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This article was last updated Jan 30, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
For those who are among Delta Air Lines’ top elite flyers and want a credit card to match, then consider the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. Your Delta SkyMiles Medallion elite status pairs well with this luxury card, which further upgrades your travel experience in the air and on the ground thanks to airline-related perks.
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card comes with basic benefits including no travel blackout dates, miles that never and no limits on how many you can earn. Use miles to pay for flights, seat upgrades and merchandise in the SkyMiles Marketplace. You can also donate, gift and transfer miles or spend them on unique SkyMiles Experiences.
We’ll look at the pros and cons of Delta’s luxury credit card. And if you don’t want to be tied down to one airline but still want an American Express-branded travel card, we’ll compare it to The Platinum Card® from American Express.
40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
NEW! Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Enjoy your first checked bag free and Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights.
- Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- NEW! With Status Boost™, earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to four times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- NEW! Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free and Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights.
- NEW! Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
- Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
- Complimentary access into the Delta SkyClubs® for you when travelling on a Delta flight.
- NEW! Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
- Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
What we like
Ample welcome offer. 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
Status matters. The card offers ways to keep your Medallion elite status based on yearly spending. Each year, cardholders can earn up to 60,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs): Earn 15,000 MQMs after spending $30,000 in a calendar year on the card. If in that same calendar year you make purchases of $60,000, $90,000 or $120,000 or more, you will receive an additional 15,000 MQMs for each threshold you meet.
Rewards rate.Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Lounge around. One great card perk is complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club airport lounge, which gives you access to 250 lounges with perks such as flight assistance, snacks and meals, a bar that serves free wine, craft beer and spirits, free Wi-Fi, magazines and televisions and a business center. Plus, receive two Delta Sky Club one-time guest passes each year when flying together on Delta.
Better travel experience. The card comes with a free checked bag and priority boarding for the cardholder and up to nine companions on the same reservation. You can use the priority airport screening checkpoint line unless you have TSA Precheck. Save 20% on pre-purchased meals and in-flight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets when using the card.
Companionship. Every time the card is renewed, you receive a free domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+® or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate.
Help is here. This card comes with American Express’s famed Global Assist Hotline, which offers assistance for tasks ranging from travel assistance to arranging details for a special event.
Things to watch out for
This card costs. The card comes with a $550 annual fee, which is not unusual for a luxury card. Want to use that free companion ticket? It will cost you up to $75 in government taxes and fees, plus you’ll pay a checked bag fee for your companion.
Companion limit. You can only use your yearly companion pass in the 48 contiguous states.
Paltry travel perks. After shelling out for this card’s $550 annual fee, you would expect it to have travel benefits besides baggage insurance and car rental loss and damage and insurance. Competitors offer more, including trip interruption/cancellation insurance, baggage/trip delay reimbursement and emergency evacuation and transportation help.
Pay to play. If you’re depending on this card to help you maintain your elite Medallion status on Delta, keep in mind that you’ll need to spend $120,000 to get 60,000 MQMs via Status Boost.
Tight lounge access. As of Jan. 1, 2019, cardmembers and their guests must be traveling on a Delta-coded or Delta-operated flight in order to get into the Sky Club. You can bring up to two guests, but you must pay $29 for each.
Compare it with The Platinum Card® from American Express
|Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card||The Platinum Card® from American Express|
|Regular purchase APR||15.74%-24.74% Variable||See Pay Over Time APR|
|Rewards rate||Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.||5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.|
|Welcome offer||40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.||60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.|
|Foreign transaction fee||None||None|
|Rates & Fees||
To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card please click here.
To see rates & fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.
60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.*
Up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees & more at one qualifying airline*
No foreign transaction fees & exclusive airport lounge access*
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
- 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more when you select one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for The Platinum Card® from American Express
If you’re not ready to be tied to Delta Air Lines but still want a luxury American Express card that comes with airline and travel perks, then The Platinum Card® from American Express could be a good alternative. Because membership has its privileges, this card has a $550 annual fee, tops in the luxury cards category.
The credits that come with this card are almost enough to cover that high annual fee. They include $200 in Uber credits; $200 to cover airline fees on the carrier of your choice; and up to $100 to cover enrollment fees for Global Entry or TSA Precheck.
New cardmembers receive a welcome offer of 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.. Use those points at the Membership Rewards® website for everything from hotels to airline flights. Cardmembers earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Another benefit with this card is Hilton Honors and SPG gold elite status. Hilton gold includes 80% tier bonus points per hotel stay, automatic space-available room upgrades, guaranteed member discount, no resort fees on reward stays, early check-in and late check-out, fifth standard reward night free and free breakfast daily. SPG gold gives you a 25% points bonus, an automatic enhanced room at check-in when available, a late check-out, a dedicated customer service line and free enhanced in-room Wi-Fi.
This card comes with much better airport lounge access, including Delta Sky Club, Centurion Lounge, international American Express lounges, Priority Pass Select, Airspace and Escape.
Under the Fine Hotels & Resorts program, receive free benefits with an average total value of $550, such as daily breakfast for two, room upgrade when available, a property amenity valued at $100, guaranteed 4:00 pm. late check-out and noon check-in when available; and free Wi-Fi.
With Membership Rewards, you’re not stuck with only Delta Air Lines miles. Instead, your points can be transferred to 18 airline or three hotel loyalty programs. You never have to worry about blackout dates or seat restrictions when booking travel at Membership Rewards.
If you need help, the Platinum Card Concierge has trained staff to help with services such as custom travel itineraries, restaurant reservations and tickets to sports and entertainment events. There’s also cell phone protection, return protection, extended warranty and free Boingo internet access at more than 1 million hotspot locations worldwide.
But be warned — The Platinum Card® from American Express is a charge card, so you must pay off the balance each month. And surprisingly enough, this card doesn’t come with the travel protections you’d expect from a luxury card, such as baggage and travel accident insurance, trip delay/interruption insurance and emergency evacuation and transportation.
The bottom line
When choosing between these two cards, there’s only one question to ask: Are you loyal to Delta Air Lines?
If you’re loyal to Delta, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is a no-brainer, since it comes packed with perks designed to make your travel on the airline better. And it comes with solid options to help you maintain your elite Medallion status. But on the minus side, other luxury cards offer more points and miles per dollar spent on broader travel, dining, gas and supermarkets.
If you want more flexibility with how you earn and redeem your miles and you’re not wedded to a single airline, then The Platinum Card® from American Express may be a better fit. It offers myriad perks that more than cover its $550 annual fee.