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Review: Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card — Best for Delta Fans?

Updated Oct 12, 2021 | Published Mar 13, 202010 min read

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Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Min Credit Level Excellent
Annual Fee $550
Regular APR 15.74% - 24.74% Variable
At a glance

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card is the priciest Delta co-branded credit card, and it’s a great pick for Delta fanatics. It earns 3X SkyMiles per dollar on direct Delta purchases and offers a plethora of premium travel benefits, including airport lounge access.

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Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

We’re giving the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card 5 out of 5 Stars.

It’s a big financial commitment, but the card’s annual fee is balanced out by its valuable benefits. Plus, if you’re flying so frequently that a premium credit card makes sense, you’ll probably rack up enough SkyMiles to offset the card’s annual fee even further.

Why We Like It

  • 3X reward rate on direct Delta purchases rewards the airline’s biggest fans
  • Big intro bonus: 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 MQMs for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months (offer expires 11/10/2021)
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge access offers hundreds of dollars in value
  • Two annual Delta Sky Club one-time guest passes
  • Annual companion certificate (granted upon renewal) is good for a round-trip domestic flight in first class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit covers the application fee of either program when you pay with the SkyMiles Reserve
  • First checked bag free for you and up to eight other passengers on your itinerary
  • Main Cabin 1 priority boarding, also for you and up to eight passengers
  • You save 20% on eligible in-flight purchases, including food and drinks (but not WiFi)
  • Status Boost makes it easier to score Medallion status
  • You’re added to the complimentary upgrade list, even if you don’t have Medallion status

Why It Could Be Better

  • $550 annual fee, about normal for a premium travel card
  • Rewards are disappointing, though typical
  • Getting two free Sky Club guest passes a year doesn’t compare to the less-restrictive guest lounge access offered by some premium cards
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Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
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  • Min. credit levelExcellent
  • Annual Fee$550
  • Purchase APR15.74% - 24.74% Variable

Rates & Fees

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express is Delta’s priciest co-branded credit card by a long shot. And if you find yourself flying Delta all the time, it’s hard to deny the card’s appeal.

The Reserve’s reward structure is somewhat disappointing given how much cash you’re forking over annually to remain a cardholder (Rates & Fees). You’re granted 3X SkyMiles per eligible dollar for purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines, and 1X SkyMile for every other eligible purchase.

However, as is the case with most premium airline credit cards, much of the Reserve’s value is derived from its benefits.

They include (but aren’t limited to) complimentary Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge access, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, an annual companion certificate, priority boarding, and waived fees for first checked bags. Those perks alone can offset the card’s annual fee in full if you fly enough, and that’s without factoring in all the rewards you’ll earn if you do fly that much.

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve is one of four Delta co-branded consumer credit cards issued by American Express.

Read more Best Airline Credit Cards

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Book Delta: Purchase airfare directly from Delta, and you’ll get 3X miles per dollar on top of what you’re already earning as a SkyMiles member, allowing you to rack up rewards fairly quickly. That 3X category also covers Delta purchases like class upgrades, seat selections, and in-flight food and drinks.
  • Get the welcome bonus: Spend enough within the first few months to get the welcome offer. Then, remain a cardholder for at least a year to get the additional bonus after your first anniversary of card membership.
  • Lounge while you travel: Airport lounge access is valuable. An individual Delta Sky Club membership costs $545 out of pocket, which basically offsets the Reserve’s entire annual fee (assuming you’ll actually use it). You also get Centurion Lounge access, which could be considered even more valuable. It’s only available through a few premium American Express credit cards, and the lounges themselves are known for their luxurious features, from locally-inspired menus to L’Occitane toiletries.
  • Board early and check your first bag for free: If your Delta itinerary is associated with the same SkyMiles number as your Reserve card, you’ll get first checked bags free (saving up to $60 per person on a round trip) and Main Cabin 1 priority boarding for you and up to eight passengers.
  • Apply for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Frequent Delta flyers are sure to appreciate the expedited security perks these airport security programs provide, and the Reserve card covers the fee of whichever program you choose. Spoiler alert: Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck and typically costs $15 more, so if you think you’ll qualify, it’s the more valuable option.
  • Achieve Medallion status: The Reserve’s Status Boost feature makes it easier to achieve Medallion status with Delta. There are four Medallion tiers (Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond), and each tier offers extra rewards and perks.

The Rewards

Unlike Delta’s lower-tier credit cards, the Reserve’s reward structure doesn’t require much thought until you’re actually redeeming the miles you earned.

Use it for direct Delta purchases, and you’ll get 3X SkyMiles per dollar from the card, plus whatever you get from your SkyMiles status, starting at 5X for basic members.

You can safely assume you’re usually going to get between 1 and 1.5 cents per mile when you redeem for flights, which leads to a cash back equivalent (on Delta purchases, at least) starting at 8%.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 3X SkyMiles per dollar for purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines
  • 1X SkyMile per dollar for other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 MQMs for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months (offer expires 11/10/2021)

Clearly, the SkyMiles Reserve isn’t for everyday spending unless you’re going for the intro bonus.

Delta purchases are the only type that will earn more than 1X mile per dollar, so another rewards credit card would be better for non-Delta purchases. That’s not unusual for a co-branded airline card, though, especially one like this, where its benefits command the most attention.

So, making the most of this card’s reward structure is simple — use it only for Delta purchases, if you have other cards for other types of spending. You’ll get a minimum of 8X SkyMiles per dollar (that’s 3X from the card and 5X for being a basic SkyMiles member), and even more if you achieve Medallion status (Diamond, the highest tier, gives you 11X SkyMiles per dollar, totaling 14X when you use the Reserve).

Redeeming

Redeeming your SkyMiles is considerably more complex than earning them.

You have a whole slew of redemption options, but you’re going to get the best return on spend by swapping SkyMiles for flights.

Aside from flights, you can redeem SkyMiles for Delta Sky Club access (which Reserve cardholders already get), Delta gift cards, Delta Vacations, flight upgrades, and other odds and ends, such as magazines and charitable donations.

Redeeming SkyMiles for Flights

We recommend using your SkyMiles exclusively for flight redemptions to maximize the Reserve’s value.

Head to the Delta website, and you’ll find a flight search tool on the homepage. You can use it to browse flights with Delta and its partners, the prices of which you can view in cash or miles.

Make sure you spend some time searching for the best possible deal. The per-mile value you get can change quite a bit from one flight to the next. Generally, though, a Delta SkyMile is worth around 1 to 1.5 cents.

We’ll outline a few examples to give you a better idea of just how much your SkyMiles might be worth.

First, a round-trip flight in basic economy from Cincinnati to Orlando.

This one gives you a per-SkyMile value of about 1.36 cents. That’s quite good for Delta.

But it’s not the best you’ll find. Take this international flight in the Main Cabin, from New York to Paris, for example.

Before factoring in the $84.05 fee charged on the award ticket, that’s a huge value of 2.14 cents per SkyMile. Work the fee into the mix, and each mile is still giving you 1.84 cents. That’s leaning toward the very high side for Delta.

These kinds of deals may be few and far between, but they’re there, if you look hard enough. Just keep in mind that the value of each SkyMile will vary based on a wide variety of details, including the trip, the date, and the class.

We’ve calculated the value of a few other flight options, shown in the table below, to better illustrate what you can expect when you redeem with Delta.

Round Trip Route Class Cash Price Miles Price Value Per Mile
SLC to SEA Basic Economy $156.80 10,500 + $11.20 1.49 cents
DTW to TPA Main Cabin $246.80 17,000 + $11.20 1.45 cents
LAX to TYO Comfort+ $846.25 44,000 + $55.95 1.92 cents
MSP to SAT First $544.80 39,500 + $11.20 1.39 cents
Quick Guide

Miles + Cash vs. Pay with Miles

Delta offers a couple additional payment options when you’re booking flights, called Miles + Cash and Pay with Miles. We don’t recommend either; you’ll generally get a worse return on spend than if you just stuck with a normal mile redemption.

Miles + Cash lets you pay for airfare with both miles and cash by instituting a surcharge that helps lower a flight's price in miles.

Pay with Miles, on the other hand, allows you to book airfare with miles in increments of 5,000. Then, you pay for the rest in cash.

Miles + Cash flights are considered award tickets, which means you won't earn rewards. Pay with Miles fares are treated as normal tickets and therefore accumulate SkyMiles on whatever portion you pay in cash.

The Benefits

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve is a premium airline credit card, so top-of-the-line benefits are in its blood. The card’s perks aren’t all that different than most other airline cards, although it does offer a few true standouts, like Centurion Lounge access.

Here are most of the Reserve’s significant perks.

  • Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge access: Enjoy complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs, with up to two guests at $39 each. Plus, access Centurion Lounges for free, with up to two guests at $50 each. Two free Delta Sky Club one-time guest passes per year are included. Complimentary lounge access requires a same-day boarding pass for a Delta-operated or Delta-marketed flight. However, Reserve cardholders traveling with a partner airline on a flight that’s not marketed by Delta can still access Delta lounges at a price of $39 per person.
  • Annual Companion Certificate: Get a certificate for a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin round-trip flight. Certificate use requires the payment of applicable fees, not to exceed $75.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: When you pay with the SkyMiles Reserve, a statement credit covers the application fee of either Global Entry ($100 every four years) or TSA PreCheck ($85 once every four-and-a-half years).
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights: Book with your Delta SkyMiles number, and baggage fees for your party’s first checked bags will be waived (covers the cardholder and up to eight additional passengers on the same itinerary).
  • Main Cabin 1 priority boarding: Board earlier (with up to eight additional passengers on the same itinerary) when you book airfare with your Delta SkyMiles number.
  • Complimentary upgrades: Reserve cardholders are added to the complimentary upgrade waitlist after Medallion members, even without Medallion status.
  • 20% in-flight discount on Delta flights: Get 20% off (in the form of a statement credit) a host of in-flight purchases, including food, drinks, and headsets, but not including WiFi.
  • Concierge service: Request 24/7 non-emergency assistance with things like travel arrangements, dinner reservations, and entertainment plans.
  • Shopping and travel protections: Such as car rental loss and damage insurance, baggage insurance, the Global Assist Hotline, return protection, dispute resolution, and extended warranty protection

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.

Read more Best Credit Cards That Provide Airport Lounge Access

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
15.74% - 24.74% Variable None 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$550 None
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
None Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
29.99% Variable Up to $40 Up to $40

The Reserve features a standard batch of fees for a premium credit card.

Its annual fee is particularly high to make up for the high-end benefits you’re getting. And since the card is designed for frequent travelers, there’s no foreign transaction fee.

Just remember that American Express acceptance may be limited in many foreign countries, as it’s not as widespread as networks like Visa or Mastercard.

Read more Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

The Bottom Line

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card appeals to a very specific audience: frequent flyers who not only prefer to fly Delta, but do so enough to be confident they’ll get their money’s worth from a card with a large annual fee.

The SkyMiles Reserve makes it pretty easy to offset that fee, large as it is. Its airport lounge access is worth hundreds of dollars a year, and could provide enough value to be worth the price alone, if it’s used enough.

And that’s just one element on a sizable list of valuable airline-centric perks.

Its rewards aren’t great, but 3X extra SkyMiles per dollar is a decent bonus for someone who’s flying Delta regularly.

Overall, whether the SkyMiles Reserve is right for you comes down to one question: Can you eke more than $550 in value out of the card’s rewards and benefits without unnecessary spending?

If so, give it a shot. If not, there are plenty of other options.

How to Apply for the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

Click the “Apply Now” button below to be taken to the American Express website. After you submit the requested information through the secure application, Amex will conduct a hard credit inquiry to determine whether you qualify.

You’ll probably receive a decision (either approval or denial) immediately. However, you may be asked to provide more information, or to wait while the issuer evaluates your application further.

What Credit Scores Do You Need to Get the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card?

The SkyMiles Reserve caters to cardholders with excellent credit.

With VantageScore, that’s clear-cut, and scores of 750 or higher are considered excellent. It’s less simple with FICO, which calls scores between 740 and 799 very good and scores above that exceptional. It’s probably safe to assume that scores in those ranges can be considered “excellent,” or close to it.

Just keep in mind that excellent credit scores won’t guarantee that you’ll be approved, and it’s possible to qualify with lower scores. American Express will also weigh other important factors, like your income and monthly housing costs, and they could directly impact the final decision.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be 18 to apply
  • Personal information: Name, date of birth, Social Security number
  • Address and contact information: Home address, phone number, email address
  • Financial information: Total annual income, income source
  • Delta SkyMiles number (optional; you’ll be provided with one upon approval)
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Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
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  • Min. credit levelExcellent
  • Annual Fee$550
  • Purchase APR15.74% - 24.74% Variable

Rates & Fees

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Alternatives to the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

Not sure the SkyMiles Reserve is right for you? Don’t worry — it’s far from your only option, whether you’re dedicated to Delta or looking for something a bit more flexible.

Whichever crowd you fall into, here are a few cards you should consider instead.

Insider tip

Like Delta, most major airlines offer at least one co-branded credit card. If you’re not committed to Delta, and you don’t see anything you like below, explore your options with other airlines, including American Airlines, British Airways, JetBlue, Southwest, United, and more.

Apply Now

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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99
  • Purchase APR15.74% - 24.74% Variable

Rates & Fees

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 70,000 Bonus Miles after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • $100 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, receive a Credit to use toward future travel.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms Apply.
Why We Picked It

For casual Delta fans, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card (Review) could be a better pick than the Reserve. It offers a small selection of useful airline benefits and makes it a bit easier to rack up SkyMiles.

The Gold card’s annual fee is much lower than the Reserve, too, which makes it a solid starting point for anyone who’s not quite sure whether they need a Delta card.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 2X SkyMiles per dollar for:
    • Eligible purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines
    • Restaurants
    • U.S. Supermarkets
  • 1X SkyMile per dollar on other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 70,000 bonus miles for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months (offer expires 11/10/2021)

The Gold card’s reward structure is more diverse than that of the Reserve. You’re earning one fewer SkyMile per dollar, but that’s almost negligible since basic SkyMiles members get 5X SkyMiles on Delta purchases as it is.

The categories this card adds, dining and U.S. supermarkets, are very easy to use, and this arguably puts the Gold ahead of the Reserve if you’d rather build a high rewards balance than have flashy benefits.

Key Features
  • First checked bag free: Use your Delta SkyMiles number when booking your flight to waive the price ($30) of your first checked bag. This benefit extends to up to eight other passengers flying on your itinerary.
  • Main Cabin 1 priority boarding: Get to your seat and settle in earlier when you reserve with your SkyMiles number. This benefit extends to up to eight other passengers on your itinerary.
  • 20% back on in-flight purchases: Save 20%, in the form of a statement credit, on in-flight purchases like food and alcoholic beverages. Excludes WiFi and associated services.
  • $100 Delta flight credit: Spend $10,000 in a calendar year to earn a $100 credit good for Delta flight and vacation package reservations.
  • Global Assist Hotline: Receive assistance with medical and legal referrals, cash wires, passport replacement, missing luggage, and more when you’re more than 100 miles from home.
  • Entertainment Access: Purchase tickets to your favorite events with exclusive presale access and explore exclusive cardmember events near you.
  • ShopRunner: Enjoy free two-day shipping at a variety of online retailers with a complimentary ShopRunner membership.
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card (Rates & Fees)

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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$250
  • Purchase APR15.74% - 24.74% Variable

Rates & Fees

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 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. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two 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.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card.*Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Why We Picked It

Sandwiched between the SkyMiles Gold and the SkyMiles Reserve is the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card (Review). Its rewards and benefits are quite similar to those of the Gold, but with a few enhancements to help offset its somewhat high annual fee.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 3X SkyMiles per dollar for:
    • Eligible purchases made directly with Delta
    • Eligible purchases made directly with Hotels
  • 2X SkyMiles per dollar at:
    • Restaurants
    • U.S. Supermarkets
  • 1X SkyMile per dollar for other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months (offer expires 11/10/2021)

The rewards seen here are more similar to the Gold card than the Reserve, albeit with a few upgrades that should please avid travelers.

The SkyMiles Platinum earns 3X SkyMiles per dollar with Delta, which is on par with the Reserve. But it adds 3X SkyMiles at hotels, too. That’s a big deal, since airfare purchases and hotel reservations often go hand in hand.

Key Features
  • Annual Companion Certificate: Each year, upon card renewal, get a certificate for one domestic Main Cabin round-trip flight.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: A statement credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100 every four years) or TSA PreCheck ($85 once every four-and-a-half years)
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights: For you and up to eight traveling companions
  • Main Cabin 1 priority boarding on Delta flights: For you and up to eight traveling companions
  • Delta Sky Club access: Relax at Delta Sky Club airport lounges for $39 per person.
  • 20% in-flight discount on Delta flights: A 20% discount on eligible in-flight purchases, like food, beverages, movies, and audio headsets
  • Status Boost: Earn 10,000 MQMs (Medallion Qualification Miles) for every $25,000 in eligible purchases, up to two times per calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $250

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card (Rates & Fees)

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  • Min. credit levelExcellent
  • Annual Fee$550
  • Purchase APR16.99% - 23.99% Variable
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
  • Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Why We Picked It

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review) is one of the best travel credit cards that’s currently available to U.S. applicants.

It’s a premium card, so yes, there’s an intimidating annual fee. But when you weigh it against the card’s exceptional benefits — which include a free Priority Pass membership, a $300 annual travel credit that can be used for airfare, and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit, plus much more — it doesn’t seem all that bad.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 10X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar:
    • Chase Dining through Ultimate Rewards
    • Hotel stays and Car rentals through Ultimate Rewards (after the full travel credit is used)
    • Lyft rides (through 3/31/22)
  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Air travel through Ultimate Rewards (after the full travel credit is used)
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar:
    • Travel (after the full travel credit is used)
    • Dining
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

The Sapphire Reserve keeps its rewards simple. Aside from Lyft (explore other great picks for earning rewards on Lyft), the card only features two categories, travel and dining. Both of these categories are popular for their versatility and perfectly suited to big travel spenders who’ve considered applying for a premium travel card.

Key Features

  • $300 annual travel credit: You’ll get a $300 travel credit every year that will be automatically applied to any travel-related expenses you charge to your card.
  • Priority Pass Select membership: Cardholders get complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which provides access to over 1,000 airport lounges and restaurants worldwide. You must manually activate this benefit, and you’ll receive a Priority Pass Select member card in the mail.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit: Every four years you’ll get up to a $100 credit towards the application fee for either Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85).
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection provides some complimentary services and benefits at participating hotels and resorts.
  • Elite hotel benefits at Relais & Châteaux: Cardholders get accelerated progress towards Club 5C member status with Relais & Châteaux luxury hotel and resort properties; just stay two nights at qualifying properties in a 12-month period. Club 5C status provides benefits like a VIP welcome, room upgrades, access to a unique experience at each property, and invitations to exclusive events. You must book using the Visa Infinite Concierge.
  • $120 Peloton credit: Enroll to get up to $120 back for an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership (through 2021). No fitness equipment is required.
  • Visa Infinite Concierge: Call 1-877-660-0905 for non-emergency help of all kinds, like making dinner reservations or finding good tickets to a show. You can also ask for travel recommendations, for flights, tourist attractions, the best shopping spots, restaurants, night clubs, etc. This benefit is probably most useful when visiting a new city.
  • Special car rental privileges: You can access your special car rental privileges by logging in to Chase Ultimate Rewards and following the instructions to enroll. You’ll get perks at Avis, Silvercar, and National Car Rental like rental upgrades, discounts, and occasional promotional offers.
  • Lyft Pink membership: One-year exclusive saving opportunities with Lyft Pink membership, providing 15% off rides, relaxed cancellation fees, priority dispatch at airports, and more
  • DoorDash membership, $60 annual DoorDash credit: Chase will pay for a DoorDash subscription for two years (a DashPass). You’ll also get $60 in DoorDash credits in 2020, and $60 in 2021 (learn more about Chase DoorDash benefits).
  • Shopping protections: Purchase Protection; Extended Warranty Protection; Return Protection
  • Travel protections: Primary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver; Roadside Assistance; Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance; Baggage Delay Insurance; Travel Accident Insurance; Trip Delay Reimbursement; Lost Luggage Reimbursement; Travel and Emergency Assistance; Emergency Evacuation & Transportation
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $550

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$695
  • Purchase APRSee Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Why We Picked It

Like the Sapphire Reserve, The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review) is iconic.

It’s pricey, but as usual, that’s for good reason. The Platinum’s benefits are rivaled only by expensive competitors like the Sapphire Reserve, and a host of invite-only, more-premium-than-premium cards that you can’t even apply for unless you’re legitimately rich.

The Amex Platinum allows cardholders to transfer Membership Rewards points to the Delta SkyMiles program at a 1:1 ratio, though you may occasionally get a better transfer deal. You’re charged an excise tax offset fee of $0.0006 per point to do so (that’s a $45 fee for a 75,000-point transfer, for example), but it could still be worth it if you redeem wisely.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly through airlines or through Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 spent per calendar year, then 1X)
    • Prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses booked through Amex Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 100,000 bonus points for spending $6,000 in the first 6 months; 10X points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during the first 6 months

The Platinum card features a fairly limited reward structure; its benefits are far more valuable.

Its rewards are still a bit more diverse than the SkyMiles Reserve, however, thanks to that “flights booked directly with airlines” category. That, coupled with the fact that you can transfer Membership Rewards points to the SkyMiles program, makes the Platinum a strong contender for hardcore Delta fans.

Key Features
  • Global Lounge Collection: Enroll for complimentary access to Priority Pass, Centurion, American Express International, Delta Sky Club, Escape, Airspace, Lufthansa, and Plaza Premium Lounges.
  • Up to $200 in annual Uber Cash: Add your Platinum card to the Uber App to get up to $15 in Uber Cash per month, plus a bonus $20 in December; U.S. Eats orders and rides only.
  • $200 hotel credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits each year for prepaid hotels booked through The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts; must pay with the Platinum card.
  • $300 Equinox credit: Pay with your Platinum card to get up to $300 in statement credits annually with Equinox (up to $25 per month), for Equinox All Access, Destination, E by Equinox, or Equinox+ membership fees.
  • $240 digital entertainment credit: Pay with your Platinum card to get up to $240 in statement credits annually for digital entertainment (up to $20 per month), only for eligible purchases from Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times.
  • CLEAR credit: Up to $179 in statement credits annually for CLEAR biometric security, enough for a membership.
  • Uber Eats Pass: Get unlimited $0 delivery fees and 5% off orders at eligible restaurants for 12 months; must enroll by 12/31/21. Taxes and service fees may apply and do not count toward the order minimum. Eats Pass will start auto-billing 12 months from enrollment, at then-current monthly rate. Learn more.
  • Uber VIP status: Add your Platinum card to the Uber App to get Uber VIP status where available.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: A statement credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100 every four years) or TSA PreCheck ($85 once every four and a half years)
  • Complimentary elite hotel statuses: Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • The Hotel Collection: A $100 hotel credit and room upgrades when available for every eligible two-night stay
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts Program: Daily breakfast for two, room upgrades when available, amenities valued at $100, and more at eligible properties
  • $100 annual Saks credit: Up to $100 in statement credits each year for Saks Fifth Avenue: $50 from January through June, and $50 from July through December
  • Global Dining Access by Resy: Resy provides access to exclusive reservations and dining experiences.
  • Point transfer: To a selection of airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Shopping and travel protections: Purchase Protection; Extended Warranty; Return Protection; Baggage Insurance Plan; Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance; Trip Delay Insurance; Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $695

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.

The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

That’s it for now. Dig the review? Share it with your fellow travel rewards junkies! Or, if you think we missed an important detail, tell us by commenting below.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please click here.

Written by

Sean Messier

Sean Messier works to empower individuals with the knowledge required to use credit cards responsibly and to their advantage. His writing- and research-based background has granted him experience in an array of topics, from finance to business and beyond. Sean distills the knowledge accumulated over years of experience in the credit space into consistent, actionable articles, guides, and reviews.

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