The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express can be a great option for those who are seeking additional ways to obtain a higher loyalty status with the airline, as well as to maintain current status for the following year.
Key features of this card are the bonus MQM miles used in the Delta loyalty program, which can help in getting flights and other nice rewards.
This card allows you to get a lot of the same benefits as the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, but at a much lower annual fee.
Card Summary Table
- Card Bonus & Info (Partner Content)
- Card Provider
- Card Focus:
- Annual Fee
- Rewards Center
- Foreign Transaction FeesNone
- Typical UsersFrequent Travelers, International Travelers
- Customer Service Number
- Login Link
- Interest Rates ?
- 17.24%-26.24% Variable
- Late fees ?
- Balance Transfers
- 17.24%-26.24% Variable
- Cash Advance APR
- 26.74% Variable
The Ideal Cardholder
How to Really See Your Points Take Off
Once you become a member, you will earn bonus miles and Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend the required amount in purchases on your new card within the allotted time.
You will earn 2x miles per dollar on purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines, then 1x miles for all other purchases.
Start earning miles for purchases that you make with your card: from everyday items to monthly spending like your phone or utility bills.
There is no limit on the amount of miles that you can earn. This card does have an annual fee of $195 per year, which will be charged to your account immediately upon account opening.
Advantages of Being a Member: Top-Notch Travel Benefits
The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express can be an ideal card for anyone who regularly flies on Delta Air Lines. Without needing elite status, you can check your first bag for free.
A free checked bag saves up to $50 on a round-trip Delta flight, and this benefit is good for up to 9 passengers traveling together on the same reservation!
You’ll also get Zone 1 priority boarding, discounted Delta Sky Club access, and a 20% discount on in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and entertainment.
The Sky Club discount gives you access to the club at just $29 each for you and up to 2 traveling companions. Your tickets must be for same-day travel, but according to the card agreement can be for any airline (not just Delta).
This differs from The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.
Enjoy a Big Spend Bonus and Companion Pass on the Card
This card is also popular because of its big spend bonus: once you reach a set amount of spending, you’ll earn bonus miles. This is similar to The JetBlue Plus Card.
Once you have spent $25,000 on purchases on your card in a calendar year, you’ll earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 10,000 bonus SkyMiles!
You’ll also earn an additional 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 bonus miles once you’ve spent $50,000 in a year.
For reference, you only need 25,000 MQMs to reach Silver Medallion status, which is the first elite status tier. The second tier (Gold) is reached after 50,000 MQMs.
Making things even better, the Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD) requirements are waived when you are a cardholder, so whenever you have enough MQMs you’ll automatically earn the status.
Another great benefit of this card is the Companion Certificate. When you renew your card each year, you will receive a domestic main cabin round-trip companion certificate.
This is good for any domestic flight that the cardmember has a reservation for, and you just have to pay the taxes and fees.
Additional Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express Perks
One last benefit that doesn’t quite fit into the above categories is the Pay with Miles benefit available to card members.
This allows you to utilize your miles in chunks of 5,000 at a $50 value. That’s only a $0.01 per point value, so we don’t recommend primarily using this method, but it is good if you have some rogue miles sitting around.
As a member, you can also travel more comfortably thanks to the many fringe benefits you get through your card, including baggage, rental car, and travel accident insurance plans.
You’ll also have access to the roadside assistance and global assist hotlines, which are available when you have a travel emergency.
More perks include access to member-only entertainment events, an extended warranty, return and purchase protection, and the ShopRunner benefit, which gives you free shipping on lots of online merchants.
A Few Items to Consider
Prior to signing up for the card, there are some things to consider. For example, the card does have an annual fee of $195, so you will want to ensure the benefits will be worth it.
Our Card Math section below can help you in determining your costs.
Unlike many other American Express cards, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express allows you to carry a balance.
While this can be convenient, it is important not to leave an unpaid balance, since the interest costs will greatly outweigh the value of any miles earned on the card!
Note that this card is positioned for those who travel with Delta frequently and also spend a lot of money on their credit card. If this isn’t you, you would likely be better off with another airline credit card.
For instance, you could check out the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Card from American Express, which is like a downgraded version of this card: it only costs $95 per year and has many of the same travel perks.
How to Get the Absolute Most Out of Your Card
While you can get rewards in several ways from the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, certainly the focus of this particular card is travel with Delta.
Using the card on items that you purchase from Delta can help to rack up the miles. Purchases from Delta don’t necessarily have to be flight-related, either.
For example, you could purchase a gift card and also earn miles.
While the card itself doesn’t earn a lot of miles (only a 1-2x bonus), if you hit the big spend bonuses then you’ll see the points really add up! See details of the equivalent earnings rate in the Card Math section.
Finally, don’t overlook the value of the variety of different insurance coverages plus benefits like priority boarding and the reduced Delta Sky Club access.
By utilizing all the benefits, you’ll really pull some value out of the card.
A Summary of the Card
If you are a frequent traveler on Delta Air Lines and/or its SkyTeam partners, then the card can provide you with some top-notch rewards.
Just by being a member, you’ll be covered by insurance and other types of protection when you’re on the road, provided you use your card when making your travel arrangements.
In addition, this card can also help you keep your purchases safe by providing additional protection and longer warranty time.
When you use your card, you’ll get so much more than just the ability to make convenient purchases!
Great Card If
- You are a frequent traveler who uses Delta Air Lines
- You travel both within the U.S. and internationally
- You plan to spend at least $25,000 per year on the card (and perhaps over $50k)
- You plan to renew your card every year
Don't Get If
- You do not travel frequently
- You travel often, but you do not fly on Delta regularly
- You don’t plan to spend at least $25,000 per year on the card
U.P. Pro Tips
It is always a good idea to purchase any Delta flights using your Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. If you really want to see the points grow, see whether you can purchase work-related travel using the card, too!
You might also want to weigh the cost of spending a lot of extra money at the airport on food versus enjoying the Sky Club lounge.
It offers free food and drinks as well as a quiet, luxury space for only an additional $29. In the long-run, the lounge may come out to be cheaper!
How to Use the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: The Upgraded Way
Best Way to Maximize Points
As an airline card, your most valuable option with the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express will be to use it for purchasing flights.
However, there are some additional ways you can earn Delta miles.
Tip #1: Your purchases through Delta don’t just have to be for flights. For example, you will earn 2x miles on other charges from Delta, such as gift cards, in-flight service, and baggage fees.
Tip #2: Even though you will only earn 1x mile on other purchases, the more you use your card, the more the miles can rack up – every dollar counts!
Big spend bonuses kick in at $25,000 and $50,000, so keep spending and you’ll earn not only 10,000 bonus SkyMiles, but also 10,000 MQMs!
Tip #3: If you’ve just opened a new card, the easiest way to get a jump on your points is to bank your sign up bonus!
Just be sure to meet the minimum spend in the allotted time.
Tip #4: When you hit the big spend bonus and earn your bonus MQMs, you’ll get closer to earning Silver Medallion status, which earns a 2x bonus on miles purchased through Delta.
This is on top of the normal 5x earning rate for Delta SkyMiles, the awards currency miles of Delta, for your normal flights. Just make sure you’re signed up!
Tip #5: Note that because Delta Air Lines is a partner of American Express Membership Rewards, you can also earn Delta miles for any purchases with those cards.
Amex points transfer at a 1:1 ratio, so there is no loss in value. This means you can use cards like the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express to purchase your flights at 3x miles instead of 2x.
You could also utilize The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express or The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express or to earn points at U.S. supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants.
Those miles will be stacking up in no time!
These programs, available for many different airlines and programs, are great ways to boost mileage!
Best Way to Redeem Points
Redeeming points can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming, and once you’ve earned enough miles on your Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express to earn an award, you’ll begin to wonder about the system.
Keep in mind that since this is a travel-related card, your most valuable options for redeeming points on this card will be on travel awards.
Most valuable option: Your primary option for point redemption will be to turn in your SkyMiles for an awards flight where a certain amount of miles can be used in exchange for a flight.
The amount of the miles will depend on where you go, as well as the class of the ticket.
Your flights don’t necessarily have to be booked on Delta Air Lines, but can also be used on any of the SkyTeam partners (see below for a list).
Awards redeemed in this way can garner a $0.02/point value or more, which you will get with business and first class redemptions.
An alternative option: You can, however, use your Delta SkyMiles for flights on Delta in order to help you offset some of the cost if you are paying for the flight in cash.
This can be done with the Pay with Miles option, where you can use your miles in chunks of 5,000 for $50 in value. This is only a $0.01 value, and therefore not recommended as your primary method of using points.
However, if you have some additional miles laying around after an award flight, you could use 5,000 extra miles to pay $50 in fees for an award ticket.
This would be a good option if you’re not planning on continuing to earn miles with Delta and just want to close out what you have left of your account!
As a card member, you will have access to the SkyTeam, as well as numerous other airlines.
SkyTeam Alliance airlines include: KLM, Middle East Airlines, Korean Air, Aeroflot, Aeorlineas Argentinas, Aaudia, Alitalia, Air France, Air Europa, XiamenAir, Vietnam Airlines, TAROM, Kenya Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Aeromexico, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, China Airlines.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles cardholders also have access to hotel partners.
Additional partners can be found for car rentals and cruise lines, as well as for dining and household services. Your choices are almost unlimited!
After reading this far into the review, you may be wondering whether the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is worth it.
In the Card Math section, we’ll get into some detailed examples of using the card that can help you determine this.
These examples are intended to provide ideas of how the card can be optimally used for accumulating and redeeming points.
For those who really do not enjoy math, please feel free to skip over this section, or just read the summaries!
A Short Refresher on the Card Stats
In general, we want to know whether or not we will even make up the value of the card’s annual fee in rewards or benefits.
On this card, we earn miles through a sign-up bonus, a statement credit, and everyday purchases.
The card has an annual fee of $195. Doing some quick math on the travel purchases that you make with Delta or its partners will help you discover whether you’ll fully make up for the card’s annual fee.
To earn $195 in value, you’d have to spend $9,750 in airfare with Delta (at 2x miles per dollar), which is pretty high for a typical year of personal travel.
However, consider your other potential spending on the card as well. You would have to spend $19,500 in total for the year on purchases that only earn 1x miles in order to make up for the fee.
A balance between these types is your most likely scenario, so the amount needed will be a combination of both. When you also consider the sign-up bonus, you’re earning value in no time!
Looking at Some Spending Examples
Even though it may not be extremely complicated to see how much you can earn, it can be eye-opening to note how fast the points can really add up.
In taking a look at our model families, we can do an estimate based on their bonus categories plus everything else that they spend.
For this example, let’s assume the families purposefully put all of their spending on their card. (While in some cases this may seem unrealistic, many companies like Plastiq exist to help you do this.)
*The total expenditures of each of our 3 model families for a given year.
Taking the above spending and calculating it out between the 1x and 2x mile categories, we can figure out how many miles each family could earn over a year.
Note that this spend is broken out in the model family article, and you basically just need to consider their airline purchases: $2,400 (Kennedys), $6,000 (Jetsons), and $7,800 (Hartnells).
Multiplying these values by 2 and adding in the rest of the spending (because it only earns at 1x), we come up with the following table of values:
|Family||Total Miles (Card Spending)||Bonus for Spending $25,000||Bonus for Spending $50,000||Total Miles|
*All the sources of miles earned over the first year of owning the card.
Calculating the Value of the Earned Miles
At just $0.01 per mile, each family earns a pretty good value for their card: $577 for the Kennedys, $885 for the Jetsons, and $1,455 for the Hartnells.
But we’re smarter points redeemers than that, aren’t we?
If we utilize the Delta rewards program correctly, we can get flights at values of up to $0.02 per point.
This doubles the value of the rewards, making them worth $1,154, $1,770, and $2,910!
Equivalent Earnings with the Big Spend Bonus Miles
One concern you may have is that this card’s earnings rates are pretty low, at only 2x miles for specifically Delta purchases and just 1x miles elsewhere.
But the big spend bonuses can make up for that!
What is the equivalent earnings rate of the card when you calculate it out compared to the bonus miles you get at the $25k and $50k thresholds? Let’s find out!
If we simply take the total number of points earned by the families in the above examples and divide it by the money spent, we will get an “equivalent rate.”
For instance, if you spent $10,000 and got 20,000 points, that would be a 2x equivalent rate (20k/$10k = 2x). The same logic can be applied to this situation.
Here are the equivalent earnings rates for the families:
|Family||Total Dollars Spent||Total Points + All Bonuses||Equivalent Rate|
*Equivalent earnings rate calculated from (Total Points)/(Total Dollars) = Rate.
You can see that when we look at it this way, the card actually appears to be more valuable at the lower levels of spending. However, these are very helpful when considering which cards to get.
Looking at the rates, you may think “are there any other cards where I would get a higher rate?” For instance, compare these rates to the flat rate of the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠.
Using the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠, you earn at a rate of 1.5x for all purchases, which earns points at a higher rate overall than the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express.
However, don’t discount it right away. Check the value of your sign up bonus as well as the other fringe benefits you get outside of points; you will likely find that the value of the card is much higher.
One Caveat Before We Wrap Up
Before we wrap up, one thing we ignored for the simplicity of the calculations is the potential interest and fees you would pay when using your card for all spending.
For instance, although you may be able to pay your rent online, you may incur a 2%-3.5% fee for doing so with a credit card. On the whole, if this rate is greater than your equivalent earnings rate, then we wouldn’t recommend going through with this.
It’s a simple matter of interest: at a just 2% fee, you’ll pay $906 extra at the Kennedys’ level of spending. At a 3.5% fee and at the Hartnells’ spending level, you’d pay $4,119.50!
That completely negates the value of the rewards earned. Make sure you take this into account!
Card Math Conclusions
You can see that the card can easily pay for its own $195 annual fee in rewards.
The values at our model family rates came out to be $1,154, $1,770, and $2,910 when considering a $0.02 mile redemption.
These calculations don’t take into account any of the additional fringe benefits such as free checked bags and discounted Sky Club access, so the real value could be much larger to you.
The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know
Any time you move forward with an important financial transaction, it’s important to have a good understanding of exactly what that will involve.
We think pursuing a credit card should be no different! So, here are some of the key Gritty Details you need to know about the card.
First, you will want to refer to your Cardmember Agreement for any expanded explanations, because American Express does reserve the right to change the program at any time.
Note that your Companion Certificate is earned each year and is good for domestic and lower 48 states only. However, you can fly from Hawaii or Alaska to the continental U.S.
While it is a “free” pass, you will still pay taxes and fees on the ticket, which are usually less than $25.
MQMs are the qualifying miles that help you earn elite status only, and are not available to be used for awards flights.
SkyMiles are the bonus miles earned for flights, and are the miles you earn through the bonus categories on the card.
Finally, the Delta Sky Club discount benefit is currently worded in a way that allows you to visit the Sky Club regardless of the airline you are flying.
This is not typical. On The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN cards, you “get Sky Club access” only when you are traveling on Delta.
If you fly often, this is an important and very useful benefit of the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express!
The last feature to mention is the waiver for the Medallion Qualification Dollars. Typically, to reach elite status on Delta you must spend a minimum amount with them in flights each year.
However, when you own a qualifying Delta credit card, this limit is waived and you can earn elite status the good ol’ fashioned way: by just reaching the required number of qualifying miles.
Other Unique Features of the Card
The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express offers numerous travel advantages that can bring peace of mind whether you’re in the air or on the road. These include:
Baggage insurance plan – With the baggage insurance plan, your luggage is covered whether it is lost, stolen, or damaged. Coverage for checked bags is $500, and for carry-on luggage is up to $1,250.
Roadside assistance hotline – As a cardmember, if your car has a flat or needs a battery charge, help is just a phone call away thanks to the roadside assistance hotline.
Car rental loss and damage insurance – When you use your card to reserve and pay for a rental car, you’ve got coverage if the vehicle is stolen or damaged.
Global assist hotline – Traveling more than 100 miles from home? If you have an emergency (legal, medical, financial, or otherwise), the global assist hotline can help. That’s what being a cardmember can do for you!
Travel accident insurance – Travel accident insurance offered by American Express can provide coverage for accidental death and dismemberment while traveling on a common carrier if you’ve paid for your fare with your card.
This card also makes travel more economical while at the same time allowing you additional conveniences. For example, just by being a member, you can enjoy:
20% savings on in-flight purchases – Once you’ve used your card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, movies, television, video games, and/or audio headsets, you will receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit.
Reduced-price Delta Sky Club access – As a cardmember, you and 2 traveling companions can enjoy complimentary snacks, beverages, Wi-Fi access, TV, private restrooms, and more for a reduced fee of just $29 per person.
Annual miles boost for platinum – Once you have spent $25,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, you’ll earn 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 bonus miles. You’ll earn 10,000 more MQMs + 10,000 bonus miles once you’ve spent $50,000 in a year.
Annual Companion Certificate – You’ll receive one Companion Certificate every year good for domestic travel within the continental U.S. at just the cost of taxes and fees. You must be traveling with your companion for them to use the certificate.
Medallion Qualification Dollar waiver – You’ll be exempt from the MQD requirements of obtaining elite status qualification.
Pay with Miles – You can use extra miles in 5,000-mile chunks at a value of $50 each to pay for part of a cash ticket, award fees, and so on.
ShopRunner – You’ll get complimentary access to the ShopRunner program, which offers free online shipping at a number of online merchants.
Priority boarding – You can also enjoy early boarding on Delta flights as a benefit of your card membership, allowing you more room for your carry on bag and time to settle into your seat sooner.
Extended warranty – When you use your AMEX card for eligible purchases, you can get up to one year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty.
Purchase protection – If something you buy is stolen or breaks, Purchase protection will give you a refund within 90 days from the date of original purchase.
Return protection – For up to 90 days, you can also get return protection in case you can’t return your item to your original vendor.
Photo Credits/Credit/Copyright Attribution:
First Class Seats: Mikhail Starodubov/Shutterstock
Woman Lounging in Chair: Elena Rudakova/Shutterstock
Couple Counting Money: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock
Comparing A versus B on Computer: irin73bal/Shutterstock
For those who are frequent travelers on Delta Air Lines, then the card can be well worth it, even with its $195 annual fee.
The current sign-up bonus includes both bonus miles and Medallion Qualification Miles.
Each year when you renew the card, you can receive a domestic main cabin round-trip companion certificate. Plus, when you fly on Delta, you can check your first bag free, along with saving up to $50 on a round-trip flight.
Simply having the card in your wallet can help make travel more convenient. Thanks to the additional benefits and coverage it provides, you'll get peace of mind as well:
- Priority boarding
- Roadside assistance hotline
- Baggage insurance plan
- Car rental loss and damage insurance
- Travel accident insurance
Plus, you can save money when you travel by receiving a 20% savings on in-flight purchases of food, beverages, movies and more. As a member, you and 2 traveling companions can enjoy reduced-price Delta Sky Club access for just $29 each.
You can access this benefit with a same-day ticket on any airline!
There is an annual fee on this card of $195.
Both cards earn at the same rate and have a similar benefits structure (free checked bag, discounted lounge access), but the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express adds in big spend bonuses.
At both $25,000 and $50,000 in spending in a calendar year, you will earn an additional 10,000 SkyMiles and MQMs from Delta.
No, the card has zero foreign transaction fees.
While many airlines require you to fly segments to earn elite status qualifying miles, with Delta you can earn Medallion Qualification Miles when using the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express.
The card gives you 10,000 bonus MQMs for the first $25,000 in spending, and another 10,000 when you reach $50k.
You can also earn 15,000 bonus MQMs at $30k and $60k when you use the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express.