American Express and Delta have had a close relationship for many years, and as part of that they issue seven co-branded Delta Amex cards, including the Blue, Gold, Platinum, and Reserve cards (with the exception of the Blue product, all the others have both a personal and business version).
There’s a lot to know about these cards, especially as big changes were made to all Delta Amex cards in early 2020. As part of this, the cards are also offering limited time increased welcome bonuses, which may interest many.
Delta Platinum American Express Card Basics For August 2020
In this post I wanted to take a look at the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card. This is one of Amex’s premium co-branded Delta credit cards, which offers a lot of value for frequent Delta flyers.
Some major changes were made to this card at the beginning of 2020, so in this post I wanted to take an updated look at the benefits of the card, and also note what has changed.
Given the four personal Delta credit cards to choose from, is this the right card for you?
Delta Platinum Amex 40K Miles Welcome Bonus
The Platinum Delta SkyMiles card is offering a welcome bonus of 40,000 SkyMiles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your card within the first three months of card membership.
Redeem your SkyMiles for Vietnam Airlines business class
The welcome bonus on the card is “once in a lifetime,” so it’s not available to you if you currently have the card, or if you’ve had the card in the past. However, note that you can get each “flavor” of the Delta Amex card, so you are eligible for this card if you’ve had the Gold or Reserve, or if you’ve had any of the business versions of the card.
Delta Platinum Amex Annual Fee
The Platinum Delta Amex has a $250 annual fee.
You can add additional users to the card at no extra cost.
Earning Miles With Delta Platinum Amex Card
The Delta Platinum Amex offers the following points earning opportunities for spending:
- 3x SkyMiles for purchases directly with Delta
- 3x SkyMiles for purchases made directly with hotels
- 2x SkyMiles at restaurants
- 2x SkyMiles at U.S. supermarkets
- 1x SkyMiles on all other purchases
You can earn bonus miles for dining and hotel purchases
The card has better bonus categories than in the past, though purely in terms of rewards for spending, I think there are still better cards out there for airfare purchases, hotel purchases, restaurant purchases, and grocery store purchases.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
If you are going to put spending on the Delta Platinum Amex, the good news is that there are no foreign transaction fees, so you can use the card abroad without potentially paying fees those high fees.
Platinum Delta Amex Card Perks & Benefits
The Platinum Delta Credit Card has an exceptional welcome bonus. In general, I’d say it could be worth putting spending on the card if you’re trying to earn Medallion elite status with Delta.
For most, the reason you’ll want to keep this card long-term is because of the perks and benefits that it offers, which for many people will more than offset the annual fee.
Annual Companion Certificate
Every year upon renewal of your card you can receive a domestic economy roundtrip companion certificate. You just have to pay the government-imposed taxes and fees for the companion. This is a great deal that can be worth significantly more than the annual fee in and of itself.
If redeeming the certificate there are some things to be aware of:
- It’s valid for roundtrip travel within the 48 contiguous United States
- Residents of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, or the USVI with SkyMiles accounts registered in those regions can use the certificate for travel from their home territory to the 48 contiguous United States
- You have to pay the government taxes for the second traveler on the reservation
- Companion certificates are only valid for travel in the L, U, T, X, and V fare classes
- You can’t combine a companion certificate with eCoupons
- Travel has to be completed by the expiration date of the certificate
- You have to pay for the ticket using a Delta Amex card
- In the event you need to change your ticket, you’ll pay a $200 per person change fee
Earn Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs)
Delta is one of the airlines that makes it easiest to earn status through credit card spending. With the Delta Amex Platinum Card you can be well on your way towards status with qualifying spending:
- Earn 10,000 MQMs after spending $25,000 or more in eligible purchases in a calendar year
- Earn an additional 10,000 MQMs after spending an additional $25,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year
In other words, if you spend $50,000 on the card in a calendar year you’d earn 20,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles.
Delta Medallion Qualifying Dollar (MQD) Waiver
In order to earn status with Delta you need to earn a certain number of elite miles (MQMs) or elite segments (MQSs), and you also need to earn a certain number of elite qualifying dollars (MQDs).
With the Delta Platinum American Express you can receive a waiver of the MQD requirement for qualifying spending:
- Spend $25,000 on the card within the qualification year to get an MQD waiver for Silver, Gold, or Platinum status
- Spend $250,000 on the card within the qualification year to get an MQD waiver for Diamond status
Spending on this card can help you earn status
First Checked Bag Free
Just for having the Platinum Delta Card you get a first checked bag free, which would otherwise cost $30 one-way per person:
- This benefit is limited to the primary cardmember and anyone traveling on the same reservation with them (up to nine people)
- You don’t have to pay for your flight with your Delta Amex, though you do need to have your SkyMiles number in the reservation
This is a great value, given that you’ll usually pay $60 per person roundtrip for a checked bag. So if you’re traveling with someone then you’re looking at $120 roundtrip in fees.
Save on checked bag fees with the Delta Platinum Amex
Just for having the card you receive Main Cabin 1 priority boarding. This helps maximize your odds of finding space for your carry-on and getting to your seat sooner. Just make sure the primary cardmember’s SkyMiles number is linked to the reservation.
20% Delta Inflight Savings
If you have the Platinum Delta Amex then you can save 20% in the form of a statement credit for eligible pre-purchased meals, and in-flight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages, and audio headsets, on Delta flights. Allow 8-12 weeks for the statement credit to post.
Save on inflight purchases with the card
Discounted SkyClub Access
Delta SkyClubs are among the best airline lounges in the US. If you have the Platinum Delta Amex then you can buy SkyClub access for $39 per person per visit. With a long layover that could represent a good value.
The SkyClub Seattle is one of my favorite US airline lounges
TSA Pre-Check Or Global Entry Credit
New as of 2020, the card offers a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit once every four years. This can save you big time both at security and immigration, and is something I highly recommend signing up for if eligible.
Save time at immigration with Global Entry
Pay With Miles
Delta has a Pay With Miles feature, where if you have a Delta co-branded credit card you can redeem miles for one cent each towards a Delta flight purchase (in increments of 5,000 miles per $50). That’s not the best deal in the world, though this is a feature that’s exclusively available to those with an eligible card.
Some people find this to be useful since they can redeem their miles towards flights, and then they still earn elite miles for taking those flights.
For example, the welcome bonus on this card includes up to 100,000 SkyMiles, so those can potentially be redeemed for up to $1,000 towards travel on Delta.
Pay With Points is a feature that many SkyMiles members value
Trip Delay Coverage
Also new as of 2020, American Express has added travel coverage to many of their premium credit cards, including the Delta Platinum Card. Amex will offer reimbursement for trip delays.
If you’re delayed by at least 12 hours you can be reimbursed up to $300 per trip for necessary expenses, like hotels, meals, and other essentials.
You can use this benefit up to two times per 12 consecutive months, and it’s valid for roundtrip tickets paid with your card (this would include paying taxes on an award ticket with your card).
One of the great features of Amex cards is access to Amex Offers, which offers savings or bonus points on purchases with all kinds of retailers. There’s huge value to be had in getting as many Amex cards as possible, so that you can get these offers on multiple cards.
Amex Offers could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can access these offers by logging into your account and scrolling down to the bottom of your account summary page.
For having the Delta Platinum Amex you get a ShopRunner membership, which gets you free two day shipping on eligible items at a network of 100+ online stores. You just have to enroll in your complimentary membership and can then start taking advantage of it.
Purchase Protection & Extended Warranty
There are some other benefits to spending money on the card that are worth being familiar with. The card offers:
- Purchase protection, so you’re covered for up to 90 days from the date of purchase when you charge your eligible purchased item to your card
- Extended warranty, so you can get an extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty, on warranties of five years or less
In both cases, you’ll want to check your cardmember agreement for all of the terms.
What Changed About The Delta Platinum Amex In 2020?
As I mentioned above, some major changes were made to this card as of 2020. I reflected the changes above, though wanted to specifically note the things that were taken away or devalued compared to last year:
- The card continues to offer 10,000 bonus MQMs when you spend $25,000 and an additional 10,000 bonus MQMs when you spend $50,000, but it no longer offers 10,000 bonus redeemable miles at each of these thresholds
- The cost for discounted Delta SkyClub access increased from $29 to $39 per person per visit
- The card’s annual fee increased to $250 from $195
Is The Delta Platinum Amex Worth It?
The Platinum Delta Credit Card isn’t necessarily the best card for the casual Delta flyer, and it’s also not a card I’d recommend putting much spending on, unless you value the MQMs that you can earn through spending, or unless you want to spend money on the card to get an MQD waiver.
However, this card has really strong perks, ranging from a companion certificate to a first checked bag free to priority boarding to savings on flight purchases, and more.
Bigger picture, is the card worth it, though? There are a few things to consider.
Want A Business Credit Card Instead?
If the Delta Platinum Amex sounds interesting to you but you are instead looking for a card for your small business, consider the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card.
Most of the benefits of the card are the same. The only significant difference is that the business card earns 1.5x miles on purchases of over $5,000 (up to 50,000 bonus miles annually), while the personal card offers 2x miles at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (both cards offer 3x miles on Delta purchases and hotel purchases).
Quick Comparison: Platinum Delta Amex Vs. Gold Delta Amex
The way I generally view it, the Gold Card is a good option for the occasional Delta flyer looking for basic perks, while the Platinum Card is a better option for the most frequent Delta flyer.
Very roughly, I think the Gold version of the card is better for non-Medallion members, while the Platinum version of the card is better for Medallion members.
Here are some of the main differences of the Gold in comparison to the Platinum:
- The Gold Card has a welcome bonus of up to 70,000 bonus SkyMiles — earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 within three months, and earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card membership
- The Gold Card only has a $99 annual fee, and with the current offer it’s waived for the first 12 months
- The Gold Card offers a $100 Delta flight credit after $10,000 of spending in a calendar year
- The Gold Card offers most of the basic perks that the occasional Delta flyer may appreciate, like a first checked bag free, priority boarding, 20% savings on inflight purchases, and more
- The Gold Card doesn’t offer the chance to earn MQMs, and doesn’t offer an MQD waiver
How Does The Delta Reserve Card Compare?
- The card offers Delta SkyClub and Amex Centurion Lounge access when traveling on Delta same day
- The card offers a companion certificate that is valid for first class as well
- The card allows you to earn up to 60,000 MQMs per year (if you spend $120,000)
- Having the card gets you upgrade priority over those in the same elite tier and fare class who don’t have the Reserve Card
Get Centurion Lounge access with the Delta Reserve
Earn Amex Membership Rewards Points
If you are looking to earn Delta SkyMiles through credit card spending then consider using a card earning Amex Membership Rewards points. That’s because these points can be transferred to Delta SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio, and you can in many cases earn points at a much faster rate.
- The American Express® Green Card (review) offers 3x points on dining and travel, and up to $200 in annual credits (between CLEAR and LoungeBuddy)
- The American Express® Gold Card (review) offers 4x points at restaurants and at US supermarkets (on up to $25K per year), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines, plus up to $220 in credits annually (between airline fees and dining)
Platinum Delta Amex Card Summary
At the moment the Platinum Delta Credit Card has a decent welcome bonus, as 40,000 SkyMiles can be redeemed for $400 towards travel on Delta, at a minimum.
On top of that, this is a solid card in terms of the perks for those who fly Delta frequently, especially Medallion members.
For many, the annual companion certificate will more than justify the annual fee in and of itself, without even accounting for all of the other perks.
Some will also find it worth spending money on the card, either to get an MQD waiver, or to earn MQMs for spending.