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Using AmEx Membership Rewards with Delta

Using AmEx Membership Rewards with Delta

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Old Jul 10, 19, 1:17 am
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 117
Using AmEx Membership Rewards with Delta

After Delta all but eliminated the MQD waiver on its branded AmEx card, and on the sage advice of many FlyerTalk folks, I acquired and shifted nearly all my spending to an AmEx Platinum card. Since I do a lot of economy-class international travel (esp. to SE Asia), the lounge access has by itself made the card invaluable to me. My question, though, is how best to use the Membership Rewards points that I am rapidly accumulating in conjunction with my Delta loyalty. I would love, for example, the opportunity to buy international economy tickets (required by my employer) through Delta and then upgrade with MR points, or any option that would let me use MR points but still accumulate MQMs and especially MQDs (of which I am perpetually short because of low-cost, long-distance travel). I've seen lots of posts on maximizing MR point value by redeeming them on other airlines, but not so much on Delta. Any suggestions? Or am I better off just using my points on non-Delta product?
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Old Jul 10, 19, 1:34 am
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: San Francisco
Programs: DL
Posts: 226
Most would probably say that transferring Amex MR to Delta is not the best value, but you can find sweet spots especially with upgrades. For example on TPACs itís only 45k miles per way to upgrade to Delta One from Premium Select (70k from economy K class or higher). With a good premium select or economy fare this can be a great redemption.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 1:42 am
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This would be perfect. On a ticket I've already booked, should I contact AmEx travel or Delta to try to do this?
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Old Jul 10, 19, 5:42 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Programs: FlyingBlue Gold; Skymiles Platinum
Posts: 403
Originally Posted by ProfRB View Post
This would be perfect. On a ticket I've already booked, should I contact AmEx travel or Delta to try to do this?
You would need to initiate the transfer to Delta from the Amex website. Once the miles have posted in your Skymiles account you can request the upgrade.

Before transferring your points, you absolutely must confirm upgrade space and price, as the transfer is irreversible.

You can also transfer to Virgin Atlantic, FlyingBlue (AF/KL/KQ/RO), Korean, etc. Don't limit yourself to Delta.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 8:06 am
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Thanks. I booked the flights on Delta's website, but some of the flights are Korean Air. Should I call Korean to check on availability via Korean for those flights?
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Old Jul 10, 19, 8:56 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Programs: Delta DM, AS MVP Gold 75K
Posts: 296
You can transfer from AMEX to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club to get great value on DL metal. My wife and I got 2 round trip tickets in the new D1 suites from LAX-SYD for 300k (150k a ticket). Check out this link...

https://thepointsguy.com/guide/great...c-flying-club/

OPS 5
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Old Jul 10, 19, 9:14 am
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: RDU
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Assuming US AmEx, do not forget about the taxes incurred when transferring MR to DL.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 9:16 am
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL GM, Bonvoy Gold
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Originally Posted by ProfRB View Post
Thanks. I booked the flights on Delta's website, but some of the flights are Korean Air. Should I call Korean to check on availability via Korean for those flights?
You would need to confirm upgrade space with the airline that you purchased the flight from. If you have Delta tickets, even if you are on Korean air for some segments, Delta would need to process the upgrades. Usually the only time a partner airline can process an upgrade on their flight when you are on a DL ticket is at the airport on day of departure.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 9:25 am
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: EYW
Programs: DL Plat, AA Gold
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The transfer or MR to DL is typically instant. I've done it a few times while on the phone with an Delta agent to finish a booking.
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