The Delta Reserve American Express is known for its status as a premium credit card. While cardholders will appreciate the rewards rate of this card, it is targeted especially at people who routinely fly Delta AirLines and enjoy earning luxury benefits. The annual fee for this card is $450, the same as the Platinum Card from American Express.
There is one significant difference between these two cards. The Delta Reserve American Express is a credit card which means card members have a specific credit limit but also have the option of paying off the entire balance each month or spreading payments out over time while accruing additional interest charges. The Platinum Card from American Express is a charge card so there is no set spending limit but the entire balance must be paid in full each month.
New account holders are currently eligible to receive 10,000 Medallion qualifying miles and 10,000 bonus miles after making an initial purchase on the card within one year of activation. For Delta frequent fliers the Delta Reserve American Express delivers substantial perks, particularly if the benefits are fully utilized. Included are:
- Up to 30,000 bonus Delta Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) each year
- Up to 30,000 bonus SkyMiles each year
- Complimentary Delta Sky Club Lounge access
- One free coach or first-class companion airfare each year
- Priority Boarding
- Free first checked bag
- 20% discount on eligible in-flight purchases
- EMV chip technology
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
Card members earn two miles for every eligible dollar spent on Delta purchases. All other qualifying purchases earn one mile per dollar spent on the card.
Here we’ve broken down the specific details of the Delta Reserve American Express to assist you in determining if it’s a good choice for you.
Sign up bonus:
New card members can earn 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles and 10,000 bonus miles after making an initial purchase on the Delta Reserve American Express within one year of activation. This time period begins upon account approval and can be less than the full year depending on when the card is received. Any purchase must be made and post on the member’s account before the cut-off date to qualify.
Annual Miles Boost:
Cardholders who spend $30,000 in eligible purchases on the card in a calendar year can earn 15,000 bonus miles and 15,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles. For those who make $60,000 in eligible purchases on the card in a calendar year, another bonus of 15,000 bonus miles and 15,000 MQMs can also be earned. Card members also earn two SkyMiles for every eligible dollar spent on Delta purchases as well as one SkyMile on all other eligible purchases. Members who frequently use the Delta Reserve American Express for their travel and entertainment needs have the opportunity to accumulate miles quickly. Plus the bonus MQMs are earned without having to actually fly.
Complimentary Delta Sky Club access:
The Delta Reserve American Express gives card members complimentary access to the Sky Club Lounge. Cardholders must present the card and a same-day Delta AirLines boarding pass upon entering. Here members can enjoy free snacks and beverages as well as Wi-Fi access, satellite TV, private restrooms and personalized flight assistance.
One Free Companion Ticket annually:
Card members are eligible to receive one free domestic first class or economy class companion certificate each year upon renewal of their card. Government imposed fees and taxes of up to $75 per certificate are the responsibility of the cardholder. Other restrictions, terms and conditions apply.
Cardholders (and up to eight additional passengers traveling on the same itinerary) receive Zone 1 priority boarding on all Delta flights. Frequent fliers will appreciate this perk which allows you to board the plane early, get settled in your seat, and find overhead bin space before the rest of the waiting passengers are called.
Free checked bag:
With the Delta Reserve American Express, members always receive one free checked bag on Delta flights. This saves you $50 in fees on a round-trip flight. Additionally, up to eight passengers traveling with you on the same reservation can also receive this perk. If you often travel in groups, the savings can add up fast.
20% discount on eligible in-flight purchases:
Card members receive a 20% discount on in-flight purchases made with the card on any flight operated by Delta AirLines. This discount is in the form of a statement credit. Eligible purchases are:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Pre-purchased meals
- Video games (accessed through Delta’s seatback in-flight entertainment)
- Movies (accessed through Delta’s seatback in-flight entertainment)
- Television shows (accessed through Delta’s seatback in-flight entertainment)
- Audio headsets
Internet access (through Gogo) is not eligible for this discount.
EMV chip technology:
The Delta Reserve American Express comes with the latest EMV chip technology for added security. For people who frequently travel abroad, this feature can make it easier to shop since the EMV is standard in many other countries.
No foreign transaction fees:
The Delta Reserve American Express charges card members no foreign transaction fees. This is in line with the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express and the Platinum Card from American Express. Many cards still charge a foreign transaction fee of up to three percent on the total amount of purchases made outside of the U.S. People who regularly travel overseas can save a lot of money by having these fees waived.
Card members are charged an Annual Percentage Rate on purchases between 15.24% and 19.24%. The actual APR is determined at the time of approval and is based on the applicant’s creditworthiness and other factors. If you don’t pay off your entire balance each month, the interest charges can add up quickly.
Card members can be charged penalty fees for returned payments and late payments of up to $38 per item.
Delta Sky Club access:
Complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club is for cardholders only. A spouse/domestic partner and any children under the age of 21 may have access at the cost of $29 per person or up to two guests may join the cardholder also at a rate of $29 per person. These charges can add up if you travel frequently and enjoy use of the Delta Sky Club for family members and/or friends.
Delta Miles Boost:
To be eligible to earn up to 30,000 bonus miles every year, card members must make $60,000 in eligible purchases on the card within one calendar year. Even the 15,000 bonus miles offer requires a purchase of at least $30,000 in qualifying purchases. That’s a lot of money you have to spend to earn the bonus miles.
High annual fee:
The annual fee for the Delta Reserve American Express is $450. If you don’t think you will spend enough to earn the yearly bonus miles (up to 30,000 miles) or won’t use the companion ticket, a card that delivers nearly the same perks for a less expensive annual fee is the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express. It also offers priority boarding and one free checked bag but its annual fee is only $95 which is waived for the first year of membership.
Harder to qualify:
Not everyone will qualify for the Delta Reserve American Express. This card is targeted at people with higher income levels who have very good to excellent credit scores.
Consumers who currently have an American Express card may not be eligible for the signup bonus offer.
If you travel often and Delta AirLines is your carrier of choice, the upgrade priority which comes with the Delta Reserve American Express may give you an edge in winning some of those upgrade battles. It’s also a good fit for people who enjoy using the Delta Sky Club lounge while traveling. Additionally, travelers who routinely fly Delta and want to earn Medallion Qualifying Miles quickly may consider the costly annual fee totally worth it.