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Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express review

Published: May 15, 2018

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Ratings Policy
Business Rating:
4.4 rating
4.4 rating
4.4 / 5
Rewards Value 4.4
Annual Percentage Rate 0.3
Rewards Flexibility 4.1
Features 5.0

In a nutshell:

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express is a high value airline card that offers priority boarding, a free checked bag and an introductory bonus.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 2 miles per dollar on direct Delta purchases
  • 1 mile per dollar on other purchases

Introductory Bonus

  • 35,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • $100 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase with the card in 3 months

Annual Fee
$195

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($4,000 monthly spend)
$1,064

APR
16.74-20.74% (variable)

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
  • No stopovers or open-jaw tickets

Other Notable Features: 10,000 MQMs each year you spend $25,000, 10,000 additional MQMs each year you spend $50,000,  companion fare, free checked bag, priority boarding, 20% discount on in-flight items, discounted Delta Sky Club access, no foreign transaction fee, no fee for employee cards, account alerts, extra savings on eligible business purchases, mobile payment app, online business forum,   roadside assistance, car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, extended warranty, purchase protection, ticket presales and VIP events, car purchase discounts, discounts on travel packages,  return protection, ShopRunner service

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business card could be a smart option for your wallet if you fly Delta Air Lines often and want to rack up miles while working toward elite status. This card’s current offer includes a bonus of 35,000 miles after you use your card for $1,000 in purchases within three months of account opening. You’ll also receive 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) toward elite status, which can help you achieve Silver or Gold Medallion status or even work toward Diamond Medallion status.

Once you get the card, you can start racking up miles rather quickly. Not only will you earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, but you’ll also receive 1 mile per dollar elsewhere. A $100 statement credit is also available for Delta purchases made within three months of opening your account. This card also comes with no foreign transaction fees, making it a viable option for those who travel abroad.

High annual fee

While this card does come with an introductory bonus and the potential for ongoing rewards, you will need to pay a $195 annual fee that is not waived the first year. This fee may be easy to justify when this card’s introductory bonus is higher during a special promotion, but it’s a tough pill to swallow when you’re only earning 35,000 miles up front.

The introductory bonus is lacking

Speaking of the introductory bonus, 35,000 miles isn’t a lot regardless of the annual fee — especially when you consider that other cobranded business credit cards offer 50,000 miles or more in their initial offers. Since the introductory bonus has been higher on this card in the past, you may also want to consider waiting for a better bonus to come back before you apply.

Less than stellar ongoing rewards

While earning 2 miles per dollar on Delta flights can help frequent Delta flyers rack up miles quickly, earning just 1 mile per dollar on regular purchases leaves a lot to be desired. When you consider the card’s overall low rewards rate along with the annual fee that you have to pay right off the bat, it’s easy to see why you might skip the Platinum Delta card unless you spend a lot on Delta flights every year.

A fast track to elite status

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express does have some added value for frequent flyers who want to earn elite status with Delta. As mentioned, you get 5,000 MQMs as part of your introductory bonus when you spend $1,000 on your card within three months of account opening. On top of this, you’ll earn 10,000 miles and 10,000 MQMs each year you spend $25,000 as well as 10,000 additional miles and 10,000 additional MQMs each year you spend $50,000.

If you spend a lot on credit every year and know you can benefit from elite status with Delta, this card can help you earn status faster.

Annual companion pass

One frequently overlooked benefit of this card is the round-trip companion airfare you receive each year upon renewal. While you do have to pay any taxes and fees associated with the free companion fare, this perk can pay off handsomely if you’re able to use it for an expensive flight and planned to pay for at least one flight already.

Valuable airline perks

Cardholders also receive valuable perks from Delta, including a free checked bag, priority boarding, a 20-percent discount on in-flight purchases and no foreign transaction fees.

Additional perks to be aware of include discounted Delta Sky Club access, roadside assistance, car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, no foreign transaction fees, extended warranties, purchase protection, ticket presales and VIP events, car purchase discounts, discounts on travel packages, return protection and ShopRunner service.

Special perks for business owners

Since this card is a business card at heart, it comes with several benefits that apply to business specifically. For starters, you get free cards for employees and the ability to set individual spending limits. Business owners who apply for this card also get special account management tools that allow them to set up alerts, manage receipts, designate an account manager and track their spending.

Cardholders may also qualify for extra savings on eligible business purchases.

The downsides (and upsides) of Delta SkyMiles

When it comes to investing in the Delta SkyMiles program, it’s important to know this frequent flyer program has its downsides. One of the biggest pitfalls of the program is the fact it doesn’t come with an award chart. Without an award chart, it’s hard to know how many miles you’ll need for a flight until you’re ready to redeem.

It’s also important to note that international Delta flights (and flights with its partners) can come with large fuel surcharges and taxes that add hundreds of dollars to the cost of an award ticket. Delta also charges $25 to make an award booking on the phone and $35 to book within a ticket office.

Finally, Delta doesn’t offer stopovers or open-jaw flights through their frequent flyer program. However, since one-way fares are allowed, you can create your own open-jaw by booking two one-way flights.

On the upside, Delta does offer some creative ways to use miles. This includes a “Miles + Cash” option for some flights and the ability to upgrade using miles in some cases.

In addition, Delta lets you redeem rewards for hotels, car rentals, gift cards, some merchandise and select experiences (though the value for most of these redemption options is poor). Delta miles also never expire as long as your account is active, which means you won’t have to worry about using them until you’re ready.

Why get The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business card?

  • You want to earn Delta status and plan to spend a lot on this card to help you get there.
  • You want special perks like priority boarding and a free checked bag.
  • You fly Delta often, so you plan to spend a lot with the airline anyway.

How to use The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business card:

  • Spend at least $1,000 on your card within three months of account opening to earn the introductory bonus.
  • Get free employee cards so you can rack up miles on all your business purchases.
  • Use your card for all Delta flights to score 2x miles on your purchases.

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