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Amex Platinum Card vs. Delta Reserve Card [Detailed Comparison]

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Christine Krzyszton

Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

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Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
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Keri Stooksbury

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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If you’re a frequent Delta Air Lines flyer, considering a Delta co-branded credit card is a logical choice. You’ll receive a variety of benefits that make your travel on Delta Air Lines more comfortable, savings with benefits such as free checked baggage for you and your travel companions, and a faster path to elite status.

If you fly a variety of airlines, Delta included, considering another premium travel rewards card might also be a logical choice. You’ll receive some of the same benefits as a Delta-branded card plus additional benefits that apply no matter which airline you’ll be flying.

Using these travel scenarios as a basis, we’ve selected one of the most popular travel rewards cards ever and compared it to the top premium Delta co-branded rewards card. We’ll compare earnings, redemption options, benefits, and ultimately, the value each card provides for the frequent traveler.

The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card both stand tall and are widely respected as premium travel rewards cards — let’s get started with our comparison!

Amex Platinum Card vs. Delta Reserve Card — Overview

Before we dive into the details of each card, we’ve put together an overview of each product so you can easily review the attributes of both featured cards side-by-side.

In a nutshell, here’s how the cards compare overall:

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BenefitAmex Platinum CardDelta Reserve Card
Earning
  •  5x points for flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5x on prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel
  • 1x point on all other purchases
  • 3x SkyMiles on Delta
  • 1x SkyMiles on all other purchases
Redemption Options
  • Redeem Membership Rewards points for flights via Amex Travel
  • Redeem for travel on Amex Travel, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, Amazon, Ticketmaster, donate points
  • Award tickets with Delta and partner airlines
  • Redeem for seat upgrades, Sky Club membership, premium drinks at the Sky Club, gift cards, hotels, cruises
Delta Air Lines Benefits
  • Delta Sky Club access when flying same-day on Delta
  • Membership Rewards points transfer 1:1 to Delta Air Lines
  • Use Membership Rewards points to book Delta flights via Amex Travel
  • Earn Delta SkyMiles on paid or Pay with Miles flights
  • Delta Sky Club access for the cardmember and additional authorized users traveling same-day on a Delta ticket*
  • Pay for Delta flights using rewards points/miles
  • Faster path to Delta Medallion elite status
  • Annual Delta Companion Ticket
Travel Benefits and Protections
  • Worldwide access to over 1,400 airport lounges (upon enrollment)
  • Gold elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors (upon enrollment)
  • Annual statement credits: up to $200 prepaid hotel; up to $200 for airline incidentals; up to $189 CLEAR Plus; and more
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement
  • Secondary car rental insurance; trip cancellation and interruption insurance; trip delay insurance; baggage insurance
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates & fees)
  • Access to the Centurion Lounge network when flying Delta
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee
  • Secondary car rental insurance; trip cancellation and interruption insurance; trip delay insurance; baggage insurance
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates & fees)
Shopping Benefits and Protections
  • Amex Offers (upon enrollment)
  • Extended warranty, purchase protection, cell phone protection, return protection
  • Statement credits: up to $240 digital entertainment; up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue; up to $12.95 monthly for Walmart+ membership, and more (upon enrollment)
  • Amex Offers (upon enrollment),
  • Extended warranty, purchase protection, cell phone protection, return protection

*Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter.

Welcome Offer

The Value of a Welcome Offer

Amex Platinum Card

The Amex Platinum card offers Membership Rewards points as a welcome bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements in the first few months after account opening. These points can be redeemed for 1 cent each towards travel when booking with Amex Travel.

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

The Platinum Card® from American Express

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

Pros

  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per $1 spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • Annual and monthly statement credits upon enrollment (airline credit, Uber Cash credit, Saks Fifth Avenue credit, streaming credit, prepaid hotel credit on eligible stays, Walmart+ credit, CLEAR credit, and Equinox credit)
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit
  • Access to American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
  • Access to Amex International Airline Program
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates and fees)

Cons

  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

You may receive greater value for your Membership Rewards points when transferring them to the Amex transfer partners.

Delta Reserve Card

Welcome offers for the Delta Reserve card vary, but you’ll historically see tens of thousands of miles offered after meeting minimum spending requirements. Delta flyers striving for elite status with Delta will also enjoy the opportunity to receive Medallion Qualification Miles with their welcome offer, which counts towards elite status when signing up for the card.

BEST FOR DELTA LOUNGES
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Delta loyalists will love the fast track to Delta elite status, lounge access, baggage benefits, and upgrade priority with the Delta Reserve card.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Delta loyalists will love the fast track to Delta elite status, lounge access, baggage benefits, and upgrade priority with the Delta Reserve card.
Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
60,000 miles
$720
$550
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is a stellar option for frequent travelers who always fly with Delta thanks to its lounge access, status boost, annual companion certificate, and many other great benefits.

Here is a full look at everything the Delta Reserve card can offer to you to help you decide whether the card deserves a place in your wallet.

Pros

  • New: Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • 3x SkyMiles per $1 on Delta purchases
  • 1x SkyMile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club and Amex Centurion Lounge access when flying Delta. Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter.
  • Delta Status Boost
  • Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) Waiver
  • Annual Companion Certificate
  • Access to Complimentary Upgrades and Upgrade Priority
  • Free checked bags
  • 20% back on inflight purchases
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit
  • Travel and purchase protection

Cons

  • $550 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • No bonus categories other than Delta purchases
  • Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
  • Enter Delta Sky Club® at no cost and bring up to two guests or immediate family at a rate of $50 per person per visit. Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • With Status Boost®, earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card through 12/31/23, up to four times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different from the miles you earn towards flights. Effective 1/1/24, this benefit will no longer be available, and there will be a new way to earn toward Medallion Status with the Card. Learn more at delta.com/skymilesprogramchanges.
  • Eligible Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • Receive a domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+® or domestic Main Cabin round trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Official Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $550 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Delta SkyMiles Airline Loyalty Program

Membership Rewards Points vs. Delta SkyMiles

Earning points or miles that can be redeemed for free flights is one of the benefits of having the Amex Platinum card or the Delta Reserve card. Image Credit: Delta Air Lines

Comparing Earning Potential

The Amex Platinum card earns valuable Membership Rewards points, while the Delta Reserve card earns Delta SkyMiles. Membership Rewards points may be more valuable but Delta SkyMiles are easy to earn if you’re spending on the Delta Reserve card and flying with Delta.

Let’s look at the earning power of each card.

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CardEarnings
Amex Platinum Card
  • 5x Membership Rewards points for flights purchased directly with the airlines, flights booked through Amex Travel, and premium flights booked with the International Airline Program (up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year)
  • 5x Membership Rewards points for prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel
  • 1x Membership Rewards points on all other eligible purchases
Delta Reserve Card
  • 3x SkyMiles on Delta
  • 1x SkyMiles on all other eligible purchases

Bottom Line: If you spend a lot on flights (with any airline) and prepaid hotels, you could earn significantly more rewards with the Amex Platinum card versus the Delta Reserve card. 

Comparing Redemption Options

Membership Rewards points are flexible rewards earned with the Amex Platinum card while the Delta Reserve card earns Delta SkyMiles which have narrower redemption options.

While both rewards currencies are generally worth about 1 cent each when redeemed for flights, you can elevate their value by either transferring the points to Amex travel partners (Amex Platinum card) or using your miles to book good value partner airline award tickets (Delta Reserve card).

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CardBest Redemption OptionsAdditional Redemption Options
Amex Platinum Card
  • Transfer to airline partners
  • Redeem for flights on Amex Travel
Transfer to hotel partners, redeem for travel on Amex Travel, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, Amazon, Ticketmaster, donate points
Delta Reserve CardAward tickets with Delta and partner airlinesSeat upgrades, Sky Club membership, premium drinks at the Sky Club, gift cards, hotels, Apple products, cruises, car rentals, pay with miles for flights, and bid for experiences

To learn more about the best ways to redeem Membership Rewards points or redeem Delta SkyMiles for maximum value, check out our complete guides.

Hot Tip: You can use Membership Rewards points earned on the Amex Platinum card to book Delta airline tickets via Amex Travel and earn Delta SkyMiles on your flight. You can also transfer Membership Rewards points to Delta SkyMiles at a ratio of 1:1.

Airport Lounge Access

The Amex Platinum card rates highest in the lounge access category with its complimentary access to over 1,400 airport lounges worldwide. The Delta Reserve card focuses on access for loyal Delta flyers.

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CardLounge Access
Amex Platinum Card
Delta Reserve Card
  • The Centurion Lounge Network for the cardholder and additional authorized users; cardholders may bring up to 2 guests at a per-visit rate of $50 per person, per location
  • Delta Sky Club access for the cardholder and additional authorized users traveling same-day on a Delta ticket; additional guests at $50 per person, per visit
    • Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter.

Comparing Authorized User Lounge Access

Adding authorized users to the Amex Platinum card or the Delta Reserve card gives them the same lounge access benefits as the primary cardmember.

Bottom Line: The Amex Platinum card is known for its superb worldwide airport lounge access benefit that is second to no other travel rewards card. This benefit alone is worth more than the card’s annual fee. 

Hotel and Rental Car Program Benefits

Receive benefits such as complimentary breakfast with hotel elite status that comes with the Amex Platinum card. Image Credit: Hilton

Hotel Program Benefits — Amex Platinum Card

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status

Upon enrollment, Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status comes with the opportunity for upgraded rooms, free Wi-Fi, welcome bonus points, 25% more earnings at Marriott, and late checkout.

Hilton Honors Gold Elite Status

Upon enrollment, Hilton Honors Gold elite status offers some great benefits, starting with complimentary breakfast, a Hilton fan favorite. You’ll also receive upgraded rooms when available, free Wi-Fi, and earn 18x points at Hilton properties thanks to Hilton status.

$200 Prepaid Hotel Credit

Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings (2-night minimum stay required) through Amex Travel when you pay with your card.

American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts

When you stay at Fine Hotels & Resorts properties, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • Room upgrades, when available
  • Complimentary breakfast for 2 each day
  • Noon check-in and late checkout
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Local amenity valued at $100

The Hotel Collection

On stays of 2 nights or more at The Hotel Collection properties, you’ll receive a $100 credit towards on-site property amenities, including dining, spa, and resort activities. You’ll also be earning 5x Membership Rewards points on prepaid bookings.

Hotel Program Benefits — Delta Reserve Card

The Delta Reserve card does not offer any hotel-specific benefits.

Rental Car Program Benefits — Amex Platinum Card

The Amex Platinum card comes with these rental car program benefits:

  • Avis Preferred Club — Receive a 25% discount on base rates and a 1-category upgrade based on availability
  • Hertz Gold Plus Rewards — Complimentary Hertz President’s Circle status and a 1-category upgrade when you rent an intermediate-size vehicle or greater
  • National Emerald Club Executive — Access to upgraded preferred cars, seamless returns, a 1-category upgrade if you rent a full-size vehicle or greater, plus qualify for accelerated earnings towards free rentals

Rental Car Program Benefits — Delta Reserve Card

The Delta Reserve card does not offer any rental car program benefits.

Bottom Line: When we compare hotel and rental car program benefits, the Amex Platinum is the clear winner. With hotel and rental car program elite status, special amenities, perks, discounts, and property credits, the card delivers plenty of value in these categories. 

Comparing Delta Benefits

You’ll receive complimentary Delta Sky Club access with either the Amex Platinum card or the Delta Reserve card. Image Credit: Delta Air Lines

For the Delta frequent flyer, there are plenty of benefits realized by having a Delta-branded card. However, let’s compare Delta-specific benefits that are offered on each card and see how they measure up.

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Delta BenefitAmex Platinum CardDelta Reserve Card
Free Checked Bag and Priority Boarding for the Cardholder and up to 8 Travel Companions, Upgrade Priority for Cardholder Over Those at the Same Status Level Who Do Not Have the Delta Reserve CardNoYes
Pay for Delta Flights Using Rewards Points/MilesYes, by using Membership Rewards on Amex Travel or by transferring points to DeltaYes, by using Delta SkyMiles
Complimentary access to Delta Sky ClubsYes, for cardmember only when traveling same-day on DeltaYes, for cardmember and authorized users when traveling same-day on Delta

  • (Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter.)
Access to Centurion LoungesYes, when flying on any airline; cardholder plus 2 guests at no extra chargeYes, when flying on Delta; up to 2 additional guests at $50 each per visit
Faster Path to Delta Medallion Elite StatusNoYes, the ability to waive revenue MQD requirements and earn Medallion Qualification Miles by spending on the Delta Reserve card

  • Effective 1/1/24, this benefit will no longer be available, and there will be a new way to earn toward Medallion Status with the Card. Learn more at delta.com/skymilesprogramchanges.
Annual Delta Companion TicketNoComplimentary main cabin, Comfort+, or first class companion ticket each year
Savings on DeltaNo20% statement credit for inflight food and beverage purchases

Bottom Line: Delta travelers may receive benefits with the Amex Platinum card that other travel rewards cards do not offer, such as Delta Sky Club and worldwide lounge access. While the Delta Reserve card offers Delta-specific benefits, Delta Medallion elite flyers who already receive these benefits may find greater overall value with the Amex Platinum card. 

Statement Credits and Additional Benefits

Statement Credits

Statement credits can deliver direct economic value if you can use these benefits. Here are the statement credits available with each card when you make an eligible purchase.

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CardStatement Credits
Amex Platinum Card
Delta Reserve Card
  • Up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee
Note that enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits. 

Travel Benefits and Protections

Since both the Amex Platinum card and Delta Reserve card are premium level cards issued by American Express, they have the same travel and shopping benefits/protections, except where noted.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees — Neither card charges foreign transaction fees.
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance and Trip Interruption Insurance — Both cards offer the same benefits of $10,000 per occurrence up to a maximum of $20,000 per 12-month period for each coverage.
  • Premium Global Assist Hotline — Enjoy 24/7 assistance for planning your trip and during your travels. Cardmembers have access to customs information, emergency transportation assistance, weather, currency conversion, lost luggage assistance, and more.
  • Rental Car Loss/Damage Insurance — Receive complimentary secondary rental car insurance that covers damage, theft, and loss of use. You’ll also have access to purchase low-cost Premium Car Rental Protection.
  • Baggage Insurance — You could receive a benefit if your luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged. The Amex Platinum card offers up to $3,000 for carry-on and $2,000 for checked baggage. The Delta Reserve card limits of coverage are $1,250 for carry-on and $500 for checked baggage. Limits on both cards are per covered person, per trip.

Shopping Benefits and Protections

  • American Express Auto Purchasing Program — Save on your new car purchase and be able to charge at least $2,000 or more on your eligible card. You’ll also receive up to $2,000 in post-purchase benefits.
  • Purchase Protection — Purchase an eligible item with your card and if it is damaged or stolen, you could receive up to $10,000 per incident/$50,000 per year. You’ll have coverage for 90 days from the date of purchase.
  • Return Protection — If a merchant won’t accept the return of an eligible item you purchased with your card (within 90 days), you could receive up to $300 per item, $1,000 per year.
  • Cell Phone Protection — Cardmembers now receive up to $1,600 in cell phone protection (2 claims per year with up to $800 for each claim) against theft and damage, including cosmetic damage (like a cracked phone screen). Each claim has a $50 deductible and your monthly phone bill must be paid with your card to receive coverage.

This is not an all-encompassing list of benefits and protections. Access each card’s membership benefits for full descriptions and for the terms and conditions of each coverage.

Bottom Line: The Amex Platinum card offers a higher amount of statement credits compared to the Delta Reserve card. If you use these benefits, you could partially offset the cost of the annual fee on the card. Travel and shopping benefits and protections are similar on both cards. 

Annual Fees and Adding Additional Users

Annual fees on the Amex Platinum card and Delta Reserve card have increased. You can expect to pay a high annual fee when you are approved for either of these cards.

The Amex Platinum card charges $195 per authorized user (see rates & fees). The Delta Reserve card charges $175 for each additional authorized user (see rates & fees).

Hot Tip: Read about how the Amex Platinum card stacks up to the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, another popular Delta card.

Final Thoughts

The Delta Reserve card is geared towards the Delta loyalist who travels primarily on Delta Air Lines. The card comes with enough benefits to make a positive difference in your travels with Delta and also help you qualify for elite status.

However, for Delta Medallion elites who are also frequent international travelers flying on a variety of airlines, the better value may be realized with the Amex Platinum card with its higher earnings on flights and its collection of luxury travel perks.

The Amex Platinum card isn’t airline-centric like the Delta Reserve card but still offers Delta flyers plenty of benefits.

Which of these cards makes sense for you will depend on how much you’ll use the benefits offered on each card, your level of spending on flights, your redemption preferences, and your frequency of international travel.

For the car rental collision damage coverage benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, car rental loss and damage insurance can provide coverage up to $75,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the commercial car rental company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car rental loss or damage coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. For the trip cancellation and interruption insurance coverage benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, the maximum benefit amount for trip cancellation and interruption insurance is $10,000 per covered trip and $20,000 per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company. For the trip delay insurance benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express, up to $500 per covered trip that is delayed for more than 6 hours; and 2 claims per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company. For the baggage insurance plan benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, baggage insurance plan coverage can be in effect for covered persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen baggage during their travel on a common carrier vehicle (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the entire fare for a ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an eligible card. Coverage can be provided for up to $2,000 for checked baggage and up to a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the common carrier. The coverage is also subject to a $3,000 aggregate limit per covered trip. For New York State residents, there is a $2,000 per bag/suitcase limit for each covered person with a $10,000 aggregate maximum for all covered persons per covered trip. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the extended warranty benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, when an American Express® card member charges a covered purchase to an eligible card, extended warranty can provide up to one extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty. Applies to warranties of five (5) years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the purchase protection benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, purchase protection is an embedded benefit of your card membership and requires no enrollment. It can help protect covered purchases made on your eligible card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the covered purchase date. The coverage is limited up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Coverage limits apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the return protection benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, you may return eligible purchases to American Express if the seller won’t take them back up to 90 days from the date of purchase. American Express may refund the full purchase price excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per card account, if you purchased it entirely with your eligible American Express® card. Purchases must be made in the U.S. or its territories. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. For the Premium Global Assist Hotline benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can rely on the Global Assist Hotline 24 hours a day / 7 days a week for medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home. Plus, we may provide emergency medical transportation assistance and related services. Third-party service costs may be your responsibility. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. If approved and coordinated by Premium Global Assist Hotline, emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost. In any other circumstance, Card members may be responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers. For the Cell Phone Protection benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, coverage for a stolen or damaged eligible cellular wireless telephone is subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions and limits of liability of this benefit. The maximum liability is $800, per claim, per eligible card account. Each claim is subject to a $50 deductible. Coverage is limited to two (2) claims per eligible card account per 12 month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

For the car rental collision damage coverage benefit of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, car rental loss and damage insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the commercial car rental company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. For the trip cancellation and interruption insurance coverage benefit of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, the maximum benefit amount for trip cancellation and interruption insurance is $10,000 per covered trip and $20,000 per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company. For the trip delay insurance benefits of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, up to $500 per covered trip that is delayed for more than 6 hours; and 2 claims per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company. For the baggage insurance plan benefit of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, baggage insurance plan coverage can be in effect for eligible persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen baggage during their travel on a common carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the entire fare for a common carrier vehicle ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an eligible account. Coverage can be provided for up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the common carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus). For New York State residents, there is a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all covered persons per covered trip. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the extended warranty benefit of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, when an American Express® card member charges a covered purchase to an eligible card, extended warranty can provide up to one extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty. Applies to warranties of five (5) years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the purchase protection benefit of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, purchase protection is an embedded benefit of your card membership and requires no enrollment. It can help protect covered purchases made on your eligible card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the covered purchase date. The coverage is limited up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Coverage limits apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the return protection benefit of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, you may return eligible purchases to American Express if the seller won’t take them back up to 90 days from the date of purchase. American Express may refund the full purchase price excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per card account, if you purchased it entirely with your eligible American Express® card. Purchases must be made in the U.S. or its territories. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. For the Premium Global Assist Hotline benefit of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, you can rely on the Global Assist Hotline 24 hours a day / 7 days a week for medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home. Plus, we may provide emergency medical transportation assistance and related services. Third-party service costs may be your responsibility. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. If approved and coordinated by Premium Global Assist Hotline, emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost. In any other circumstance, Card members may be responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers. For the Cell Phone Protection benefit of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, coverage for a stolen or damaged eligible cellular wireless telephone is subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions and limits of liability of this benefit. The maximum liability is $800, per claim, per eligible card account. Each claim is subject to a $50 deductible. Coverage is limited to two (2) claims per eligible card account per 12 month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which card is better, the Amex Platinum card or the Delta Reserve card?

The best card for your situation will depend on your travel profile, spending priorities, and whether you can use the offered benefits.

The comparison of these cards is unique because the Amex Platinum card comes with the ability to transfer Membership Rewards points to Delta, allows you to purchase flights on Delta and earn SkyMiles, and has complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club.

The Amex Platinum card can be a better card for the frequent international traveler who is already a Medallion elite member and receives core Delta benefits through elite status.

If a traveler flies predominantly domestically with Delta and will not use the international lounge benefits or other Amex Platinum card benefits, the Delta Reserve card could deliver more bottom-line value.

Does the Delta Reserve card come with Delta elite status?

The Delta Reserve card does not come with complimentary Delta Medallion elite status.

The card does offer a faster path to qualification with the ability to earn Medallion Qualification Miles towards elite status by spending on the card. It also offers a waiver of the Medallion Qualifying Dollar requirement (MQD) needed to qualify for elite status by reaching spending levels of $25,000 for all levels except top-tier Diamond elite which requires $250,000 in spending to waive the revenue MQD requirements.

Can I transfer my Delta miles to other airlines?

While you cannot transfer your Delta SkyMiles to other airlines, you can use your SkyMiles to purchase award flights on SkyTeam alliance airlines that partner with Delta.

There are over 2 dozen partner airlines with which you can book using your SkyMiles. The majority of partners can be booked online at Delta.com but a few you must call Delta to book using SkyMiles.

Also, it is worth noting that Delta SkyMiles never expire.

How do Membership Rewards work?

Membership Rewards points are earned on several American Express cards.

The rewards are earned for every dollar spent on the cards and then made available to be redeemed after your credit card statement closes each month.

There are several ways to redeem Membership Rewards points including using them for travel by booking through Amex Travel or transferring the points to airline and hotel partners. These are the methods that result in the highest value for your points.

You can also redeem your points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, Amazon, Ticketmaster, or you can donate your points. However, these redemption options may result in a lesser value.

Membership Rewards points do not expire as long as you have an active Membership Rewards-earning credit card.

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

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