The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express are two elite airline credit card options for frequent travelers. Both cards offer generous mileage earning potential and exclusive Delta benefits, catering to different travel preferences and needs.
In this comparison review, we'll break down the key features of each card to help you determine which one suits your preferences and priorities better.
The Platinum card offers excellent perks like priority boarding, free checked bags, and an annual companion certificate, making it a great choice for those who fly often but don't need the highest-tier benefits.
On the other hand, the Reserve card takes luxury to the next level with access to Delta Sky Club lounges, complimentary upgrades, and a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
Compare Rewards: Which Card Gives More?
It may be surprising, but when comparing Delta cards – the Delta Platinum card offers higher rewards for the same spend. However, the primary distinctions lying in their supplementary perks and opulent travel offerings.
Spend Per Category
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
$15,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$5,000 – Restaurants
$5,000 – Airline
$4,000 – Hotels
$4,000 – Gas
Estimated Redemption Value
1 mile ~ 1.3 cents
1 mile ~ 1.3 cents
Estimated Annual Value
Benefits You'll Get On Both Cards
Some of the benefits the Delta Reserve and Platinum card are relevant for both cards:
- Annual Companion Certificate: You’ll receive a round trip companion certificate for Domestic First Class, Main Cabin or Delta Comfort+ each year upon card renewal.
- TakeOff 15: Save 15% on Award Travel when booking Delta flights (excluding partner-operated flights and taxes/fees).
- Delta Sky Club® Access: Enjoy Delta Sky Club access for yourself and up to two guests at a rate of $50 per person per visit when traveling on Delta flights until 12/31/23.
- First Checked Bag Free: Receive complimentary first checked bag on Delta flights.
- $100 Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Get reimbursed for the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 years.
- 20% Back on In–flight Purchases: Receive a 20% statement credit on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food and beverages.
- ShopRunner: Enjoy free 2-day shipping at 100+ online stores when you enroll in complimentary ShopRunner membership with your Delta Platinum card.
- Purchase Protection: Your card can protect eligible purchases from theft or accidental damage for up to 90 days, with coverage of up to $1,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per year.
- Extended Warranty: Extend the manufacturer's warranty on eligible purchases by up to one extra year when you use your card.
- Trip Delay Insurance: If your round-trip is delayed by a covered reason for more than 12 hours and paid for with your card, you can be reimbursed up to $300 for certain additional expenses, with a maximum of 2 claims per year.
- Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: When you use your card to reserve and pay for a rental vehicle and decline the collision damage waiver (CDW), you can be covered for damage or theft of the rental vehicle in a covered territory.
- Baggage Insurance Plan: Travel with peace of mind knowing your baggage is covered for loss, damage, or theft when you purchase a common carrier ticket with your card, with coverage of up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage (subject to certain conditions and exclusions).
Benefits You'll Get On Only With The SkyMiles® Reserve
The Delta Reserve card is more expensive than the Platinum card and offer much more luxury benefits such as:
- Complimentary Access to Delta Centurion® Lounge – When you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card, you will receive complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge.
- Delta Sky Club® Access: If you book your Delta flight with your card, you can enjoy complimentary access. Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 10 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club
- Priority Boarding: enjoy Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on their Delta flights, allowing them to board early, secure overhead bin space for their carry-on luggage, and have a more relaxed start to their journey.
- Upgrade Priority – When you use your Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card, you will have priority over other Medallion members in the same Medallion level and fare class grouping.
- Access to Complimentary Upgrades – If you do not have Medallion Status, your Card automatically adds you to the Complimentary Upgrade list, which is prioritized over Medallion Members.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers.
When You Might Want the Delta Reserve Card?
The Delta Reserve card can be a better choice over the Delta Platinum card for travelers who prioritize luxury and premium travel benefits. Here are some scenarios in which the Delta Reserve card may be a superior option:
- Airport Lounge Access: The Delta Reserve card offers complimentary access to Delta Sky Club lounges, which provide a more upscale and comfortable airport experience compared to the Delta Platinum card. If you frequently use airport lounges and value this amenity, the Reserve card is a better choice.
- Complimentary Upgrades: Delta Reserve cardholders may receive complimentary upgrades to First Class or Delta One when available.
- More Generous Delta SkyMiles Companion Certificate: The Reserve card's companion certificate can be used for First Class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin seats, offering more flexibility than the Platinum card's companion certificate, which is limited to Main Cabin.
When You Might Want the Delta Platinum Card?
- Lower Annual Fee: The Delta Platinum card typically has a lower annual fee compared to the Delta Reserve card. If you want to enjoy Delta SkyMiles benefits without the higher cost of the Reserve card, the Platinum card may be a better fit for your budget.
- Frequent Flyers Who Don't Need Premium Perks: If you're a frequent Delta flyer who doesn't require access to airport lounges, complimentary upgrades to premium cabins, or the other luxury benefits of the Reserve card, the Platinum card still offers valuable perks like free checked bags, priority boarding, and bonus miles.
- Mileage Earning: If you prioritize earning Delta SkyMiles for everyday spending, the Platinum card may suffice. It still offers generous mileage earning potential, and the Reserve card's higher annual fee might not be justified if you're not maximizing premium travel benefits
In summary, the Delta Reserve card is better suited for travelers who desire premium perks, airport lounge access, and enhanced upgrade opportunities. However, it comes with a higher annual fee, so you should assess your travel needs and preferences to determine if the added benefits justify the cost.
The Delta Platinum card may be a more cost-effective choice for those who don't require the luxury features of the Reserve card but still want valuable travel benefits.
Compare The Alternatives
If you're looking for a premium travel credit card with airline rewards – there are some good alternatives you may want to consider:
Capital One Venture X
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
$99 (waived for the first 12 months)
1X – 10X 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights and 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases
1X – 10X 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels, car rentals when you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit. Also, earn 3x points on dining at restaurants and travel (after meeting the $300 travel credit), then 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases
1X – 2X 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
75,000 miles 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
60,000 points 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
50,000 Miles 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Foreign Transaction Fee
19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)
22.24%–29.24% variable APR
21.24% – 29.99% (Variable)