Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card Review [2024]: Free Checked Bags and Other Travel Perks

CREDIT CARDS - TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS
Though this business card comes with a high annual fee, it offers generous benefits for frequent Delta flyers.
Updated Feb. 20, 2024
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Frequent Delta travelers should give the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card a close look. While this card charges a hefty annual fee, the cost isn’t out of bounds for a premium travel rewards card — and may be more than justified by the rewards and cardholder perks this card provides.

A generous welcome offer and the ability to earn Delta Medallion® Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) are just some of the features that help the Amex Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Card stand out within a crowded field. But unless you’re a regular Delta traveler, you’re likely better off looking elsewhere for a card that offers more generous travel perks that aren’t specific to this particular airline.

Not sure if this card is the one for you? This Amex Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Card review will tell you everything you need to know to decide if this is the best airline credit card for you.

Triple miles on Delta purchases

4.9

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

Current Offer

Earn 110,000 bonus miles after spending $12,000 in purchases in your first 6 months (offer ends 3/27/24)

Annual Fee

$650

Rewards Rate

3X miles for eligible purchases made directly with Delta; 1.5X miles on eligible transit, U.S. shipping, and U.S. office supply store purchases, plus all eligible purchases after you spend $150,000 in purchases in a year

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

In this Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card review

Key takeaways

  • $650 annual fee is comparable to other high-end travel cards.
  • Best for those who fly Delta frequently.
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club*, Centurion Lounge, and Escape Lounge access.

* Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter. Once all 15 Visits have been used, Eligible Card Members may purchase additional Delta Sky Club Visits (including Grab and Go) at a per-Visit rate of $50 per person using the Card.

Who should get the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

If you’re a business owner who flies often on Delta, wants elite status, and likes to travel in style, you should consider the Amex Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Card. 

But if you don’t usually check bags, you don't care about airport lounge access, or you like to fly on different airlines, you might look elsewhere for a better deal. This card has a similarly large annual fee as more general-purpose travel cards that provide access to more airline lounges or offer much more flexibility in rewards earning and redemption. This card is likely worth getting only if Delta is your go-to airline for the vast majority of your flights.

Card basics

Card Type Travel
Card Issuer American Express
Annual Fee $650 (Terms apply)
Intro Bonus Earn 110,000 bonus miles after spending $12,000 in purchases in your first 6 months (offer ends 3/27/24).
Reward rate 3X miles for eligible purchases made directly with Delta; 1.5X miles on eligible transit, U.S. shipping, and U.S. office supply store purchases, plus all eligible purchases after you spend $150,000 in purchases in a year
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Foreign Transaction Fee None

Why we like the Amex Delta SkyMiles Reserve: benefits and perks

  • Generous welcome offer: Earn 110,000 bonus miles after spending $12,000 in purchases in your first 6 months (offer ends 3/27/24). 
  • Medallion® Qualification Dollars (MQDs): The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card lets you earn $1 MQD for every $10 spent. 
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Earn a statement credit of $100 for Global Entry or up to $85 for TSA PreCheck. 
  • Free checked bags and priority boarding: With this card, your first checked bag is free on Delta flights. This provides as much as $60 in savings on a round-trip flight. You can also board with Main Cabin 1 priority boarding, which gets you to your seat sooner. 
  • Delta Sky Club access: Delta Sky Club airport lounges offer perks like complimentary drinks and beverages, free Wi-Fi, and entertainment, including satellite TV. With Sky Club, access comes with entry not only to Delta lounges but also to more than 250 partner lounges worldwide. You also receive two Delta Sky Club one-time guest passes. 
  • Centurion Lounge access: If you book a Delta flight with your Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card, you receive complimentary access to The Centurion Lounge or to Escape Lounge - The Centurion Studio Partner.
  • TakeOff 15: New and existing cardmembers can get a 15% discount when booking Award Travel with miles on Delta flights. This discount does not apply to partner-operated flights or taxes and fees.
  • Companion certificate: Each year, upon renewing your card, you’ll also receive a companion ticket. This ticket could provide a round-trip domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+, or main cabin flight for just the cost of fees, taxes, and baggage charges. Taxes and fees are capped at $80 for round-trip domestic flights and $250 for round-trip international flights, both for itineraries with as many as four flight segments.
  • Cell phone protection: Your cell phones are covered against theft and damages when you pay your cell phone bill in full with this card. You get up to $800 per claim and up to two claims per card account per 12-month period. A $50 deductible per claim may apply.1
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: If your flight is canceled because of sudden illness, inclement weather, jury duty, or even terrorist activities, you’ll be entitled to up to $10,000 of reimbursement.2
  • Trip delay insurance: If your flight is delayed more than 6 hours, you can also be reimbursed for up to $500 in unexpected expenses per trip.3
  • Note that enrollment or activation may be required for select benefits. 

What we don’t like about this card: drawbacks

  • High annual fee: While the Delta Reserve Business Amex does come with a lot of perks, the annual fee of $650 is still a bit steep.
  • Limited use: This card is truly designed for Delta loyalists. If you like to change up your airline of choice, this card is not for you.

Earning & redeeming

Best ways to earn

Delta Reserve Business Amex cardholders earn 3X miles for eligible purchases made directly with Delta; 1.5X miles on eligible transit, U.S. shipping, and U.S. office supply store purchases, plus all eligible purchases after you spend $150,000 in purchases in a year. 

In addition, if you qualify for Delta Medallion status, you can earn bonus miles per dollar spent with Delta. Remember, these miles help you score generous perks every time you fly with Delta, including free upgrades. You can earn:

  • 7 miles per dollar with Silver Medallion status
  • 8 miles per dollar with Gold Medallion status
  • 9 miles per dollar with Platinum Medallion status
  • 11 miles per dollar with Diamond Medallion status

You could try to earn Medallion status as early as possible by using your card often and concentrating your flights at the beginning of each year. Signing up for the card right before large purchases or a big trip can be very helpful in earning Medallion status ASAP.

Maximizing your redemptions

You can redeem your points for free and get discounted flights on Delta Air Lines using Pay with Miles. Pay with Miles allows you to apply miles you have to lower the cost of your ticket so you don’t have to wait until you have enough miles for an entirely free ticket to redeem.

Miles can also be redeemed with partner airlines, including Virgin Atlantic, Air France, and KLM. Or you can use your miles to book vacations or buy gift cards, but these may not provide as much value as miles redeemed directly for trips with Delta or its partner airlines.

FAQ

What counts as a Delta purchase to earn extra miles?

Delta purchases include any purchases where Delta is the merchant of record. This can include:

  • Purchases on Delta.com
  • Phone reservations made with Delta
  • Purchases at ticket counters, including upgrades or seat selections
  • Delta Sky Club membership fees
  • Delta Sky Club passes
  • Pre-purchased meals
  • In-flight purchases for food, alcohol, or audio headsets (but not other in-flight purchases, such as for Wi-Fi)
  • Delta Vacation package purchases (but not other all-inclusive package purchases)

Can I have more than one Delta credit card from American Express?

Yes. Many people get multiple credit cards to combine benefits and reach higher status tiers sooner.

How many Delta SkyMiles do I need for a free flight?

The number of SkyMiles you need depends on your exact itinerary and when you plan to travel. However, you can buy certain one-way tickets on domestic flights for little as 5,000 SkyMiles.


Other cards to consider

Other cards you may want to look at if you’re considering the Delta Skymiles Reserve Business Card include:

  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card: This card has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $150 per year thereafter, which is lower than the Delta Skymiles Reserve Business Card. But you also get fewer bonus miles with the welcome offer — earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases in your first 6 months (offer ends 3/27/24).
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card: This card offers a $350 fee. A free checked bag is also a perk of this card, as is a free companion pass — but it can’t be used for a first-class flight, unlike the Reserve’s companion pass.

Triple miles on Delta purchases

4.9

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

Why We Like It

Earn 110,000 bonus miles after spending $12,000 in purchases in your first 6 months (offer ends 3/27/24)

See rates and fees | Terms Apply

See how these cards compare:

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
  • Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases in your first 6 months (offer ends 3/27/24)
  • Earn 2X points on purchases at Delta and restaurants, and on eligible U.S. shipping purchases and eligible U.S. advertising in select media up to $50,000 per category, per year
  • First checked bag free + priority boarding
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $150 per year thereafter annual fee. Terms apply.
  • See rates and fees | Terms Apply
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $8,000 in purchases in your first 6 months (offer ends 3/27/24)
  • Earn 3X points on purchases made directly with Delta and on eligible hotel purchases
  • Annual companion certificates
  • Free checked bag + priority boarding
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $350 annual fee. Terms apply.
  • See rates and fees | Terms Apply

Author Details

Christy Rakoczy Christy Rakoczy has a Juris Doctorate from UCLA Law School with a focus in Business Law, and a Certificate in Business Marketing with an English Degree from The University of Rochester. As a full-time personal finance writer, she writes about all things money-related but her special areas of focus are credit cards, personal loans, student loans, mortgages, smart debt payoff strategies, and retirement and Social Security. Her work has been featured by USA Today, MSN Money, CNN Money and more, and you can learn more at her LinkedIn profile.

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