Through September 30, 2011, for every 50,000 American Express Membership Reward points you transfer to Delta Airlines, you will receive a certificate for 20,000 Membership Rewards points back (that is 40% rebate!). You will receive the Membership Reward points back in the form of an electronic certificate via email within 6-8 weeks following your transfer. If you need the points back immediately for other redemption opportunities, it is not guaranteed the certificate will come through right away.
You must register for this promotion prior to transferring your points to Delta. Unfortunately, this promotion cannot be combined with any other transfer promotions, such as the current 50% bonus on all first time transfers. If you have already registered for the 50% bonus promotion, my gut assumption is that is the promotion you will receive and not the promotion described in this post. If you would like to change the promotion tied to your account, I would suggest calling American Express Customer Service to see what they can do for you. I cannot guarantee they will be able to change it, but worth a try.
The main benefit of the 50% bonus transfer is that you will receive 25,000 MQMs if you transfer 100,000 points or more. MQMs (Medallion Qualifying Miles) count towards status and lifetime miles. If you do not need the MQMs then the 40% point rebate is in fact a better deal. Additionally, the 40% rebate promotion can be applied for all transfers, not only first time transfers like the 50% bonus promotions.
If you were to transfer 100,000 Membership Reward Points, this will equate to:
- 50% bonus promotion: 150,000 Delta Miles + 25,000 MQMs
- 40% point rebate: 100,000 Delta Miles + 40,000 Membership Reward Points; this means that 60,000 MR points = 100,000 Delta Miles (67% bonus)
Additionally, you can earn more Membership Reward points with the current credit card sign up bonuses discussed here (reports for 75,000 points for the personal card and 100,000 bonus for the business card).