The American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card is a great card for Delta fans who want benefits, but don’t want a premium card. It has a $195 annual fee (NOT waived the first year) and some nice benefits for Delta flyers. I recommend this card for Delta loyalists who travel frequently, but won’t use the Delta Lounges or their Concierge.
Don’t confuse this card with the regular American Express Platinum Card. This card is a mid-tier co-branded Delta card. The former card is directly from American Express and it earns more flexible Amex Membership Rewards points.
Earning is not this card’s strong suit. Like the Delta Gold Card, it earns 2x SkyMiles on all purchases made directly with Delta. Such purchases include airfare, Sky Club membership, and vacation packages. All other purchases earn one single SkyMile.
What separates the Delta Platinum Card from its “little sibling” is the chance to earn bonus miles. The Delta Platinum Card has access to Miles Boost, which lets you earn more points after spending $25,000. To be exact, you will earn 10,000 SkyMiles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $25,000. You can repeat this twice per calendar year for a total of 20,000 SkyMiles and 20,000 MQMs for $50,000.
I would not put $25,000 or more on the Delta Platinum Card because you can put it on other cards. You will prevent yourself from hitting sign-up bonuses, earning more valuable points and miles, and taking opportunities. But Amex and Delta’s idea is noble.
This card has an elevated sign-up bonus worth 75,000 SkyMiles and 5,000 MQMs. It can be earned after spending $3,000 in the first three months. You will also earn a $100 statement credit after making one purchase within the first three months. This is nice because it justifies more than half of the card’s annual fee for the first year. This special bonus will last until July 2, 2019. The card’s regular sign-up bonus is worth 35,000 SkyMiles and 5,000 MQMs. However, it can be earned by spending $2,000 in the first three months.
The Delta Platinum Card gives you a few ways to redeem your SkyMiles.
The most obvious way to redeem Delta SkyMiles is for airfare. Miles can go a long way for airfare, but you need to do some research to get maximum value. This is because Delta does not have a rewards chart posted online.
Miles + Cash is a great option if you don’t have many miles or if you’re short a few miles for a certain redemption. Many co-branded cards have this option and it’s nice to see Delta have it too.
Delta also offers vacation packages that can be purchases with miles. This is nice for those who don’t want to do much research and planning for their next vacation. It’s also great for last-minute trips.
You can also use SkyMiles to upgrade your seat or even get membership to the Delta SkyLounge. Gift cards and donations to charity are two other options for redemption.
As a co-branded airline card, the Delta Platinum Card’s value lies in its perks. Most, if not all, of the $195 annual fee could be justified here.
Annual Companion Certificate
This is the biggest benefit offered with the Delta Platinum Card. You will receive one complimentary Companion Certificate for a round-trip ticket in main class every time you pay your annual fee. The certificate gives you the opportunity to fly someone else with you for free. It could be worth hundreds of dollars, depending on the flight and when you book your ticket.
The caveat is that you can only redeem the certificate at Delta.com. You cannot redeem it via phone reservation or any other way. It will appear on your Delta.com account upon paying your annual fee.
Free Checked Bags
Delta lets cardmembers and up to eight other people in the same reservation check their first bags for free on any roundtrip flight. This perk can be worth around $60 per person if your bag complies. It can be very useful if you’re traveling with a family or a large group of people.
Discounted Delta SkyLounge Rates
Delta Platinum (and Gold) cardmembers can pay a reduced fee of $29 to gain access to the Delta SkyLounge. All you need is your Delta Card, a ticket for the same day, and the money. SkyLounge access is complimentary for Amex Platinum and Amex Delta Reserve cardmembers. This perk is redundant if you have either of those cards.
Cardmembers can also board their flights early. This is awesome because you can avoid the traffic from the general public when boarding. Fewer people also makes it easier for you to find your seat and you get first choice of overhead storage bin space.
20% Discount on In-Flight Purchases
Receive 20% off in-flight purchases when you use your Delta card. This is nice for in-flight meals, entertainment, or other incidentals.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
You can save 2.7% on all your international purchases because there are no pesky forex fees.
Rules & Regulations
The Delta Platinum card is subject to Amex’s card application rules. This include the Once Per Lifetime Rule, which states that you can only receive a sign-up bonus on any card once ever. Therefore, you should apply for this card when the sign-up bonus is as high as possible.
What if the Delta Gold Card is not right for you? Check out the following cards for other options:
American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles Card
The Amex Gold Delta SkyMiles Card is a stripped-down version of the Delta Platinum Card. Both cards have the same earning structure, but the Delta Platinum Card has more perks. The Delta Gold Card also has a $95 annual fee which is waived the first year.
This card has all the perks the Platinum Card has except for the Annual Companion Certificate. That certificate could justify the Platinum Card’s higher annual fee for some people. But the Gold Card is the better option for those who don’t find the certificate valuable.
This card has a two-part sign-up bonus. You can receive a $50 statement credit after making one Delta purchase in the first 3 months. I suggest buying a Delta gift card up to $50 and pocketing the rest. You will also receive 30,000 SkyMiles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
American Express Delta Reserve Card
This card is like the Platinum Card, but it has more enhanced benefits and earning opportunities. The Delta Reserve has a $450 annual fee (NOT waived the first year). But there are more ways to justify that fee.
The Reserve Card has two more benefits than the Platinum Card: Delta Concierge and free SkyLounge access. It also has a bigger version of the Miles Boost program. You can earn 15,000 SkyMiles and 15,000 MQMs for spending $30,000 per calendar year. This can be done twice per calendar year like with the Platinum Card. However, I don’t recommend partaking in the program for the same reasons.
The Reserve Card has a limited-time sign-up bonus worth 75,000 SkyMiles and 5,000 MQMs. You can earn this bonus after spending a whopping $5,000 within the first three months. This bonus ends on July 2, 2019.
The American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card is a nice card for Delta loyalists who want more from their Delta card. Its value lies in its free checked bags perk and the Annual Companion Certificate. The Delta Platinum Card is a nice balance between annual fees and perks.
For $195 per year, you’re getting most of the perks the Delta cards have to offer. But you’re also not breaking the bank with a $450 annual fee. Less is more for some travelers.
Apply Today: American Express Delta Platinum SkyMiles Card