Back to April, 2008, Delta Airlines and American Express launched an application for the first really elite frequent flyer credit card with a solid annual fee of $450 and exclusive travel rewards. At that time, Delta Reserve Credit Card put the value of rewards front and center, delivering big spenders great miles called as elite-qualifying miles, or EQM. Its basic rewards scheme offered miles bonuses after making the first purchase as well as after reaching a certain spending target.
The major feature distinguishing this exclusive Amex travel rewards card from other airline affinity offers is the ability to accumulate bonus miles redeemable for the elite flyer status. Typically, this feature proved to be valuable only for customers who used the card to finance Delta flights in the first place and spent $30,000 annually.
A new travel rewards program from American Express, already known for its exclusive card bonuses, and Delta gives twice more miles and is twice more flexible.
October, 2008 was marked by the promotion of dining-for-miles program that allows Delta customers to earn double miles for dining at participating restaurants. Typically, Delta frequent flyer programs offer 5 miles per $1 spent for a restaurant dinner and the upping to 10 miles per $1 could yield in the eligible number of miles redeemable for free flight or upgrades.
What is exceptional about the program is the nature of the miles. This is the first time elite-qualifying miles (EQMs) originally offered by the exclusive American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card and Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card are used independently from credit issuing companies for dining promotion purposes. If you already use one of the Amex miles rewards offers or look to make an application, the new program will benefit you most. It opens up great opportunities for reaching the elite flyer status. Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card allows you to automatically earn 20,000 bonus miles with the first purchase and pick always double miles on eligible purchases and all Delta purchases. The low interest rate on purchases and competitive annual fees now typical for most airline miles cards provide for everyday saving and active shopping.
It only requires a small effort to reach the cherished 25,000 elite-qualifying miles to earn the elite status and enjoy a wide array of benefits associated. Dining at participating restaurants and spending at least $200 by December, 15, 2008, you qualify for 1,000 EQMs. After that you'll continue enjoying double miles dining at the restaurants.
The additional source of earning the miles through dining, as well as earning flexibility provided by American Express frequent flyer cards puts the elite status and its perks within relatively easy reach. It worries true frequent flyers who already own the high-level elite status through traditional way - flying - as it implies tougher competition for free flights and seat upgrades.
But this is good news for cardholders who use plastic for other needs and card benefits and who don't mind catching up with the necessary amount of EQMs. Even if such customers are far from the magic 25,000 elite-qualifying miles, they can still benefit from the double miles offered by the dining-promotion program.