The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is a great card to add to your wallet if you fly Delta regularly. Even when accounting for early 2020 changes, most Delta loyalists can earn back their annual fee with ease. Free checked bags, Delta Sky Club access, Centurion Lounge access, priority boarding, and the current welcome offer make this credit card an enticing option for current and rising Delta flyers.
Even still, the card isn’t perfect. Here are some of the features we wish came with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card:
» Learn more: Full review of the Delta Reserve credit card
Lower annual fee
The $550 price mark is hard to stomach upfront, especially since you can’t “earn” back that money until you’ve flown a handful of times on Delta with baggage in tow. Terms apply.
Immediate companion certificate
After signing up for your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, you have to wait until your card renewal before the Companion Certificate is issued (terms apply). Since the Companion Certificate is a high-dollar perk to offset your entry costs, we wish it were issued more quickly.
Miles + MQMs, please
As of Jan. 30, 2020, the “Miles Boost” feature was replaced with “Status Boost.” That means cardholders who meet certain spending requirements each calendar year will only earn Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs):
15,000 MQMs after spending $30,000 or more in eligible purchases.
15,000 MQMs after you spend $60,000.
15,000 MQMs after you spend $90,000.
15,000 MQMs after you spend $120,000.
In years past, these spending thresholds would award both MQMs and additional Delta miles. That's no longer the case.
More category bonuses
As it stands, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card earns 3 miles per $1 spent on Delta-related purchases, but only 1 mile per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases. Terms apply.
We’d be way more likely to grab this credit card at checkout if it included unique rewards on other types of purchases, like dining. A 2x bonus at restaurants would make us much happier spenders.
Lower status thresholds
We get it. Delta Platinum or Diamond Medallion status is reserved for frequent travelers. But wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to spend $120,000 on this credit card to earn the MQMs necessary for Gold status?
We’d love to see more attainable spending thresholds.
Bring back Delta Sky Priority security access
As of Jan. 30, 2020, access to Delta’s expedited security, Sky Priority, is no longer available to Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card.
This was a great perk for speeding through airport security, and we say bring it back!
On the bright side, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card cardholders will receive $100 fee credit toward Global Entry application fees. Terms apply.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Best airline credit cards Which Delta Air Lines credit card should you get? Delta Air Lines SkyMiles program: The complete guide