The American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card is a great card for Delta fans who want benefits, but don’t want a premium credit card. That’s because it offers some nice benefits for casual Delta flyers including free checked bags, priority boarding, and a 20% discount on in-flight purchases. The Delta Gold Card also has a $250 annual fee (NOT waived the first year) to counter its perks.
Don’t confuse this card with the American Express Platinum Card. The Amex Platinum card is a premium charge card that earns flexible Amex Membership Rewards points.
Since January 30, 2020, the Delta Platinum Card is a decent earner. It earns 3x SkyMiles on Delta purchases and hotels as well as 2x SkyMiles at Grocery Stores stateside and Restaurants worldwide. All other purchases earn one SkyMile per dollar. This earning structure is great for Delta purchases and hotels, but that’s about all. There are better options for dining, groceries, and non-bonus expenses.
Furthermore, Amex and Delta are offering a sign-up bonus worth 35,000 SkyMiles and 5,000 MQMs for the Delta Platinum Card. It can be earned after spending $2,000 within the first three months.
Miles Boost / Status Boost
What separates the Delta Platinum Card from its “little siblings” is the chance to earn bonus miles. The Delta Platinum Card has access to Miles Boost, which lets cardholders earn more points after spending $25,000. To be exact, cardholders will earn 10,000 SkyMiles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $25,000. You can repeat this twice per calendar year for a total of 20,000 SkyMiles and 20,000 MQMs for $50,000.
Spending more than $25,000 per year on the Delta Platinum Card is not recommended because of opportunity cost. In other words, travelers can realize more value by spending $25,000 on other credit cards. Delta Platinum cardholders will prevent yourself from hitting sign-up bonuses, earning more valuable points and miles, and taking opportunities.
The Delta Platinum Card gives cardholders a few ways to redeem their 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.
Most of the Delta Platinum Card’s $250 annual fee can be justified in the following benefits:
Annual Companion Certificate
This is the biggest benefit offered with the Delta Platinum Card. Cardholders will receive one complimentary Companion Certificate for a round-trip ticket in main class every time they pay the card’s annual fee. The certificate gives primary 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 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 Platinum Card’s annual fee.
Free Checked Bags
Delta lets the primary cardholder and up to eight other people in the same reservation check their first bags for free on any round-trip flight. This perk can be worth around $50 per person for each compliant bag. It can be very useful for those who are traveling with a family or a large group of people.
Discounted Delta SkyClub Rates
Delta Platinum cardholders can pay a reduced fee of $39 to gain access to the Delta SkyClub. Primary cardholders must have their Delta Platinum Card, a ticket for the same day, and the money to get in. SkyClub access is complimentary for Amex Platinum and Delta Reserve cardholders, making this perk is redundant for those who have either of those cards.
Cardholders can also board their flights early. 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.
Trip Delay Insurance
Cardholders may take advantage of Amex’s Trip Delay Insurance as of January 1, 2020. Cardholders can be reimbursed up to $300 if their flight gets delayed at least six hours. One use of any of this insurance can justify the card’s annual fee.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Cardholders can save 2.7% on all your international purchases because there are no pesky foreign exchange fees.
Rules & Regulations
This card is subject to Amex’s Once Per Lifetime Rule, which states that cardholders can only receive a sign-up bonus on any card once ever. Therefore, prospective cardholders should apply for this card when the sign-up bonus is as high as possible.
American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles Card
The Amex Delta Gold SkyMiles Card is a stripped-down version of the Delta Platinum Card. Both cards have the same earning structure, but the Delta Platinum Card has more perks. Plus, the Delta Gold Card has a $99 annual fee which is waived the first year.
The Delta Gold Card has all the perks the Delta Platinum Card has except for the Annual Companion Certificate. That certificate could justify the Platinum Card’s higher annual fee for some people. But the Gold Card is the better option for those who don’t find the certificate valuable.
Plus, Amex and Delta are offering a sign-up bonus worth 30,000 SkyMiles for the Gold Card. It can be earned by spending $1,000 within the first three months. This bonus is meager for a mid-tier credit card, which could make the Delta Platinum Card a more attractive alternative.
American Express Delta Reserve Card
The Delta Reserve Card is like the Delta Platinum Card, but it has more enhanced benefits and earning opportunities. The Delta Reserve has a $550 annual fee (NOT waived the first year). But there are more ways to justify that fee.
The Delta Reserve Card has two more benefits than the Platinum Card: Delta Concierge and free SkyLounge access. It also has a bigger version of the Miles Boost program. You can earn 15,000 SkyMiles and 15,000 MQMs for spending $30,000 per calendar year. This can be done twice per calendar year like with the Platinum Card. However, I don’t recommend partaking in the program for the same reasons.
Plus, Amex and Delta are offering a sign-up bonus worth 40,000 SkyMiles and 10,000 MQMs for the Reserve. This bonus can be earned by spending $5,000 within the first three months.
The American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card is a nice card for Delta loyalists who want more from their Delta card. Its value lies in its free checked bags perk and the Annual Companion Certificate.
However, the card’s $250 annual fee combined with a fee increase for Delta SkyClubs could be enough to dissuade prospective cardholders. Furthermore, the increases could be significant enough to make current cardholders reconsider keeping their card for another year.
Apply Today: American Express Delta Platinum SkyMiles Card