What to Know Before Getting the Delta Reserve AmEx

The Companion Certificate is a valuable perk, but has some limits.
Meg Lee
By Meg Lee 
Edited by Mary M. Flory

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If you’re thinking about applying for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, these are the most important factors for you to consider.

1. The benefits

All Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card cardholders can have access to the following benefits:

  • Get a head start on status with a $2,500 Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) bonus each year.

  • Earn 3x miles per $1 spent on eligible Delta purchases rather than 2x.

  • Receive a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit.

  • Access to AmEx Centurion Lounges when using this card to book your Delta flight.

  • Up to $10 back in statement credits each month on U.S. rideshare purchases with select providers.

  • Up to $20 per month in statement credits on eligible Resy purchases.

  • $200 Delta Stays statement credit.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 visits per year to the Delta Sky Club. To earn an unlimited number of visits each year, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more the previous year. To earn unlimited visits in 2025, you’ll need to spend this amount between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24.

Terms apply.

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. Your complimentary companion certificate comes with some strings attached

One high-value perk of holding the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is the complimentary Companion Certificate that is issued annually. Terms apply.

If you play your cards right, you should be able to easily cover the cost of the annual fee by utilizing the companion certificate.

The Companion Certificate is valid for one round-trip first class, Delta Comfort+ or main cabin ticket to select locations. The Companion Certificate must be redeemed at the same time your primary ticket is booked, and it is only applicable to Delta, Delta Connection and Delta Shuttle flights.

You'll still be on the hook for government-imposed taxes and fees, which can cost up to $250 on international flights.

The bottom line

Before signing up for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, it’s essential that you understand the recent annual fee price increase, the ways the benefits have evolved, how the card is focusing on MQD acquisition and the restrictions imposed on the Companion Certificate. 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 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 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 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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