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Is the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card worth it?

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Is the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card worth it?

Meghan HunterIs the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card worth it?Million Mile Secrets Team

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card can be a great credit card for frequent Delta flyers. You can earn 40,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after meeting minimum spending requirements. 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 40,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first three months of account opening.

You’ll find Delta miles value to be worth at the very least 1 cent. That means this full bonus is worth $400 in Delta flights.

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 everything else
  • 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, an annual companion certificate and 20% savings on select inflight purchases.

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)
  • 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, 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, 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 40,000 bonus Delta miles and 10,000 MQMs after meeting spending requirements and renewing your card. 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.

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

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

More Info

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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One of the perks I have found nearly impossible to use is the companion certificate. I have had this card 2 years and I have had no luck in using for my trips with my wife. We only travel for vacation about 3 times per year. I will go through 4-5 destinations in our allotted time of before I am able to book this ‘perk’. I will be changing cards.

Need to update wording. As of January 31 this card changed. 3 miles per $ Delta and added centurion lounges Etc. Fee change for bringing someone else to lounge and you get two free guest passes. These our just ones off top of my head.

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

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.