Delta Offers Expensive Premium Card with Unlimited Elite Qualifying Miles Earning

Randy Petersen has some big news from the co-branded credit card world.

Delta is introducing a credit card which offers the ability to earn an unlimited number of status miles (with enough spending on the card, of course) and gift those status miles to yourself or others.

Continental has something similar with their expensive premium card, up to 28,000 elite qualifying miles per year and the ability to drop those miles into your account whenever you wish, but the earning ratio is rather poor — just 2,000 qualifying miles for each $25,000 in spend.

Delta’s offering appears to be actual unlimited qualifying miles, and a much better earning ratio: 15,000 qualifying miles for each $30,000 in spend. This is huge. I could earn Delta Platinum on that alone and gift someone platinum as well!

It really does seem that Delta is getting more creative than anyone else in alternative ways to earn qualifying miles. Already they offer both a personal and small business credit card with elite qualifying miles earned based on spending. And there’s currently an offer for double qualifying miles for flights flown, and qualifying miles for Hilton stays.

At some point they’re going to have to return to a top tier elite level which requires more than 75,000 qualifying miles in a year, I’d think. The alternative qualifying miles strategy seems very tempting to Delta here, and on the upswing, there’ll have to be some elite level qualifying inflation.

I really don’t like what Ddelta has done in terms of the value of its miles. Their moves may wind up helping a large number of members get some value for their miles but Delta has made the Skymiles program far less attractive for folks like me looking to get the absolute most for those miles.

But I could easily pick up Delta Platinum as a just in case this way…!

I look forward to this card’s addition to the pantheon sometime over the next month or so.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Interesting way to earn platinum status. But it doesnt stop the main problem. I think we all know that serious elite flyers are leaving delta for american and united because delta skymiles absolutely suck. Yes, I said it. Skymiles are frickin worthless. So people that spend the big money are going to accumulate miles on United American or Continental.

    Look at me, I have a home in Atlanta, but prefer to fly united over Delta because United Miles carry a lot more weight.

    They will continue to bleed elite flyers till they fix the skymiles mess and the lack of available award seats, which is a joke!

  2. Accoring to amex, 30k eqms is the maximum. I dont think its unlimited…. Are you sure its unlimited. The card is up on delta website.

    Google: delta reserve card

  3. MikeinMiamie is correct. I just signed up and it is only up to 30K. I have not gotten upgraded in 5 months becuase I book my flights so far out and at a lower fare code. I guess when I get diamond things will get better.

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