Loyalty Lobby showed a screen shot of a warning that Delta would be leaving American Express Membership Rewards as a transfer partner after August 31, 2021. Frequent Miler amplified this rumor while offering reasons it might be true, as well as why it might not be.
However there is no truth to the rumor that Delta SkyMiles will cease being an American Express transfer partner.
- American Express tells me “the Delta SkyMiles program will continue to be an airline point transfer partner for the Membership Rewards program.”
- There were changes to the “SkyMiles Program” terms American Express publishes saying the “benefit will end on 8/31/21.” This appears to have just been sloppy language. The Platinum Amex is losing its discount with Delta Private Jets. Delta has thrown in with WheelsUp for its private flight program, and Amex is replacing the benefit with a WheelsUp offer.
- I suspect the screen shot showing Delta leaving the program was a fake. I couldn’t replicate it when logging into Membership Rewards with any account, and neither could anyone I checked with.
American Express and Delta re-upped their relationship through 2029 two years ago. I strongly suspect there’s contractual language keeping SkyMiles as a transfer partner after the damage control American Express has to do in 2014 when Delta decided to unilaterally cap transfers.
United Airlines leveraged an early new card deal with Chase using Ultimate Rewards transfers, which apparently hadn’t been in the previous card contract. I strongly suspect American Express solved that vulnerability six years earlier.
While I hardly ever would recommend transferring from Membership Rewards (one of the most valuable currencies) to SkyMiles (one of the least valuable) Delta is the number one transfer partner that American Express has because it’s the most familiar to U.S. cardmembers. What is this ANA thing, exactly?