Is the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card worth it?
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.
Is the Delta SkyMiles Reserve worth it?
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.
Cardholders will also earn:
- 3x Delta miles per dollar spent on Delta, including flights booked on , 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)
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardAPPLY NOW
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, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
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 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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! :)