Is the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card worth it?

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The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card can be a great credit card for frequent Delta flyers. You can 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021. But it comes with a large annual fee of $550 (see rates & fees). I’ll help you figure out if the Delta SkyMiles Reserve is worth it for you.

During a Delta award sale, you could book 4 round-trip flights to Europe with this card’s bonus. That makes the Delta Reserve Card worth it for lots of folks. (Photo By Andrey Yurlov/Shutterstock)

Is the Delta SkyMiles Reserve worth it?

Welcome bonus

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve card has an intro bonus of 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

Ongoing benefits

Cardholders will also earn:

  • 3x Delta miles per dollar spent on Delta, including flights booked on Delta.com, Sky Club membership or passes, Delta Vacations packages, upgrades and inflight purchases
  • 1 Delta mile per dollar spent on other eligible purchases
  • Terms apply

Plus, you’ll receive complimentary access to Delta Sky Club lounges worldwide, priority boarding and a number of other money-saving perks, like free checked bags on Delta flights, an annual companion certificate and 20% savings on select inflight purchases. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Another perk of the card? It can also help you earn Delta elite status.

Fast track to Delta elite status

To qualify for Delta status, you need to earn a certain amount of:

  • MQMs or MQSs (Medallion Qualifying Segments)

AND

  • MQDs (Medallion Qualifying Dollars)

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve offers:

  • Status Boost™: You can earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 on your card in a calendar year. You can earn this bonus up to four times per year (for 60,000 MQMs) until 12/31/2021.
  • Application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Medallion® Qualification Dollar (MQD) waiver for Silver, Gold and Platinum Medallion status when you spend $25,000 more on the card during the calendar year. For a Diamond MQD waiver, you’ll need to spend $250,000+ during the same timeframe.
  • Terms appy.

You should skip it if…

American Express will only allow you to earn the intro bonus on a card once per lifetime. So if you’ve ever had the Delta SkyMiles Reserve personal card before, you won’t be eligible for the bonus on it again. However, if you’ve had any other Amex Delta card, you will still be eligible for the Delta Reserve card’s welcome bonus.

In addition to this restriction, because this is a personal card, it will show up on your personal credit report. That means opening this card will count toward the Chase 5/24 rule, which could limit the Chase cards you’re eligible for in the future. And depending on which perks you’re most interested in, there could be more appropriate cards for you to open.

Lounge access

If lounge access is the reason you want to open the card, then consider opening The Platinum Card® from American Express instead. It comes with much, much better lounge access. With the Amex Platinum, you’ll get access to the same Delta lounges you can get in with the Delta Reserve card — but you’ll also get access to many other lounges (enrollment required), including:

  • Amex Centurion Lounges
  • Priority Pass lounges (1,000+ worldwide)
  • Escape Lounges
  • Airspace lounges

Plus, with the Amex Platinum card, you’ll get an up to $200 airline fee credit each calendar year for your selected airline (enrollment required), which can be Delta. Once you include that credit, it makes even more sense to apply for the Amex Platinum card.

Bottom line

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve currently has a welcome offer of 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021. Its ongoing perks can especially make sense for frequent Delta flyers because you’ll get access to Delta lounges. It has several perks which make earning Delta elite status much easier.

But if airport lounge access is primarily what you’re looking for, then you should apply for the Amex Platinum card. It comes with access to many more lounges than the Delta Reserve card, and you won’t have to be flying Delta to access most of them.

For the latest tips and tricks on traveling big without spending a fortune, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets daily email newsletter.

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

Meghan Hunter is an editor for Million Mile Secrets. She covers points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. Her work has also appeared in The Points Guy.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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