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Travel Sky Club access and Medallion status all-in-one: Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex card review

14:30  02 october  2021
14:30  02 october  2021 Source:   thepointsguy.com

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  Sky Club access and Medallion status all-in-one: Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex card review © Provided by The Points Guy
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card overview

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card is Delta’s top-tier cobranded business credit card, offering benefits best suited for high-budget businesses that are loyal to Delta. If Delta Medallion elite status and lounge access are important to you, there’s a lot to love about this card. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

Most top U.S. airlines offer consumer and business versions of their cobranded credit cards, and Delta is no exception. So if you are a business owner looking for a way to earn Delta miles on expenses and enjoy airline benefits, Delta and Amex offer three cobranded business credit cards, the top-tier option being the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex.

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In This Post

Who is this card for?

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex is a great option for business travelers looking for luxury benefits and a way to hit Medallion elite status faster through card spending. However, the card does charge a $550 annual fee (see rates and fees), so you’ll want to make sure you can take advantage of the card’s offerings to justify the cost.

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Because of how some of the benefits are set up, this is also a card best suited for large budgets. For example, to get the maximum Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) boost possible each year, you’ll have to spend $120,000 in total. To unlock expanding earning potential on everyday purchases, you’ll have to spend more than $150,000 in total each calendar year.

(Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy) © Provided by The Points Guy (Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy)

The card application is pretty simple, although partnerships and corporations must submit a federal Employee Identification Number (EIN) to activate an American Express business account. You can also apply as a sole proprietor using your Social Security number, so don’t assume you have to run a large business to get this card. Even if you’re just an eBay seller or freelance photographer, you could easily be eligible for a business credit card.

Welcome offer

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex is currently offering a welcome bonus of 80,000 bonus miles, 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $200 statement credit after spending $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership.

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Based on the latest TPG valuations, Delta SkyMiles are worth 1.1 cents per mile, making the 80,000 miles you can earn with this welcome offer worth $880. If you factor in the $200 statement credit, the value jumps to $1,080. While it’s difficult to attach a specific dollar amount to the 20,000 MQMs, there’s no doubt that they provide value for those hoping to hit elite status. However, if you don’t have any interest in being a Delta elite, these MQMs aren’t going to be useful for you.

Remember that Amex does have a once-per-card-per-lifetime restriction when it comes to welcome bonuses. As a result, if you’ve ever had the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex in the past (even if you didn’t earn a bonus), you won’t be eligible for this welcome bonus. Luckily, Amex has an on-site tool to warn you if you are ineligible for any given bonus before submitting your official application.

Main perks and benefits

There is a lot to love about the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex when it comes to the perks and benefits the card offers — especially for Delta travelers or those who live in a Delta hub or focus city.

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The Delta Sky Club at La Guardia Airport Terminal C/D. (Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy) © Provided by The Points Guy The Delta Sky Club at La Guardia Airport Terminal C/D. (Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy)

Lounge access

Just by getting the Delta Reserve card, you’ve already covered almost the entire annual fee and you gain access to more than 50 Delta lounges around the world, although this only includes Sky Clubs and not partner lounges. Guests are not complimentary; they cost $39 per person for up to two guests, which matches a regular individual Sky Club membership. Note that you must now be flying on Delta to access the lounges (again, just like a regular membership). You’ll now also get access to Amex Centurion Lounges, also when flying same-day Delta.

Two one-time Delta Sky Club passes

You’ll get two one-time guest passes each year so that you can bring two people into the lounge with you when traveling together.

Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) waiver

When you spend $25,000 in a year, the spending requirement for Platinum, Gold, and Silver status is waived. You can also earn a waiver for the Diamond Medallion MQD requirements by spending $250,000 on the card in a year.

MQM Boost

As mentioned above, this feature can help you hit Medallion status before you ever step foot on a Delta aircraft. You’ll get 15,000 MQMs for every $30,000 you spend on the card each calendar year (up to four times per year). When you combine these earnings with the MQD waiver and bonus MQMs earned from the current welcome offer, you can potentially earn Platinum Medallion status just from credit card spend alone.

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Annual companion certificate

Cardmembers receive an annual companion certificate for a domestic first-class, Delta Comfort+ or domestic main cabin round-trip flight each year you renew the card. Note that you’ll need to pay up to $75 in government-imposed taxes and fees on the certificate.

Non-Medallion upgrades

Those who haven’t hit Medallion status will be given complimentary upgrades on eligible flights. While you will be added to the list after Medallions, this is a great perk for anyone who knows they won’t hit status immediately.

TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee credit

You’ll get up to $100 to pay for a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.

Get your Global Entry enrollment reimbursed, and enjoy included TSA PreCheck with Global Entry. (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy) © Provided by The Points Guy Get your Global Entry enrollment reimbursed, and enjoy included TSA PreCheck with Global Entry. (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

Delta flight perks

You’ll get a number of benefits on Delta-operated flights, including first checked bag free, priority access and a 20% statement credit on all food, drink and audio headset inflight purchases.

Travel protections

This includes trip delay and trip cancellation and interruption insurance. You’ll also enjoy baggage insurance and car rental loss and damage insurance.

Shopping protections

The card comes with an extended warranty that adds up to two years on an original manufacturer’s five years or less warranty. In addition, purchase Protection covers items paid for with the card that are accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost and is valid for up to 90 days after the date of purchase.

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Delta Reserve Concierge

Concierge staff are available 24/7 to help with restaurant reservations, special event planning, gift advice, and more. Global Assist gives you help with medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services when you travel more than 100 miles from home.

Earning

(Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy) © Provided by The Points Guy (Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy)

With the Delta Reserve Business Amex, you’ll earn 3x on Delta purchases, including at delta.com, via phone reservation or at ticket counters, Delta Vacation packages, seat upgrades, and seat selection fees, Delta Sky Club membership or passes, pre-purchased and inflight meals, inflight alcoholic beverages and audio headsets (but not Wi-Fi).

Those with high annual spending habits will also benefit from earning 1.5x on all non-Delta purchases after spending $150,000 per calendar year total. On all other eligible purchases, it drops to 1x. You also won’t pay foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees) if you use the card when traveling overseas.

Redeeming

If you’re looking for bargains when it comes to redeeming your miles, go to the SkyMiles Deals page, where Delta regularly posts deep discounts on round-trip tickets in economy and Delta One between specific city pairs. Recent deals include Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., for 20,000 miles or Atlanta to New York City for only 13,000 miles.

You can also redeem your SkyMiles for upgrades to the next class of service on Delta, as well as certain flights operated by partners Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, and Aeromexico. While this isn’t a particularly valuable use of Delta miles, it’ll save you from paying cash or trying to find premium cabin award availability.

Delta One Suite (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Delta One Suite (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Which cards compete with the Delta Reserve Business Amex?

If you’re looking at the Delta Reserve Business Amex, it might also make sense to consider The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, especially since you still get some great Delta perks with that card. For example, you’ll currently earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first three months of card membership. TPG’s valuations put Membership Rewards points at 2 cents per point, making the offer worth $2,000.

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The Business Platinum Amex offers the same access to Delta Sky Clubs when you fly same-day Delta as the Delta Reserve Business card. Although, you’ll miss out on the other Delta-specific features of the Reserve card — such as the status boosts, companion certificate, free checked bags, and priority boarding. The Business Platinum card has its own additional perks, such as 5x on airfare and on prepaid hotels when you book them through Amex Travel, up to $200 in annual airline fee statement credits and additional lounge access at Centurion, Priority Pass, Airspace and Escapes lounges, but you’ll also pay a higher $595 annual fee for all these benefits (see rates and fees). Enrollment required for select benefits.

If $550 or more is too high of an annual fee for you to justify, another strong option is the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card. You’ll earn 90,000 bonus miles, 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $100 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership.

(Photo by The Points Guy) © Provided by The Points Guy (Photo by The Points Guy)

This card also comes with a nice suite of benefits for the $250 annual fee (see rates and fees), including a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee credit (up to $100) and an annual companion certificate at renewal travel protections and more. Most notably for those interested in Medallion status, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Amex offers 10,000 MQMs after you spend $25,000 in a calendar year (up to 20,000 MQMs total per year) and offers an MQD waiver after spending $25,000 in a calendar year.

Bottom line

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex is a good option if you’re a Delta enthusiast and would buy a Sky Club membership regardless since you’ll save money by just paying the card’s annual fee. If you’re in the market to help you earn Delta miles and elite status while enjoying a host of luxury Delta benefits, it doesn’t get much better than the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex.

Official application link: Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon, Benét J. Wilson and Edward Pizzarello.

Featured image by Wyatt Smith for The Points Guy.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum

Business Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Who should (and who shouldn’t) get the American Express Platinum? .
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. The Platinum Card® from American Express packs a perks punch into its shiny metal shell. Perhaps that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, though, given that it’s among the most expensive (and heaviest) of the publicly available premium rewards cards. In July 2021, …The Platinum Card® from American Express packs a perks punch into its shiny metal shell. Perhaps that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, though, given that it’s among the most expensive (and heaviest) of the publicly available premium rewards cards.

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