AMEX Delta Skymiles Platinum Credit Card
If you're looking to earn an additional push towards Delta Medallion Status along with some bonus miles, the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card is just what the doctor ordered. You can earn up to a bonus of 20,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 20,000 Delta Skymiles from running high spend through the card. The Delta Platinum card offers a Delta Companion Ticket annually on the card anniversary which is good for travel on Delta metal in the Main Cabin. The companion ticket alone is worth more than the fee and adds a great deal of value to the card.
Delta Skymiles Value
Delta Skymiles are valued at about 1.2 cents each when used to book flights with Delta Airlines, but can be worth a lot more or less depending on the date and destination. They have the best value when it comes to either international travel, long distance travel (i.e. New York to California), and when Delta has their Flash Sales every so often. Skymiles can be earned in several ways outside of flying and using credit cards by booking travel with partners, eating out, and transferring rewards earned in hotel loyalty and bank reward programs directly to your Skymiles account.
2x Delta Purchases
As with all the Delta Credit Cards, the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card earns 2x Skymiles per $1 spent on Delta purchases. American Express counts eligible Delta purchases as purchases where Delta is the merchant of record, such as purchases via Delta.com, phone reservations, or ticket counters, upgrades, miles, seat selection, Delta Sky Club® membership or passes, pre-purchased meals, in-flight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets on Delta-operated flights. Do note that in-flight wireless internet access is not counted as a Delta purchases.
Earning double miles on Delta purchases is not a bad deal, but a better return can be earned using Membership Reward Point earning cards. These American Express cards feature categories such as grocery, gas, restaurant, airfare and more that can earn you between 2 to 5 Membership Reward Points per $1 spent. Convert these points over to Delta Skymiles and you can build up points fast. Do note that AMEX does charge $0.0006 per point you transfer, so a transfer of 10,000 Skymiles to 10,000 Membership Reward Points will cost you $6. It's not a lot, but it can add up!
There are a ton of airline cards that offer double miles such as the Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Red and Chase United MileagePlus Explorer, but the highest return for airline miles (assuming you're using them to redeem airfare) would be the Alaska Airlines Card, Virgin Atlantic Mastercard, and Asiana Airlines Visa. All of these cards offer a return of 3% or higher when it comes to card purchases directly with their respective credit card.
Non Category Purchases
Any spend on the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card outside of Delta will result in 1 Skymiles per $1 spent. This is a low return that can be improved by either using Membership Reward Point Cards or by using a cash back card that earns 1.5% or higher such as the Capital One Quicksilver Card or Chase Freedom Unlimited Card.
Perks and Benefits
Delta Platinum MQM and Mile Bonus
Spending $25,000 on the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card will earn you a bonus 10,000 Skymiles and a bonus 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs). This can help push you toward earning Delta Medallion Status or help achieving a higher status if you're lacking MQMs. If you spend an additional $25,000 (for a total of $50,000 in spend), another bonus of 10,000 Skymiles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles will be added to the account. This means $50k in spend can earn 20k Skymiles and 20k MQMs. This is an alternative path to earning Silver Medallion Status if you do not hold status with Delta Airlines. The Delta Skymiles Reserve earns 15,000 Skymiles and 15,000 MQMs after $30k spend and the chance to earn both bonuses again after an additional $30k in spend.
Delta Main Cabin Companion Pass
The Delta Skymiles Platinum Card offers an annual Companion Pass good for U.S. travel in Main Cabin within the contiguous 48 states (Alaska and Hawaii residents can use this to fly to the 48 contiguous states). The companion pass covers the base fare of the ticket only. Fees and surcharges will still apply but it will usually be nothing more than $75. The companion pass ticket alone can easily be worth as much as $400+ depending on the start and end destinations. This ticket is deposited into the Delta Skymiles account and good for one year after issuance. Do note that you will not receive this until after you hit the second year meaning you will be required to pay the second years annual fee. The Delta Platinum Companion Pass does not come with the card immediately upon being approved.
If you're looking for a step up in the companion pass department, the Delta Reserve Card offers a First Class Companion Pass annually. This is good for anyone wanting a partner to fly with them in first class and is easily worth the hefty card fee. Delta isn't the only airline that offers companion tickets. They are present on several other airline credit cards which include the Alaska Airline Cards, Southwest Cards, and Aeromexico Credit Card. All of these offer a great value and only require taxes and surcharges to be paid.
First Checked Bag Free
Delta Skymiles Platinum card members will have their first checked bag fee waived when the Delta flight and card is tied to the member's Skymiles number. All passengers traveling in the same reservation (max of nine waivers) will also get their first checked bag for free. As with the other Delta cards that offer this perk, the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card does not have to be used in order to have this fee waived. This allows you to purchase airfare with a card that earns a better return such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or AMEX Gold Card. Checked bags on Delta cost $25 one-way, so you're looking at $50 in checked bag fees round trip. If you take a few trips a year or you have a family, this card will pay for itself in no time.
The Delta Skymiles Platinum Card holder and passengers traveling in the same reservation, will receive priority Zone 1 boarding. This will allow you to board the plane before the other Zones and gives you great access to overhead bins that would normally be full by the time the Zone 2 and onward boards the plane. The Delta Skymiles Blue Card is the only Delta credit card that does not offer this perk. United Airlines also provides priority boarding to holders of their credit cards such as the United MileagePlus Explorer Card.
20% Off In-Flight Purchases
The Delta Skymiles Platinum Card offers 20% Off In-Flight Purchases. This discount is applied to your statement as a credit. It applies to eligible pre-purchased meals, in-flight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages, and audio headsets on Delta-operated flights. In-flight internet purchases are not included. Several other airline cards offer savings when it comes to in-flight purchases including the JetBlue Card (50% off), all 7 America Airline Credit Cards (25% off), and the United Airlines Explorer Card (25% off).
Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) Waiver
Spending $25,000 on the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card will waive the Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) requirement for Platinum, Gold, and Silver Medallion status. To waive the MQD requirement for Diamond Medallion status, you will need to spend $250,000. In order to earn Medallion Status, a certain amount of yearly spend on Delta airfare (base only, taxes/fees do not count) is required on top of earning miles or flying segments on their airline. This ranges from Silver which requires $3,000 MQDs up to Diamond which requires $15,000 MQDs. This perk is available on every Delta credit card except Skymile cardholders that only have the Delta Skymiles Blue Card.
Pay With Miles
All Delta Skymiles credit card holders will be allowed to cover some or all of there flight with the Pay With Miles option when purchasing Delta Airline tickets. Miles must be redeemed in 5,000 mile increments with a minimum of 5,000 miles. When redeemed this way, 5,000 Skymiles are worth $50 off ticket purchased on the Delta site. This is a value of 1 cent per point.
Standard AMEX Benefits
The Delta Skymiles Platinum Card comes with the standard AMEX benefits and perks such as, but not limited to, AMEX Offers, return protection, roadside assistance, ShopRunner membership, purchase protection, and extended warranty.
Sign Up Bonus
The standard sign up bonus for the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card is around 50,000 Skymiles. AMEX offers promos as high as 70,000 Skymiles several times during the year. 50,000 Skymiles can get you a round-trip depending on your location and travel time. Delta also has several flash sales during the year that have one-way trips starting as low as 10,000 Skymiles. Since Delta does not have an award chart, you can jump to the Delta website and test a few destinations to get a feel of how far these miles can take you. As far cash value goes, 50,000 Skymiles has an average cash value of $600.
Credit Card Fees
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The annual fee for the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card is $195. The Delta Platinum Companion Pass and waived checked bag fees can easily cover this annual fee.
Authorized User Fee
There is no fee to add authorized users to the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card. Additional users will not really gain any benefit from holding the card aside from running spend through the card. If you're trying to hit the spend goals, adding friends and family could be beneficial.
Foreign Transaction Fee
There is no foreign transaction fee for using the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card outside of the United States. This means you can earn Skymiles when spending worldwide though you will only earn 1x Skymiles per $1 spent since it has no real bonus categories.
Upgrades and Downgrades
Cards in the AMEX Delta family can be upgraded and downgraded assuming you're in good standing with AMEX. AMEX occasionally offers upgrade bonuses. These are usually in the form of a pop-up or added link when logging into the AMEX My Account page. Upgrades can be done on the page that lists all AMEX credit cards or it will be on the far right column (on the side of posted transactions). Pulling up a Delta card (other than the one associated with the account) on the AMEX site will usually replace the 'Apply Now' button with 'Request an Upgrade' option. Pressing on that button will get the upgrade process started. AMEX only allows sign up bonuses once per lifetime so upgrading can cause great sign up bonuses to be missed. I do not recommend upgrading unless you really, really have to or if it's presenting a good upgrade bonus.
Upgrade Delta Platinum to Delta Reserve
If you want to step it up a notch, you can upgrade to the Delta Reserve Card. It takes the perks of the Delta Platinum card and adds a little more to them. Delta Reserve card members have the chance to earn up to an additional 30,000 MQMs and 30,000 Miles based on high spend and it comes with a First Class Companion Pass good for U.S. travel (48 contiguous states). The card also provides a bump in priority for anyone in your Delta Medallion class and offers Delta SkyClub Membership. The standard sign up bonus for the Reserve Card is 30,000 Skymiles and 10,000 MQMs after your first purchase. Not better than the Delta Platinum Card's sign up bonus, but still very valuable.
Downgrade to Delta Gold from Delta Platinum
If you're not one for the $195 fee or the Delta Platinum Companion Pass is not important to you, you can downgrade to the Delta Skymiles Gold Card. This will ensure that you continue to save money on baggage with the First Checked Bag Free perk. It also allows you to still use the Pay With Miles option if you want to get a few dollars off Delta airfare using your SkyMiles.
Downgrade to Delta Blue from Delta Platinum
You can downgrade from the Delta Skymiles Platinum card to the Delta Skymiles Blue Card. This can be a good move for anyone that either doesn't want to pay the $195 annual fee or someone who doesn't need the additional push towards Medallion status. The Skymiles Blue Card offers bonus Skymiles on restaurant purchases which is a category no other Delta credit card has. The standard sign up bonus for the Blue Card is 10,000 Delta Skymiles which is not a lot, but may be of some value. It would probably be easier to just downgrade to the card rather than re-apply, but that solely relies on how valuable 10,000 Skymiles are to you!
You can use this rewards calculator to calculate how many points, miles, or cash back you can earn based on your spend per category. This calculator will also give you the dollar value of the card based on rewards earned and how much each benefit is worth to you minus the fees. You can click the Compare A Card button to compare this card against another card in the same calculator.
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