Which Version Of The Delta Amex Is Best?

Filed Under: American Express, Credit Card Comparisons
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Update: These offers for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, the Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card and the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express have expired. Learn more about the current offers here.


Through July 2, 2019, we’re seeing some best-ever bonuses on the Delta American Express cards. We’re seeing these increased offers on both the business and personal versions of the Gold, Platinum, and Reserve cards.

Details of Delta Amex increased bonuses

Here are the details of the increased bonuses:

Delta Gold Amex increased bonuses

  • The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card is offering a welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 within the first three months, plus a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within the first three months; $95 annual fee (Rates & Fees) that’s waived for the first 12 months
  • The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express is offering a welcome bonus of 70,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 within the first three months, plus a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within the first three months; $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 going forward (Rates & Fees)

Delta Platinum Amex increased bonuses

Delta Reserve Amex increased bonuses

These are among the best offers we’ve ever seen on the cards, in particular on the business versions of the cards. On top of that, each of these cards is considered a separate product, so you’re potentially eligible for all of these cards over time.

Earn a lot of Delta SkyMiles with these offers

There are a couple of different fronts on which it makes sense to compare these cards, including the welcome bonuses and the long term benefits offered by the cards. So let’s take a look at those details.

Comparing Delta Amex welcome bonuses

Before I compare the welcome bonuses on these cards, let me note that:

  • I value SkyMiles at ~1.2 cents each, which is based on the ability to redeem them for international premium cabin tickets
  • I value the $50-100 statement credits more or less at face value
  • I won’t put a value of the Medallion Qualifying Miles earned, since those can either be really valuable or almost useless, depending on whether you’re going for status with Delta or not; these miles only count towards status, and if you don’t earn status they expire at the end of the year

Comparing welcome bonus value on Delta personal cards

To compare the welcome bonuses on the personal cards:

  • I value the welcome bonus on the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card at around $770 (60,000 miles are worth $720, plus the $50 statement credit, and there’s no annual fee the first year)
  • I value the welcome bonus on the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card at around $805 (75,000 miles are worth $900, plus the $100 statement credit, minus the $195 annual fee); this doesn’t include the 5,000 MQMs
  • I value the welcome bonus on the Delta Reserve Card at $450 (75,000 miles are worth $900, minus the $450 annual fee); this doesn’t include the 5,000 MQMs

Comparing welcome bonus value on Delta business cards

  • I value the welcome bonus on the Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Card at around $890 (70,000 miles are worth $840, plus the $50 statement credit, and there’s no annual fee the first year)
  • I value the welcome bonus on the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Card at around $865 (80,000 miles are worth $960, plus the $100 statement credit, minus the $195 annual fee); this doesn’t include the 5,000 MQMs
  • I value the welcome bonus on the Delta Reserve Business Card at $510 (80,000 miles are worth $960, minus the $450 annual fee); this doesn’t include the 5,000 MQMs

You’re eligible for the bonuses on all of these cards

These six cards are considered separate products, and each have a “once in a lifetime” rule. That means you’re eligible for the bonuses on each of these cards over time.

Furthermore, it’s worth being aware of the following general restrictions on Amex cards:

  • You can generally have at most five Amex credit cards at any given point; it doesn’t matter whether they’re personal or business, and this limit doesn’t include charge cards
  • You can generally be approved for at most two American Express credit cards in 90 days, though there are some inconsistencies when it comes to that

The winners

Purely based on the welcome bonuses, I’d say the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card is the winner among personal cards, while the Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Card is the winner among business cards. However, you can’t go wrong with either the Gold or Platinum in that regard. It all depends how much you value the benefits, and if you mind paying an annual fee the first year or not.


Redeem your SkyMiles for Delta’s A350 business class

Comparing Delta Amex benefits

When it comes to perks, these cards have some overlapping benefits, though there are also some significant differences. Since there’s big overlap in terms of benefits between personal and business cards, let’s instead break it down by comparing the Gold, Platinum, and Reserve cards:

Delta Amex Gold benefits

Both versions of the Delta Amex Gold offer:

  • A first checked bag free
  • 20% inflight savings on food and beverage purchases
  • $29 per person visits to Delta SkyClubs
  • The ability to redeem SkyMiles for one cent each towards the cost of Delta flights
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Access to Amex Offers, which gets you savings on purchases with all kinds of retailers

Redeem SkyMiles for one cent each towards a Delta purchase

Delta Amex Platinum benefits

In addition to all of the Gold benefits, the Platinum versions of the card also offer the following:

  • Main Cabin 1 priority boarding
  • A domestic main cabin roundtrip companion certificate upon card renewal every year
  • Delta Miles Boost, where you can earn 10,000 bonus miles and MQMs after spending $25,000 on the card in a calendar year, and a further 10,000 bonus miles and MQMs after spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year

Receive a companion ticket on your account anniversary every year

Delta Amex Reserve benefits

In addition to all the Gold benefits, the Reserve versions of the card also offer the following:

  • Main Cabin 1 priority boarding
  • Complimentary Delta SkyClub access when flying Delta same day
  • A domestic roundtrip companion certificate upon card renewal every year, valid for travel in economy, Comfort+, or first class
  • Delta Miles Boost, where you can earn 15,000 bonus miles and MQMs after spending $30,000 on the card in a calendar year, and a further 15,000 bonus miles and MQMs after spending $60,000 on the card in a calendar year


Get SkyClub access with the Delta Reserve Card

The winners

As you can see, this is an area where there’s not much of a difference between personal and business cards, but rather the primary difference is between the Gold, Platinum, and Reserve cards.

Obviously the Reserve offers the best benefits, followed by the Platinum, followed by the Gold. But the annual fees also reflect that. So here’s my take:

  • The Gold is great if you’re looking for a card with a low annual fee that still offers perks like a first checked bag free, which can save you $60 on a roundtrip ticket
  • The Platinum is a great option if you want to put a lot of spend on the card in order to earn status with Delta, and also if you value the companion certificate, which can more than justify the annual fee
  • The Reserve offers the greatest potential to earn elite status, though also has by far the highest annual fee; the flexibility of the companion certificate is awesome, though in general I think this is most worthwhile if you don’t have the Amex Platinum Card, since that card also offers SkyClub access

Bottom line

All six of the current increased bonuses we’re seeing on co-branded Delta cards are among the best we’ve seen on these cards. In particular, the bonuses on the business cards are especially good (see this post for what you need to know about applying for Amex business cards).

To summarize by advice:

If you have a Delta Amex Card, which version do you have, and which benefits do you most value?

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card (Rates & Fees), Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees).

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Comments
  1. These cards make Delta Silver Medallion almost useless. No one should value Silver status more than $95. And no don’t ever think of getting upgrade being silver, if you do consider yourself lucky.

  2. I have and use the Platinum. The 10,000 MQM boost will help me reach Gold status, which is great for economy trips in Europe (club access). Companion ticket will be great for holiday trips. A lot of Delta elites like the Reserve, but I don’t see the value, especially with the regular Platinum offering the same club access. That one only really makes sense if you can spend $60,000 on the card…

  3. @Anthony You don’t get “free” club access by having platinum card, you need to pay $27 per entry I believe. Of course if you visit the club less than ($ 450 – $ 195) / $ 29 = 8.79 (roughly 9) times, then stick with platinum. Of course the best scenario is that if you can utilize Amex Platinum charge card, then you don’t need Reserve or any delta card for club access.

  4. I got the Reserve card for the first class companion certificate. It more than offsets the cost of the card. I have had no problem in finding available flights as my travel is flexible.

  5. Hawke – I realize that, which is why I called it the “regular Platinum” (it’s tough to discuss the various Amex cards sometimes). I probably visit the SkyClubs 20-25 times a year, so the “regular platinum” is well worth it for me. The “Delta Platinum” is about the MQM and companion ticket for me.

  6. Lucky, here is my game plan. Start with the Gold version, then upgrade each each to the next version, so you can collect all 3 with +200K SkyMile points.

    Also, doing the same for the Business version. Add 2nd player (spouse or significant other), then after 3 years you are looking at +800K SkyMiles!!

  7. @Penny
    Upgrade doesn’t score you the deal like opening a new card. That will be 3/24 for you.

    3 years from now, I’m not sure how far 800k can get you.

  8. Lucky, if I am currently already holding the maximum 5 Amex credit cards (including a Delta Business Gold card), do you think I need to close the existing Delta Business Gold card before I can apply (and earn the bonus miles) for the Business Platinum card or will Amex will just let me switch card (and earn a new card bonus miles) if I call and ask them nicely? If I have to close one of my current Amex card first, how long should I wait before applying for the next Amex credit card?

  9. @Ron,

    You need to close one, then wait for a couple days before apply “so Amex system will recalculate?”, and you will get instant approval from Amex.
    If not, your application will be on hold. Amex will call you to request that you close one account, then you good to go.

    At least, this is what I was going through.

  10. The way I’d look at the cards
    1. What is my travel redemption goal and does the sign up bonus get me there or at least get me there faster
    2. Do I benefit from the checked bag fee waiver or the companion certificate
    3. Will the spend waiver put me over the top for a status that I value

    I like the idea of a r/t in Upper Class on Virgin with SkyMiles. It’s one of the easier redemptions, with lots of dates for 171,000 SkyMiles. But I’m not itching to go to London right now and I don’t fly Delta or SkyTeam otherwise, so I’m a no on all the cards right now.

  11. My main reason for keeping gold, for the discount on CLEAR and to be able to pay with miles.

    Also, I’m told Aeroflot is getting new seats with doors.

  12. I have Skymiles Platinum and Skymiles Reserve–both for the companion certificates which save us well over a thousand dollars each year and the Skyclub access. Maintaining Silver Medallion status also gets me upgrades a few times a year, but more importantly puts us in preferred (exit row) seating at time of reservation. I like the entire Delta package. We’re not big travelers on Delta due to our location in Phoenix, but enjoy the airline very much as a treat using the companion certificates for more expensive trips to offbeat location which we would unlikely to splurge for if we were buying two tickets instead of just one (especially the first class ticket). They recently changed the main cabin companion pass so that you are eligible for purchased and complimentary upgrades on both tickets.

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