Which Business Card Is Better: Amex Platinum Or Delta Reserve?

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A couple of days ago we saw the introduction of a new best-ever bonus on the Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express. This is Delta’s most premium business card, and one on which we don’t often see big bonuses, so that’s a pretty noteworthy deal if you’ve been considering this card.

The card has a $450 annual fee, which is the same annual fee as on The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. These two cards have some overlapping benefits, so in this post I wanted to compare the benefits of the two cards, for anyone who may be trying to decide between them.

Delta Reserve Business Card benefits

The $450 annual fee Delta Reserve Business Card is offering a welcome bonus of 70,000 SkyMiles plus 10,000 MQMs after spending $5,000 within three months. This offer is valid through November 7, 2018.

The perks on this card include the following:

  • Delta SkyClub access for the primary cardmember when flying Delta, with the option to bring up to two guests for $29 each
  • A Companion Certificate upon renewal of your card every year, valid for a domestic first class, Comfort+, or economy roundtrip ticket
  • 15,000 bonus MQMs plus 15,000 bonus redeemable miles when you spend $30,000 on purchases on the card in a calendar year, and an additional 15,000 bonus MQMs and 15,000 bonus miles when you spend $60,000 on purchases on the card in a calendar year
  • When flying Delta, priority boarding with Zone 1, a first checked bag free, and 20% savings on in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit

Amex Business Platinum Card benefits

The $450 annual fee Amex Business Platinum Card is offering a welcome bonus of up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points, including 50,000 bonus points after spending $10,000, plus another 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending an additional $10,000, all within the first three months. Obviously this is a significantly higher spend requirement.

However, the reason you want this card is because of the incredible perks that it offers, including:

  • A $200 annual airline fee credit, which personally I always manage to get face value out of
  • Delta SkyClub access for the primary cardmember when flying Delta, with the option to bring up to two guests for $29 each
  • Amex Centurion Lounge access for the cardmember and up to two guests, regardless of what airline you’re flying
  • A Priority Pass Select membership with the ability to guest up to two people
  • Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as you have the card
  • Access to the International Airline Program, which can save you a ton of money on international premium airfare
  • 10 Gogo wifi passes per year


Access Delta SkyClubs with the Delta Reserve Card

So, which card is better?

In my opinion the Amex Business Platinum Card is a card where the perks more than cover the annual fee for many consumers. If you value the $200 credit at face value, that makes the real “out of pocket” on the card $250 per year. Then I’d say the 10 Gogo wifi passes are worth maybe $15 each (conservatively), which is another $150 of value right there.

Then you get a Priority Pass membership, access to Centurion Lounges, access to Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta, and much more. This is a card that in my opinion can be worth it even if you rarely fly Delta.

The Delta Reserve Business Card has the potential to be really valuable, though it’s also more niche. The way I view it:

  • I don’t think the reason to get this card is for the SkyClub access, because if that’s what you’re after the Amex Business Platinum Card is a better option
  • I don’t think the priority boarding and free checked bag are the reason to get this card, because if that’s what you’re after, the Delta Amex Gold or Delta Amex Platinum would be a better option, since the fees are lower; if you’re an elite member then you don’t get much value out of those benefits
  • Rather this is a card that’s ideal for Delta SkyMiles elite members who value the ability to spend money on the card in order to earn MQMs, and to earn a companion certificate

With this card you can earn up to 30,000 bonus MQMs and 30,000 bonus miles when spending $60,000 on the card in a calendar year. The companion certificate upon your renewal every cardmember year that’s valid for a domestic first class, Comfort+, or economy roundtrip ticket, basically helps subsidize that annual fee.


Access Amex Centurion Lounges with the Amex Platinum Card

The basics of applying for these cards

Anecdotally I find Amex business cards to be pretty easy to be approved for, assuming you have excellent credit. Also keep in mind that these cards won’t count as an inquiry towards Chase’s 5/24 rule, if that’s a consideration.

Do note that the Amex Business Platinum Card is a charge card while the Delta Reserve Business Card is a credit card. The distinction is that with Amex you’re typically limited to having five credit cards, but charge cards don’t count towards that total.

How to fill out an Amex business card application

Those who already have business credit cards are probably familiar with the application process, but for those who aren’t, here’s what you need to know.

It can be intimidating to apply for your first business credit card, though even if you’re a small business or sole proprietorship, you should be eligible. When applying for an Amex business card, you’ll be asked the following questions:

  • Legal Business Name
  • Business Address & Phone Number
  • Industry Type
  • Company Structure
  • Years In Business
  • Number Of Employees
  • Annual Business Revenue
  • Estimated Monthly Spend
  • Federal Tax ID

If you’re a sole proprietorship, how should you approach this? First of all, and most importantly, answer everything truthfully. I think the concern that a lot of people have is that they think they need an incorporated business, a separate office, etc., in order to be considered for a business card. That’s not the case:

  • You can use your name as your legal business name
  • The business address and phone number can be the same as your personal address and phone number
  • You can select “other” as your industry type, if that’s the case
  • If you’re a sole proprietorship, you can select that as your company structure
  • In terms of years in business, there’s no shame in saying it has been less than a year, 1-2 years, etc.
  • In terms of the number of employees, saying just one is perfectly fine
  • For the federal tax ID you can put your social security number

While a lot of people are intimidated by applying for their first business card, I think most are pleasantly surprised at the results. Again, the most important thing is to always be truthful on the application.

Bottom line

The bonus we’re seeing on the Delta Reserve Business Card is the best we’ve ever seen, so if you’ve been considering this card, now is the time to apply. However, this card isn’t for everyone.

Personally I think the card is ideal for any Delta elite member who values the ability to earn elite status through credit card spend, and who can get value out of the companion certificate.

For a casual Delta traveler who is lured by Delta SkyClub access, I think the Amex Business Platinum Card is a much better option. The card has the same annual fee but offers lots of other valuable perks as well.

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Comments

  1. Quick correction Lucky: you can access Delta SkyClubs anytime with the Reserve card, regardless of whether you’re flying with Delta or not.

  2. Amex Plat vs. Delta Reserve. That was easy. Plus I believe another valuable benefit of the business card is getting 35% (it used to be an incredible 50%) of miles back when you redeem Membership Rewards on flights and you don’t get stuck with StyMiles and flying Delta.

  3. The Delta Reserve card is easily the worst value airline card at any level of the big 3. It serves almost no function that Amex Platinum doesn’t cover. It doesn’t even give you SC membership, no guests etc. Usually the bonus is small. There’s really no reason to have this card unless you really need MQMs

  4. Rob, Delta is very clear in the terms that with the Reserve you must be flying Delta to get the lounge access. I think this is fairly new. As far as I’m concerned, on order to make that card compelling it should be a member + a guest, and whether flying Delta or not. Since it’s only 1 person and only when flying Delta, the only real value is the companion ticket. I have great luck redeeming the platinum coach companion tickets, but I’m not sure how difficult it is to redeem the first class you get with this card.

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