Disclaimer: This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation (at no cost to you) when you click on links to those products. Read our Disclaimer Policy for more information.
Frequent Delta travelers into perks that extend beyond free full cans of soda should look at the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Credit Card.
With perks like all-access to Delta Sky Club lounges, free checked baggage, and priority boarding privileges, this card is a great choice for travelers with that brand loyalty.
Earning rewards with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is easy as swiping. The card rewards 3 miles per $1 spent directly through Delta and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
This rewards simplicity makes this card an excellent choice for anyone looking to be rewarded for loyalty and wants straightforward earning potential.
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express card makes achieving Medallion Status with Status Boost kicking the 3x earnings into overdrive with the potential for 7-11x the points.
This isn’t a guarantee with the card, but it is made a lot easier for Delta loyalists who spend big with the airline.
Rewards with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card can be redeemed for airfare with no blackout dates, hotel bookings, rental car reservations, and even vacations with Delta.
This card does offer a list of Delta partner airlines that will also accept miles, but this card is truly for those who want to get the biggest bang for their buck with Delta.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express cardholders can access any of Delta’s Centurion Lounges for free and can bring up to two guests for a rate of $50 per person.
In a time where airlines are expecting us to pay for everything ala cart outside of the ticket itself, the perk of free checked bags is certainly a great one.
Cardholders can expect one bag for free for themselves and up to eight companions traveling on the same reservation for a savings of $30 per bag.
Membership to Delta Sky Clubs is included in the benefits of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express card for the primary cardholders.
Two additional one-time guest passes are also free annually, but any visitors beyond those two are offered a reduced rate for access of $39 per person.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of holding the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express card is the availability of one companion certificate per year.
This companion certificate allows cardholders to invite someone to fly with them, and they’ll receive a free ticket to be issued for domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin. The potential for savings here just might make the rather steep $550 annual fee worth it.
Travelers loyal to the Delta brand may be curious which of Delta’s brand-specific cards are best suited for them.
The choice between the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card should really come down to where the cardholder plans to do a bulk of their spending and whether the lounge access is important to them or not.
The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card comes with a significantly lower APR of $99, but the trade-off is no companion passes and no lounge access.
On the flip side, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express rewards 2x miles (2 miles for every $1 spent) on all purchases rather than rewarding the highest points to Delta spending.
These two cards aren’t really in the same category except that they reward Delta loyalty and offer rewards redemption in Delta miles. The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express card is better suited for someone not concerned with the luxury travel experience.
Cardholders turned off by the very high annual rate of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card that still wants to have their Delta loyalty rewarded with perks might find the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card to be just what they had in mind.
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card has an annual fee of $250 and has much more flexible everyday rewards. Purchases made directly with Delta are still rewarded with 3x the miles, but cardholders can expect 2x the miles and U.S. supermarkets and restaurants too.
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card also carries an impressive welcome bonus and a free companion ticket every year, but it cannot be redeemed for anything other than main cabin redemption. Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Cardholders do not receive free lounge access either, but they do receive a reduced rate for access.
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express card is a better choice for frequent Delta travelers who want a lower annual fee and value variety of rewards earning over free lounge access.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is the platinum standard (pun heavily intended) for travel cards, and for a good reason. The Platinum American Express Card is a luxury travel card with amazing perks, and brand loyalty is unnecessary.
The Platinum Card® from American Express has an even higher annual fee at $695, making the $550 annual fee of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card look like child’s play, but the Platinum American Express Card offers an array of benefits.
First, the Platinum Card® from American Express offers 5x the points on flights booked directly through American Express regardless of airline, 5x the points on all prepaid travel booked through AMEX travel, and 1x the points on everything else.
The American Express Platinum Card offers access to the same lounges as the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card too, but don’t expect a companion ticket with the Platinum Card from AMEX.
Finally, the Platinum Card® from American Express allows for much more variety in points redemption. For travelers looking for a brand non-specific luxury card, the American Express Platinum Card is a better pick.
Comparing the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card to the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is a little like comparing apples to oranges.
They are both ravel cards with excellent benefits, but one rewards loyalty with American Airlines and one rewards loyalty at Delta.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® does have more flexibility at a considerably lower cost annually of only $99, which is what makes it a more appealing choice for the American Airlines casual traveler.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is NOT a luxury card, unlike the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card, so the decision about which card is best boils down to the experience the cardholder expects, and to which brand they choose to pledge their loyalty.
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express card is a great card for lots of travelers if they are loyal to Delta, spend with Delta, and would like to receive Delta rewards.
If cardholders understand what they want out of their card, then the steep annual fee is likely a moot point.
As far as luxury travel cards go, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express card offers amazing perks, but there is no flexibility in reward redemption. If that’s not a problem, then this is nothing less than an excellent card for Delta loyalists.
>> More: Best Travel Credit Cards
All the Delta SkyMiles cards generally require good to excellent credit for approval, which means that anyone hoping to snag the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express card should have a credit score of 690 or higher.
The luxury of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card comes with a steep annual fee of $550.
It really depends on what you want to accomplish with your card as to whether you should upgrade to the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express. This rewards credit card does come with a plethora of perks, but it also comes with a large annual fee and limited rewards redemption.
If you are using a Delta SkyMiles card currently and don’t mind paying the increased fee for increased benefits like premium companion tickets and lounge access, then upgrading is an option worth exploring.
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card comes with an array of perks. The most impressive benefits of the Reserve Card are the free checked bag for the primary cardholder and up to eight additional companion travelers, lounge access at both Sky Club and Centurion Lounges, one companion ticket per year, priority boarding, and no foreign transaction fees.
Delta travelers who don’t mind committing to the brand will find that the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is an excellent card to receive rewards and benefits where they’re spending their money anyway.