Delta Sky Club lounges recently limited access for nonmembers, making it one of the more exclusive airport lounges out there. Day passes are no longer available for cash or miles. These lounges generally include amenities like complimentary wine, craft beer and spirits, showers to freshen up before the next leg of your journey, comfortable seating, and a variety of food options.
Getting into the lounge generally requires buying an annual membership, earning your way in as a top-tier Medallion member or flying in a premium cabin. You can also gain immediate or discounted access through certain credit cards. Here are the cards that will get you access so you can escape the hubbub of frustrating airport travel:
Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
The Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express is one of the fastest and easiest ways to gain access to the Delta Sky Club. Cardholders gain complimentary access to Sky Club Lounges when traveling on a Delta-marketed or operated flight. Cardholders can bring up to two guests into the lounge at a discounted rate of $29 per person.
There are also a number of benefits beyond lounge access. Earn 75,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer Expires 10/30/2019. Terms Apply.
And big spenders can earn additional MQMs for hitting certain spending thresholds:
- Earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 15,000 bonus miles after spending $30,000 on purchases on your Delta Reserve Credit Card in a calendar year.
- Earn an additional 15,000 MQMs and an additional 15,000 bonus miles after you spend $60,000 on purchases on your Delta Reserve Credit Card in a calendar year.
Cardholders earn 2 miles per $1 spent on Delta purchases and 1 mile per $1 everywhere else. Cardholders also receive an annual companion certificate, valid for a round-trip ticket within the contiguous 48 United States.
The downside to the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express is the annual fee of $450 ($550 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020).
» Learn more: Review: Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium credit card with perks and benefits to match. The $550 annual fee might seem intimidating at first, but the benefits can easily be worth more than that.
In addition to Delta Sky Club access, this card gains you access to over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide through the American Express Global Lounge Collection.
Platinum cardholders gain a bevy of other travel benefits to make traveling easier beyond just lounge access. After selecting a participating airline each year, cardholders receive $200 in statement credits. Cardholders can also choose between a $100 fee credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry every four years (4.5 for TSA Precheck). American Express has also partnered with Uber to offer cardholders free rides in the U.S., up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December.
» Learn more: Review: American Express Platinum Card
Discounted Sky Club access
Interested in lounge access but not a frequent enough flyer to warrant one of the cards with high annual fees? The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express currently offer discounted access to Sky Club lounges for cardholders and up to two guests for just $29 per person. Cardholders must be traveling on a Delta flight to access the lounge. The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express has an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95, while the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express has an annual fee of $195 ($250 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020).
Note that as of Jan. 30, 2020, these benefits will be changing. The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express will increase the Sky Club access fee to $39 per person, and the discounted access benefit will be removed from the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express.
The bottom line
Delta may have eliminated daily passes to its Sky Club lounges, but that doesn’t mean access is out of reach. The cards above cater to frequent travelers and those looking to save on lounge access. Sky Clubs are generally a cut above the basic domestic airline lounge, so getting in at a discount could be worth it.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best travel credit card for you
Is the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card From American Express Right for Me?
Lounge Review: Delta Sky Club at Denver International Airport