Underrated Reasons Why You Need a Delta SkyMiles Platinum AmEx Card

The elite status qualification miles and discounted lounge access give cardholders an elevated flying experience.
Ramsey Qubein
By Ramsey Qubein 
Edited by Jeanette Margle
Underrated Reasons Why You Need a Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card can offer a lot of value if you make the most of it. Beyond earning SkyMiles for future travel, there are lots of great reasons this card could be worth its $250 annual fee. To decide if this card’s for you, consider the well-known and underrated reasons it can be worthwhile. Terms apply.

The well-known reasons

Here’s a quick look at some well-known benefits of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. Terms apply.

  • Welcome bonus offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months. Terms Apply. NerdWallet values Delta Air Lines SkyMiles at 1.5 cents apiece, so this makes the welcome bonus offer alone substantial amount.

  • Bonus miles on purchases: Earn 3x miles on most Delta Air Lines purchases and for reservations and purchases made directly with hotels. Earn 2x miles at restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 1x mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases. Terms apply.

  • First checked bag free: The primary cardholder and up to eight companions on the same reservation for domestic flights get a free checked bag. That’s a $30 savings per bag in each direction. If a family of five takes one roundtrip, the card’s annual fee is more than covered in bag savings alone. Terms apply.

Underrated reasons

Bonus Medallion Qualification Miles toward elite status

If you spend $25,000 in a calendar year, you get 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles toward the next level of elite status with Delta Air Lines. You can earn this bonus twice, which means you can earn a total of 20,000 MQMs without flying if you put $50,000 in spending on the card. Depending on the Medallion status you reach, you could enjoy perks like bonus miles when you fly or even complimentary upgrades. No other major domestic airline makes it as easy to become an elite member through credit card spending. Terms apply.

Medallion Qualification Dollars waiver

To reach Delta’s Medallion elite status, travelers need to earn not only MQMs but also Medallion Qualification Dollars. But if you spend enough on the card, the MQD requirement is waived. This credit card waives all MQD requirements for Silver, Gold and Platinum Medallion status if you spend $25,000 within the calendar year. If you spend $250,000 in a year, Delta will waive the MQD threshold requirement for top-tier Diamond Medallion status. If you’re serious about becoming an elite Delta SkyMiles member or if you’re already elite but want to move up the ladder, this perk could be reason enough to have the card. Terms apply.

Priority boarding

Cardholders can board earlier as part of the Main Cabin 1 group with the card’s priority boarding perk. Terms apply.

Annual companion certificate

The card lets you bring a travel companion on a domestic economy trip for free with the annual companion certificate you earn after you renew your card membership. Not every flight is eligible, but chances are you can get substantial savings with this certificate. Terms apply.

No foreign transaction fees

If you travel out of the country and use this card, you won’t pay any foreign transaction fees. This can save as much as 3% in fees charged by other cards. Terms apply.

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit

The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card comes with a $100 credit toward Global Entry once every four years or an $85 credit toward TSA Precheck every 4 1/2 years (note that PreCheck now only costs $78 for a five-year membership). Just use the card to pay for these expedited travel programs, and if you’re approved, the fee will be credited back to your statement. Terms apply.

Discounted airport lounge access

This card allows travelers to access the Delta Sky Club lounge for $39 per person up to three hours before their departing flight (or longer during layovers). Terms apply.

In-flight savings

Thirsty or hungry in-flight? Use the card to save 20% (in the form of a statement credit) on food, drinks and audio headsets onboard. Terms apply.

ShopRunner membership

The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card comes with a free ShopRunner membership, getting you free two-day shipping on eligible purchases from more than 100 stores. Terms apply.

Extended warranty

Use the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card to buy an item with a manufacturer’s warranty and American Express will add on another year of warranty protection. If the item breaks down and needs to be repaired or replaced, the policy covers you up to $10,000. This is a valuable benefit if you’re planning on purchasing a big-ticket item, like a computer or television. Terms apply.

The bottom line

With a juicy welcome bonus offer and lots of perks, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card can actually save you money each year well above the annual fee. Even if you only fly Delta a few times per year, this card can be worth your while for the perks like free checked bags, no foreign transaction fees and purchase protections. And it may even give you the boost you need to earn SkyMiles Medallion status. 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 2023, including those best for:

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.