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Is the Delta Platinum Amex Annual Fee Worth It? YES, If You Like the Terrific Welcome Bonus and Opportunity for Delta Elite Status

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Is the Delta Platinum Amex Annual Fee Worth It? YES, If You Like the Terrific Welcome Bonus and Opportunity for Delta Elite Status

Alyssa CerchiaiIs the Delta Platinum Amex Annual Fee Worth It? YES, If You Like the Terrific Welcome Bonus and Opportunity for Delta Elite StatusMillion Mile Secrets Team

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INSIDER SECRET: This card’s awesome welcome bonus isn’t the only thing that makes this card so valuable. It’s an MVP if you fly Delta even semi-regularly. 

If Delta is your preferred airline, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is a great way to help you climb the ranks of Delta’s elite status. Plus, it’ll help you save money and fly more comfortably with the airline. The Platinum Delta Amex card has an array of benefits, but also comes with a $195 annual fee (See Rates & Fees), posing the question: is the Delta Platinum Amex card annual fee worth it? 

In short, if you love to travel, get a great return on your money and are looking to give Delta a shot, this card is a no-brainer.

The card has a welcome bonus of 35,000 Delta miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) (the good stuff that’ll count toward elite status with Delta) after meeting minimum spending requirements. On top of that, if you make a Delta purchase in the first three months of holding the card, you’ll earn a $100 statement credit. The welcome offer alone more than covers the cost of the annual fee – and that’s just the beginning.

The Platinum Delta Amex card also has a slew of valuable perks. For example, the card will get you closer to elite status when you hit a certain spend within the calendar year, and you’ll have the ability to add a friend on a trip for just the cost of taxes and fees. And every time you fly domestically, your first checked bag will be free.

While the initial return is enticing, this card continues to prove its long-term value.

Is the Delta Platinum Amex annual fee worth it? If you like flying Delta and use a perk or two, then absolutely. (Photo byWangkun Jia/Shutterstock)

Is the Delta Platinum Amex Annual Fee Worth It? The Benefits Can Add up Fast

Apply here: Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Read our review of the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

When it comes to the numbers, the Platinum Delta Amex easily pays for itself. The welcome bonus offer is 35,000 Delta miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Plus, you’ll get a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase within the same time frame.

Delta doesn’t have an award chart, but this bonus can typically cover the cost of at least a round-trip domestic coach flight. You can even get more value from Delta miles when you redeem miles for otherwise pricey flights on partners like Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic.

At very least, the welcome bonus is worth $350 in Delta flights when you book using Delta Pay With Miles. Amex Delta card holders can redeem their miles this way at a rate of 1 cent each with no blackout dates.

There’s lots more to delve into with this card that will allow you to consistently make the most of your travel experience.

1. Embark on the Journey Toward Elite Status

If you decide to apply for the Platinum Delta Amex card, chances are you opt to fly Delta more often than not. Waived baggage fees, bonus miles for Delta spending and a big welcome offer will probably hold your loyalty with Delta, but we’ll revisit that in a moment.

Because of that, you’ll continue to rack up Delta miles, inching you closer and closer to Delta elite status. However, this card helps to further boost the speed at which you’ll become an elite flyer. Here’s how it works.

Chances are you won’t be sitting at the back of the plane when you have this card. And if you do, you can still use the Platinum Delta Amex card’s benefits. (Photo by Cassiohabib/Shutterstock)

If you spend $25,000+ in eligible purchases within a calendar year, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs).

This bonus, alongside the initial welcome bonus that includes 5,000 MQMs, will get flyers on their way to earning status. For reference, you need 25,000 MQMs or 30 Medallion® Qualification Segments (MQSs) to reach Silver elite status. (With this card, the Medallion® Qualification Dollar requirement of $3,000 MQD is waived when you spend $25,000 or more on your card in a calendar year.)

That already gets you to 15,000 MQMs, which is just 10,000 MQMs short of Silver Delta status.

However, if you’re able to spend at least $50,000 on the card within the calendar year, you’ll be awarded with an additional 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs. That means you’ll rake in a total of 20,000 bonus miles and 20,000 MQM toward your status, in addition to miles you’ll earn from spending.

Again, those added miles stack with the 35,000 Delta miles and 5,000 MQMs cardholders can earn with the welcome bonus. That adds up to 105,000 Delta miles and 25,000 MQMs all to your name. By then, you’ll have Silver elite status for the rest of 2019, all the way through January 2021. Not a bad reward for spending on a credit card! 

2. Bring Your Best Travel Bud With You on a Trip

One of the most attractive perks of the Platinum Delta Amex card is the companion certificate. Every year upon card renewal, cardholders have the opportunity to bring a buddy with them on a domestic trip. The companion certificate covers everything except taxes and fees for a friend to fly with card holders round-trip in coach.

Grab your favorite travel buddy and hop on a plane with Delta’s companion certificate. (Photo by 4 PM production/Shutterstock)

So, if you’re planning a trip with your bestie or a surprise getaway with your spouse, this added perk can save lots of money – not to mention, it’ll totally make someone else’s day.

3. Earn, Save and Get Comfy Every Time You Fly Delta

While this card doesn’t have the best return on spending, the bonus categories are still worth noting. You’ll earn: 

  • 2 Delta miles per dollar spent on Delta, including flights booked on Delta.com, Sky Club membership or passes, Delta Vacations packages, upgrades, or in-flight purchases
  • 1 Delta mile per dollar spent on everything else

And if you check a bag when you fly, there’s a potential for insane savings with waived baggage fees when you book with the Platinum Delta Amex card. You can save up to $60 per round-trip Delta flight domestically. Just with this perk alone, you can nearly make back the cost of the annual fee before your fourth round-trip checking a bag. Don’t forget, you can share this perk with up to eight people traveling with you on the same reservation. 

Another great perk of holding this card is a reduced fee to Delta Sky Club airport lounges when flying Delta the same day. Card holders and up to two guests can access the lounge for $29 per person. For reference, a single visit pass usually costs $59. 

Access Delta Sky Club airport lounges at a discounted cost with the Platinum Delta Amex card. (Photo courtesy of Delta)

Then, once you get on board, you’ll be able to get 20% off inflight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets. That’s after getting Group 1 priority boarding so you can get settled in faster and snag an overhead bin for your things. 

What About Other Delta Credit Cards?

The most comparable credit cards to the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card are the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, which has a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year (See Rates & Fees), and the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, which comes with a $450 annual fee (See Rates & Fees). The Gold Delta SkyMiles card is a step below the Platinum, and the Delta Reserve card is a step above.

The welcome bonus for the Delta Reserve card is similar to the Platinum, offering 40,000 Delta miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. But it doesn’t offer the $100 credit following a Delta purchase within the first three months like the Platinum card.

The Gold Delta card offers 30,000 Delta miles after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also offers a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase within the first three months.

The Gold card does NOT include the annual companion certificate, nor the mileage boost that the other two cards have, so you lose the opportunity to gain MQMs and bonus miles with annual spending.

On the other hand, the Delta Reserve card includes most everything else the Platinum card does … and then some. With the Delta Reserve card, travelers will get complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta the same day, instead of just getting a discount.

Plus, the mileage boost is bigger with this card. When cardholders spend $30,000 within the calendar year, they’ll earn 15,000 MQMs and 15,000 bonus miles. Like the Platinum card, there is also an opportunity to double the earnings when the spend is doubled. When cardholders spend a total of $60,000 within the calendar year, an additional 15,000 MQMs and 15,000 bonus miles will be applied.

Depending on how much you’re willing to put down on a card like this and how much you spend in a year, you may be more inclined to consider one of the other two personal Delta cards compared here.

Bottom Line

The $195 annual fee to have the Amex Platinum Delta SkyMiles card is minimal when compared to everything you get beyond. If you’re already a committed Delta flyer, it’s an obvious choice. 

It has a welcome bonus of 35,000 Delta miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account. You’ll get also a $100 statement credit for making a Delta purchase within the same time frame.

The potential for a $100 statement credit plus the companion certificate add up quick. If you take advantage of the useful benefits of this card, you’ll realize an outsized return for your money. 

You can apply for the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express here.

To learn more about Delta and its rewards program, check out our related guides:

To learn more about Delta miles, check out these guides:

To find out about more opportunities to earn the most rewards for credit card spending, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets daily email newsletter.

For rates and fees of the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, please click here.

For the rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, please click here.

For the rates and fees of the Delta Reserve 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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Is there a no fee version that you can downgrade to after the fact?

You should be able to downgrade to the Blue Delta SkyMiles Card if you find it’s a better fit for your needs.