The bottom line: Do you fly Delta Air Lines with someone at least once a year? If so, then this card should pay for itself. If not, look for a cheaper alternative.
Quick FactsView rates and fees
Pros & Cons
No foreign transaction fee
Annual Companion Certificate (Terms Apply)
Has annual fee
Compare to Other Cards
$0 intro for the first year, then $99
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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In terms of value, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card soars above other airline credit cards — even with its steep annual fee of $250.
That's because after your first year it comes with an annual companion certificate — a rare and valuable perk that covers the cost of a round-trip domestic economy ticket for someone flying with you. Such a benefit could save you hundreds of dollars a year, regardless of how much you spend with the card.
For Delta Air Lines devotees, this certificate alone is reason enough to pounce on this card. But if you're on the fence, here's what you need to know.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card: Basics
(To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please visit this page.)
Card type: Airline.
Annual fee: $250.
Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020. Terms Apply.
3 miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta.
3 miles per dollar spent directly with hotels.
2 miles per dollar at restaurants.
2 miles per dollar at U.S. supermarkets.
1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
NerdWallet values Delta miles at 0.9 cent each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data on hundreds of economy routes, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 0.9 cent or more in value from your Delta miles.
Annual companion certificate upon renewal (good for one round-trip domestic flight in main cabin for someone traveling with you, less some taxes and fees).
First checked bag is free for you and up to 8 other passengers traveling on the same reservation.
20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases.
Credit of up to $100 every four years for the application fee for either TSA Precheck or Global Entry.
Status Boost bonuses: Earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $25,000 or more in eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year, and another 10,000 MQMs after spending $50,000 that same calendar year. Terms apply.
Why you might want the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
This card’s most valuable feature, by a long shot, is its annual companion certificate, which becomes available when you renew your card membership every year.
The certificate gets you one main cabin round trip for someone traveling on the same itinerary as you within the 48 contiguous states. The only expenses you'll have to cover for that flight are taxes and fees, but those are capped at $75. Those living in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands can also use it to cover flights originating in their home state or territory to the mainland and back, as long as their address is on their account.
Used strategically, this certificate could save you over $1,000 each year, especially if you tend to travel during peak season when flights get expensive.
A way to work toward elite status
Not all airline cards help you get closer to elite status — which gets you several perks reserved for loyal flyers — but the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card does. It starts out with a generous welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020. Terms Apply. With that bonus, you could book an ambitious round-trip international flight.
Big spenders can also earn additional miles, including MQMs. After spending $25,000 or more in eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs. After hitting $50,000 in spending that same year, you'll get another 10,000 MQMs. Terms apply.
How it compares with other Delta cards
In the Delta credit card family, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card is the second-most-premium option. It offers plenty of rich benefits, but doesn't carry the highest annual fee. If you're looking for a Delta card with a different mix of benefits, you have plenty of options. Check out NerdWallet's comparison of Delta credit cards for more information.
Here's how these cards stack up at a glance. (Table shows current earning rates and benefits. See this article for changes taking effect in January 2020.)
Why you might want a different card
A LOWER ANNUAL FEE
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card has a markedly lower fee, and it earns points in similar categories. You get 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases, and 1.5 points for every dollar spent on all other purchases. It also offers $200 in travel credits, including up to a $100 reimbursement for a Global Entry or TSA Precheck application, and up to $100 in airline incidental credit, for purchases such as seat upgrades, checked bags and day passes to lounges. This card won't get you into a Delta Sky Club, but it could help you cover the cost of staying in a different lounge. There's also a great bonus offer.
Lounge Access isn't free
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card is full of razzle-dazzle, but its lounge benefits are a little underwhelming. With its relatively high annual fee, you might expect at least a few one-time lounge passes to be included. Instead, the card only allows you to purchase day passes to Delta's Sky Club lounges for $39 a person. (To be sure, you wouldn't be able to purchase day passes at all if you didn't have a qualifying Delta card; the airline stopped offering these to the general public in late 2018.)
If lounge access is your top priority, go with another Platinum card instead — namely, The Platinum Card® from American Express. It offers access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide, including Delta's Sky Club lounges (when you're flying Delta), along with a bevy of other benefits. The annual fee is huge, but for perpetual travelers who can take advantage of everything it offers, it could be worth the cost. Terms apply.
Is the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card right for you?
For those who can't make good use of its companion certificate benefit and rewards categories, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card likely isn't a good fit. But if you can use the certificate to cover one big trip each year, and if the rewards and benefits you'd get on the card outweigh the annual fee, it should be at the top of your list.
To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please visit this page.
To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please visit this page.
To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this page.
on American Express's website
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