The American Express Delta Reserve for Business Card is a great credit card for business owners and entrepreneurs who fly Delta Airlines often. It is also excellent for those who want the cream of the crop in Delta benefits. It has a $550 annual fee (NOT waived the first year), but lots of benefits to boot.

Amex’s suite of Delta cards went through some changes on January 30, 2020. These changes included both personal and business cards. And they ranged from improved earning structures to new benefits. The Delta Reserve for Business Card received both positive and negative changes. One of the negative changes was an increase in the annual fee to $550. The new fee will match that of the personal American Express Platinum Card.

 

Earning

Earning Structure

The Delta Reserve for Business does not have the best earning structure. It earns 3x SkyMiles on Delta purchases and one SkyMile per dollar on non-bonus spend. The multiplier for non-bonus spend will increase to 1.5x after spending $150,000 per year on the card. In other words, businesses who cannot spend $150,000 per year should look elsewhere. This is unfortunate because the Delta Business Gold and Platinum Cards have better earning opportunities than the Delta Reserve.

Sign-Up Bonus

Moreover, Amex and Delta are offering a sign-up bonus worth 40,000 SkyMiles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) for the Delta Reserve for Business Card. It can be earned after spending $3,000 within the first three months. This bonus is easier to earn than those from many other business cards given itslower minimum spend threshold.

Miles Boost / Status Boost

The Delta Reserve for Business Card has access to the Delta Miles / Status Boost program, which lets cardholders earn more points after spending $30,000. To be exact, cardholders can earn 15,000 SkyMiles and 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $30,000. Cardholders can repeat the process up to four times per calendar year. Therefore, it is possible to receive up to 60,000 bonus MQMs.

 

Burning

The Delta Reserve Card gives you a few ways to redeem your SkyMiles.

The most obvious way to redeem Delta SkyMiles is for airfare. Miles can go a long way for airfare, but cardholders need to do some research to get maximum value. This is because Delta does not have a rewards chart posted online.

Miles + Cash is a great option for those who don’t have many miles. This option is also nice for those who are short a few miles for a certain redemption. Many co-branded cards have this option and its nice to see Delta have it too.

Delta also offers vacation packages that can be purchases with miles. This is nice for those who don’t want to do much research and planning for their next vacation. It’s also great for last-minute trips.

Plus, cardholders can also use SkyMiles to upgrade their seat or even get membership to the Delta SkyClub. Gift cards and donations to charity are two other options for redemption.

 

Benefits

As both a premium and a co-branded airline card, the Delta Reserve for Business Card’s value lies in its perks. Most of the $550 annual fee could be justified here. The Delta Reserve for Business Card gives cardholders everything Delta has to offer in the way of perks. It the best credit card for Delta loyalists aside from probably the American Express Platinum Card.

American Express Centurion Lounge Access

Cardholders also receive complimentary Centurion Lounge access when flying Delta same day, though guests will cost $50 each. This is an excellent perk that will receive access to a growing number of Amex lounges. Furthermore, cardholders in certain airports will have alternatives for Delta SkyClubs if they are crowded.

Annual Companion Certificate

This is another huge benefit offered with the Delta Reserve for Business Card. Cardholders will receive one complimentary Companion Certificate for a round-trip ticket every time you pay your annual fee. The certificate gives cardholders the opportunity to fly someone else with them for free. It could be worth hundreds of dollars, depending on the flight and when the ticket is booked.

The certificate offered with this card includes First Class, Comfort+ and Main Cabin classes.

The caveat is that cardholders can only redeem the certificate at Delta.com. It cannot be redeemed it via phone reservation or any other way. Certificates will appear on the primary cardholder’s Delta.com account upon paying the Delta Reserve for Business Card’s annual fee.

Baggage Insurance

You will also receive Baggage Insurance if you use your Delta Reserve for Business Card to book a flight, train ride, bus ride, or trip on a ship. This insurance kicks in if you lose your luggage while traveling on a common carrier. Coverage can be provided for up to $500 for checked baggage and $1,250 for carry-on baggage.

This perk is part of American Express’ larger revamping of card benefits.

Delta Concierge

This perk is a phone line that can help Reserve cardholders with anything Delta-related from reservations to cancellations. Concierge service is a common perk among premium Amex cards. But its not often spoken about. Having a private phone line can help Reserve cardholders bypass long waiting times for customer service, saving valuable time.

Delta SkyClub Passes

Cardholders will receive two complimentary Delta SkyClub passes annually (in addition to the membership offered with the card).

Free Checked Bags

Delta lets cardholders and up to eight other people in the same reservation check their first bags for free on any roundtrip flight. This perk can be worth around $60 per person if your bag complies. It can be very useful if you’re traveling with employees or a large group of people.

Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding

Cardholders may board their flight early with Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding. This is awesome because cardholders can avoid the traffic from the general public when boarding. Fewer people also makes it easier for cardholders to find their seat and receive first choice of overhead storage bin space.

20% Discount on In-Flight Purchases

Plus, cardholders receive 20% off in-flight purchases when using their Delta Gold Card. This is nice for in-flight meals, entertainment, or other incidentals.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

Cardholders can save 2.7% on all your international purchases because there are no pesky foreign exchange fees.

Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurances

Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption insurances are coming to the Delta Reserve for Business in January 2020. Both will cover up to $10,000 per trip and up to $20,000 per year. Flight cancellations that happen due to weather, terrorist action, sudden illness or injury, and jury duty are included. Plus, only round-trip bookings are included. One-way tickets are not. Taxes and fees on award tickets or Pay With Points tickets are also covered.

Trip Delay Insurance

Trip Delay Insurance is another new benefit for the Delta Reserve for Business Card. American Express will reimburse you for the cost of your flight if it is delayed for a certain number of hours. The insurance covers round-trip flights only which are purchased fully with the card.

 

Similar Cards

Chase Ink Business Preferred

The Chase Ink Business Preferred is quite different than the Delta Reserve for Business. It has a much lower annual fee of $95 (NOT waived the first year), a larger sign-up bonus, and a better earning structure.

Chase is offering a sign-up bonus worth 80,000 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. It can be earned by spending $5,000 within the first three months. Furthermore, the Ink Business Preferred earns 3x UR points on the following categories:

  • Cable & TV Services
  • General Travel
  • Internet Services
  • Phone Services
  • Shipping
  • Social Media and Search Engine Advertising Purchases

There is a limit of $150,000 per year across all categories. That means it is possible to earn up to 450,000 UR points per year by spending within the categories. The Ink Business Preferred also earns just one point for non-bonus spend.

Moreover, the Ink Business Preferred comes with some nice benefits. Some of the best ones include Primary Car Rental Insurance, Cell Phone Insurance, and various other travel insurances.

The Ink Business Preferred is the better card for those who don’t want to spend more than $100 in annual fees. It’s also the better card for travelers who are not loyal to Delta or want more earning opportunities than perks.

American Express Business Platinum Card

The American Express Business Platinum Card is a great alternative for business travelers who want perks and are not loyal to Delta. This card has an annual fee of $595 (NOT waived the first year) and more universal travel benefits than any other card in the industry.

The Business Platinum Card earns 5x Membership Rewards (MR) points for travel from amextravel.com. Unfortunately, Delta flights booked with the airline do not count towards the 5x category. The Business Platinum Card also earns one MR for all non-bonus spend under $5,000. That multiplier increases to 1.5x for non-bonus spend over $5,000.

But that’s not all! Amex is offering a sign-up bonus worth 75,000 MR points. This bonus can be earned by spending $5,000 within the first three months.

Furthermore, the Business Platinum Card is unrivaled in the way of perks. It offers Sky Club Lounge Access and access to a plethora of other airport lounges, including Centurion Lounges. The Business Platinum Card also offers status from two major hotel chains, hundreds of dollars of annual credits, and much more. However, many of these perks are frustrating and difficult to use. Your mileage may vary.

The Business Platinum Card is better for frequent business travelers who are not loyal to Delta. It’s also better for those who want more benefits than the Delta Reserve for Business has to offer. However, those who want to stock up on MQMs and SkyMiles would want the Delta Reserve for Business (or another Delta card).

 

Final Draw

The American Express Delta Reserve for Business Card is excellent for frequent Delta flyers who want the most from their Delta card. Its value lies in its perks and earning opportunities for big spenders. But this card’s biggest weakness is its earning structure, which sorely lacks in bonus categories outside of Delta purchases.

Nonetheless, this card is not for the average business traveler as there are better and less expensive options out there.

 

Apply Today: American Express Delta Reserve for Business Card