Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card review

Published: January 30, 2020

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Published: January 30, 2020

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Ratings Policy
Business Rating:
4.4 rating
4.4 rating
4.4 / 5
Rewards Value 4.6
Annual Percentage Rate 0.2
Rewards Flexibility 4.1
Features 3.8
Customer Experience 4.6

In a Nutshell:

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card helps cardholders earn elite status faster while offering a big introductory bonus, access to Delta Sky Clubs and more.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 3 miles per dollar on eligible Delta purchases
  • 1 mile per dollar on other purchases
  • 1.5 miles per dollar on eligible purchases for the rest of the year after you spend $150,000 on non-Delta purchases
  • Terms Apply

Introductory Bonus

  • 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) if you spend $5,000 in first 3 months
  • 20,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card membership
  • Offer expires 4/1/2020
  • Terms Apply

Annual Fee
$550 (see rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($4,000 monthly spend)
$1,616

APR
17.24-26.24% (variable) (See rates and fees)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Miles never expire
  • No blackout dates on Delta flights
  • Use miles for airfare on Delta and Delta partners, hotel, car rental, gift cards, limited merchandise and experiences
  • Miles + cash option is available on some flights
  • You may be able to use miles to upgrade
  • One-way flights allowed

Cons

  • Fuel surcharges can be high on international flights
  • No award chart
  • $25 for phone bookings, $35 for ticket office bookings (See rates and fees)
  • No stopovers or open-jaw tickets

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: Complimentary Delta Sky Club access, annual companion certificate, free checked bag, priority boarding,  20% discount on in-flight items, no foreign transaction fee (See rates and fees), concierge services, no fee for employee cards (See rates and fees), account alerts, extra savings on eligible business purchases, mobile payment app, online business forum, car rental insurance, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, extended warranty, purchase protection, ticket presales and VIP events, car purchase discounts, discounts on travel packages,  return protection, ShopRunner service

If you’re a frequent Delta flyer who pursues elite status with the airline, the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card could be an ideal addition for your wallet. Not only can you earn up to 80,000 bonus miles if you spend $5,000 in the first three months, but you also get 20,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) for reaching that threshold. This offer expires 4/1/2020. If you want to reach status even faster, you can earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 on purchases on your Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card in a calendar year, up to four times per year.

Decent rewards rate

You’ll earn 3 miles per dollar on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases with the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card, which is a fair, but not terrific, rate of return. That said, if you spend $150,000 on non-Delta purchases in a calendar year, you can boost your rewards rate to 1.5 miles per dollar on eligible purchases for the rest of the year.

Giant welcome bonus

The card does offer an enormous introductory bonus, though. Depending on how much you spend, you can earn up to 100,000 bonus miles: You’ll earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 in the first three months, plus an additional 20,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card membership. This offer ends 4/1/2020. This should go a long way toward offsetting the cards admittedly high annual fee, at least for the first year.

The best airline perks of any Delta business card

While the rewards structure for this card isn’t overly exciting, some of the card’s perks may make up for it. For starters, being a cardholder qualifies you for a free annual companion certificate you can use to score free airfare for a guest when you pay for your own flight.

You’ll also get complimentary access to both Delta Sky Clubs with the option to pay $39 per person for up to two guests. You’ll also enjoy access to prestigious Centurion Lounges when flying on a same-day Delta-marketed or operated flight booked with an Amex card. If you purchased a Sky Club membership outright, you would need to pay $495 or 45,000 Delta miles.

The card also entitles you to a number of other perks on Delta airlines, including a free checked bag on Delta flights, priority boarding and 20 percent off eligible in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit.

Valuable benefits for frequent travelers

Frequent flyers can also count on valuable travel benefits, including baggage insurance, trip delay insurance, car rental insurance and no foreign transaction fees. Also, the American Express concierge is available to help you with nearly any task from assisting you with restaurant reservations to arranging the details for an upcoming event.

The card also includes the usual run of American Express benefits, including extended warranties, return protection, purchase protection, presale tickets, access to special VIP events, free roadside assistance, a ShopRunner membership, car purchase discounts and more.

Business owners get special perks

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card offers several benefits specifically for business owners. Once you sign up for online account management for your American Express card, you’ll get access to tracking tools that help you manage and categorize business purchases. You get free employee cards and you’ll have the ability to set up individual spending limits for each card. You’ll also have the ability to manage receipts, set up account alerts and designate an account manager online.

The Delta SkyMiles program can be valuable, but not always

One of the biggest downsides of the Delta SkyMiles program is the fact it doesn’t come with an award chart. As a result, it’s difficult to predict how many miles a flight will cost and to save up for a specific redemption. Another downside is the fact that Delta charges $25 to make award bookings on the phone and $35 to make a booking in a Delta ticket office.

You may also be dismayed to find that you cannot book flights with a stopover using Delta SkyMiles. Delta doesn’t allow open-jaw flights either, although you can create a similar itinerary by booking two one-way flights. Also, keep in mind that fuel surcharges on some international Delta flights often cost hundreds of dollars.

While Delta SkyMiles isn’t perfect, there’s still plenty to celebrate. For example, Delta makes it possible to exercise its “Miles + Cash” option for some of its flights. You can also redeem miles for airfare on Delta and Delta partners, and you have a variety of other redemption options, including hotels, car rentals, gift cards, merchandise and special experiences (though the value is poor for most of these options).

Delta miles never expire either, which means you can earn miles without having to worry about when you can use them.

Why get the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card?

  • You plan to purchase a Delta Sky Miles membership anyway, and this offer will give you a membership plus bonus miles and other perks.
  • You want Centurion Lounge access.
  • You plan to pursue elite status with Delta this year but need some help to get there.
  • You spend a lot on Delta flights each year and outside of Delta.

 How to use Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card:

  • Use your card for all your Delta purchases to earn 3 miles per dollar.
  • Spend at least $5,000 on the card in the first three months to earn the introductory bonus. Offer ends 4/1/2020.
  • Spend more than $150,000 on non-Delta purchases to boost your rewards rate to 1.5 miles per dollar on eligible purchases.
  • Get free employee cards so you can earn miles on all your business purchases.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card, please click here.

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