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INSIDER SECRET: Delta doesn’t publish an award chart, so it’s hard to know what you’ll pay for a specific award, but they do have weekly SkyMiles deals. These sales can be spectacular, like 10,000 mile round-trip domestic flights or round-trip flights to Europe for 30,000 miles.
With the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, you can earn 40,000 bonus Delta miles and 10,000 MQMs (Medallion® Qualification Miles) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
It can be a great credit card for frequent Delta flyers. I’ll help you figure out if the Delta Reserve card is worth it for you.
Is the Delta Reserve Card Worth It?
Apply for the Delta Reserve Credit Card here
Currently, the Delta Reserve card is offering a welcome bonus of 40,000 bonus Delta miles and 10,000 MQMs (Medallion Qualification Miles) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
You’ll also get perks like:
- 2X Delta miles on qualifying Delta purchases
- 1 Delta mile per $1 on all other eligible purchases
- Complimentary Delta SkyClub lounge access (normally costs $545)
- Delta Companion Certificate (valid for domestic Delta flights in First Class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin) after renewing the card
- First checked bag free for you and up to 8 companions traveling on the same reservation
- Priority boarding for you and up to 8 companions traveling on the same reservation
The Delta Reserve card is Delta’s premium personal card and comes with a $450 annual fee (see rates & fees). It’s similar to the United Club Card and the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, in that it has a high annual fee but gets you lounge access for that specific airline.
Just don’t forget that in order to have access to Delta lounges you’ll need a same-day boarding pass for Delta. You can bring up to 2 guests but you’ll pay $29 per person.
Another perk of the card? It can also help you earn Delta elite status.
Fast Track Your Way To Delta Elite Status
To qualify for Delta elite status you need to earn a certain amount of:
- MQMs or MQSs (Medallion Qualifying Segments)
- MQDs (Medallion Qualifying Dollars)
The thresholds for each elite level are:
The Delta Reserve card can help you bypass the MQD requirement. If you make $25,000+ in eligible purchases in a qualification year you’ll earn an MQD waiver for Silver, Gold, and Platinum status. And you can even earn an MQD waiver for Diamond Medallion status, but you’d have to spend an absurd $250,000 in a qualification year.
Still, the ability to waive Delta’s Medallion Qualifying Dollars requirement can be huge for some people.
You can also earn bonus MQMs with the Delta Reserve card. In addition to the 10,000 MQMs you’ll get once you meet the card’s minimum spending requirement, you can earn the following:
- 15,000 bonus Delta miles and 15,000 MQMs after spending $30,000 with your card in a calendar year
- An additional 15,000 bonus Delta miles and 15,000 MQMs after spending an additional $30,000 with your card ($60,000+ in total) in the same calendar year
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 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, even the Delta Reserve for Business Credit 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 your Chase 5/24 limit, 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.
If lounge access is the reason you want to open the card, then consider opening The Platinum Card® from American Express instead. While the card does have a bigger annual fee ($550 see rates & fees) it comes with much, much better lounge access.
With the Amex Platinum card, 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 these other lounges as well:
- Amex Centurion Lounges
- Priority Pass lounges (1,000+ worldwide)
- Escape Lounges
- Airspace lounges
When it comes to getting into airport lounges the Amex Platinum beats the Delta Reserve handily. Plus, with the Amex Platinum card, you’ll get an up to $200 airline fee credit each calendar year for your selected airline. And you can choose Delta. Once you include that credit, it makes even more sense to apply for the Amex Platinum card.
The Amex Delta Reserve card currently has a welcome offer of 40,000 bonus Delta miles and 10,000 MQMs (Medallion Qualification Miles) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
The card can make sense for frequent Delta flyers because you’ll get access to Delta lounges. And 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.
If you want to learn more about Delta’s loyalty program, check out these guides:
- How to set up a Delta account
- Delta miles review: how they work, what you get, & if it’s worth it for you
- What are Delta miles worth?
- Should you earn Delta elite status?
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 Reserve Credit Card, please click here
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card from American Express, please click here
For rates and fees of the Platinum Delta Credit Card from American Express, please click here