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Delta Reserve credit card review: Up to 100,000 miles, airport lounge access and tons of travel perks

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Delta Reserve credit card review: Up to 100,000 miles, airport lounge access and tons of travel perks

Meghan HunterDelta Reserve credit card review: Up to 100,000 miles, airport lounge access and tons of travel perksMillion Mile Secrets Team

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There’s no better credit card for the Delta frequent flyer than the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. But this card isn’t just for road warriors and those with elite Delta status — with its humongous limited-time welcome bonus and great benefits, it’s no wonder it makes the list of both the best airline cards and best credit cards for travel.

This card is perfect for anyone looking to earn Delta SkyMiles towards their next flight.

Some of the best benefits include complimentary Delta Sky Club airport lounge access, an annual companion certificate and a free first checked bag for you and up to eight companions on the same reservation. You’ll receive plenty of top-notch travel and purchase protections as well.

Earning miles from the Delta Reserve credit card can take you to nearly any spot in the world, including Australia. (Photo by Taras Vyshnya/Shutterstock)

Delta Reserve Credit Card bonus

With the Amex Delta Reserve, you can earn up to 100,000 miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs). You’ll earn:

  • Earn 80,000 miles and 20,000 MQMs after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Earn an additional 20,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card membership

This offer ends on April 1, 2020. The value of Delta miles varies depending on how you use them, but at a minimum, you can get $1,000 worth of flights when you redeem through Delta Pay With Miles.

You can potentially get far more value from your 100,000 Delta miles (105,000 miles if you include the miles you’ll earn for the minimum spending) when you book award flights on Delta or its many partners, including Virgin Atlantic, KLM, Air France and Virgin Australia. You can even use Delta miles for flights in swanky business and first-class products like Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class or Air France’s new business class.

Use Delta miles to fly in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class. Virgin Atlantic is just one of Delta’s many partner airlines. (Photo by Nicky Kelvin)

Delta miles never expire, so you won’t have to worry about losing your miles. That means the 100,000 miles you earn through the Delta Reserve card’s welcome bonus can rest safely in your Delta account.

Benefits and perks of the Delta Reserve credit card

There’s no shortage of Amex Delta Reserve benefits and perks. I’d argue that the card’s benefits are really what makes it the perfect card for Delta frequent flyers. However, even if you don’t plan on flying with Delta a lot, you can still get a lot of value out of the Delta Reserve.

The card comes with benefits including complimentary access to Delta SkyClub lounges worldwide, an annual companion certificate, first free checked bag, priority boarding and more!

Maybe it’s just because I always find myself stuck in airports on long layovers, but my favorite benefit of the Delta Reserve is the complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs.

Get complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs worldwide with the Delta Reserve card and enjoy free food, drinks and Wi-Fi. (Photo by YMZK-Photo/Shutterstock)

As long as you’re flying on Delta, you’ll be able to visit any of Delta’s 50+ Sky Clubs across the globe. Simply present your boarding pass and your Delta Reserve card and you’ll be welcomed in at no charge. This benefit is fantastic for frequent flyers because Sky Clubs offer free food and drinks, are a quiet place to relax and some even include shower suites and spas.

You can read our in-depth review of the Delta Reserve’s benefits and perks here.

Is the Amex Delta Reserve Credit Card worth it?

The Amex Delta Reserve comes with a rather hefty annual fee of $550 a year (See rates and fees). Additionally, the annual fee isn’t waived for the first year like some other cards. However, the Delta Reserve card annual fee is worth it even if all you do is earn the welcome bonus in the first year.

With complimentary Centurion Lounge and Delta SkyClub airport lounge access, priority boarding, an annual companion certificate and many other benefits, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card annual fee is easy to justify for frequent Delta travelers.

How to earn miles with the Delta Reserve Credit Card

Earning miles with the Delta Reserve is super straightforward. You’ll earn:

  • 3 Delta miles per dollar spent on eligible Delta purchases
  • 1 Delta mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Terms Apply

You can use Delta miles for travel on Delta and its partners. The simplest redemptions are basic award flight bookings made via Delta’s website, and that’s where you’ll usually get the best value. Amex Delta cardholders can also redeem miles with Pay With Miles at a rate of 1 cent per mile towards paid Delta tickets with no blackout dates.

Use Delta miles to fly in Delta’s fancy Delta One Suites business class. (Photo courtesy of Delta)

You don’t have to look very far to find some awesome ways to use your Delta miles, even though Delta no longer has an award chart. For example, you can fly in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for as little as 42,500 Delta miles from London to Tel Aviv.

There are also options to redeem your miles for gift cards, vacations or a Delta Private Jet membership. These aren’t typically the best deal.

American Express Concierge with the Delta Reserve Credit Card

The Delta Reserve credit card also offers access to American Express Concierge. I’m a huge fan of the American Express Concierge benefit offered by select American Express cards.

With the Delta Reserve credit card, you’ll receive assistance from the American Express Concierge team, which can assist you in making dinner reservations, travel planning or booking last-minute concert tickets. I’ve personally managed to score reservations at popular restaurants like Craig’s in West Hollywood and amazing tickets to Lorde’s Melodrama Tour thanks to the American Express Concierge team.

Score last-minute reservations to top restaurants with American Express Concierge, a benefit of the Delta Reserve credit card. (Photo by Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock)

Cards similar to the Delta Reserve Credit Card

If you want to earn Delta miles without paying a huge annual fee, consider these personal Delta cards:

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card: You’ll get perks that can save you time and money, like free checked bags and priority boarding. And you’ll earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. You’ll earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. Plus, an additional 10,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card membership. Offer expires 4/1/2020. The $99 annual fee is waived the first year (see rates and fees).

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card: You’ll earn up to 100,000 bonus miles — 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months. Plus, earn an additional 20,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card membership. Offer Expires 4/1/2020. This comes with a higher $250 annual fee (see rates and fees). However, the card includes a domestic main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your card.

As long as your credit in good shape and your annual income is reasonable, you shouldn’t have any difficulty getting the Delta Reserve credit card. Keep in mind, Amex only allows each person to earn the welcome bonus on each particular card once. So if you’ve had this exact card in the past, you won’t qualify for the bonus.

Bottom line

Of the several Delta credit cards, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is by far the most premium Delta personal card. The card has a welcome bonus of up to 100,000 Delta miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles. You’ll earn 80,000 miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening an account. And an additional 20,000 miles after your first anniversary of card membership.

You’ll even receive complimentary Delta SkyClub access when you travel on Delta. And you’ll get tons of other money-saving benefits and perks, including an annual companion certificate when you renew your card, priority boarding and a free first checked bag for you and up to eight companions on the same Delta reservation.

If you’re looking for a Delta card with top-notch perks and a big, valuable welcome bonus, this is the card for you.

You can apply for the Amex Delta Reserve card here.

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

For the rates and fees of the Delta Reserve Card, please click here.

For the rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card, please click here.

For the rates and fees of the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card, 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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We have the card but when we tried to use the card to get into the Delta lounge in JFK airport, the person acted like they’ve never heard of the reserve card and we were turned away unless we paid $30. Super disappointing considering how much it costs per year.

Did you have a delta boarding pass? If you did, you should have asked for a supervisor (or pulled up the terms). Its clearly on delta’s web site.

Wow, that’s pretty disappointing to hear 🙁 I probably would have asked for a supervisor or something. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, maybe they were a new employee and didn’t know?