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Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Review [2024]: Still a Good Choice for Delta Fans?

The Amex Platinum Delta SkyMiles underwent some big changes in early 2024. Is this card still a good choice for Delta flyers?

Updated June 20, 2024
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Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
4.8

OUR VIEW

Cardholders (like me) will need to take a close look at recent changes to the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card in order to judge whether it's worth a spot in your wallet. As part of a major overhaul in early 2024, the card now has a higher annual fee and some new benefits. Whether those new benefits outweigh the higher fee is going to come down to whether you can use the new credits and how often you fly. Complicating things more, Delta also announced changes to how you can earn Medallion status with the airline.

Pros

Earn 85,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 6 months
3X miles on purchases made directly with Delta and hotels
First checked bag free on Delta flights and Zone 5 priority boarding
Statement credits for rideshare, Resy and more
$350 annual fee. Terms apply.

Cons

No lounge access
High spend needed for status
Companion certificate can be difficult to find availability
How we evaluate products

Card basics

Card type Travel
Card issuer American Express
Annual fee $350. Terms apply.
Welcome bonus Earn 85,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 6 months
Reward rate 3X miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta and at hotels; 2X miles per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets; and 1X miles for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Foreign transaction fee None

Who should get the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex?

Before diving into the card details, it's worth thinking about whether an airline card is the right choice for you. Generally, I wouldn't recommend an airline card as a first travel card because it requires loyalty to a single airline and lacks the flexibility of a general travel card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred

A non-co-branded travel card is more beginner-friendly because you can redeem your miles with a variety of different airlines and hotels. There's also usually an option to book your flights via a portal (similar to booking on Expedia) which can be easier for beginners than searching for award flights on the airline sites.

The comfort seeker

If you're ready to go all-in with Delta, there's a few more things to consider. First off, what's your goal with getting this card? For me, I travel on Delta three or four times a year and like the convenience of early boarding, the value of waived baggage fees, and the option of visiting a lounge on my layovers. 

Unfortunately for me, one of the recent changes to the Delta SkyMiles Platinum is that cardholders no longer have access to Sky Club lounges. It was never the best benefit because you did have to pay for each lounge visit, but still, I liked having the option to visit a lounge during my layovers at ATL.

The status seeker

If your primary goal is to get status, and the perks that go with that status, there are some changes there too. Delta increased the number of Medallion® Qualification Dollars (MQDs) you need to get status. To get Silver Medallion status in 2025, you'll need to earn $5,000 MQDs. That's up from the $3,000 needed in 2024. You will get a headstart on MQDs with this card – each year you'll start with $2,500 MQDs. Plus, you'll get a boost by earning $1 MQD for each $20 in purchases on your card in a calendar year.

To earn the additional $2,500 MQDs you'll need for the lowest Medallion tier (Silver), you could spend $2,500 on Delta flights or spend $50,000 on your card (or some combination of the two.) Thinking bigger? You'll need to earn $28,000 MQDs to get to Diamond Medallion status. So, you've to be really dedicated to flying Delta and using your Delta Amex if high-tier status is your goal.

Is it worth the annual fee?

Whether the Delta SkyMiles Platinum is worth the annual fee is going to depend on how often you travel, what benefits you use, and what you value. For me, I hate the stress of wondering whether there will be overhead bin space left for my carry-on. The early boarding perk is hard to put a dollar value on, but it's important to me so I factor it into my calculation of whether the card is worth it.

With recent updates to the card including credits for Delta Stays, rideshares, and Resy, it's pretty easy to get enough value to offset the $350 annual fee. And that's on top of other valuable benefits that the card already had like free checked bags and an annual companion certificate.

Here's a closer look at the card's top benefits:

  • Generous welcome offer: Earn 85,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 6 months. Delta doesn't publish an award chart and mileage rates fluctuate, but this should be enough for at least one round-trip flight. With some patience and flexibility you could potentially redeem these miles for two or three flights.
  • Annual companion certificate: This perk alone could offset the annual fee. Each year when you renew your card membership, you receive a companion pass that you can then use to bring someone with you on a round-trip flight. A recent change expanded where you can use this certificate — you can now use it for flights to all 50 states (Aloha, Hawaii!) and Central America and the Caribbean. I've found it hard to find availability to use the companion certificate. (In fact, I just let one expire without using it. Shame on me.) But hopefully with the expanded coverage and some better planning on my part, I'll use it this year.
  • Free checked bag: When you use the card on flight purchases, you get your first bag checked for free. This can save you up to $70 round trip each time you fly. This not only applies to the cardmember, but also for up to 8 other people traveling on the same reservation. So, if I fly with my family of 4 and we each check a bag, that's up to $280 in savings on just one vacation.
  • Cell phone protection: You also receive coverage on your cell phones against theft and damages when you pay your cell phone bill in full with this card. This includes up to $800 per claim and up to two claims per card account per 12-month period. A $50 deductible per claim may apply.

The credits can really add up if you can use them. These include:

  • $120 Rideshare Credit: Earn up to $10 back in statement credits each month when you use your card to pay for U.S. rideshare purchases with select providers like Lyft and Uber. (enrollment required)
  • $150 Delta Stays Credit: Earn up to $150 as a statement credit each year after booking prepaid hotels or vacation rentals through Delta Stays on delta.com.
  • $120 Resy Credit: Earn up to $10 per month in statement credits on eligible purchases with U.S. Resy restaurants.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit: You can get a statement credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, which means you can get through airport lines more quickly. You must activate this benefit before you apply.

Rounding out the top benefits are a number of travel-related ones including:

  • Priority boarding: If you have overhead bin anxiety like me, you and up to eight companions on the same reservation can benefit from priority boarding, even when you're flying on a Delta basic economy ticket.
  • Complimentary upgrades: New in 2024, card members with an eligible ticket will be added to the Complimentary Upgrade list, after Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members and Reserve Card Members. How likely are you to actually get an upgrade? I wouldn't bet on it, but it's nice to know it's a possibility.
  • In-flight savings: Cardmembers get 20% off in the form of a statement credit when they use their card to buy eligible pre-purchased meals, in-flight food, alcoholic beverages, and audio headsets on Delta flights.
  • 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.
  • Travel insurance: If your flight is delayed more than 12 hours, you can also be reimbursed for up to $300 in unexpected expenses per trip with this card's trip delay insurance coverage. You'll also benefit from a baggage insurance plan and car rental loss and damage insurance.

Earning & redeeming Delta SkyMiles

With this card, the process of earning and redeeming Delta miles is very straightforward. There aren’t tiers or rotating categories—just easy-to-remember earning rates.

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your miles can add up with the Delta Platinum card. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 1.41 cents per mile.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $1,506

Year two earnings: $503

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model, which takes a look at points earned via spending, the welcome bonus, and the annual fee.

Note that the values above only account for general travel spending, not Delta-specific spending. However, you'll earn bonus miles with this card when you spend with Delta, and the value you'll get in years one and two may increase significantly. The value will also be potentially increased by hundreds of dollars per year if you take advantage of the various perks described above.

Best ways to earn

You can earn 3X miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta and at hotels; 2X miles per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets; and 1X miles for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. 

Categories Rewards rate
Purchases made directly with Delta and hotels 3X
Restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and U.S. supermarkets 2X
All other eligible purchases 1X

Maximizing your redemptions

Your best redemptions come when you redeem your miles for Delta airfare. You can log into your Delta account and choose to pay for flights in miles. Different flight destinations and times provide better value than others.  

I used the miles I earned with this card to book a flight to Paris with my son for his 16th birthday last year. I enjoy using miles to create memories and I'm not fanatical about getting the best redemption possible. If getting the most value for your points is important to you, Delta might not be your best bet. Among U.S. airlines, Delta's points are generally regarded as having lower value than those from United or American Airlines.

Tip
Consider signing up for Delta’s newsletter to receive alerts about sales and special deals. That way, you can take advantage of killer prices when they pop up.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card transfer partners

Delta is a member of the SkyTeam Alliance, which has many airline partners. You can choose to use your miles to book award flights with the following SkyTeam partners:

  • Aerolíneas Argentinas
  • Aeroméxico
  • Air Europa
  • Air France
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern
  • Czech Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • ITA Airways
  • Kenya Airway
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Saudia
  • TAROM
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Xiamen Airlines

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex FAQs

How does Delta's Annual Companion Certificate work?

When you renew your card each year, you’ll be sent a Companion Certificate that can be used for someone flying with you on Main Cabin domestic, Caribbean, or Central American round-trip flights. 

You do have to pay applicable taxes and fees, which are capped at $80 for round-trip domestic tickets and $250 for round-trip international tickets. 

How much are Delta SkyMiles worth?

How much Delta SkyMiles are worth depends on the type of ticket you get and the flight you choose. You can determine how much a mile is worth by dividing the dollar value of a ticket by the number of miles it takes to redeem, then multiplying by 100.

For example, if a flight costs $391 and requires 23,000 miles to redeem, the value is 1.7 cents per mile: 391/23,000 x 100.

Miles can also be worth more if you use them to upgrade to a first-class or business seat on a transatlantic flight. How you redeem makes a big difference in the value of Delta SkyMiles.

Other cards to consider

If the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card doesn't sound like the right new card for you, there are a couple of other credit cards you might consider. If you want to stick with a Delta co-branded card, there are three other personal cards available including options with no annual fee.

If you're looking for a more flexible option, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a top travel card that won't tie you to one specific airline. It also has a lower annual fee at just $95. You can earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, which is worth $750 when you use it to book travel through Chase Travel℠. The bonus points you earn with your Sapphire Preferred card can also be transferred to over a dozen airline and hotel partners. 

If lounge access is important to you (like it is to me), the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is another option from Chase to consider. Chase has begun opening swanky Sapphire lounges in some airports that rival Amex's Centurion lounges. I haven't had the opportunity to visit one yet, but look forward to lounging there when I get the opportunity. 

Free Bag & Priority Boarding

4.8

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Current Offer

Earn 85,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 6 months

Annual Fee

$350

Rewards Rate

3X miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta and at hotels; 2X miles per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets; and 1X miles for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Tracy Odell

Tracy leads the editorial team at FinanceBuzz. Prior to joining the company in 2019, Tracy held leadership roles at Student Loan Hero, LendingTree, Meredith Corporation, and CafeMedia. She has over 20 years of content and brand experience across the personal finance, lifestyle, and parenting verticals.