Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Review

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The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card levels up the travel experience of frequent Delta flyers.

This premium co-branded airline card comes with complimentary access to Delta SkyClub lounges when flying Delta and access to American Express Centurion lounges.

You can also earn valuable Medallion Qualification Miles, bringing you closer to top-tier Medallion status.

We’ll discuss the benefits and perks of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card to help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. 

Airport Lounge Access
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
  • Earn 50,000 SkyMiles + 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles After $3,000 in Eligible Purchases in the First 3 Months
  • 3X SkyMiles on Delta Air Lines Purchases
  • First Checked Bag Free
  • Lounge Access to Delta Sky Club Centurion Lounge, and Escape Lounges When Flying Delta
  • Annual Companion Certificate
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit
  • 20% Statement Credit on Delta In-Flight Purchases
  • $550 Annual Fee and No Foreign Transaction Fees (Rates & Fees)
Learn More
Terms Apply

Welcome Bonus of 50,000 Points

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve currently offers 50,000 Bonus SkyMiles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (elite status miles) after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Earning SkyMiles

The Delta Reserve card earns the following points for spending:

  • 3 SkyMiles per dollar on eligible Delta flight and Delta Vacation purchases. 
  • 1 SkyMiles per dollar on all other purchases.

Qualifying Delta purchases for 3x SkyMiles include: 

  • Purchases via delta.com or the Fly Delta app for flights on Delta or a partner airline
  • Delta Vacations packages
  • Upgrades, miles, and seat selection
  • Delta Sky Club membership
  • In-flight purchases of food, alcoholic drinks, and audio headsets on Delta flights

Delta Reserve Amex Card Benefits

The Delta Reserve card is packed with benefits including:

Access to Delta Sky Club Lounges

With the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express card, you and additional card members enjoy complimentary membership with Delta Sky Clubs when you fly Delta. 

Typically, an individual Delta Sky Club membership costs $545 each year. The Delta Reserve card at $550 with lounge access and other travel perks is a money-saving deal.

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

You can invite up to two guests into a Delta Sky Club at a discounted fee of $39 per person. You’ll receive two free one-time guest passes per year.

Access to American Express Centurion Lounges

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

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

While not many airports have them, Centurion lounges are known for their upscale ambiance. They offer deluxe relaxation with complimentary premium food and drinks. 

15,000 Medallion Qualification SkyMiles

With Status Boost, you can earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification SkyMiles (MQMs) after you spend $30,000 in eligible purchases on your card. You can do this up to four times every year for a maximum of 60,000 MQMs when you spend a total of $120,000 within a calendar year. 

Status Boost helps you earn Delta Medallion status or upgrade it. Used to determine Medallion Status, MQMs differ from the SkyMiles you usually earn toward flights. 

Annual Companion Certificate at Renewal

As the primary cardholder, you’ll get a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort, or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate every year upon renewing your Delta Reserve card. 

You can redeem your companion certificate on delta.com during your renewal month. You’ll have to pay up to $75 in government-imposed taxes and fees per round-trip flight.

Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) Waiver

Suppose you don’t meet the MQD thresholds for a qualification year to obtain elite status. In that case, you’ll still be eligible for Platinum, Gold, or Silver Medallion Status as long as you earn the required MQMs or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQS). 

You have to spend a minimum of $25,000 in a calendar year on your Delta Reserve American Express card to waive the MQD requirements.

To qualify for the premier Diamond Medallion Status, you must spend at least $250,000 within the qualification year on your card. 

20% Back on In-Flight Purchases

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Amex card offers 20% savings through a statement credit when you use your card to complete in-flight purchases. 

Qualifying purchases include: 

  • Eligible pre-purchased meals
  • In-flight purchases of audio headsets, food, and alcoholic beverages on Delta flights

Upgrade Priority

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

Having priority over other Medallion members can make a difference, especially when access to upgrades gets competitive. 

Access to Complimentary Upgrades

You can still qualify for the Delta SkyMiles Complimentary Upgrade Program with your card, even if you’re not a SkyMiles Medallion member. 

You’ll be part of the complimentary upgrade list, but you’ll be lower on the list than Medallion members. Still, you have the chance to score a Comfort+ seat or even a first-class seat. 

Free First Checked Bag

With the Delta SkyMiles Reserve card, checking your first bag is free when you book Delta flights using your card. 

This perk allows you to save up to $60 on a round-trip flight, which means you can potentially save up to $240 per round-trip flight for a family of four.

Priority Boarding on Delta Flights

As the primary cardholder, you can board the Main Cabin 1 group on Delta flights. 

Plus, up to eight of your companions in the same reservation as yours can also receive the Main Cabin 1 priority boarding. 

Global Entry Fee Credit or TSA PreCheck

This card offers a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit.

TSA PreCheck is a membership program offering dedicated airport security lines and faster security screening (typically 5 minutes or less) at more than 200 airports across the United States and includes over 81 airlines.

With TSA PreCheck, you do not need to remove your shoes, laptop, small liquids, belts, or light jackets.

Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck and expedited immigration upon arrival from an international trip back to the United States.

TSA PreCheck and Global Entry require an interview and background check, but TSA PreCheck is typically faster and easier to obtain. 

If you already have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you could use the card to purchase Global Entry for a family or friend or use it when your membership needs to be renewed. (Some TSA PreCheck enrollment centers require the credit card name to match the applicant’s name, whereas Global Entry doesn’t have the same requirement.)

TSA Precheck

Trip Delay Insurance

You should always buy flights with a credit card that offers trip delay insurance, which reimburses you for things like hotels, food, transportation, and other necessary items.

Flights are increasingly delayed or canceled, and it is too risky to not use card that offers free trip delay insurance. Plus, airlines frequently blame delays on weather or an external factor to get out of paying compensation to passengers.

This benefit can really come in handy during a delay. While other passengers are worried about where to sleep and eat, you can book a nice hotel of your choice and enjoy some nice meals, without worrying about the cost.

This card covers delays for more than 6 hours and covers up to $500 per trip per card with a maximum of two claims each year. 

Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance

When you’re planning a trip, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your travel plans will be covered if something goes wrong. That’s where credit card trip cancellation and interruption insurance comes in.

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance reimburse you for non-refundable expenses if your trip is interrupted or canceled for a covered reason such as illness, severe weather, or an accidental injury. 

To be eligible for trip cancellation and interruption insurance, you’ll need to pay for your travel expenses using this card.

Travel is crazy enough without having to worry about being out of pocket if something goes wrong, so I always suggest booking all travel with a card that offers travel protections.

For this card, coverage is up to $10,000 per trip and up to $20,000 per qualifying card every 12 consecutive months. 

Trip Delay - Airport Snow

Baggage Insurance Plan

Your baggage will be covered when you pay the full fare for a standard carrier vehicle ticket using your eligible card, giving you peace of mind if your covered baggage gets lost, stolen, or damaged. 

Coverage is up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and $500 for checked luggage. It adds up to the coverage provided by the common carrier. If you live in New York, you’ll have a total of $10,000 maximum coverage for all covered persons per covered trip.  

No Foreign Transaction Fees

This card has no foreign transaction fees on purchases outside the U.S., which is helpful if you travel internationally to help you avoid paying a 3% fee on those international purchases.

Santorini Europe

Secondary Rental Car Insurance

Secondary rental car insurance covers any damage to a rental car not covered by your primary insurance when you pay for the rental using this card.

Other credit cards offer primary rental car insurance, which pays before your insurance and saves you the hassle of filing multiple insurance claims.

But there are situations where this secondary insurance becomes the primary insurance, including when renting a car outside the U.S. and your personal car insurance does not cover you in that country, or if you don’t have collision insurance.

You still need to maintain liability car insurance to cover damage to another person or property.

Extended Warranty

Credit card extended warranty protection adds up to an additional year of coverage for eligible purchases on manufacturer’s warranties up to 5 years.

Coverage matches the protection provided by the original warranty so that damage or defect would have to be covered by the original warranty for extended warranty coverage.

The maximum coverage is $10,000 per item and $50,000 per cardholder.

For example, if you bought a TV with a manufacturer’s warranty of three years, this card would extend the warranty for free to the fourth year.

90-Day Return Protection

Amex may reimburse the purchase price of an eligible item, excluding the shipping and handling, if you return the item within 90 days from the purchase date and the merchant declines your request. 

You could receive up to $300 per item and up to $1,000 per calendar year for each card account if you paid using your Delta Reserve card.

90-Day Purchase Protection

Purchase protection could save you a lot of money if you bought an eligible item that is damaged or stolen within 90-days.

For example, if you accidentally dropped your new phone or laptop and broke the screen, you could file a claim to get it replaced if the item was purchased within the last 90 days.

Coverage for this benefit is limited to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per cardholder.

Credit Card Purchase Protection Broken Phone

Alternatives to the Delta Reserve

Now that you know about the pros and cons of this card and its benefits, it’s time to review the alternatives.

Or, if you are like me, who loves to maximize my rewards, here are other cards you should add to your wallet: 

Platinum Card from American Express

100,000 Points
Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards Points After $6,000 in Eligible Purchases in the First 6 Months
  • 5x Points on Flights Booked Directly With Airlines (up to $500,000 in purchases each calendar year)
  • $1,000+ in Credits ($200 Airline Fee, $200 Uber Cash, $240 Digital Entertainment, $189 CLEAR, $155 Walmart+, $100 Saks, $200 Hotel via Amex Travel)
  • Airport Lounge Access (Centurion, Delta SkyClub, Priority Pass, Escape, and Plaza Premium)
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • $695 Annual Fee (Rates & Fees)
Learn More Our Review
Terms Apply. Enrollment is required for some benefits.

The Platinum Card® from American Express is the best premium travel rewards card for travelers who want airport lounge access to international lounges, including Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Escape Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and more. 

The American Express Platinum has a $695 annual fee, but you’ll get a slew of yearly statement credits, including a $200 hotel credit, $240 digital entertainment credit, $200 airline fee credit, $200 Uber credit, and $155 Walmart+ credit.  (Enrollment is required to activate credits.)

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. 

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express

Free Checked Bag
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
  • Earn 40,000 Bonus SkyMiles for $1,000 in Eligible Purchases in the First 3 Months
  • 2X SkyMiles on Delta Air Lines
  • 2x SkyMiles at Restaurants Worldwide and at U.S. Supermarkets
  • Free First Checked Bag
  • 20% Statement Credit on Delta In-Flight Purchases
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the First Year, Then $99 Per Year (Rates and Fees)
Learn More Our Review
Terms Apply

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is a cost-effective card with solid perks for Delta flyers, offering a free first checked bag, a $100 Delta flight credit, and a 20% statement credit on Delta in-flight food and drink purchases. 

For a $0 introductory annual fee followed by $99 per year, this card earns 2x SkyMiles at restaurants globally and U.S. supermarkets and 2x SkyMiles on Delta purchases. 

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

75,000 Miles
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Miles for Spending $4,000 in the First 3 Months
  • $300 Travel Credit for Bookings via Capital One Travel
  • 10,000 Points 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 Points on Flights Booked with Capital One Travel
  • Trip Delay and Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • $395 Annual Fee
Learn More Our Review

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card 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, it is completely offset by an easy-to-use $300 annual travel credit for bookings via Capital One Travel and 10,000 points (worth at least $100) each account anniversary.

Plus you get airport lounge access at 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
  • Earn 50,000 SkyMiles + 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles After $3,000 in Eligible Purchases in the First 3 Months
  • 3X SkyMiles on Delta Air Lines Purchases
  • First Checked Bag Free
  • Lounge Access to Delta Sky Club Centurion Lounge, and Escape Lounges When Flying Delta
  • Annual Companion Certificate
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit
  • 20% Statement Credit on Delta In-Flight Purchases
  • $550 Annual Fee and No Foreign Transaction Fees (Rates & Fees)
Learn More
Terms Apply