Delta won’t be making any changes to their credit card programs until at least 2029, thanks to a new pact signed with American Express. Under the agreement, American Express will remain the exclusive credit card partner of the Atlanta-based carrier, while offering additional benefits to premium cardholders as well.
It’s now official: American Express will continue to be the exclusive provider of credit cards for Delta Air Lines for the next ten years. Both companies announced the extension of their business relationship through the end of 2029.
The original agreement began in 1996 when American Express began offering co-branded cards earning Delta SkyMiles with every purchase. Over the last 23 years, the relationship has grown to extend benefits to other American Express cardholders, including granting Sky Club entry to those who have The Platinum Card from American Express and transferring Membership Rewards points to SkyMiles.
Under the terms of the renewal, both companies will continue to offer the reciprocal benefits to cardholders, as well as all four SkyMiles American Express Cards. In turn, Delta will continue to accept American Express for purchases on the ground and in-flight.
The agreement between Delta and American Express has been very profitable for both companies. Last year, American Express issued one million new co-branded cards, with spending on those cards increasing by “double digits.” In 2018, Delta chief executive Ed Bastian told investors the airline expected to earn over $2 billion through their relationship with American Express. In the renewal announcement, the Atlanta-based airline noted it actually earned $3.4 billion in 2018 and expect to double that figure by 2023.
This is the second major loyalty-based property acquisition for American Express this year. In February 2019, American Express announced they would also issue credit cards for Air Canada’s new loyalty program, set to launch in 2020.
While the credit card program is notably successful for Delta, another financial product remains in limbo. With the announced merger of SunTrust and BB&T, the future of the SunTrust Delta SkyMiles debit card is in question. Neither bank has commented on whether or not it will be continued.
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