Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card review

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card review

Published: April 8, 2020
Published: April 8, 2020
Ratings Policy
Luxury Rating:
4.4 rating
4.4 rating
4.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.6
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.3
Rewards Flexibility: 4.4
Features: 4.0
Customer Experience 4.6

In a Nutshell:

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card gives you a good boost toward elite status and good benefits on Delta, including an annual companion pass; however, if you are seeking airline lounge access, you may be better served by the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card.

Rewards Rate

  • 3:1 directly purchased Delta airfare and purchases made directly with hotels
  • 2:1 restaurant and U.S. supermarket purchases
  • 1:1 general purchases
  • Terms apply

Introductory Bonus

  • 40,000 bonus miles if you spend $2,000 in first 3 months.
  • Terms Apply

Annual Fee
$250 (See rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($75,000 monthly spend)
$2,534

APR
15.74-24.74%  (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 miles required

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: Annual companion certificate, first checked bag free, priority boarding, preferred seating, no foreign transaction fee (See rates and fees), 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, trip delay insurance, purchase protection, ticket presales and VIP events, $0 fraud liability, year-end summary, global assist hotline, car purchase discounts, ShopRunner membership

Rewards Rating:
4.5 rating
4.5 rating
4.5 / 5
Rewards Value: 5.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.2
Rewards Flexibility: 4.4
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 4.6

In a Nutshell:

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

Rewards Rate

  • 3:1 directly purchased Delta airfare and purchases made directly with hotels
  • 2:1 restaurant and U.S. supermarket purchases
  • 1:1 general purchases
  • Terms apply

Introductory Bonus

  • 40,000 bonus miles if you spend $2,000 in first 3 months.
  • Terms Apply

Annual Fee
$250 (See rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$1,549

APR
15.74-24.74%  (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 miles required

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: Annual companion certificate, first checked bag free, priority boarding, preferred seating, no foreign transaction fee (See rates and fees), 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, trip delay insurance, purchase protection, ticket presales and VIP events, $0 fraud liability, year-end summary, global assist hotline, car purchase discounts, ShopRunner membership

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 Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card comes with a decent introductory bonus, 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 (you can earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in a calendar year, up to two times per year). 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 $250 annual fee is more than twice what you’ll pay for the lion’s share of cards in the travel category. Unlike many other cobranded airline cards, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card’s annual fee isn’t waived for the first year. Meanwhile, its variable APR means applicants with even excellent credit scores will be saddled with a higher-than-average APR. In other words, you’d better think twice about getting this card if you normally carry a balance from month to month.

Decent rewards scheme

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card offers a decent rewards earning scheme, offering bonus miles on more than just Delta purchases. Airfare purchased directly from Delta and purchases made directly with hotels fetches three miles per dollar, while purchases at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets earn 2 miles per dollar. All other eligible purchases get you one mile per dollar. This is more generous than many airline cards, which only offer rewards on purchases made directly with the airline, and with the addition of a couple of popular everyday rewards categories, it should be a bit easier for you to earn enough miles to score a free ticket.

Annual companion certificate

With the Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card, you’ll snag a 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.

Fair introductory bonus

New Platinum Delta SkyMiles cardholders can earn 40,000 bonus miles by spending $2,000 in the first three months. In addition, cardholders score 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after they spend $25,000 in a calendar year, up to two times per year. This is not the highest bonus the card has offered (the previous bonus was 80,000 miles after a $3,000 spend in the first three months), but it is still a large chunk of miles.

High bar for elite status

One major difference between this card and the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express 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. 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 Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card offers a vast array of extras when flying with Delta, including your first checked bag free, priority boarding, preferred seating, discounts on travel packages and more. You can also get access to Delta Sky Club lounges for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight at a cost of $39 per person and 20% back as a statement credit if you use your card for eligible Delta in-flight purchases.

Delta also has 31 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, though, that partner airlines may impose surcharges and that some perks – like the free checked bag and priority boarding – only apply to Delta flights. 

Why get the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card?

  • 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 the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card:

  • Spend at least $2,000 within the first three months to earn the card’s introductory bonus.
  • For triple the miles, use your Platinum Delta SkyMiles card to pay for all eligible Delta and hotel purchases.
  • Use your card at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets for the double mileage bonus.
  • 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.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card, please click here

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