Delta Skymiles Platinum Card (2020)
Review the benefits of the revamped Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX (2020), calculate how many Skymiles you can earn based on spend, and compare to top cards.
If you fly Delta a fair amount of times during the year, you may want to consider the Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card. While the annual fee of the card is a little on the high side, the card itself has a great deal of benefits that can be useful to the average Delta flyer. This includes a free checked bag for up to 8 people traveling on the same reservation, an annual complimentary companion pass for a person to travel in main cabin for just the cost of taxes/fees, a solid return on spend through several bonus categories, and the chance to earn additional Medallion Qualifying Miles with heavy spend.
The Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card features four bonus categories which are Delta, hotel, restaurant, and U.S. supermarket purchases. There is no limit to the amount of bonus Skymiles you can earn spending in these categories and no limit to the amount of Skymiles you can earn with the card overall.
3x Delta Airlines
The Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card earns 3 Skymiles per $1 spent on Delta purchases. This will be 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 purchases (e.g. Gogo) will not count as Delta purchases.
While this is the highest amount of Skymiles you can earn per $1 spending on Delta credit cards, you can earn a higher amount of miles using the AMEX Platinum Card which earns 5 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent on airfare that can then be transferred to Delta. The AMEX Platinum is a luxury travel card with a higher price tag of $550 per year, but it comes with a bunch of benefits that can easily offset that fee including complimentary Delta SkyClub access, $200 in airline incidental credits, Marriott Gold Elite status, Hilton Gold Elite status, and much more.
If the Platinum Card does not interest you, the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card is a great card to run Delta spend through if you're looking to earn Skymiles. Do note that you can also obtain the same 3x earning rate with the AMEX Gold and AMEX Green cards if you want additional categories and higher earning rates on other categories such as U.S. supermarket (4x) and restaurant (3x-4x).
The Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card earns 3 Delta Skymiles per $1 spent directly at hotels. Hotel purchases through a third party or online travel agency such as Hotels.com, Expedia, or Agoda will not count. You will need to book direct by booking through the hotel's website, over the phone, through a hotel's mobile app, or directly at the front desk. For example, booking Marriott using Marriott.com or using the Marriott app will give you 3x. Booking your Marriott hotel using Expedia will not.
Earning 3x on hotel purchases is pretty much top of the line when it comes to earning Delta Skymiles. If you're not loyal to any specific hotel brand, running hotel spend through this card is totally acceptable. If you are loyal to a specific hotel brand, you'll want look into that brand to see if they have a co-branded hotel credit card. Hotel credit cards are usually the best for those who like to stick to a brand as they typically offer a significantly higher return as well as a numerous amount of perks and benefits.
If you want the possibility to earn Skymiles on all travel purchases, you may want to consider the AMEX Green Card which earns 3x on travel and dining purchases.
The Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card earns 2 Delta Skymiles per $1 spent at restaurants. Restaurant purchases are considered to be your typical fast food, fine dining, food delivery services, and other dining-like purchases.
You can earn 2 Skymiles per $1 using the no-annual fee Delta Skymiles Blue AMEX Card and the Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card so this bonus category is nothing special on this card. If you spend a lot on dining, you may want to look at the AMEX Gold Card which earns 4x on restaurant and U.S. supermarket purchases.
2x U.S. Supermarket
The Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card earns 2 Delta Skymiles per $1 spent at supermarkets in the US. This will be places like Meijer, Kroger, Giant Eagle, Vons, Publix and other stores in which their primary purpose is to sell groceries. Places like Sam's Club, Target, and Walmart does not count and will not earn you Skymiles at the 2x rate.
You can earn 2 Skymiles per $1 using the Delta Skymiles Gold AMEX Card. If you spend a great deal in groceries, you can really take up the Skymiles by using the AMEX Gold Card which earns 4x Membership Rewards Points that can be transferred to Delta Skymiles.
1x Non Category
All other purchases on the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card will earn you 1 Delta Skymile per $1 spent. This is a low return and is the best rate you can get using Delta credit cards. If you want a slightly higher rate, you can use Membership Rewards credit cards like the AMEX Blue Business Plus (2x) or Everyday Preferred (Up to 1.5x) to pick up the slack.
Perks and Benefits
Miles Boost will be changing to Status Boost™, and bonus miles will no longer be included starting January 30, 2020.
Main Cabin Companion Pass
The primary benefit of the Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card is the annual companion pass that you will receive on your card member anniversary every year. This benefit allows you to take a companion with you to any of the 48 contiguous states for just the cost of taxes and fees. This benefit alone can easily cover the cost of the annual fee. In fact, if you fly Delta a few times per year in Main Cabin, I'd highly recommend having this card (or the Reserve if you fly First Class) just because it will generally save you money.
For example, the cheapest (decent) flight from Columbus to Seattle is $355.40 which consists of a base cost of $287.44 and $67.96 in taxes/fees. If me and my wife wanted to go, it would cost us $710.80.
With the companion pass, the second ticket would only require us to pay the taxes and fees of the second ticket which would be $67.96. That means we would save $287.44 and the airfare total would only be $423.36. That's why this benefit alone can easily be worth picking up the card. The most I have saved with this benefit is $375 which is why me and my wife both own this card. Even with the increase in annual fee, the fact that we both fly Delta several times a year leaves us with getting hundreds in value from this benefit.
The Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card comes with the Status Boost perk which allows you to earn Medallion Qualification Miles by running heavy spend through the card. You will earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) for every $25,000 you run through the card which means you can earn up to 20,000 MQMs with $50,000 in spend. This is not enough to earn Medallion Status alone, but it is a nice boost for those who need it.
If you're a really big spender, you can use the Delta Skymiles Reserve AMEX Card to earn up to 60,000 MQMs after spending $120,000 on the card which can earn you Gold Medallion Status. You can even pick up the Delta Skymiles Reserve Business AMEX Card to earn another 60,000 MQMs which will earn you enough MQMs for Delta's highest status of Diamond and put you $10,000 shy of the MQM Waiver for Diamond status.
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck
The Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card comes with a Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) credit. These benefits allow you to easily cruise through customs and security and can be useful for those who travel a lot. This credit is available once every four years and it triggers when you use the card to pay for the application fee of either program. This means if you have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you can gift it to another person by using your Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card to pay for their application fee.
First Checked Bag Free
The Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card allows you and up to 8 additional people traveling on the same reservation a free first checked bag. This benefit alone can save hundreds of dollars if you do not have Delta Medallion Status since it will cost you $50 roundtrip ($25 one-way) to check a bag with Delta.
This is a benefit of all personal and business Delta AMEX Cards with the exception of the Delta Skymiles Blue AMEX Card.
The Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card will grant you and anyone traveling on the same reservation Main Cabin 1 priority boarding. This puts you ahead of Main Cabin 2, 3, and basic economy folks which can almost guarantee you some overhead bin space if needed on your flight.
This is a benefit of all personal and business Delta AMEX Cards with the exception of the Delta Skymiles Blue AMEX Card.
20% Off In-Flight Purchases
When you use the Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card for pre-purchased meals, and in-flight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets, on Delta-operated flights, you will receive 20% off your purchase. This discount will be in the form of a statement credit which will be applied to your card a day or two after the purchase. This can save you a good deal of money if you commonly make purchases onboard Delta flights.
This benefit is available across all personal and business Delta AMEX Cards.
Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) Waiver
In order to obtain Delta Medallion Status you're required to meet a certain amount of Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) along with spending a certain amount of money which is labeled as Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) within a calendar year. Those who spend enough money across any combination of Delta Platinum and Delta Reserve branded cards (personal or business) will be able to get the MQD requirement waived. The amount of spend you need between January 1 and December 31 will depend on the the status:
- $25,000 Spend - Silver, Gold, and Platinum Waiver
- $250,000 Spend - Diamond Waiver
All credit card spend between your Delta Skymiles Platinum or Delta Skymiles Reserve AMEX Cards, personal and business, tied to your account will count towards the Waiver. This means you can run $18,000 in spend through your Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX and $7,000 through your Delta Skymiles Reserve Business AMEX and meet the $25,000 MQD Waiver requirement for Silver, Gold, and Platinum Medallion Status. If you're a bargain hunter who still manages to frequently fly with Delta, this is a great way of getting around spending thousands on Delta flights to earn elite status.
Pay With Miles
The Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card gives you the ability to pay for your flight using miles. This option will be available at checkout in 5,000-mile increments and will get your miles a value of 1 cent per Skymile. So redeeming 5,000 Skymiles would give you $50 off. While it's a little bit on the low side in terms of value, the benefit of using the Pay With Miles option is that you will still be able to earn Medallion Qualifying Miles, Segments, and Dollars (MQDs on paid portion only) when taking this route. Booking award fares or Miles+Cash fares will not earn you any MQMs, MQSs, or MQDs towards Delta Medallion Status.
This benefit is available on all personal and business Delta AMEX Cards.
Reduced Delta Skyclub Access
The Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card grants a Delta Sky Club Exclusive Per-Visit Rate of $39. Entry to Delta SkyClubs will normally cost you $59 so this is a savings of $20. If you commonly find yourself paying to enter the lounge to the point you're spending close to $200, you'll want to start looking at either the Delta Skymiles Reserve AMEX Card or the AMEX Platinum Card.
This benefit is also available on the Delta Skymiles Platinum Business AMEX Card.
Standard AMEX Benefits
Delta credit cards are offered by American Express which means you'll receive a good handful of additional benefits that come standard on their cards. This includes, but is not limited to:
- AMEX Offers
- Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
- Baggage Insurance Plan
- ShopRunner Membership
All of these benefits can be very useful to those who travel or plan on shopping with the Delta Skymiles credit card especially AMEX Offers which can easily make up for the fee by itself if you don't have access to the perk through other AMEX Cards.
Sign Up Bonus
The standard sign up bonus for the Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card hovers around 50,000 Skymiles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of having the card. This has a cash value of around $600 at a value of 1.2 cents per Skymile. In terms of flights, you can generally squeeze out a good amount of domestic one-ways or a round-trip flight or two. You can even get an international round-trip flight on a good day.
Promotional sign up bonus for the Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card can typically reach as high as 70,000 Skymiles which is what I consider to be the best sign up bonus. This card also throws out lower bonuses from time to time such as 35,000 Miles but includes a $100 statement credit in exchange for the lower amount of miles.
Credit Card Fees
|Authorized User Fee|
|Foreign Transaction Fee|
The annual fee for the Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card is $250. In my opinion, the main reason to pick up this card is for the Main Cabin Companion Pass. That benefit alone should easily earn you $250 or more in value if you have at least one flight in which someone will accompany you that has a base cost of $250. Other perks that might make this card worth it for you will be the ability to earn MQMs with spend with Status Boost and access to the MQDs Waiver. All other benefits can be found on the Delta Skymiles Blue AMEX Card or Delta Skymiles Gold AMEX Card.
Authorized User Fee
The Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card does not have an authorized user fee. If you're looking to earn Skymiles on your purchases, I highly recommend adding friends and family to the card. This can also help you reach the MQM Waiver and Status Boost spend requirements. While the additional cardholders will not receive anything in terms of their Medallion Status, they will be able to reap the benefits when you obtain status and they travel with you.
Foreign Transaction Fee
The foreign transaction fee for the Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card is 0%. This means you can freely use the Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card worldwide, wherever AMEX is accepted, without being charged a fee. This is particularly good for anyone looking to earn on the 2x restaurant category when spending internationally.
Upgrading & Downgrading Delta Cards
If you want to upgrade your Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card to the Reserve or you want to downgrade it to the Gold or Blue, it is possible to do so. Downgrades will require you to contact American Express directly either through phone or by chat. Upgrades, on the other hand, are possible to do online. This can be done by going to www.americanexpress.com and finding the Delta card you want to upgrade to.
Do note that it is possible to earn a sign up bonus when upgrading to a new card. American Express will notify you on the same page if an upgrade is available. If the page says nothing about a sign up bonus, you will not receive one. Since AMEX bonuses are only once per card, per lifetime, I highly suggest against upgrading if you're not going to receive a sign up bonus. Sign up bonuses can be worth hundreds of dollars so you would be better of applying for the Delta Card of your choosing and closing your old Delta Card so that you're still able to partake in the bonus of the new card.
Delta AMEX Order
The order of the Delta AMEX Cards are as followed:
- Delta Skymiles Blue AMEX Card
- Delta Skymiles Gold AMEX Card
- Delta Skymiles Platinum AMEX Card (this card)
- Delta Skymiles Reserve AMEX Card
The Delta Skymiles Blue AMEX Card (no annual fee) is the lowest tier card in the Delta family and the Delta Skymiles Reserve AMEX Card is the highest tier card in the Delta family.
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.
All category spend entered in the primary card's column will carry over to all credit card pages on the site so you don't have to re-enter the same information over again.
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