One of the best perks of holding an airline co-branded credit card is the complimentary lounge access that comes along with it. That way, instead of enduring the chaos that is most airport terminals, you can kick back and relax before your flight in a quiet space while enjoying free food and drinks.
While there is no shortage of airport lounge networks, if you’re a Delta frequent flyer, you’ll likely want to make certain you have access to Delta Sky Clubs due to their proximity to the gates you’re likely to fly out of. Of course, you have many options when it comes to secure access to Delta Sky Clubs, including just purchasing access.
However, in our view, the best way is to utilize one of the many great credit card options.
Today, we’ll take a look at the ins and outs of the best credit cards to have that provide Delta Sky Club access.
Overview of the 6 Best Credit Cards With Delta Sky Club Access
Before we break down the specific details of each card, here is a quick look at all 6 cards that offer Delta Sky Club access:
The 3 Best Personal Cards With Delta Sky Club Access
1. The Platinum Card® from American Express
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome offer of up to 150,000 points with the Amex Platinum card! (The current public offer is 80,000 points.)
When it comes to airport lounge access, there is simply no card better than the Amex Platinum card. Not only does the Amex Platinum card offer you access to Delta Sky Clubs when you’re flying on a Delta-operated flight, but you also receive access to Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass Select lounges (upon enrollment), Plaza Premium Lounges, Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner, select Virgin Clubhouses, and select Lufthansa Lounges. That is 7 different lounge networks comprising over 1,400 lounges worldwide.
While you’re not able to bring traveling companions into the Delta Sky Club with you, adding a loved one as an authorized user on your card entitles them to all of the same lounge access that you receive as the primary cardholder. Authorized user Amex Platinum cards do cost $175, but that is far less expensive than the annual fee (rates and fees).
The Amex Platinum card is far more than just a great card for lounge access, though. It also offers great benefits such as annual statement credits for Uber and hotel stays, hotel elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy upon enrollment, access to the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts program, and access to the American Express transfer partners.
2. Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
The Delta Reserve card is the top offering when it comes to Delta’s co-branded cards, and it too offers complimentary Delta Sky Club and Amex Centurion Lounge access when flying on a Delta-operated flight.
If you’re traveling with friends or family, you can guest them into the lounge with you for a reduced fee of $39 per person, or you can apply 1 of your 2 single-visit guest passes you receive each year as a perk of holding the card.
In addition to lounge access, the Delta Reserve card includes a slew of benefits that are very helpful for frequent Delta flyers. These include an annual companion certificate (for up to a domestic first class ticket), upgrade priority over other flyers with the same status level as you, a free checked bag for you and up to 8 companions, 20% back on inflight purchases, and the ability to fast-track your elite status hunt through a Medallion Qualifying Mile Status Boost and/or Medallion Qualifying Dollar waiver after meeting spend thresholds.
3. Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
While the Delta Platinum card has the lowest annual fee of the 3, it also doesn’t offer full Delta Sky Club access as the other 2 cards do. Instead, cardholders receive discounted Delta Sky Club access at $39 per person for you and up to 2 guests.
That said, the card can still be a great option for Delta flyers thanks to the perks it offers. These include an annual companion certificate (up to a domestic main cabin ticket), a free checked bag for you and up to 8 companions, 20% back on inflight purchases, and the Delta Status Boost that lets you earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after you spend $25,000 in purchases in a calendar year.
Bottom Line: If you think you’ll be visiting Delta Sky Clubs with any sort of regularity throughout the year, you’d likely be much better off opting for the Amex Platinum card or Delta Reserve card, as even at the reduced rate of $39 per visit you will exceed the annual fee you’d pay for the Delta Reserve card after 8 visits to a Sky Club in addition to the Delta Platinum card’s annual fee.
The 3 Best Business Cards With Delta Sky Club Access
For business owners looking to score Delta Sky Club access, your card options are simply the business versions of each card listed above. While the business versions are largely similar to their personal counterparts, there are some differences with each product.
1. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a huge welcome offer of up to 150,000 points with the Amex Business Platinum card! (The current public offer is 120,000 points.)
You’ll receive the same airport lounge access on the Amex Business Platinum card as you do with the personal version, including access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying on a Delta-operated flight.
Benefits of the Amex Business Platinum card that differentiate it from the personal version include up to $400 in annual Dell credit, up to $360 Indeed credit, up to $150 Adobe credit, and up to a $120 wireless phone credit. Further, it comes with a 35% points rebate when using Pay With Points, which allows you to redeem your points for any business class flight — and economy flights with your chosen airline — at a rate of 1.54 cents per point.
2. Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
As with the personal version, the Delta Reserve Business card offers complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs and Amex Centurion Lounges when you are flying with Delta. When you want to bring guests into the lounge with you, you can use one of the 2 single-visit guest passes you receive each year or pay the reduced access fee of $39 per person.
Other great card perks include an annual domestic companion certificate (first class eligible), complimentary upgrades, priority boarding, free checked bags, Delta Status Boost, and 20% back on inflight purchases.
3. Delta Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card Card
Once again, your Delta Sky Club benefits with the Delta Platinum Business card are the same as the personal version, allowing you to visit Delta Sky Clubs at a reduced $39 fee.
The card also offers priority boarding, free checked bags, an annual domestic companion certificate (up to Main Cabin tickets), a discount on inflight purchases, and the Delta Status Boost perk.
Bottom Line:If you only plan to visit a Delta Sky Club a couple of times each year, then you could be better off opting for the less expensive Delta Platinum Business card and paying the $39 reduced fee. On the other hand, if you travel relatively frequently you’d likely fare much better by holding the Amex Business Platinum card or the Delta Reserve Business card.
Other Ways To Access Delta Sky Clubs
Aside from credit cards, here’s a look at the other ways you can access Delta Sky Clubs.
Delta sells memberships to its network of Delta Sky Clubs. There are 2 annual membership options: the individual membership is $545, 54,500 miles, or $50 a month, includes unlimited access for the member, and allows you to bring up to 2 guests at $39.00 per person.
The executive membership costs $845, 84,500 miles, or $75 a month and includes unlimited access for you and up to 2 traveling companions.
However, in our view, paying $545 to $845 for a membership makes little sense when you can get Delta Sky Club access for the $550 annual fee on both versions of the Delta Reserve card. Plus, you’ll receive all of the added perks the card offers, as well, such as free checked bags, priority boarding, and more.
Delta Elite Status
Those who achieve Delta Diamond Medallion Elite status, the airline’s top status level, receive 3 Choice Benefits they can use on perks such as bonus miles and upgrade certificates. Delta will also allow you to redeem 1 of your 3 Choice Benefits on an Individual Delta Sky Club Membership, or 2 of your 3 selections for an Executive Membership.
Again, given that you can easily receive Delta Sky Club access by holding the right credit card, we think you’d be much better off holding the right card and redeeming your Choice Benefits on perks that can provide you with more value, such as Global Upgrade Certificates or bonus miles.
International Business Class Ticket
If you’re traveling in Delta One, or in business class on one of the carrier’s SkyTeam partners, you’ll automatically receive Delta Sky Club access so long as it is an international itinerary to Africa, Asia, Canada, Central America, Europe, Mexico, or South America.
Keep in mind that, on Delta flights, you’ll only receive access if you are flying in Delta One. This should not be confused with Delta’s first class which operates on many domestic and short-haul international itineraries.
For instance, even though a flight from New York to Toronto is an international flight, Delta does not operate Delta One on this route, and therefore you would not receive Delta Sky Club access for purchasing a first class ticket.
Everyone loves airport lounge access, as it makes one of the frustrating aspects of travel — waiting around — a lot more tolerable. If you’ve got your eyes set on having Delta Sky Club access when you fly, there really is no better (or easier) way than holding the right credit card.
Fortunately, these cards offer more than just lounge access — they also allow you to improve your flight experience, save some cash, and earn more miles as well.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, click here.