Home » Credit Card Reviews » Review of Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

Review of Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

Review of Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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 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.

  • Earn 50,000 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.

  • 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.

Highlights
  • Earn 50,000 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.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Receive a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+® or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card.*Payment of the government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Complimentary access into the Delta Sky Club® for you when travelling on a Delta flight.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

More Info

What we like

Ample welcome offer. Earn 50,000 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. Plus, travel benefits such as trip delay coverage, trip cancellation coverage, and car rental loss and damage insurance can give you peace of mind on your trip.

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 Premium 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.

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.

Read Which Delta Air Lines Credit Card is Best for You?

Compare it with The Platinum Card® from American Express

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card The Platinum Card® from American Express
Annual fee $550 $695
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 on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply.
Welcome offer Earn 50,000 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. 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
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.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Apply Now

on American Express's secure site

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • Enjoy Uber 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.

Highlights
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small® in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • New! American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber 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.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for The Platinum Card® from American Express

More Info

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 $695 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. Enrollment required.

New cardmembers receive a welcome offer of 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. 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 on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply.

Another benefit with this card (enrollment required) is Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status. Hilton Honors Gold status 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. Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status 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 (enrollment required).

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, as well as:

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Baggage insurance
  • Global Assist
  • Trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance

But be warned — unlike traditional credit cards, The Platinum Card® from American Express allows you to carry a balance for certain charge, but not all. 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.

Read our review of The Platinum Card® from American Express.

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 $695 annual fee.


Recommended Posts:

Read More

Ann Taylor Mastercard Review

The Ann Taylor family of stores is a popular, upscale women’s clothing retailer founded in 1954. The company is known for selling classic, high-end fashion at a price that doesn’t break the bank. Its stores offer customers two credit card options via Comenity Bank — Ann Taylor Card and Ann Taylor Mastercard. The first can only be used at […]

Read More

November 6, 2019

Read More

Disney Premier Visa Review

If there’s a trip to Disney in your future, why not opt for a credit card that lets you earn bonus rewards in popular spend categories, such as gas and restaurants, and redeem those rewards for Disney experiences? Along with Disney-related perks and discounts, the Disney® Premier Visa® Card offers a solid rewards rate: Earn 2% in Disney Rewards Dollars on card purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and most Disney locations. Earn 1% on all your other card purchases. You can redeem […]

Read More