Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. Compensation and in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. Compensation and in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below. 

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

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Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Review

Earn 100,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 6 months.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Review

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Learn More

Earn 100,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 6 months.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Introduction

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card stands as a pinnacle of luxury for those who frequently fly with Delta Airlines. Designed with the avid traveler in mind, this card boasts a suite of premium benefits that cater to enhancing your travel experience from start to finish. With a notable annual fee of $650, it targets individuals who are not only frequent flyers but also those who can leverage the card’s rich rewards and benefits to their fullest potential​.

At its core, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card offers a high rewards rate, particularly on Delta purchases, positioning it as an attractive option for Delta loyalists. The added perks of a free checked bag, priority boarding, and an exclusive companion benefit further underscore its value proposition for those who spend a significant amount of time in the air. However, it’s important to note that the card does demand a good to excellent credit score, making it a premium option for those with strong credit histories​.

Welcome Bonus

The Welcome Bonus of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card offers a lucrative opportunity for new cardholders to jumpstart their rewards journey. Upon successful application, cardholders can earn 100,000 Bonus Miles after making $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership. This generous bonus is a compelling incentive, especially for those planning to make significant purchases or those who can easily integrate this spending threshold into their regular expenditures​.

The ability to earn such a substantial amount of miles upfront can significantly enhance the travel experience, offering immediate value that can be redeemed for flights, upgrades, and more within Delta’s extensive network. This welcome offer not only underscores the card’s appeal to frequent flyers but also highlights its potential for providing immediate travel benefits. It’s a strategic way for new cardholders to maximize their returns on everyday spending while working towards their next travel goal.

Earning Rewards

Earning rewards with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is tailored to benefit those who frequently fly with Delta Airlines. The rewards structure is designed to maximize the accumulation of miles for cardholders, offering 3 miles for every dollar spent on Delta purchases. This includes tickets bought directly from Delta, upgrades, in-flight purchases, and more, making every Delta expense more rewarding. For all other eligible purchases, the card earns 1 mile per dollar spent, ensuring that every purchase moves you closer to your next travel reward​.

The tiered rewards system incentivizes spending on Delta services, directly aligning with the interests of Delta’s most loyal customers. However, the broader earning rate of 1 mile per dollar on general purchases still offers a pathway for accumulating miles, albeit at a slower pace compared to Delta expenditures. This structure encourages cardholders to prioritize their spending on Delta while still offering a baseline rewards rate for everyday purchases​​.

For cardholders aiming to achieve or maintain Delta Medallion status, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve offers additional benefits that further enhance the rewards earning potential. These benefits are designed to accelerate the path to higher status tiers, offering an appealing value proposition for serious travelers committed to flying with Delta​​.

Redeeming Rewards

Redeeming rewards on the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card offers flexibility and value, particularly for those deeply integrated into Delta’s ecosystem. The card’s rewards program allows for miles to be redeemed in various ways, including booking flights, seat upgrades, and more through Delta. One of the standout features is the ability to use miles towards Delta flights, including the option for discounted Award Travel for cardholders. This means that the miles earned can directly translate into savings on future flights, making each trip more accessible and enjoyable​.

Moreover, the card offers unique redemption options that enhance its appeal. For instance, cardholders can enjoy 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights, directly through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. This discount does not apply to flights operated by Delta’s partners or to taxes and fees, but it represents a significant saving for frequent flyers committed to the Delta brand​.

The value of miles can vary based on how they are redeemed, with certain redemption options offering more value than others. Cardholders are encouraged to explore various redemption pathways to maximize the value of their miles, whether it be for flights, class upgrades, or other Delta services. The program’s flexibility ensures that rewards can be tailored to fit a range of travel preferences and needs, making it a powerful tool for enhancing the overall travel experience with Delta.

Perks and Benefits

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is packed with perks and benefits that cater to the needs of frequent flyers and luxury travelers. These benefits are designed not only to enhance the travel experience but also to provide substantial value that can justify the card’s annual fee.

  • Complimentary Access to Delta Sky Club® and The Centurion® Lounge: For travelers seeking a place to relax before their flight, this card offers complimentary access to Delta Sky Club and The Centurion Lounge when traveling on a Delta flight. This perk ensures a more comfortable and luxurious airport experience​.
  • Free Checked Bag: The card extends a free checked bag to the cardholder and up to eight additional passengers on the same reservation, potentially saving a family hundreds of dollars on baggage fees per round trip​.
  • Annual Companion Certificate: Each year, cardholders receive a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+®, or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate, applicable for domestic flights. This benefit alone can offset the annual fee if utilized effectively​.
  • Travel Insurance: When you pay for your trip with the card, you may qualify for trip interruption or cancellation insurance, offering peace of mind with coverage up to $10,000 per trip and $20,000 per year for eligible events​.
  • Discounts and Credits: Enjoy a 20% back on in-flight purchases, up to $240 each year in Resy credit, up to $10 back monthly on U.S. rideshare purchases, and up to $200 back annually on eligible prepaid Delta Stays bookings​.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Fee Credit: The card provides a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, adding to the travel convenience by expediting security processes​.
  • Enhanced Earning for Medallion Status: The card aids in achieving higher Medallion Status with Delta through enhanced earning of Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) and Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs), including a new feature that awards $1 MQD for each $10 of purchases​.

These perks collectively offer a comprehensive package that caters to the needs of frequent Delta flyers, providing value that can easily surpass the annual fee for those who travel often and take full advantage of the card’s offerings.

Pros and Cons

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, designed for frequent Delta flyers, boasts a mix of high-value perks and drawbacks that potential cardholders should consider.

Pros

  • High Rewards Rate on Delta Purchases: Earn 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, making every flight and Delta purchase more rewarding​.
  • Valuable Travel Perks: Includes free checked bags, early boarding, an annual companion certificate, and complimentary access to Delta Sky Club and The Centurion Lounge​​​.
  • Welcome Bonus: Offers a substantial welcome bonus, allowing new cardholders to quickly accumulate miles​.

Cons

  • High Annual Fee: At $650, the card comes with a steep annual fee that may not be justified for infrequent travelers or those who do not fully utilize the card’s benefits​.
  • Limited Rewards on Non-Delta Purchases: Earns only 1 mile per dollar on other eligible purchases, which may not be as competitive compared to other premium travel cards​.

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is ideal for dedicated Delta customers who travel frequently and can take full advantage of the card’s benefits, offsetting the high annual fee. However, for those who fly sporadically or value a wider range of travel perks across various airlines, other travel cards might offer better value.

Comparison to Other Cards

When comparing the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card to other travel credit cards, it’s important to evaluate how it stacks up in terms of annual fee, rewards earning potential, and exclusive perks.

  • Annual Fee: At $650, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve’s annual fee is on the higher end compared to other premium travel cards. However, for frequent Delta flyers, the benefits can outweigh the cost​​.
  • Rewards Earning Potential: The card offers 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases. While competitive within the airline card category, it may lag behind other premium travel cards that offer higher rewards rates on a wider range of categories​​.
  • Exclusive Perks: The card’s value shines through its exclusive perks, such as access to Delta Sky Club and The Centurion Lounge, an annual companion certificate, free checked bags, and no foreign transaction fees. These benefits are particularly valuable for Delta loyalists​​​​.

Versus Other Premium Cards

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a broader range of travel benefits, including access to a wider array of airport lounges, higher rewards on airline and hotel bookings, and annual statement credits for select travel expenses, which may provide more value to those who value flexibility and travel with various airlines​​.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® is another competitor, offering a $300 annual travel credit, higher rewards rates on travel and dining, and more flexible redemption options through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

For Delta frequent flyers, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve card offers unmatched benefits that directly enhance Delta travel experiences. However, for travelers seeking more flexibility or who fly with multiple airlines, cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express or Chase Sapphire Reserve® may offer more overall value.

Conclusion

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is a premium choice for those who frequently fly with Delta and wish to elevate their travel experience. With its array of benefits, such as lounge access, companion certificates, and the potential for high rewards on Delta purchases, it suits the needs of dedicated Delta flyers. However, the high annual fee and limited rewards on non-Delta purchases make it less appealing for infrequent travelers or those who prefer broader rewards programs. Ultimately, if Delta is your airline of choice and you travel often enough to leverage the perks, this card can offer exceptional value and enhance your travel experience significantly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What benefits does the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card offer for frequent flyers?

  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club and The Centurion Lounge access, a free checked bag, an annual companion certificate, and no foreign transaction fees.

How can I earn rewards with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card?

  • Earn 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

What is the welcome bonus for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card?

  • Earn 100,000 Bonus Miles after spending $6,000 in purchases on the card within the first 6 months.

Are there any travel insurance benefits included with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card?

  • Yes, the card may offer trip interruption or cancellation insurance when you pay for your trip with the card.

How does the annual companion certificate work with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card?

  • Each year, cardholders receive a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+®, or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate, applicable for domestic flights.
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