Is the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card worth it?

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card can be a great credit card for frequent Delta flyers. You can earn up to 100,000 bonus Delta miles and 20,000 MQMs (Medallion® Qualification Miles) after meeting spending requirements and renewing your card (offer ends April 1, 2020). But it comes with a large annual fee of $550 (see rates & fees). I’ll help you figure out if the Delta SkyMiles Reserve is worth it for you.

During a Delta award sale, you could book 4 round-trip flights to Europe with this card’s bonus. That makes the Delta Reserve Card worth it for lots of folks. (Photo By Andrey Yurlov/Shutterstock)

Is the Delta SkyMiles Reserve worth it?

Welcome bonus

Currently, the Delta Reserve card is offering a welcome bonus of 100,000 bonus Delta miles and 20,000 (Medallion® Qualification Miles) MQMs :

  • 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 MQMs after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the first three months of account opening
  • 20,000 additional bonus miles after your first card member anniversary

You’ll find Delta miles value to be worth at the very least 1 cent. That means this full bonus is worth $1,000 in Delta flights.

Ongoing benefits

You’ll also get perks like:

  • 2 Delta miles per dollar on qualifying Delta purchases
  • 1 Delta mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Delta SkyClub lounge access (normally costs $545)
  • Delta Companion Certificate (valid for domestic Delta flights in First Class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin) after renewing the card
  • First checked bag free for you and up to 8 companions traveling on the same reservation
  • Priority boarding for you and up to 8 companions traveling on the same reservation

Just don’t forget that in order to have access to Delta lounges you’ll need a same-day boarding pass for Delta. You can bring up to two guests but you’ll pay $29 per person.

Another perk of the card? It can also help you earn Delta elite status.

Fast track to Delta elite status

To qualify for Delta status, you need to earn a certain amount of:

  • MQMs or MQSs (Medallion Qualifying Segments)


  • MQDs (Medallion Qualifying Dollars)

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve offers:

  • Status Boost™: You can earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 on your card in a calendar year. You can earn this bonus up to four times per year (for 60,000 MQMs)
  • Application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Medallion® Qualification Dollar (MQD) waiver for Silver, Gold and Platinum Medallion status when you spend $25,000 more on the card during the calendar year. For a Diamond MQD waiver, you’ll need to spend $250,000+ during the same timeframe.

You should skip it if…

American Express will only allow you to earn the intro bonus on a card once per lifetime. So if you’ve ever had the Delta SkyMiles Reserve personal card before, you won’t be eligible for the bonus on it again. However, if you’ve had any other Amex Delta card, you will still be eligible for the Delta Reserve card’s welcome bonus.

In addition to this restriction, because this is a personal card, it will show up on your personal credit report. That means opening this card will count toward the Chase 5/24 rule, which could limit the Chase cards you’re eligible for in the future. And depending on which perks you’re most interested in, there could be more appropriate cards for you to open.

Lounge access

If lounge access is the reason you want to open the card, then consider opening The Platinum Card® from American Express instead. It comes with much, much better lounge access. With the Amex Platinum, you’ll get access to the same Delta lounges you can get in with the Delta Reserve card — but you’ll also get access to many other lounges, including:

  • Amex Centurion Lounges
  • Priority Pass lounges (1,000+ worldwide)
  • Escape Lounges
  • Airspace lounges

Plus, with the Amex Platinum card, you’ll get an up to $200 airline fee credit each calendar year for your selected airline, which can be Delta. Once you include that credit, it makes even more sense to apply for the Amex Platinum card.

Bottom line

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve currently has a welcome offer of 100,000 bonus Delta miles and 10,000 MQMs after meeting spending requirements and renewing your card. That’s a bonus high enough to entice anyone, but its ongoing perks can especially make sense for frequent Delta flyers because you’ll get access to Delta lounges. It has several perks which make earning Delta elite status much easier.

But if airport lounge access is primarily what you’re looking for, then you should apply for the Amex Platinum card. It comes with access to many more lounges than the Delta Reserve card, and you won’t have to be flying Delta to access most of them.

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For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve Credit Card, please click here

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