A new year is upon us, and in only 3 months, the $450 annual fee for my Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card from American Express will be due. I picked up the card last year purely for the MQM boost, and that worked out well for me. That said, I’ve come to appreciate the card for its Sky Club access in addition to its annual MQM boosts. The best first world pleasure is not having to dig out a card of some sort when I check into the Sky Club. They know you are a Reserve Card holder, scan your boarding pass, look at your ID, and you’re in.
Keeping the card would be a no-brainer for me if I didn’t already carry an Amex Platinum. I recently decided I was keeping that card, with MrsMJ as an authorized user for my Sky Club access. As I noted in that post, the card’s other benefits are useful to us in our travels even with the forthcoming loss of Admirals Club and US Airways Club access in March. Frankly, I had planned on keeping both cards but the recent changes in Sky Club access rules, specifically the forthcoming removal of guesting privileges from both card products, forced me to take a second look at my plans.
As the Reserve Card is currently structured, the only compelling reasons for me to keep it are the buy one get one and that it serves as a tie-breaker for upgrades. In other words, if two Platinum Medallions are on the upgrade list for one seat with all the other things that Delta considers for priority being equal, the one carrying the Reserve Card wins. Truth told, I don’t have a clue if it’s ever really benefited me, but it is a consideration for me, and an important one.
If the Reserve Card were like the other (AA and UA) airline club credit card products in that it provided an actual lounge membership, I’d be a lot more likely to keep it. In the end, I haven’t made up my mind yet, and I have some time to think about it. Whatever decision I make will figure heavily in my overall card strategy for this year and next. In short, I’m looking at a bit of a re-engineering of what’s in my wallet, but that’s a post for another day.
-MJ, February 1, 2014