Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card Review

overall rating
3.4

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The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express card offers outstanding travel perks and an exceptional bonus offer. Cardholders earn 3 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other expenses. It has a $250 annual fee, but you could justify that cost just by using the round-trip companion pass.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card

Overall Rating
3.4
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card
On American Express' Secured Site.
Current Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualifications Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 10/28/2020.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $250
Balance Transfer Fee If eligible, either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

Currently rated one of our

Full Review of Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

Pros
  • Exceptional bonus offer for new cardholders

  • Outstanding travel perks

  • Opportunity for higher rewards

Cons
  • No free lounge access

  • $250 annual fee

Pros Explained

  • Exceptional Bonus Offer for New Cardholders: Cardholders earn 60,000 bonus miles and receive 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first three months until October 28, 2020. The bonus miles alone are worth $924 according to our valuation of 1.54 cents per mile when redeemed for Delta travel. The MQMs get you closer to earning Delta’s Medallion Status, which brings a number of benefits when traveling with the airline. New cardholders also earn an additional $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first three months. That puts our value of this bonus offer at $1,024. 
  • Outstanding Travel Benefits: This card offers a range of travel benefits, the most notable of which is the annual travel companion certificate. Cardholders receive a domestic main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal. With this certificate, you only pay applicable taxes and fees of no more than $75 to bring a companion with you—a potential savings of hundreds of dollars or more per year. Cardholders also get the first checked bag free for themselves as well as for up to nine passengers traveling on their same reservation. That’s in addition to other perks like main cabin 1 priority boarding and access to Delta Sky Club lounges for $39.
  • Opportunity for higher rewards: Big spenders can really boost their miles with this card. If in any calendar year eligible purchases on the card are $25,000 or more, the cardmember will be awarded 10,000 MQMs—a benefit that, along with the MQMs you received as a bonus offer, would get you most or all of the way to earning Silver Medallion Status. If in that same calendar year eligible purchases on the card are $50,000 or more, an additional 10,000 MQMs will be awarded.

Cons Explained

  • No Free Lounge Access: Premium travel cards often come with complimentary lounge access, sometimes to thousands of lounges worldwide. This card charges for you and up to two guests to the Delta Sky Club at $39 per person. While those are exclusive card member rates, they could add up quickly if you frequent airport lounges often.
  • $250 Annual Fee: This card's annual fee isn't the highest among travel cards—the Delta Reserve card, for example, has a $550 annual fee. But if you don't take advantage of enough of the benefits to justify its $250 annual fee, it's likely not worth it.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Loyalty Status Seeker Persona
    Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
    Loyalty Status Seeker
  • Avatar for Frequent Flyer Persona
    Flies often for business or leisure
    Frequent Flyer
  • Avatar for Frequent Diner Persona
    Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
    Frequent Diner
  • Avatar for International Traveler Persona
    Travels outside of U.S. on occasion or frequently
    International Traveler

Delta devotees will undeniably get the most benefit from the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex card. If you travel at least a couple of times per year and choose Delta and its partners over other airlines, this card can help you get more value when you travel while providing some nice perks. 

This card is worth considering as long as you maximize the benefits enough to outweigh the annual fee. For example, since companions travel free (other than taxes and fees), this card can be an extra value and help further justify the annual fee if you often have a travel buddy. Using the companion certificate to pay for one big trip each year will save an average of $364 on a round-trip ticket.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Bonus Offer

This card packs a number of opportunities to earn more rewards in a single one-time offer. First, cardholders can earn 40,000 bonus miles and 5,000 MQMs after they spend $2,000 within the first three months. Then, cardholders can receive a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first three months. Including the $100 certificate, that puts the value of the one-time offer at $740 when redeemed for domestic travel through Delta. Few cards have such a significant bonus offer.

The bonus MQMs are especially worthwhile for those close to earning Medallion Status with Delta. For the record, you need 25,000 MQMs in order to reach Silver Medallion status, 50,000 to reach Gold, 75,000 to reach Platinum, and 125,000 to reach Diamond.

With Silver Medallion status, you earn 7 miles per dollar spent on flights and get unlimited rollover MQMs, unlimited complimentary upgrades to first class and Delta Comfort, and priority check-in and boarding.

Rewards Earning Details

Cardholders earn unlimited 3 miles per dollar spent on purchases where Delta is the merchant, including flights, seat upgrades, in-flight food, Sky Club membership or passes, and Delta Vacations. Hotel expenditures made directly from hotels charged to the card earn the same 3-points-per-dollar rewards, while restaurant and U.S. supermarket spending earns 2 points per dollar.  

All other purchases made with this card earn 1 mile per dollar spent. Your miles never expire.

Rewards Redemption Details

You must be enrolled in the Delta SkyMiles rewards program to redeem miles with this card. You can redeem your miles through Delta's website, by phone, or at a Delta ticket counter.

Miles can be redeemed for Delta flights and other Delta purchases, including Sky Club membership, seat upgrades, gift cards, experiences, and merchandise.  

At 1.54 cents apiece, according to Investopedia's Points valuation Survey, miles redeemed for domestic Delta flights are not consistently on a par with those of the most valuable loyalty programs. For comparison, United's credit cards offer a value of 2.19 cents per mile when redeemed for domestic flights. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

Using this card for all of your Delta travel expenses and taking full advantage of its perks can really amplify rewards.

If you aren't already a member of the Delta SkyMiles rewards program you will be assigned a rewards number when you’re approved for the Delta Skymiles Platinum Amex. In addition to earning 3 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, general SkyMiles rewards members earn an additional 5 miles for every $1 spent on Delta flights. 

You should also be sure to take advantage of this card's biggest feature: the companion pass. You could potentially obtain enough value to justify the annual fee by using it for a single trip per year. The card's other benefits—free checked bags, priority boarding, and savings on in-flight purchases—will maximize rewards even further.  

Average Case

A couple who travels together twice a year could earn 4,368 miles (worth about $67 when used for flights) with this card on average and save nearly $300 on flights alone with the free companion pass.

According to the Bureau of Transportation, the average round-trip flight costs $364. Using that as a baseline, a couple using this card's companion pass who takes two round-trip flights per year would save $289 or more (assuming they pay the maximum taxes and fees of $75 per round-trip ticket with the companion pass). They would then earn 3 miles per dollar spent on flights with this card. That's worth about $33 when redeemed for travel through Delta.

This calculation doesn't include the miles earned for additional spending on those two trips or for day-to-day spending, or the one-time offer of 40,000 miles. It also doesn't include the free checked bags each way, which could potentially add an additional $120 to the card's value.

Aspirational Case

This card provides even more value for families who fly together throughout the year. Let's assume, for example, that you’re a family of four taking two domestic trips a year at the national average ticket price. We’ll further assume the annual companion certificate is used for one of those round-trip flights, leaving seven remaining to be purchased. With round-trip tickets costing a national average of $364, you would spend $2,548 on flights, which would earn nearly 7,644 points by using the card. 

Those are worth about $118 when redeemed for domestic Delta flights. Like in the scenario above, you would also save an additional $289 or more by using the companion pass (the net cost after the fees of $75, which are the cardholder’s responsibility, are deducted from the $364 fare.) Assuming the family also checked bags on every flight, the free checked bag for each family member would help even more, adding $480 to this card's value.

Our calculations for this card again assume you earn 3 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases with this card. It doesn't include the miles you would earn for spending outside of flights.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card's Outstanding Benefits

  • Companion pass
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre-check Credit
  • Annual Miles Boost
  • First checked bag free
  • Main cabin 1 priority boarding
  • 20% in-flight savings
  • Discounted per-rate visit to Delta Sky Club

Standard Benefits

  • Car rental collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • 24/7 global assistance hotline
  • Baggage insurance
  • No fraud liability
  • Year-end summary 

Cardholder Experience

American Express ranked just below top-ranked Discover in J.D. Power's 2019 credit card customer satisfaction survey.

American Express customer service can be reached 24/7 at 800-528-4800, or you can log into your online account and chat with a representative. Customer service is also available on Facebook, and you can tweet questions and comments to @AskAmex.

Security Features

American Express maintains a number of standard security features for its cardholders. Its website offers encryption technology, automatic time-outs, email confirmation and password recovery, and personal security keys for authentication.

It also offers fraud protection, including pre-purchase verification, automatic monitoring for suspicious transactions, and alerts for irregular account activity.

Our Verdict

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles card’s luxury benefits and generous bonus offer make it a worthwhile choice for frequent Delta travelers. But the companion pass is this card's best feature and significantly increases its annual value.

Those who won't use the companion pass or other premium perks might be better served by the less costly Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex card. It has an annual fee of $99 and offers the same 2 miles per dollar rewards on restaurants and U.S. supermarkets as this card. It has the same rewards rate on Delta purchases, and 1 mile per dollar on everything else.

If you're seeking more freedom with how you earn rewards for travel, and don’t want to be limited to Delta, you might consider a card like the American Express Platinum card. It has a $550 annual fee but offers 5 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express travel and also allows you to transfer points to its travel partners, including Delta.

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For Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card
on American Express' Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card
overall rating
3.4
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $250
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.