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Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card Review

Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card Review

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The information related to the Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

The Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express offers noteworthy perks and benefits for frequent Delta flyers. For business owners who do a lot of travel, business airline cards can be an excellent choice, granting access to a world of rewards and VIP travel experiences.

We’ll break down the pros and cons of the Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express and compare it to another popular business card to help you decide if it’s a good match.

Where the Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express stands out

This card is best suited for business travelers who have a strong preference for using Delta as their main airline of choice. The majority of the benefits included are aimed at providing a superior airport and flight experience, discounts and savings on Delta travel and climbing higher tiers within Delta’s travel program. In other words, the card really only makes sense if you have a Delta hub in your region, and use it for the majority of your travel.

One way the card sets itself apart from other travel cards is its perks. Among them:

  • Delta Sky Club® access, which is a $545 yearly value based on the fee for one individual membership – that alone makes up for the $450 annual fee.
  • A digital companion certificate on each card anniversary that covers the cost of a second traveler on a round-trip flight; value will vary based on your flight of choice.
  • Ample opportunities to earn Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) needed to move you into higher Delta tiers (which provide better benefits the higher you go). These include the welcome offer that gives you 10,000 MQMs, and the 15,000 bonus MQMs after you reach $30,000 in eligible purchases on your card in the calendar year.
  • Top-notch customer service and consumer benefits is important in a business credit card, and American Express is known for both. In fact, it has the second highest ranking in JD Power’s 2018 Credit Card Satisfaction Study.

Additional Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express benefits

  • 24/7 concierge: It’s like having a personal assistant who can take care of restaurant reservations, event planning details and more.
  • The first checked bag is free: Not only for you, but for up to eight travel companions booked on your Delta flight reservation. That’s a savings of up to $60 per traveler on for round-trip Delta flights.
  • Main Cabin 1 priority boarding: Early boarding makes for a more pleasant experience.
  • In-flight savings: You’ll get a 20% statement credit for any purchases you make on board with your card.
  • Baggage insurance plan: Have peace of mind knowing that up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage is covered.
  • Travel accident insurance: You’ll get up to $500,000 in accidental death and dismemberment coverage when traveling on a plane, train, ship, or bus if the fare was paid for with the card.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: Don’t pay extra at the rental counter when you use this card since you’re covered if your rental car is damaged or stolen.
  • Premium roadside assistance: If you’re stuck on the road, you can call for a flat repair, to jumpstart a battery or get a tow up to 10 miles, and it won’t cost you a cent.

Where the Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express falls short

You’ll notice that we didn’t bring up rewards miles in the above section and that’s because your earning power is honestly not that impressive – especially for a high annual fee card. For starters:  Earn 80,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.. That is less than what some similar business travel cards offer.

Beyond that, you’ll earn 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta, and 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases. That’s nothing to write home about as some cards offer 3x or even 5x miles for travel purchases or other spending categories with the card. And while there are a number of redemption options besides using your miles for flights, you’ll be giving away some value for that flexibility.

Speaking of value, American Express doesn’t make it easy to figure out which flights will garner the best bang for your miles buck since Delta doesn’t publish a reward chart. You’ll have to manually compare different flights to see how many miles are needed to redeem.

Compare it with the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

When you look at the Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express side by side with the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, it really comes down to your travel preferences and what you value most. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better card than the 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta, and 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases. This is especially true if you’re looking for an elite travel experience and fly Delta exclusively. The annual fee is much higher on the Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express, but the Sky Club® access and companion ticket alone easily make up the difference – and that’s not even getting into the savings you’ll get on actual flights.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

However, some business travelers may prefer having a menu of options when it comes to points redemption, and that’s where the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card wins out. Besides a strong sign-up bonus and higher points earnings for travel and qualifying business purchases, you’ll also have more leeway as to how you use your points. If you redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program, you’ll boost your points value even further to the tune of 25%. And Chase also allows you to transfer points 1:1 with a variety of airline and hotel partners.

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points

  • Earn 3 points per $1 in select business categories

  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Highlights
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

See additional details for Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

More Info

Both cards let you get free employee cards, which you can manage and set spending limits on. And each card is strong on travel insurance and protections, while neither charge foreign transaction fees.

It really comes down to this: Do you spend enough on Delta travel to maximize the high fee on the Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express, and is the VIP treatment important to you? Or would you rather earn travel rewards (at a higher rate), keep your redemption choices open, but lose some of the elite traveler bells and whistles? If it’s the latter, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is the better bet.

Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Annual fee $450 $95
Regular purchase APR 17.99%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable 18.24% - 23.24% Variable
Rewards 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta, and 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases. Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn.
Sign-up bonus Earn 80,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Foreign transaction fee None $0

The bottom line

Before you apply for the Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express, ask yourself a couple of questions: Is flying Delta convenient for you and your staff, and is it almost always your airline of choice? Will you actually use benefits like the Delta Sky Club®, free checked bag and companion ticket? If the answer to both is a resounding yes, then you’ll easily get a lot of value out of this card, even with its hefty annual fee. If not, then perhaps a more flexible and less costly business travel card option like the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card will better suit your business needs.


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September 20, 2016