Reviews Platinum Delta SkyMiles card from American Express review
Platinum Delta SkyMiles card from American Express review

Platinum Delta SkyMiles card from American Express review

Published: May 3, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Airline Rating:
2.7 rating
2.7 rating
2.7 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.5
Rewards Flexibility: 4.4
Flight Options: 4.3
Features: 5.0

In a nutshell:

If your goal is to achieve elite status on Delta Airlines, the Delta Platinum SkyMiles card is the card to get, though frequent Delta flyers will find that the lower-priced Delta Gold card is equal in most other aspects.

Rewards Rate

  • 2:1 directly purchased Delta airfare
  • 1:1 general purchases
  • Terms apply

Sign-up Bonus

  • 35,000 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 in first 3 months
  • Terms apply

Annual Bonus

  • 10,000 miles and 10,000 MQMs if you spend $25,000+ in a calendar year
  • 20,000 miles and 20,000 MQMs (total) if you spend $50,000+ in a calendar year

Annual Fee
$195 (See rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$284

APR
16.49-25.49% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Miles don’t expire if your account is active every 12 months
  • Redeem miles for airfare, upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals, limited merchandise and experiences (every 5,000 miles redeemed = $50 off the cost of Delta tickets)
  • No blackout dates on Delta flights (may apply on partner flights)
  • One-way flights allowed
  • Large number of airline partners
  • Miles + cash option available for some rewards flights
  • No limits on miles

Cons

  • Fuel surcharges may apply to partner flights and Delta one-way flights from Europe and the Middle East
  • Direct fees for tickets issued in some European countries ($25 for phone bookings, $35 for Ticket Office bookings)
  • No stopovers or open-jaw
  • 75,000-mile limit per reservation
  • Minimum 12,500 points required

Flight Options

  • Number of airline partners: 19
  • Number of daily flights: 14,500
  • Number of destinations: 800
  • Number of countries served: 170

Other Notable Features:  Annual companion certificate, first checked bag free, priority boarding, preferred seating, no foreign transaction fee, discount Delta Sky Club access (including two companions), 20 percent discount on Delta in-flight purchases (in the form of a statement credit), discounts on travel packages, lowest hotel rates guarantee, car rental insurance, baggage insurance, extended warranty, return protection, purchase protection, ticket presales and VIP events, $0 fraud liability, year-end summary, roadside assistance, global assist hotline, car purchase discounts, ShopRunner membership

Rewards Rating:
3.5 rating
3.5 rating
3.5 / 5
Rewards Value: 2.6
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.4
Rewards Flexibility: 4.4
Features: 5.0

In a nutshell:

High-rolling customers of Delta Airlines will be well-served by the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card’s elite benefits, though the card is probably beyond the means of most cardholders.

Rewards Rate

  • 2:1 directly purchased Delta airfare
  • 1:1 general purchases
  • Terms apply

Sign-up Bonus

  • 10,000 miles and 10,000 MQMs if you spend $25,000+ in a calendar year
  • 20,000 miles and 20,000 MQMs (total) if you spend $50,000+ in a calendar year
  • Terms apply

Annual Fee
$195 (See rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$284

APR
16.49-25.49% (variable) (See rates and fees)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Miles don’t expire if your account is active every 12 months
  • Redeem miles for airfare, upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals, limited merchandise and experiences (every 5,000 miles redeemed = $50 off the cost of Delta tickets)
  • No blackout dates on Delta flights (may apply on partner flights)
  • One-way flights allowed
  • Large number of airline partners
  • Miles + cash option available for some rewards flights
  • No limits on miles

Cons

  • Fuel surcharges may apply to partner flights and Delta one-way flights from Europe and the Middle East
  • Direct fees for tickets issued in some European countries ($25 for phone bookings, $35 for Ticket Office bookings)
  • No stopovers or open-jaw
  • 75,000-mile limit per reservation
  • Minimum 12,500 points required

Other Notable Features: Annual companion certificate, first checked bag free, priority boarding, preferred seating, no foreign transaction fee, discount Delta Sky Club access (including two companions), 20 percent discount on Delta in-flight purchases (in the form of a statement credit), discounts on travel packages, lowest hotel rates guarantee, car rental insurance, baggage insurance, extended warranty, return protection, purchase protection, ticket presales and VIP events, $0 fraud liability, year-end summary, roadside assistance, global assist hotline, car purchase discounts, ShopRunner membership

Travel Rating:
3.3 rating
3.3 rating
3.3 / 5
Rewards Value: 2.2
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.5
Rewards Flexibility: 4.4
Features: 5.0

In a nutshell:

Despite a high annual fee, Delta loyalists and travel enthusiasts alike will find the Platinum Delta SkyMiles from American Express credit card worthy of consideration.

Rewards Rate

  • 2:1 directly purchased Delta airfare
  • 1:1 general purchases
  • Terms apply

Sign-up Bonus

  • 35,000 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 in first 3 months
  • Terms apply

Annual Fee
$195 (See rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$284

APR
16.49-25.49% (variable) (See rates and fees)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Miles don’t expire if your account is active every 12 months
  • Redeem miles for airfare, upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals, limited merchandise and experiences (every 5,000 miles redeemed = $50 off the cost of Delta tickets)
  • No blackout dates on Delta flights (may apply on partner flights)
  • One-way flights allowed
  • Large number of airline partners
  • Miles + cash option available for some rewards flights
  • No limits on miles

Cons

  • Fuel surcharges may apply to partner flights and Delta one-way flights from Europe and the Middle East
  • Direct fees for tickets issued in some European countries ($25 for phone bookings, $35 for Ticket Office bookings)
  • No stopovers or open-jaw
  • 75,000-mile limit per reservation
  • Minimum 12,500 points required

Other Notable Features: Annual companion certificate, first checked bag free, priority boarding, preferred seating, no foreign transaction fee, discount Delta Sky Club access (including two companions), 20 percent discount on Delta in-flight purchases (in the form of a statement credit), discounts on travel packages, lowest hotel rates guarantee, car rental insurance, baggage insurance, extended warranty, return protection, purchase protection, ticket presales and VIP events, $0 fraud liability, year-end summary, roadside assistance, global assist hotline, car purchase discounts, ShopRunner membership

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If Delta Air Lines is your carrier of choice – or if you’re looking to start collecting miles with an international carrier that has a large network of partner airlines – the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card comes with a sizable sign-up bonus, free annual companion certificate and several noteworthy travel perks. The opportunity to achieve elite status faster than you can with other airline cards is an especially attractive benefit. However, everyday users will likely find it extremely difficult to meet the exorbitant spending requirements to get there.

Higher-than-average APR and annual fee
The credit card’s $195 annual fee is more than twice what you’ll pay for the lion’s share of cards in the travel category, including the Gold Delta SkyMiles card. Unlike many other cobranded airline cards, Platinum Delta SkyMiles’ fee isn’t waived for the first year. Meanwhile, its variable APR means applicants with even excellent credit scores will be saddled with an interest rate of at least 16.49 percent, higher than the average airline card’s APR of 15.99 percent. In other words, you’d better think twice about getting this card if you normally carry a balance from month to month.

Typical rewards scheme
Considering its high annual fee, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card has a disappointing earnings scheme that, sadly, is fairly common with airline cards. Airfare purchased directly from Delta fetches two miles per dollar, while all other purchases get you one mile per dollar. There are no special purchase categories like gas or groceries, so unless you’re a big spender, it might take you a bit longer to earn enough miles to score a free ticket.

Annual companion certificate
With the Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card, you’ll snag a free companion certificate each year for as long as you remain a cardholder, which means you can invite a friend or family member to join you on an eligible round-trip domestic flight. Taxes and fees still apply, but the ticket itself more than cancels out the card’s high annual fee. The certificate is automatically issued to your account following your card renewal – there’s nothing more you need to do, except pick your lucky travel buddy.

Substantial sign-up bonus
Spending a reasonable $1,000 in the first three months will net you 35,000 miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs), the latter of which are used to determine elite status in Delta’s SkyMiles program. Whereas regular miles are largely earned based on ticket price, MQMs are determined by distance flown and other factors. With an average value of 1.3 cents per SkyMile, the 35,000 miles alone are worth $455. Based on 2016 numbers from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, they should easily cover the cost of most round-trip domestic flights.

High bar for elite status
One major difference between this card and the Gold Delta SkyMiles card is the opportunity to attain Silver Medallion status quickly. Silver status comes with benefits like complimentary first-class and other upgrades (restrictions apply), free checked baggage for up to eight travel companions, preferential pricing for CLEAR Membership (which fast-tracks your way through airport security) and more. But the price to amass the 25,000 MQMs required for silver status is steep: You need to spend a whopping $50,000 in a calendar year to earn 20,000 MQMs. Since you pick up 5,000 MQMs as part of the card’s sign-up bonus, charging $50,000 to the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card puts you all the way there in the first year. Crossing such a threshold is probably out of reach for most cardholders, but it pays dividends for anyone who manages to do it. 

Fringe benefits
The Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card offers a vast array of extras when flying with Delta, including your first checked bag free, priority boarding, preferred seating, 20 percent savings on Delta in-flight purchases (food, movies, etc.), discounts on travel packages and more. You also get access to Delta’s 19 partner airlines, bringing the total number of countries served to 170. That’s more than enough to put a dent in your travel bucket list! It’s worth noting that partner airlines may impose surcharges and that some perks – like the free checked bag and priority boarding – only apply to Delta flights. 

Reasons to get it:

  • You regularly fly with Delta or one of its partner airlines, a list that includes Virgin Atlantic, Jet Airways and Aeroméxico.
  • You’re planning a honeymoon or other special trip and are itching to get your hands on Delta’s valuable companion pass.
  • You want to save potentially hundreds of dollars (or more) on checked bags.
  • You often travel internationally and want to save money on American Express’ usual 2.7-percent foreign transaction fee.

How to use it:

  • Spend at least $1,000 within the first three months to earn the 35,000-mile and 5,000 MQM sign-up bonus.
  • For double the miles, use your Platinum Delta SkyMiles card to pay for all eligible Delta purchases.
  • Rack up additional MQMs by booking Delta fares in first class, business class and premium economy.
  • Pay your balance in full every month to stop excessive interest charges from accruing.

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