- Advertisement - Get our app on Google play
TravelAmex Platinum vs. Delta Reserve: Which card is best for Delta loyalists?

Amex Platinum vs. Delta Reserve: Which card is best for Delta loyalists?


Suppose you’re looking for the best benefits a credit card can provide travelers who frequently fly Delta. In that case, you may assume the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card would be best since it is the top-tier cobranded Delta consumer card.

However, the Delta SkyMiles credit cards underwent some major changes in early February 2024, so it’s worth comparing the card to The Platinum Card® from American Express to determine which is the best card for Delta flyers.

Today, we’ll dive in to see which of these two cards is best for you in 2024 and 2025.

Amex Platinum vs. Delta Reserve comparison

Amex Platinum Delta Reserve
Welcome bonus 80,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after you spend $8,000 in purchases in your first six months of card membership. Terms apply.

You might be targeted for a higher offer through the CardMatch tool.

100,000 bonus Delta SkyMiles after you spend $6,000 in purchases in your first six months of card membership. Offer ends March 27.
Earning rates 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar spent)

5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked on AmexTravel.com

1 point per dollar on everything else

3 points per dollar on eligible purchases with Delta

1 point per dollar on everything else

TPG’s valuation of points/miles 2 cents each 1.2 cents each
Annual fee $695 (see rates and fees) $650 (see rates and fees)
Lounge access Access to many lounges through the American Express Global Lounge Collection, including:

Enrollment required for select card benefits.

Access to Delta Sky Club lounges (changes coming in February 2025)

Four one-time guest passes for the Delta Sky Club upon account opening and each year upon account renewal (when flying Delta), then $50 per person per visit

Access to Centurion Lounges (when flying Delta)

Enrollment required for select card benefits.

Other standout benefits Up to $200 in Uber credits each year

Up to $200 airline fee credit

Up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credit each year

Marriott Gold and Hilton Gold status

Access to Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts luxury hotel program

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit every 4-4½ years

Enrollment required for select card benefits.

Companion certificate each year upon renewal of your card

First checked bag free, priority boarding, inflight savings and access to complimentary upgrades on Delta flights

Earn 1 Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) for every $10 spent, plus 2,500 MQDs toward status qualification at the start of the year

Up to $240 Resy credit

Up to $120 ride-hailing credit

Up to $200 Delta Stays credit

Complimentary Hertz President’s Circle status*

Enrollment required for select card benefits.

*Enrollment in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Program is required

Amex Platinum vs. Delta Reserve welcome bonus

The Amex Platinum currently offers a welcome bonus of 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your new card to make $8,000 in purchases in your first six months. Based on TPG’s valuation of Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, this welcome bonus is worth $1,600.

The Delta Reserve currently offers a limited-time welcome bonus of 100,000 miles after spending $6,000 in purchases in your first six months. TPG’s valuations peg the value of Delta miles at 1.2 cents each, so this welcome bonus is worth $1,200.

Related reading: Choosing the best credit card for Delta flyers

Winner: Amex Platinum, with a welcome offer worth 33% more than the Reserve’s.

Related reading: The most lucrative credit card bonuses we’ve ever seen

Daily Newsletter

Reward your inbox with the TPG Daily newsletter

Join over 700,000 readers for breaking news, in-depth guides and exclusive deals from TPG’s experts

Amex Platinum vs. Delta Reserve benefits

While it has many useful perks, the only Delta-specific benefit you’ll get with the Amex Platinum is unlimited access to Delta Sky Club lounges when flying Delta. However, access will be limited to 10 day visits per year from Feb. 1, 2025 unless you spend at least $75,000 in the previous calendar year. Cardmembers may also bring up to two guests at a per-visit rate of $50 per person per location.

Related reading: Why the Amex Platinum might just be the best card for Delta flyers

As expected, the Delta Reserve offers many Delta-specific perks, starting with access to Delta Sky Club lounges. Cardmembers currently receive unlimited complimentary access to Delta Sky Club lounges when traveling on same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flights, with the ability to bring up to two guests at $50 per person per visit.

In addition, cardmembers receive four one-time guest passes for the Delta Sky Club (when flying Delta) and then $50 per person per visit.

However, from Feb. 1, 2025, cardmembers will be limited to 15 day visits to Delta Sky Club lounges, five more than the Amex Platinum — again, unless they spend at least $75,000 in the previous calendar year.

You’ll also get complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounges when flying Delta with a ticket purchased on the Delta Reserve. You can bring up to two guests into the Centurion Lounge with you for a fee of $50 each. The Amex Platinum offers unlimited access to Centurion Lounges, regardless of which airline you’re flying.

Delta Reserve benefits include many statement credits and complimentary Hertz President’s Circle status. The statement credits include:

  • Up to $240 annual Resy credit (up to $20 monthly) toward dining
  • Up to $120 annual ride-hailing credit (up to $10 monthly)
  • Up to $200 Delta Stays credit for hotel bookings

Other Delta-specific benefits include:

  • First checked bag free: First checked bag free on Delta flights for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on your reservation
  • Priority boarding: Main Cabin 1 priority boarding for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on your reservation
  • Companion certificate each year after your account anniversary: Valid for one round-trip first-class, Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ or Main Cabin companion ticket when you pay taxes and fees on the award ticket and purchase an adult round-trip to all 50 U.S. states, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean
  • Discount on inflight purchases: 20% savings in the form of a statement credit for eligible pre-purchased meals and inflight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets on Delta-operated flights

An important advantage of the Delta Reserve is the MQD Headstart, which gives cardmembers 2,500 MQDs toward status qualification at the start of the year and the ability to earn 1 MQD for every $10 spent on the card. This is an impressive benefit of the card, and is a way to earn or greatly assist you in earning elite status with Delta.

Related reading: Credit cards that can help you earn airline elite status

Winner: Delta Reserve. As indicated by its cobranded status, the Delta Reserve offers many more Delta-specific benefits than the Amex Platinum. Take a serious look through the benefits offered by the Delta Reserve and decide how much value these benefits will provide you when deciding between the two cards.

(Also note that some of the Delta Reserve’s benefits are also available on the lower-annual-fee Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card.)

Related reading: How to use credit cards to defeat basic economy

Earning rewards with the Amex Platinum vs. Delta Reserve

The Amex Platinum earns 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar spent) and prepaid hotels booked on AmexTravel.com. Based on TPG’s valuations, this means you’ll get an impressive 10% return on this spending.

You’ll also earn 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on everything else, which equates to a 2% return.

D3SIGN/GETTY IMAGES

The Delta Reserve earns 3 Delta miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, which equates to a 3.6% return based on TPG’s valuations. You’ll earn 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases, which provides only a 1.2% return.

Related reading: The best credit cards for everyday spending

Winner: Amex Platinum. The Delta Reserve’s rate of return isn’t competitive even on Delta purchases. The Amex Platinum beats the Delta Reserve on both Delta purchases and everyday purchases.

Related reading: The best credit cards for airfare purchases

Redeeming rewards with the Amex Platinum vs. Delta Reserve

The Amex Platinum earns American Express Membership Rewards points. You’ll get the best value from your Membership Rewards points when you transfer them to one of 21 travel partners and then redeem them through the partner for flights or hotel nights. There are other redemption options, but they all provide less than TPG’s valuation of Membership Rewards points at 2 cents apiece.

TPG credit cards writer Danyal Ahmed recently took advantage of Aeroplan’s distance and region-based award chart to book a lie-flat business-class ticket on Turkish Airlines for 45,000 points from Barcelona to Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Related reading: Redeeming American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value

The Delta Reserve earns Delta miles, which can be frustrating to use due to dynamic award pricing. But there are still some great ways to get value from Delta miles. For example, Delta offers relatively frequent flash sales. Recently, we’ve seen deals like domestic awards from 5,000 SkyMiles round-trip, flights to Europe from 16,000 SkyMiles round-trip and flights to Japan from 30,000 SkyMiles round-trip.

DARREN MURPH/THE POINTS GUY

You can also use Delta miles to upgrade to the next class of service. And there are also great sweet spots for flying international partner airlines with SkyMiles. All SkyTeam partners, such as Air France and Korean Air, are available for award redemptions, as well as some non-alliance partners like Air Tahiti Nui.

Related reading: How to redeem miles with the Delta SkyMiles program

Winner: Amex Platinum. Not only are Amex Membership Rewards valued higher than Delta miles based on TPG’s valuations, but Membership Rewards can be transferred to 18 airline partners and three hotel partners, including Delta, so you have a lot more flexibility when using your rewards.

Further reading: A guide to earning transferable points

Should I get the Amex Platinum or Delta Reserve?

In general, the Amex Platinum will be the best choice for most travelers due to its statement credits that can bring the effective annual fee down if used for purchases you’d normally make. Even if you don’t utilize the Amex Platinum extensively for spending, it’s likely the card’s benefits will provide value if you travel at least semi-frequently. However, if you are focused on Delta elite status, then the Reserve is worthy of consideration.

Bottom line

The Delta Reserve will be a better choice for diehard Delta frequent flyers. It should considered if you’ll benefit significantly from the companion certificate each year after your account anniversary and other Delta-specific benefits like a shortcut to elite status.

However, if you want Delta lounge access and to be able to gain entry to Centurion and other partner lounges, as well as earn Amex points, which are more valuable and flexible than Delta SkyMiles, then the Amex Platinum is better for you.

To learn more, read our full reviews of the Amex Platinum and the Delta Reserve.


Apply here: The Platinum Card from American Express or the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

Check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for up to a 150,000-point welcome offer on The Platinum Card® from American Express.


For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve, click here.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe Today

GET EXCLUSIVE FULL ACCESS TO PREMIUM CONTENT

SUPPORT NONPROFIT JOURNALISM

EXPERT ANALYSIS OF AND EMERGING TRENDS IN CHILD WELFARE AND JUVENILE JUSTICE

TOPICAL VIDEO WEBINARS

Get unlimited access to our EXCLUSIVE Content and our archive of subscriber stories.

Exclusive content

Latest article

More article