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Limited Time: Delta, American Express Partner to Give 10x Membership Rewards Points

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This deal isn’t just for Delta American Express cardholders: All AmEx customers have a chance to hop on to the deal. The card issuer has been sending out invitations for Membership Rewards members to earn 10X rewards points, as the name implies, on all Delta Airlines purchases. This is in addition to any SkyMiles earned for the flights.

AmEx’s usual rewards rate is one Membership Rewards Point to the dollar, but it offers up to 3 points for every dollar with certain retailers,travel expenses, etc. With this limited time program, they’re also throwing in 10 points for every dollar spent on Delta tickets, as long as the tickets are $100 or more. And even better, you’ll get those points in actual AmEx membership rewards points, not Delta miles. The Membership Rewards program is among the best out there: AmEx points never expire, and they can be exchanged 1-to-1 for rewards at a number of different hotel chains and airlines. What’s more, AmEx offers you a bunch of ways that you can redeem smaller increments of points for full value. Other point systems will make you save up as many as 10,000 before getting the full 1 cent per $1 exchange. You can even redeem Membership Rewards points at Amazon.com, but at a very low rate: 25,000 points nets you only $175 on Amazon, when you can get $250 in gift cards, or a $300 plane ticket.

In order to be eligible, you must already have an American Express rewards card, in particular one with Membership Rewards. You’ll also have to book before April 15th, and of course put the purchase on the American Express credit card.

Posters on FlyerTalk, a discussion forum for frequent travelers, say they had mixed success with the program. While the enrollment site asks for an offer ID from your mailed invitation, it also allows you to simply log in with your AmEx credentials. A number of Platinum cardholders were unable to register however, and one says that her Platinum, Membership Rewards Gold and Delta Platinum were all rejected. Others, though, reported using their Platinum cards with no problems. I can’t guess at AmEx’s eligibility requirements, so if you hold a rewards card, go ahead and try your luck.

So if you’re planning to take a break from reviewing credit cards and fly to Amman on Delta (hypothetically, of course) you can get free money – a lot of it – if you enroll in the 10X deal. I’m excited. 10,000 points, here I come.

And since we’re talking about AmEx and its sweet travel rewards cards, it offers a number of insurance features for cheap. Travel medical protection, $7 a month for an individual, covers emergency evacuations, the cost of flying a loved one to you if you’re hospitalized for more than five days, and medical expenses up to $50,000. You can also get more comprehensive delay protection, lost baggage insurance, and rental insurance than what comes with the card.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: American Express offers the best cards for travelers. In our Winter 2011 travel rewards credit card roundup, AmEx walked away with two of three titles, including best overall. Not too shabby, especially as it’s expanding its list of credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.

There’s also a branded Delta American Express credit card, which comes in three flavors: the Gold, Platinum and Reserve. It’s a fairly standard airline credit card, but in one area, it stands above the rest: you get one checked bag free for up to nine people. Most other programs only extend this benefit to you and a single companion. Check out our review of the American Express Delta for a more comprehensive analysis and our own personal take.