Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Review [2021]: Boost Your Ability to Earn Free Airfare

Read this Amex Platinum Delta SkyMiles review to find out if the fee is worth the miles you can earn.
Last updated Jul 29, 2021 | By Miranda Marquit

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One way to get free travel is to use a co-branded credit card associated with an airline loyalty program. If you travel a lot on Delta Air Lines, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card can be a great choice, even though there’s an annual fee.

This Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum review will help you figure out if this card is the right choice for you — and whether it’s worth the cost.

Free Bag & Priority Boarding

Benefits

  • Earn 50,000 miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn up to $100 in statement credits on purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first 3 months
  • 3X miles on purchases made directly with Delta and at hotels
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights
  • Statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
  • $250 annual fee. Terms apply.
  • See rates and fees

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Best for frequent Delta travelers

In this Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express review

Who should get this Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex?

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card is often ranked among the best airline credit cards for those who frequently fly Delta and want extra perks. It is one of multiple Delta credit cards issued by American Express.

With this card, you can get access to the Delta Sky Club at an exclusive rate, as well as a free checked bag when you fly with the airline. These perks are more valuable to those who are frequent Delta flyers. Not to mention you'll earn miles at an increased rate when you use this card for Delta purchases. Select benefits require enrollment.

If you aren’t loyal to Delta (or the airline’s partners), it might not make sense for you to get this credit card. You really need to be fairly consistent Delta customer to maximize this card and make it worth paying the fee.

Card basics

Card type Travel
Card issuer American Express
Annual fee $250 (See rates and fees). Terms apply.
Welcome bonus Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months (plus, earn up to $100 in statement credits on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first 3 months)
Reward rate 3X miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta and at hotels; 2X miles per dollar spent at restaurants 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 (See rates and fees)

Delta SkyMiles Platinum benefits and perks

  • Generous welcome offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months (plus, earn up to $100 in statement credits on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first 3 months). 
  • Bonus rewards on your spending: 3X miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta and at hotels; 2X miles per dollar spent at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets; and 1X miles for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Annual companion certificate: Each year 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. This is a hugely valuable perk right here alone.
  • Elite status boost: When you spend $25,000 on your Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card in one year, you earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). Spend $50,000 and you’ll earn another 10,000 MQMs. These bonus MQMs can help you move up to Medallion Status and earn more benefits in the Delta loyalty program.
  • 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 $60 round trip each time you fly.
  • Inflight 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.
  • Enjoy priority boarding: You can benefit from Main Cabin 1 priority boarding for you and up to eight companions on the same reservation, even when you're flying on a Delta basic economy ticket.
  • Visit the Delta Sky Club: To gain Delta Sky Club access, you usually need to have certain credit cards or buy a year-long membership costing hundreds of dollars. With the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, however, you and up to two guests can access the lounge at a rate of $39 per person.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Non-travel insurance coverage: This card also comes with Amex's extended warranty coverage and purchase protection.
  • Cellphone protection: You also receive coverage on your cellphones against theft and damages when you pay your cellphone 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.

Drawbacks to this card

  • High annual fee: The $250 annual fee will be no big deal for cardholders who travel regularly and can take advantage of all the perks this card has to offer. But if you don't travel as often, then this card's annual fee might not be a good fit for you.
  • Limited lounge access: While this card does get you access to Delta Sky Club lounges, you still have to pay to get in. If you opted instead for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card then you would also get complimentary access to the Amex Centurion Lounges.

Earning & redeeming Delta SkyMiles

No Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum review is complete without looking at how to earn Delta miles and redeem them. With this card, it’s 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 how your miles can add up the Delta Platinum card. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 1.2 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: $935.60

Year two earnings: $335.60

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 this card comes with.

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 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 and U.S. supermarkets 2X
All other eligible purchases 1X

Additionally, when you spend $25,000 on the card in a calendar year, you get 10,000 MQMs. So if you want to achieve more miles and status, using this card for most of your purchases can help you get there.

Maximizing your redemptions

Your best redemptions are going to come as 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. Consider signing up for Delta’s newsletter to get alerts for sales and special deals — that way, you can jump on killer prices when they pop up.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card transfer partners

Delta is a member of the SkyTeam Alliance, which has over 20 airline partners. You can choose to use your miles to book award flights with the following SkyTeam partners:

  • Aeroflot
  • Aerolíneas Argentinas
  • Aeroméxico
  • Air France
  • Air Europa Alitalia
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern
  • China Southern
  • Czech Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Kenya Airways
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM
  • MEA
  • Saudia Airlines
  • TAROM
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia
  • WestJet
  • 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 in the contiguous 48 states (special exceptions can be made for residents of Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands). You do have to pay applicable taxes and fees, which can be up to $75 for a round-trip flight.

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.

How do I access the Delta Sky Club?

Delta Sky Club lounges require a membership to visit. An individual membership for unlimited access is $545 (or 54,500 miles) per year.

If you have the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, you can access Delta Sky Club for $39 per visit, as well as bring up to two guests for $39 apiece.

Is the Amex Delta Platinum worth it?

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card comes with a $250 annual fee, so consider whether the benefits you receive are worth more than the fee. If you're a frequent flyer with Delta and can earn enough to get a free flight each year, the card is probably worth it. 

Additionally, if you use the Companion Certificate, take advantage of the Sky Club lounge, and get free checked bags, you could easily make up the cost for the card if you travel relatively often with Delta.


Other cards to consider

If the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card doesn't sound like the right new card for you or you want to also check out other credit card issuers, there are a couple other credit cards you might consider. 

If you're looking for a more flexible option, the Chase Sapphire Preferred could be your next travel card. It has a $95 annual fee, but it offers flexible rewards and a generous 100,000 points sign-up bonus that's worth quite a lot when you use it to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The bonus points you earn with your Sapphire Preferred card can also be transferred to 13 airline and hotel partners.

With the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, you can earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months (plus, earn up to $50 in statement credits on eligible purchases at u.s. restaurants in the first 3 months). This card also comes with a free checked bag on flights, 2X miles on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and at restaurants worldwide, and 1X miles on all other eligible purchases. However, there’s a $99 (waived first year) (See rates and fees) annual fee.

Free Bag & Priority Boarding

Special Offer

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months (plus, earn up to $100 in statement credits on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first 3 months)

See rates and fees

See how these cards compare:

Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Best offer ever! 100,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 2X points on eligible dining and travel purchases
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn up to $50 in statement credits on purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first 3 months
  • 2X miles on purchases with Delta, at restaurants, and at U.S. supermarkets
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights
  • Annual fee is waived your first year
  • $99 annual fee. Terms apply.
  • See rates and fees

Author Details

Miranda Marquit Miranda Marquit has been covering money for more than a decade and is a nationally-recognized financial expert and journalist, appearing on CNBC, NPR, Forbes, Yahoo! Finance, FOX Business, and numerous other outlets.