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A few weeks back I answered a readers question about what DELTA AMEX card to get by the end of the year. Well AMEX has gone and changed the rules on us and you can see all the T&C of these types of certs HERE. But you need to know that if you apply for a DELTA GOLD card, before 24JAN2013, when you pay your annual fee the next year, you WILL get a buy-one get-one coach $99 companion certificate one time and one time only. Then this perk is over.
Does this make the GOLD card a bad choice. YES, once January 26th rolls around I will NOT recommend this card again as this is a MAJOR loss for the card. For now, I stand by the perks for a card with no 1st year annual fee and even over two years will cost you under $100 all-in. As many readers have pointed out, the PLATINUM card gives you a few less Skymiles but does give you a buy-one get-one free cert after your first year. But, you are talking $300 in fees for the first two years of card ownership. The MQM bonus does offset some of this and if you add the $99 fee to the $95 for the GOLD you are just about break-even! If you don’t need the MQM’s, you are still missing some Skymiles vs. the Gold. Bottom line, you will not be able to get the personal and business GOLD card anymore and have a companion certificate perk as part of the deal.
Another even bigger issue, that I am waiting for an answer to from both DELTA and AMEX to answer, is the ZONE 1 vs. ZONE 2 boarding perk. Any (of the big 3) Delta AMEX, even the GOLD, will get you ZONE 1 boarding just like a Silver Medallion flyer. But recently some of the fine print has changed as you can see blow:
Is this just an error or is this another program downgrade like the companion certificates? I cannot say yet for sure, but hope this is NOT the case! I can tell you that if ZONE 2 boarding is the new “perk” it is a major downgrade. I have seen 100% full flights where anyone Zone 2 or lower were FORCED to check their carry-on bags to their final destination. At no cost gate side, but still it is not much fun to not have your bag you wanted with you!
These are interesting times in the points / perks / status game; but nothing says we cannot adjust, adapt and rethink to stay ahead of the “game” – René
EDIT 10PM EST: I at last have word from Delta that this is a “TYPO” and AMEX is going to fix it and thanks Delta Points for pointing out the error! ZONE 1 is the benefit of the DELTA GOLD/PLAT/RESERVE cards!
PS – You really don’t want to miss
SATURDAY’S blog post -’just sayin’!
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