Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Review

Deals Points is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone. Terms apply to the offers. See our Advertising Disclosure for more information.

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card provides complimentary Sky Club access when flying Delta in addition to many perks on Delta including an annual companion certificate at renewal, free first checked bag, priority boarding, 15% discount on award flights, and 20% back on in-flight purchases.

This credit card review will cover everything you need to know about this card to determine if you should add this card or a different card to your wallet. Let’s dive right in.

Airport Lounge Access
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
  • bonus_miles_full
  • 3X SkyMiles on Delta Air Lines Purchases
  • First Checked Bag Free
  • Airport Lounge Access
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit
  • 20% Statement Credit on Delta In-Flight Purchases
  • $650 Annual Fee and No Foreign Transaction Fees (Rates & Fees)
Learn More
American Express is a Deals Points advertiser. Terms Apply

Welcome Bonus of Delta Reserve Amex

The Delta Reserve Amex currently offers the following welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Spending on the Delta Reserve American Express will also help you earn Delta Medallion Elite status because you will earn $1 Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQDs) for every $10 on your card. For example, if you spent $20,000 per year on this card, you would earn 2,000 MQDs.

Plus, the Delta Reserve American Express offers an annual $2,500 Medallion Qualification Dollar headstart for just holding the card.

Earning SkyMiles with Delta Reserve Amex

The Delta Reserve Amex earns the following points for spending:

Spending on Delta includes flight reservations, seat upgrades and selection, Delta Vacation packages, Delta Sky Club memberships or passes, inflight meals and beverages, and audio headsets. However, it does not include spending on in-flight WiFi.

Annual Fee of Delta Reserve Amex

The Delta Reserve Amex has an annual fee of $650 (rates & fees), which you can offset the annual fee by taking advantage of the airport lounge access, annual companion certificate, free checked bags, priority boarding, and travel and purchase protections. 

Benefits of Delta Reserve Amex

The Delta Reserve American Express offers the following benefits:

Delta Reserve Business cardholders and additional card members will enjoy complimentary Delta Sky Club memberships when flying on a same-day, Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight.

An individual Delta Sky Club membership typically costs $695 each year. This means having the Delta Reserve card at $650 with lounge access and other travel perks is a money-saving deal.

Plus, cardmembers get two free one-time guest passes each year. After that, the guest fee is $50 per person.

Delta Sky Clubs offer free Wi-Fi, light meals, snacks, and refreshments, and provide a quiet, comfortable place for relaxation before take-off. 

Future Changes: Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter. Once all 15 Visits have been used, Eligible Card Members may purchase additional Delta Sky Club Visits (including Grab and Go) at a per-Visit rate of $50 per person using the Card.

You’ll also have complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounges when you use your Delta Reserve Business Amex to book your Delta flight. 

You can invite up to two guests at $50 per person.

Airport Location
Charlotte (CLT) Dallas (DFW)
Denver (DEN) Houston (IAH)
Las Vegas (LAS) Los Angeles (LAX)
Miami (MIA) New York (JFK)
New York (LGA) Philadelphia (PHL)
Phoenix (PHX) San Francisco (SFO)
Seattle (SEA)
International Lounges
Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE) Delhi, India (DEL)
Hong Kong, China (HKG) London, U.K. (LHR)
Melbourne, Australia (MEL) Mexico City, Mexico (MEX)
Monterrey, Mexico (MTY) Mumbai, India (BOM)
São Paulo, Brazil (GRU) Stockholm, Sweden (ARN)
Sydney, Australia (SYD)

As the primary cardholder, you’ll get a companion certificate every year for a round-trip flight in Main Cabin, Delta Comfort+, Premium Select, or first class upon renewing your Delta Reserve card. 

There are some things you need to be aware of for the Annual Companion Certificate:

  • It is only valid for roundtrip travel to all 50 U.S. states (including Hawaii and Alaska), Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
  • It’s only valid for travel in the I and Z fare classes in first class, the W fare class in Comfort+, and the L, U, T, X, and V fare classes in economy.
  • The Companion Ticket requires payment of government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments)
  • You must complete the travel by the expiration date of the certificate.

Free First Checked Bag: This Delta card gets you a first checked bag free for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on your reservation on a Delta or Delta Connection flight. This helps save you $30 per person one-way or $60 round-trip for a single traveler, or $240 for a family of four round-trip.

Priority Boarding: You can enjoy Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights, which is Group 5 in the boarding process.

15% Award Discount: Save 15% on eligible Delta flights when you use your SkyMiles and use this card to pay the taxes and fees.

20% Back on In-Flight Purchases: You can get 20% back as a statement credit for eligible prepurchased meals and inflight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets on Delta-operated flights. However, it does not apply to Wi-Fi purchases.

Upgrade Priority: If you have Delta Medallion status, you’ll receive upgrade priority over other Medallion members of the same elite status level and fare class grouping. 

Potential Complimentary Upgrades: If you don’t have Medallion elite status, you can still qualify for the complimentary upgrades, but you will be prioritized behind elite members.

Pay with SkyMiles: Delta SkyMiles credit cards unlock the ability to ability to “Pay with Miles” allowing cardmembers to pay for flights with SkyMiles at a rate of 1.0 cents per mile (in increments of 5,000 miles per $50).

$200 Annual Delta Stays Credit: Get up to $200 back per year as a statement credit after using your Delta Reserve Card to book prepaid hotels or vacation rentals through Delta Stays on delta.com/stays.

$240 Resy Credit: Earn up to $20 per month in statement credits on eligible purchases with U.S. Resy restaurants. Enrollment is required.

$120 Rideshare Credit: Earn up to $10 back in statement credits each month after you use your Card to pay for U.S. rideshare purchases with Uber, Lyft, Curb, Revel, and Alto. Enrollment Required.

Hertz President’s Circle Status: The Delta Reserve Amex offers Hertz President’s Circle status upon enrollment. Hertz President’s Circle elite status offers benefits such the ability to choose your car at Hertz Ultimate Choice locations when you book an intermediate car or higher, complimentary upgrades, a 50% points bonus, and a free additional driver.

No Foreign Transaction Fees: You can make international purchases with your card without paying an extra fee of around 3%.

Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Credit: This card offers a credit for TSA PreCheck (expedited airport security) or Global Entry (expedited airport security and customs).

Trip Delay Insurance will reimburse any eligible expenses you incur as a result of your trip being delayed.*

Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance reimburses you for non-refundable expenses if your trip is interrupted or canceled for a covered reason when you pay for your travel expenses with this card.*

Baggage Insurance Plan covers your baggage if it is lost, damaged, or stolen and you purchase your ticket with this card.*

Secondary Rental Car Insurance covers any damage to or theft of a rental car not covered by your primary insurance when you pay for the rental using this card.*

* Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions, and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.

Amex Offers: This American Express card gets access to special deals or extra rewards when you load certain offers to your card.

Extended Warranty protection adds up to an additional year of coverage for eligible purchases on manufacturer’s warranties up to 5 years for purchases with this card.*

Return Protection allows cardholders to receive a refund for purchased items within a certain timeframe for items that merchants may not accept for return.*

Purchase Protection covers eligible purchases against accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days for purchases this card.*

* Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions, and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.

Redeeming SkyMiles

Delta no longer publishes an award chart for its SkyMiles program. Award flights are instead priced dynamically based on many factors, including routes, travel dates, airline partners, and how far in advance you book the flight.

It is generally very difficult for people to get outsized value when using SkyMiles for business class, like many other points programs, but here’s a few of my recommended ways to redeem SkyMiles:

  • Domestic economy flights starting as low as 4,500 SkyMiles.
  • Booking one of Delta’s occasional flash sales.
  • Flights to Canada on WestJet starting as low as 4,500 SkyMiles.
  • Virgin Atlantic to London in Upper Class for 120,000 SkyMiles each way.
  • Air France Business Class to Paris for 120,000 SkyMiles each way.
  • LATAM Economy Class from the U.S. to South America starting at 25,000 SkyMiles each way. 
Delta One Suites Picture
Photo: Delta Air Lines

Pros and Cons

Here’s a quick overview of this card’s advantages and disadvantages:

Pros

  • Airport lounge access.
  • Easier to earn elite status with spending.
  • Free checked bags and priority boarding for you and up to 8 travel companions.
  • Travel and purchase protections.

Cons

Alternatives to the Delta Reserve

Now that you know about this credit card’s various benefits and pros and cons, it’s time to see its alternatives.

Airport Lounge Access
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Learn How to Apply Our Review
American Express is a Deals Points Advertiser; Terms Apply. Enrollment is required for some benefits.

The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) is a great premium travel rewards card for travelers who want airport lounge access, including Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Escape Lounges, Priority Pass lounges.

The American Express Platinum has a $695 annual fee, but you receive many annual statement credits when you enroll your card to offset the fee, including:

  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Card.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $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: Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $200 Uber Cash Credit: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Benefit renews annually.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) and receive a statement credit that covers the full cost each month.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus at 45+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per year on your membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®.

You also earn 5x Membership Rewards points when booking flights directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year) and 5x Membership Rewards points when booking prepaid hotels with American Express Travel. 

On top of that, you automatically earn Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold statuses, which offer points bonuses, room upgrades, late check-out, and other premier benefits. 

Free Checked Bag
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
  • bonus_miles_full
  • 2X SkyMiles on Delta Air Lines, U.S. Supermarkets, and Restaurants worldwide (including takeout & delivery in the U.S.)
  • Free First Checked Bag and Priority Boarding
  • $100 Annual Delta Stays Credit
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the First Year, Then $150 Per Year (Rates and Fees)
Learn More Our Review
American Express is a Deals Points advertiser. Terms Apply

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card (review) is a card designed for Delta flyers with a first free checked bag and priority boarding for you and up to eight travel companions, 15% award discount, 20% back on in-flight purchases, and $100 annual Delta Stays credit.

For a $0 introductory annual fee followed by $150 per year, this card earns 2x SkyMiles at restaurants (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets and on Delta purchases. 

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
  • bonus_miles_full
  • $300 Annual Credit for Bookings through Capital One Travel
  • 10,000 Miles for Each Account Anniversary
  • Hertz President’s Circle Elite Status
  • Airport Lounge Access (Priority Pass, Capital One, & Plaza Premium)
  • 10X Miles on Hotels and Rental Cars, and 5x Miles on Flights Booked with Capital One Travel
  • 2X Miles on All Other purchases
  • $395 Annual Fee
Learn More Our Review

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (review) is a premium travel rewards card that’s perfect for travelers who want outstanding travel perks like annual travel credits, worldwide airport lounge access, and travel and purchase protections. 

The Venture X earns 2x miles on all purchases helping you maximize every dollar of your spending. Plus, you can earn 10x miles on hotels and rental cars, and 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One.

The card has a $395 annual fee, completely offset by a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, and 10,000 points (worth at least $100) for each account anniversary.

Plus, you get airport lounge access via Priority Pass, Capital One, and Plaza Premium Lounges, Hertz President’s Circle elite status, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, rental car insurance, trip and luggage insurance, cell phone insurance, and purchase protection.

Is the Delta Reserve Worth It?

The Delta Reserve Card is a good option if you are a Delta Medallion elite member for lounge access, higher upgrade priority, annual companion certificate, and priority boarding.

But if you don’t have elite status with Delta, I recommend the combination of the American Express Platinum and Delta SkyMiles Gold, which would get you free checked bags and priority boarding with the Delta SkyMiles Gold while getting you better lounge access with the American Express Platinum.

Airport Lounge Access
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
  • bonus_miles_full
  • 3X SkyMiles on Delta Air Lines Purchases
  • First Checked Bag Free
  • Airport Lounge Access
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit
  • 20% Statement Credit on Delta In-Flight Purchases
  • $650 Annual Fee and No Foreign Transaction Fees (Rates & Fees)
Learn More
American Express is a Deals Points advertiser. Terms Apply

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

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

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

Top offers from our partners
Companion Pass through 2/28/25 + 30,000 Points!
Terms Apply
75,000 Bonus Miles
Terms Apply
World of Hyatt Credit Card Business
Up to 75,000 Bonus Points
Terms Apply
100,000 Bonus Points
Terms Apply

Become a Better Traveler

Stay up to date with our Daily Points newsletter covering all the miles, points, travel, and deals news.