Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Review: Key Features and Benefits

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is a premium travel rewards credit card specifically tailored for frequent flyers of Delta Air Lines. It provides a range of valuable perks and benefits designed to enhance the travel experience for cardholders, especially those who prioritize flying with Delta.

Some notable features of this card include lounge access, complimentary upgrades, and priority boarding, making it an excellent choice for dedicated Delta customers who seek convenience and luxury during their travels. Despite the hefty annual fee, the benefits offered by the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card can far outweigh the cost, especially for those who fly with Delta on a regular basis.

Card Overview

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is a premium co-branded credit card designed for frequent Delta Air Lines travelers. With this card, members can take advantage of a wide range of benefits and perks.

One of the card’s standout features is the complimentary Sky Club access when flying on Delta. This benefit includes access to Delta’s network of lounges at airports, providing a comfortable space and amenities such as WiFi and refreshments before or during layovers.

Cardholders can also earn a significant amount of SkyMiles through the card’s rewards program. These miles can be redeemed for flights, upgrades, and other travel-related expenses. The card also offers bonus miles opportunities, which can help cardholders accumulate miles even faster.

Another valuable benefit for frequent Delta flyers is the priority boarding feature, allowing cardholders to board their flights earlier than general passengers. This perk can help reduce the stress of boarding and ensure that you have ample time to settle into your seat and stow your luggage.

While the card does come with a high annual fee, the benefits it offers may make the cost worthwhile for those who fly regularly with Delta Air Lines and want access to premium perks such as lounge access and priority boarding.

Rewards and Benefits

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card offers an array of rewards and benefits tailored for frequent Delta flyers. Cardholders can earn 3X miles per dollar spent on eligible Delta purchases and 1X mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. One key advantage of this card is the ability to earn Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) through both spending and bonus offers.

Cardholders who manage to spend $30,000 in a calendar year on this card can get 15,000 bonus MQMs, while those who spend $60,000 will get an additional 15,000 MQMs. These MQMs contribute to a cardholder’s progress towards earning elite status with Delta, which comes with even more perks and benefits.

In addition to mile earnings, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card provides complimentary Sky Club access for cardholders when they fly on Delta. It also grants card members access to Delta Sky Clubs and select partner lounges, regardless of the airline they are flying with.

Furthermore, first checked bag free and priority boarding are some of the practical benefits this card offers. Cardholders also have the opportunity to receive complimentary upgrades on select flights within the US, even if they do not hold Medallion status.

Other benefits include a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+®, or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon card renewal, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit, discounted Delta Sky Club access for up to two guests, and no foreign transaction fees.

Annual Fee and APR

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card comes with an annual fee of $550. Though it may seem steep, frequent flyers may find the fee to be reasonable, as the card offers valuable perks such as Sky Club access and an annual companion certificate.

Coinciding with the annual fee, cardholders should also be mindful of the card’s APR. The variable APR ranges from 20.24% to 29.24% based on individual creditworthiness. As a result, it may be beneficial for cardholders to avoid carrying a balance in order to minimize interest expenses.

Some highlights of the card include:

  • Earn 3X miles on Delta purchases
  • Complimentary access to Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounges
  • Annual companion certificate for a domestic round-trip flight

Overall, while considering the annual fee and APR, prospective cardholders need to evaluate their spending habits and travel patterns to ensure these costs are offset by the card’s benefits.

Pros and Cons

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card offers a range of benefits and drawbacks to consider for potential cardholders, especially frequent flyers.


  • Delta benefits: This card provides priority boarding, free checked bags, and other perks for those who frequently travel with Delta Air Lines.
  • Lounge access: Cardholders receive complimentary access to Delta Sky Club lounges, providing a comfortable space to relax before flights.
  • Status boost: When cardholders meet certain spending thresholds, they can earn MQMs (Medallion Qualification Miles), helping them qualify for elite Delta status even faster.
  • Annual companion certificate: Each year, cardholders receive a companion certificate, allowing them to bring a guest for a lower cost on a qualifying domestic flight.


  • High annual fee: This card has a $550 annual fee, which may not be worth it for some travelers.
  • Limited bonus categories: The card only provides bonus points for Delta purchases, making it less rewarding for various spending categories.
  • Delta-specific rewards: The rewards and benefits are tailored primarily for those who travel with Delta Air Lines, limiting its appeal to those who fly with other carriers.

It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card to determine if it’s the right fit for your travel preferences and spending habits.

Comparison to Competitors

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card competes with other premium travel credit cards such as the American Express Platinum Card, and it’s important to compare their benefits to make an informed decision.

Firstly, the Amex Platinum Card is more suitable for international travelers, whereas the Delta Reserve Card is tailored for Delta loyalists. The Platinum Card offers global lounge access to Priority Pass lounges, Centurion Lounges, and Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), while the Delta Reserve Card provides access only to Delta Sky Clubs.

Another key aspect to compare is the annual fee. The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card has a $550 annual fee, which is on par with the Amex Platinum Card’s annual fee. However, the Platinum Card comes with a broader range of travel perks including a $200 airline fee credit, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit, and valuable hotel statuses such as Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold status.

Regarding points earning potential, the Amex Platinum Card offers 5x points on airfare booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel, while the Delta Reserve Card earns 3x miles on Delta purchases and 1x mile on all other eligible purchases. Consequently, the Platinum Card may be more rewarding for frequent travelers who value flexible earning and redemption options.

Lastly, let’s consider the benefits specifically for Delta flyers. The Delta Reserve Card offers unique perks such as a companion certificate, upgrade priority, and the ability to earn Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) that help you reach elite status with Delta. These benefits are not available with the Amex Platinum Card and may be valuable for those who fly frequently with Delta.

Who Should Apply

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is best suited for devoted Delta flyers who want to enjoy high-end Delta perks, such as lounge access and other luxury travel benefits. As the highest-tiered co-branded Delta card, it offers Delta-centric rewards and luxury travel perks, but comes with a high annual fee.

If you’re someone who frequently flies with Delta Air Lines, this card will grant you complimentary Sky Club access when flying on Delta, which can significantly enhance your airport experience. It also offers appealing benefits for frequent flyers, such as annual companion certificates, accelerated Medallion status qualification, and more.

Those willing to pay the hefty annual fee will find the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card to be a valuable addition to their wallet. However, if you’re not a frequent Delta flyer or if you don’t see yourself using the card’s luxury perks, you might want to consider other credit card options with lower annual fees and more versatile rewards programs.


The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card caters to devoted Delta flyers who are seeking high-end perks, such as lounge access and upgrade opportunities. With its expensive annual fee, the card might not be ideal for every traveler, but those who frequently fly with Delta and can take advantage of the benefits can find value in it.

Alongside the benefits, it is crucial for potential cardholders to weigh the cost, as the card comes with a significant annual fee. However, some may find that the premium Delta perks and the opportunity to earn Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) justify the expense.

Before making a decision, consider comparing the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card with other available travel rewards cards to determine which one best aligns with your travel habits and preferences.

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