4 Things to Do When You Get the Delta SkyMiles Reserve AmEx Card

Anya Kartashova
By Anya Kartashova 
Edited by Jeanette Margle
5 Things to Do When You Get the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

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Opening a new credit card for perks and rewards can be exciting. In the midst of that excitement, you might forget all the benefits a particular card offers and, perhaps, make a few mistakes.

If you’re a frequent Delta Air Lines flyer, consider applying for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. It comes with lots of perks and a $650 annual fee. Terms apply.

Trust us: Once you’re approved, you don’t want to forget to do the following five things.

1. Earn the welcome bonus

A credit card welcome bonus is like a gift from someone you’re really close to: You know what’s in the box, you just have to wait until your birthday to open it.

With the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, you know you’ll get a nice welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Make sure to hit that minimum spend within the first six months. If you miss that deadline, you won’t get the bonus miles.

Earn up to 120,000 bonus points with our favorite American Express cards
Check out our nerdy picks for the best American Express credit cards and find the right card for you.

2. Apply for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card offers an enrollment fee credit to those applying for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. The reimbursement comes in the form of a statement credit after you apply for one of the programs and pay $78 for TSA PreCheck or $100 for Global Entry. Terms apply.

The credit is given once every four years toward Global Entry and every 4.5 years toward TSA Precheck, and you want to make sure you use it as soon as possible to restart the clock. After the initial application fee, PreCheck renewal only costs $70 if completed online, so you're more than covered on that front.

If you’re already enrolled in either program, feel free to use the credit on a friend or a family member and enroll them instead, as the credit doesn’t have to be used by the primary cardholder. Terms apply.

3. Find Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge locations

As a Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card member, you can access Delta Sky Clubs and Centurion Lounges at no extra cost with a same-day Delta boarding pass.

You'll also receive four complimentary Delta Sky Club guest passes per year. After using those, you'll have to pay the guest fee of $50 per person. Meanwhile, no complimentary guests are included for Centurion Lounge access, but you can bring friends or family along for $50 per person.

Guest access in either lounge is limited to two guests per visit. Terms apply.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Starting in 2025, cardholders will no longer get unlimited access to Delta Sky Clubs. Beginning, Feb. 1, 2025, cardholders will receive 15 visits per program year. Members can earn unlimited visits after spending $75,000 on the card in a calendar year. Once earned, unlimited visits will last through Jan. 31 of the following year. Read more about the changes here.

Once you receive your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, research whether your home airport has a Delta Sky Club or a Centurion Lounge and their locations in the terminal. Also look for these lounges at your frequently visited airports.

You never know when your short delay turns into a long wait, and hanging around a lounge is much better than sitting at the gate. Keep in mind you can only access Delta Sky Clubs up to three hours before your departing flight (unless you have a layover).

4. Learn about the Delta SkyMiles program

If you’re going to start collecting Delta SkyMiles, you should know how much a SkyMile is worth.

Delta doesn’t publish an award chart — the number of miles you need for an award flight is based on a dynamic pricing system, meaning the award price can fluctuate based on things like time of year. Get a feel for how far your miles can take you by searching for some sample award flights on Delta’s website.

NerdWallet values Delta SkyMiles at an average of 1.2 cents each when redeemed for economy flights.

Award flights aren’t the only way to spend your SkyMiles. From Delta Flash Sales and Pay with Miles (which lets you redeem SkyMiles to reduce the cost of a cash ticket — an option available to co-branded cardholders only) to Sky Club membership and Dom Perignon Champagne in the Sky Club, you’ll find many ways to spend your SkyMiles.

Not all these redemption options will be worthwhile to you, but that’s all the more reason to learn the ins and outs of Delta SkyMiles.

The bottom line

When you open a premium travel rewards credit card, it’s important to maximize its full potential. You want to get as much value back from your annual fee as possible. With a little planning and organization on your part, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card can pay for itself over time.

All information about the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.

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 2024, including those best for:

Cards for Delta from our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.


Intro offer


Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

See more cards for delta
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