta miles can be worth about $750 in flights, Delta miles can be difficult to redeem at saver-levels and this card comes with a $195 annual fee that isn't waived the first year. Adding in the $100 statement credit as a Delta gift card, the equation becomes: $850 in Delta flights - $195 cash = close to 75% off Delta flights, assuming a good redemption can be found. Worst case, the points are worth at least a cent each and I'd still come out ahead about $500 if I needed $700 in Delta flights anyway.
The Bottom Line
If I knew I had a good redemption to book, I'd jump on this, but as it stands I might have to pass. The most logical offer to take advantage of would be the personal or business Delta Gold card, since there is essentially no cost to those 50,000 miles + $50 statement credit. Everyone has to fly eventually, and even at the lowest possible redemption value, the points + credit will be worth $550 in flights.