Full Review of Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Credit Card
Decent luxury travel benefits
Easy-to-earn welcome offer
Opportunity to earn MQMs without flying
High annual fee
No free lounge access
- Decent Luxury Travel Benefits: While hardly exceptional, this card’s premium benefits are commensurate with its cost. The most valuable is the annual companion pass. It allows you to bring a companion with you on one domestic main cabin round-trip flight each year and only pay taxes and fees of no more than $75. Other pluses include main-cabin priority boarding, 20% in-flight savings, baggage insurance and a free checked bag per flight for you and up to nine passengers in your party.
- Easy-to-Earn One-Time Offer: The one-time offer of 45,000 bonus miles (worth $720 in Delta flights, by Investopedia’s valuation) and 5,000 MQMs isn't the most valuable on the market. However, earning it only requires $3,000 in spending within the first three months of membership, which represents an exceptional 24% return on required spending. Many competing cards with comparable bonuses require spending thousands more within the same time after opening an account.
- Opportunity to Earn MQMs Without Flying: Businesses who spend heavily have the chance with this card to earn more medal qualifying miles, or "MQMs"—the Delta units you require to help earn Medallion Status with the SkyMiles program. While these miles are generally earned by taking flights, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business allows you to receive them as a bonus for high spending. Charging $25,000 to this card will earn you 10,000 MQMs, which can be earned two times per year. That bonus, along with the 5,000 MQMs you likely received by fulfilling the one-time offer, would alone get you more than halfway to earning Silver Medallion status, which requires 25,000 MQMs. You could reach Silver status if you spent $50,000 in total within a year, since that earns you an additional 20,000 MQMs.
- High Annual Fee for What You Get: There are cards that charge more than the $250 annual fee of this card, even within the family of Delta credit cards; the Delta Reserve card, for example, charges a steep $550 per year. But most pricier cards offer more than this one, particularly when it comes to luxury travel benefits. Putting aside the value of its bonus offer and annual companion certificate, you’ll need to spend more than $5,000 a year—$5,208 to be precise—on hotels and Delta flights to justify the annual fee for this card. If such spending is above your rank as a road warrior, you’ll need to spend triple that amount (or about $1,300 a month) to justify the annual fee in rewards earned from regular purchases, which earn only 1 Skymile per dollar spent.
- No Free Lounge Access: You might expect an airline card with a $250 annual fee to bestow complimentary access to the carrier’s airport lounges, if only for a few visits a year. But the best the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business can do is offer access to Delta Sky Club lounges at a discounted rate of $39 per visit, rather than the usual $59.
This Card is Best For
Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
Flies often for business or leisure
Travels outside of U.S. on occasion or frequently
Earning a primary or side income from a small business
The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business is best suited to small businesses whose employees fly—a lot—with Delta and stay at hotels when they do. It’s also for those who want to earn strong Delta rewards and are content with only a few travel extras.
If you travel at least periodically with an employee or business associate, this card becomes more valuable. The annual companion certificate, which allows you to bring one companion on a domestic round-trip flight per year for no more than $75, is worth hundreds of dollars annually. Plus, you get a free checked bag per flight—a $60 value round-trip—for you and up to nine passengers.
It helps, too, if the cardholder is in pursuit of higher status in the Delta SkyMiles program, since the card’s bonus MQMs based on spending could help them advance to the Silver level or beyond.
Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Credit Card Bonus Offer
New card members receive a $100 statement credit for making a single Delta purchase on their card within the first 3 months. And, they earn 5,000 MQMs and 45,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 with the card within the same 3 months of account memberships.
We value the bonus miles at $720 when redeemed for domestic Delta flights. With the $100 statement credit also added, the total potential value rises to $820, which is enough to justify the annual fee for more than 3 years.
The bonus MQMs are hard to value, but they can get you closer to earning Medallion Status with the airline. It takes 25,000 MQMs to reach Silver Medallion Status, a perk that boosts your SkyMiles rewards to 7 miles per dollar spent, not counting the 3 points you earn from using the card. You also receive other benefits from the status, including the ability to roll over MQMs from year to year.
Rewards Earning Details
Cardholders earn 3 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, which includes expenditures for flights, seat upgrades, in-flight expenses, Delta Vacations, and Sky Club membership or passes. You also earn 3 miles per dollar spent for hotel stays, provided you pay the hotel directly upon check-in or check-out. All other transactions earn 1 mile per dollar.
Rewards Redemption Details
Cardholders must be members of the Delta SkyMiles rewards program to redeem miles through Delta's app, website, by phone, or at the ticket counter.
As a rule, SkyMiles yield the best return when redeemed for Delta purchases, including flights, seat upgrades, and Delta Vacation packages. For example, we value SkyMiles at 1.6 cents per mile when redeemed for domestic Delta flights. That's above average when compared to other airlines.You can also use miles, generally for a lower return, to buy gift cards, magazines, and experiences. You can also transfer SkyMiles to friends and family or donate them to charity.
You can also use SkyMiles to buy flights on other airlines through Delta.com. Delta partners include fellow members of the SkyTeam alliance along with other carriers:
With these partners, you can book award travel on delta.com in the same way you do for Delta flights:
- Aerolineas Argentinas
- Air France
- China Eastern
- China Airlines
- China Southern
- Hawaiian Airlines
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
- Korean Air
- Mandarin Airlines
- Middle East Airlines
- Saudia Airlines
- Shanghai Airlines
- Tarom Airlines
- Vietnam Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Virgin Australia
- Xiamen Airlines
For these other partners, you must contact Delta Reservations for help in booking award travel:
- Air Europa
- Air Tahiti Nui
- Czech Airlines
- Garuda Indonesia
- Kenya Airways
Other than using Delta SkyMiles to book flights through Delta With the carrier’s partners in the SkyTeam alliance, it isn’t possible to transfer points from Delta to other loyalty programs. However, you can transfer points from select loyalty programs and convert them to Delta SkyMiles. However, the rate you’ll receive for such a conversion may make it a dubious financial move.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
To make the most out of this card, focus first on using it for Delta and hotel purchases to earn 3 miles per dollar spent. With each mile worth an estimated 1.6 cents when subsequently redeemed to take more Delta domestic flights, those earnings represent a return of nearly 5%, a rate that’s hard to beat.
Naturally, it's also important to spend at least $3,000 within the first three months of opening the card in order to earn the 45,000-point one-time offer and 5,000 MQMs. The one-time offer will justify the annual fee for a couple of years, while the MQMs will get you closer to earning elite status with the airline.
At 1 mile per dollar spent, the default rate for non-Delta purchases delivers a return of about 1.6% when used for domestic Delta flights. While that’s a rate you can likely beat with another card, it may nonetheless still be useful to charge miscellaneous purchases to the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business.
That’s especially the case for purchases of more than $5,000, which earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent. And with this card’s bonuses for high annual spending, using it for most or all your business expenses may allow you to reach spending levels at which you earn bonus MQMs that help you achieve SkyMiles status. Such status, in turn, allows you to earn more miles from the SkyMiles program for every dollar you spend with Delta.
Last but not least, use the companion pass and other luxury travel benefits to boost the overall return on this card.
Let's assume you use this card each month to book one round-trip flight and two nights at a hotel, for total spending of around $7,800 per year. Let's further assume you make one large $5,000 purchase per year and also use this card for $6,000 per year in additional expenses like those for marketing, office supplies, advertising, insurance, and more. At the end of the year, you'd earn 36,900 miles worth $590 when redeemed for Delta flights.
If you were to use the annual companion certificate and check a free bag on each flight, your overall return on the card would increase even more—potentially to $1,000 or more.
Small businesses can increase the miles they earn exponentially by giving each of their employees a card, especially since additional member cards are almost always free, as they are with this card.
Along with the scenario above, let's say you have three employees, each of whom travels twice per year, spending $4,000 in total on a mix of flights and hotel stays. They also spend a combined $6,000 per year on other miscellaneous business expenses.
Over the course of a year, the $30,000 those colleagues spend would earn the account a total of 54,900 additional miles, valued at $878 when used for Delta flights. Add in the business owner’s $590 in rewards value and the total haul comes to $1,468.
You'd also earn an additional 10,000 MQMs for spending more than $25,000 within a calendar year. Combine those bonuses with the 5,000 MQMs from this card's one-time offer, along with those earned from your personal flights, and you’d be more than halfway to the 25,000 MQMs that are required to earn Silver Medallion status.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Card's Outstanding Benefits
- Annual companion certificate
- First checked bag free
- Annual miles boost
- 20% in-flight savings
- Main cabin 1 priority boarding
- Discounted per-rate visit to Delta Sky Club
- Rental-car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Baggage insurance
- Travel and emergency hotline
- Extended warranties
- Purchase protection for accidental damage or theft
American Express ranked second in J.D. Power's 2019 Small Business Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Its score of 838 out of a possible 1,000 was just below that of Discover, and well above the industry average of 849.
Customers can get in touch with American Express 24/7 by calling 800-528-4800. You can also log into your account and live chat with a representative, or send questions and comments to @AskAmex on Twitter.
All American Express cardholders get access to a number of security features that are standard within the industry, including fraud protection, account monitoring, and alerts for irregular activity.
Amex also offers free next-day shipping for lost or stolen cards.
The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business offers a well-rounded choice for a business that spends at least $5,000 a year on hotel stays and Delta flights. Such a company would not only justify the card’s $250 annual fee in rewards but enjoy such travel benefits as a discounted annual companion certificate and priority boarding.
However, if you’re a Delta regular with deeper pockets and a taste for more luxurious travel, you may want to favor other options.
For example, the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card costs $550 a year but comes with a slightly higher bonus offer, more opportunities to earn MQMs, and additional luxury benefits, like complimentary access to the Sky Club and Centurion lounges.
In the opposite direction, there’s the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business. It has a $99 annual fee and slightly lower rewards than the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business on Delta purchases—2 miles per dollar spent, rather than 3—and it extends that rate to restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, rather than hotels. It, too, offers priority boarding, a free checked bag per flight, and discounts on Delta Sky Club purchases.