*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Jan 31, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
On Jan. 30, 2020, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card implemented some major changes. While the card will keep many of its benefits, there will be some new ones (along with a higher annual fee), including an enhanced rewards earning rate of Delta purchases and more.
If you’re a frequent Delta traveler, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card should be on your radar. 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.
- Are you eligible for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card?
- How can you use your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card welcome offer?
- Transferring Delta SkyMiles rewards
- Other ways to earn Delta SkyMiles rewards
- Should you apply for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card?
Along with a generous welcome offer and rewards rate, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card carries a variety of valuable travel benefits, including complimentary access to the Centurion Lounge, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit and an annual companion certificate.
All of this comes with a hefty annual fee, though: $550. That said, the updated annual fee is comparable to other premium travel rewards cards.
To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card please click here.
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
Are you eligible for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card?
If you currently have the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, or if you’ve had the card in the past, you are not eligible to receive the card’s current welcome bonus.
Also, American Express may take into account the number of American Express cards you have opened or closed when considering your eligibility.
How can you use your welcome offer?
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card’s welcome bonus offers Delta SkyMiles as well as Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs). While Delta SkyMiles can be redeemed in a variety of ways, including airfare, gift cards and merchandise, MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status (more details on that below).
Delta SkyMiles can be used the following ways:
Delta purchases. Delta SkyMiles can be redeemed for airfare on Delta Airlines in increments of 5,000 miles. Each mile is generally worth 1 cent when redeemed for airfare — making the current sign-up bonus worth approximately $400 in airfare.
Plus, miles can be used to upgrade your seat on a Delta flight or book a vacation package through Delta Vacations.
SkyMiles Experiences. You can use miles to bid on SkyMiles Experiences, which includes exclusive access to sporting events, culinary events, concerts and more.
For example, the opening bid for 2 tickets to the Academy of Country Music Awards is 60,000 miles.
The Gift of Go. Miles can be redeemed for Delta gift cards, which can be used to purchase Delta flights and vacation packages from Delta Vacations.
Merchandise. Miles can be used to purchase a variety of items, including home appliances, apparel, electronics, sporting goods and more. For example, you can purchase a Keurig K-Elite Single Serve K-Cup Pod coffee maker for 37,105 miles.
Gift cards. You can redeem miles for gift cards from a variety of merchants, including Nordstrom, AMC Theatres, Dave & Buster’s, Starbucks, Airbnb and Shutterfly.
Magazine subscriptions. Points can be used to purchase magazine subscriptions, including Golf Digest (700 miles), Allure (400 miles), Health (400 miles), Parents (300 miles) and Food + Wine (500 miles).
Charity. You can donate your miles to charities across the globe, including the American Red Cross, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Canine Assistants, Children’s Miracle Network and UNICEF.
Medallion Qualifying Miles
If you’re interested in earning Medallion Status with Delta, which comes with a variety of perks, here are a few terms you should know:
- Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) are generally earned based on distance flown and your fare class.
- Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQSs) are earned based on the number of flights you take.
- Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) are earned based on what you spend with Delta (and some partner airlines).
- An MQD Waiver can be earned for Silver, Gold, and Platinum after spending $25,000 a year on eligible purchases using an eligible Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express. For Diamond, you can earn a waiver for spending $250,000 in eligible purchases.
There are four tiers to Medallion Status:
- Silver, requiring 25,000 MQMs or 30 MQSs — and $3,000 MQDs or an MQD Waiver.
- Gold, requiring 50,000 MQMs or 60 MQSs — and $6,000 MQDs or an MQD Waiver.
- Platinum, requiring 75,000 MQMs or 100 MQSs — and $9,000 MQDs or an MQD Waiver.
- Diamond, requiring 125,000 MQMs or 140 MQSs — and $15,000 MQDs or an MQD Waiver.
Some of the benefits you can get with Medallion Status, depending on your tier, include:
- Priority check-in and boarding
- Expedited baggage service
- SkyTeam Lounge access
- Exclusive pricing on a CLEAR membership (which can speed up going through security)
Transferring Delta SkyMiles rewards
You cannot transfer your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card miles to other airline loyalty programs; however, you can redeem them for airfare on partner airlines when booked through Delta. Partner airlines include Aeromexico, Air France, Hawaiian Airlines, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and WestJet.
Other ways to earn Delta SkyMiles rewards
Rewards rate. The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card updated its rewards rate on Jan. 30: Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
The Delta category includes purchases made at delta.com, the Fly Delta app, phone reservations or ticket counters, such as airfare, seat upgrades and in-flight food and beverage purchases.
Previously, cardholders earned 2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases.
Status Boost. Each year, cardholders have the ability to earn up to 60,000 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.
Should you apply now?
If you’re a loyal Delta Airlines flyer, now is a good time to apply for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. Although the card’s annual fee rose, it also increased its rewards rate on Delta purchases.
Plus, cardholders can earn a generous welcome bonus: 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.