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75,000 Miles, Delta airport lounge access and tons of travel perks: Delta Reserve credit card review

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75,000 Miles, Delta airport lounge access and tons of travel perks: Delta Reserve credit card review

Max Prosperi75,000 Miles, Delta airport lounge access and tons of travel perks: Delta Reserve credit card reviewMillion Mile Secrets Team

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There’s no better credit card for the Delta frequent flyer than the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express. But this card isn’t just for road warriors and those with elite Delta status — with its humongous limited-time welcome bonus, this card is perfect for anyone looking to earn Delta SkyMiles towards their next flight.

Further reading: How to earn Delta SkyMiles

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 Delta Reserve card from American Express, you’ll earn 75,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. This offer ends October 30, 2019. The value of Delta miles varies depending on how you use them, but at minimum you can get $750 worth of flights when you redeem through Delta Pay With Miles.

Further reading: Delta miles value

You can potentially get far more value from your 75,000 Delta miles (80,000 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/The Points Guy)

Delta miles never expire, so you won’t have to worry about losing your miles. That means the 75,000 miles you earn through the Delta Reserve card’s welcome bonus can rest safely in your Delta account.

Further reading: Delta award chart

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.

Complimentary access to Delta SkyClub lounges worldwide

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.

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.

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)

Delta Miles Boost – Earn even more Delta miles and Medallion® Qualification Miles

Another super valuable benefit for Delta frequent flyers is Delta Miles Boost. If you plan on using the Delta Reserve for a lot of purchases or a number of big-ticket items, you’ll easily be able to earn even more miles.

If you spend $30,000 with the Delta Reserve credit card in a calendar year, you’ll receive both 15,000 additional Delta miles and 15,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs). Medallion® Qualification Miles are required to earn elite status, so earning 15,000 MQMs just for everyday purchases is an amazing perk of the card.

If you’re a big spender and manage to spend $60,000 with the Delta Reserve credit card in a calendar year, you’ll earn another 15,000 Delta miles and 15,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles. This means you can earn up to an additional 30,000 Delta miles and 30,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles just for using your card.

Annual companion certificate

Each year when you renew your Delta Reserve credit card, you’ll earn a companion certificate. When you pay for a round-trip domestic flight in coach, premium economy or first class, you can bring a companion along for just the cost of taxes and fees (up to $75).

First checked bag free

When you have the Delta Reserve credit card, you and up to eight companions on the same reservation get your first free checked bag for free. That means you could save $60 per person for every round-trip Delta flight.

20% back on in-flight purchases

As someone who’s always stuck in Delta Main Cabin, I’m always indulging on in-flight snacks. Luckily, with the Delta Reserve credit card, you’ll get 20% back on those in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit.

Priority boarding

There’s nothing worse than walking down the aisle of an aircraft during boarding only to find out that every overheard bin is full. That walk of shame back to the boarding door to check your bag is the absolute worst.

With the Delta Reserve credit card from American Express, you won’t have to worry about being stuck with no room in the overhead bins because you’ll receive priority boarding. You’ll board right after SkyPriority in Main 1, making you among the first to store your bags and giving you more time to get settled before your flight.

Be one of the first to board with priority boarding thanks to the Delta Reserve card. (Photo courtesy of Delta)

Medallion® Qualification Dollar (MQD) Waiver

If you’re after Delta elite status, the Delta Reserve credit card offers a Medallion® Qualifying Dollar (MQD) waiver.

This means as long as you spend $25,000 in a calendar year with your card, you won’t have to worry about spending a certain amount on flights with Delta to earn Silver, Gold or Platinum Medallion® status. If you’re after Diamond Medallion® status, you’ll need to be a big spender as you’ll need to spend $250,000 to receive the waiver for Diamond status.

Further reading: Delta status

Lost, damaged or stolen baggage insurance

The Delta Reserve credit card offers baggage insurance when you use your card with a common carrier (airline, train, cruise operator or bus).

If during your trip, your bag is lost, damaged or stolen, the Delta Reserve card covers baggage up to $500 for checked bags and $1,250 for carry-on bags. There are some exclusions, which you can read about in the guide to the baggage insurance plan.

Car rental insurance

The Delta Reserve card provides secondary insurance for car rentals. This can give you peace of mind should the unexpected occur during your rental period.

Travel accident insurance

In addition to baggage insurance and secondary car rental coverage, the Delta Reserve credit card also offers travel accident insurance.

When you use your Delta Reserve card to pay for the full fare with a common carrier, you may be protected in the event of serious injury or accidental death. For more information on what’s covered, visit the Amex website for full details of travel accident insurance.

The Delta Reserve credit card provides secondary car rental coverage, providing you with peace of mind on your next trip. (Photo by g-stockstudio/Shutterstock)

Is the Amex Delta Reserve Credit Card worth it?

The Amex Delta Reserve comes with a rather hefty annual fee of $450 a year ($550 if application is received on or after January 30, 2020 (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 Delta SkyClub airport lounge access, priority boarding, an annual companion certificate and many other benefits, the Delta Reserve credit card from American Express 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:

  • 2 Delta miles per dollar spent with Delta Air Lines. When you buy a ticket, book a Delta Vacation or use your card for in-flight purchases, you’ll earn double miles.
  • 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.

Further reading: How to use Delta miles

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.

Does the Delta Reserve Credit Card charge foreign transaction fees?

No. (See rates and fees)

American Express Concierge and customer support with the Delta Reserve Credit Card

Because the Delta Reserve is an American Express credit card, you’ll receive 24/7 customer support from the American Express card services team. This includes support over the phone or via American Express’ chat feature on their official website.

My experience with American Express customer support has been nothing short of flawless. The few times I’ve actually had to use Amex customer support, a representative managed to call me before I could even enter the phone number on the back of my card. Whether it was unusual spending activity or fraud protection, American Express customer support has always been proactive and has managed to resolve any issues.

In addition to American Express customer support, 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:

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: You’ll get perks that can save you time and money, like free checked bags and priority boarding. And you’ll earn 60,000 Delta miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. Plus, you’ll earn a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within the same time frame. Offer ends 10/30/19. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year (see rates and fees).

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: This comes with a higher $195 annual fee — $250 if application is received on or after January 30, 2020 (see rates and fees). However, the card includes a domestic main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your card. You’ll earn 75,000 Delta miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, plus a $100 statement credit when you make a Delta purchase in the same time frame. Offer ends 10/30/19.

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 Reserve Credit Card from American Express is by far the most premium Delta personal card. The card has a welcome bonus of 75,000 Delta miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening an account. 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.

You can apply for the Delta Reserve credit card from American Express here. And to learn more about Delta miles, 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 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?