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Here’s When the Delta Reserve Card Is Worth It & When You Should Consider Other Options

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Here’s When the Delta Reserve Card Is Worth It & When You Should Consider Other Options

Jason StaufferHere’s When the Delta Reserve Card Is Worth It & When You Should Consider Other OptionsMillion Mile Secrets Team

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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.

If you’ve been considering the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express now is the time to act. It has a limited time (ends July 2, 2019) increased bonus offer. You can earn 75,000 bonus Delta miles and 5,000 MQMs (Medallion® Qualification Miles) after spending $5,000 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.

During a Delta award sale, you could book 2 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 Reserve Card Worth It?

Apply for the Delta Reserve Credit Card here

Currently, the Delta Reserve card has a limited-time (ends July 2, 2019) all-time high public offer. You can earn 75,000 bonus Delta miles and 5,000 MQMs (Medallion Qualification Miles) after spending $5,000 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 MileagePlus® 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)

AND

  • 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 5,000 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.

Lounge Access

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 can access lounges that aren’t available to Delta Reserve cardholders, like posh Centurion lounges. (Photo by designs by Jack/Shutterstock)

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.

Delta Miles Intro Bonus

If you’ve been enticed to open the Delta Reserve because of its all-time high intro bonus, then you’ll be happy to know that the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express also has an all-time high public bonus.

With it, you can earn the same 75,000 bonus Delta miles and 5,000 MQMs (Medallion Qualification Miles) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. And you’ll earn a $100 statement credit after making your first Delta purchase within the same timeframe. This offer also ends on July 2, 2019.

Plus, the Amex Delta Platinum card has a much smaller $195 annual fee (see rates & fees). So this is a much cheaper option for earning Delta miles. But the Amex Delta Platinum doesn’t come with lounge access and it has a reduced ability to earn MQM bonuses. You can read our full review of the Amex Delta Platinum card here.

Bottom Line

The Amex Delta Reserve card currently has a limited-time (ends July 2, 2019) all-time high welcome offer of 75,000 bonus Delta miles and 5,000 MQMs (Medallion Qualification Miles) after spending $5,000 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.

And while the Amex Delta Reserve card’s bonus is at an all-time high, so is the welcome offer for the Amex Delta Platinum card. So that deal could end up being a cheaper option for collecting Delta miles even though it comes with fewer perks.

If you want to learn more about Delta’s loyalty program, check out these guides:

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

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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So…..applying for this AmEx card counts against the Chase 5/24 rule? I thought that only applied to Chase cards specifically?

Author

Yes, Chase looks at your personal credit report and counts any card you’ve opened from any bank in the past 24 months. But if the card doesn’t appear on your personal credit report, then Chase doesn’t add it to your count. And some business cards don’t show up on your personal credit report.

But the Chase 5/24 rule won’t restrict you from opening an AMEX card like this one.