Why Everyone Should Be Churning the Delta Skymiles Card

One of the reasons we decided to start this blog was because of the amount of credit cards my wife and I go through each year. Most reward cards only allow a person to get the sign up bonus once. The Gold Delta Skymiles card is one exception to this rule. With this card you can get 30K Delta miles every year and it is actually pretty simple. Let me show you why everyone should be churning the Delta Skymiles Card.

By Wallet Engineer #2:

First of all, if you are one of those weirdos who feels that signing up for a new CC just to get the bonus and than canceling is somehow morally wrong please get down from your high horse. Do you really want to compare my morality to that of the big CC companies? I figured not.

I have personally gone through 3 Gold Delta Skymiles cards over the past 3 years and each time I have received the 30K bonus miles. My wife has had 2 and will soon be applying for her 3rd. American Experess recently changed their bonus requirements from spending 500$ in 3 months to spending 1000$ in the first 3 months in order to receive the bonus miles. This is a bit of an inconvenience, but in my opinion getting what amounts to a free domestic flight for spending 1000$ I was going to spend anyway is a pretty good deal. Here is my Delta miles balance as of today.



In order to be eligible for the sign up bonus you must not have had a Gold Delta Skymiles card for 12 months. Because of this you can really only get the same card and get the bonus every 2 years (if you want use the card for 1 free checked bag during the year like we do). In order to get around this you can cycle between the two types of cards: personal and business cards. I have had 2 personal cards and 1 business card.

Although according to their rules you could just wait 12 months exactly and reapply, I chose to watch my “targeted” offers here. By putting in your Delta Skymiles number to this site you can see if you are eligible for the sign up bonus. I cancelled my last personal Skymiles card in October of 2012 and had to wait until January of 2014 before the sign up bonus showed up on this site. Although I am sure I could have applied for a new one exactly 1 year later I just decided to remove that headache and wait until their system recognized I was eligible again.

Just follow these steps:

  • Apply for personal card
  • Spend $1K in 3 months
  • Get rewards
  • 11 months later cancel card and apply for business card
  • Spend 1k in 3 months
  • Get rewards
  • Watch deltaamexcard.com for when you are eligible again
  • Repeat

It is really that easy. I was skeptical about getting the same bonus twice but now that I have actually received the bonus on the personal card on 2 different occasions I know its true!

6 thoughts on “Why Everyone Should Be Churning the Delta Skymiles Card

  1. Savvy Traveler

    I’m wondering what the “within the first three months” truly means. For example, I applied for this card under the 50,000 bonus miles offer the first week of Feb 2014. Does that mean I have to spend the 1,000 by the first week of April or is it May? I ask because it could change depending on how they calculate your first three months.


    1. walletengineers@gmail.com Post author

      They calculate it from the day they issue your card which unfortunately is hard for you to know. You can call Amex and ask them what day your card was issued and they will tell you but calling any CC company can be a pain. For better or worse I have never had an issue spending the required about well before the deadline. Your best bet is to spend the required amount before your third statement balance so if your first statement was issued 2/4, 2nd 3/4, and 3rd 4/4 make sure you have cleared 1K before 4/4.

  2. Greg

    I cancelled the Delta SkyMiles Card last spring or summer (I’m not sure of the date) and am interesting in churning it by opening a new account as part of this promotion. (I opened and closed the card in 2013 after using the bonus miles on a trip.) While entering my data into the online application, I saw a note in the left margin stating, “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.” To get to the application, I logged in to the Skymiles site with my SkyMiles number and accessed the 50,000 points bonus offer which was on the right side of that page, so I assumed the bonus would be available to me if I applied again. Now I’m not so sure. How can I confirm that I will be eligible for the bonus if I submit the application?

    1. walletengineers@gmail.com Post author

      Greg, You can actually call Amex and check. It seems kind of awkward but because so many people churn this card the reps are actually used to it. Unfortunately I did notice the last time I got the card that the phrase “not available for anyone who has received this bonus in the last 12 months” was gone and replaced with “Not available for anyone who has received this bonus previously.” As I have not tried to churn a card I have gotten since this change I cannot comment on whether this still works or not. I am afraid this gold mine may be gone ;(

      1. Greg

        I contacted AMEX by email and received the following reply:

        “I am sorry, you will not be eligible for the welcome bonus offer for new Gold Delta SkyMiles.

        Welcome bonus offers are not applicable for new applications If the Card member has or ever had the same Card product in the past with America Express.”

        So this card is not churnable anymore.

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