I have held the Delta AMEX Reserve card <-LINK for years and years. One of the primary reasons I hold it is for the bonus MQMs from spending. This year I have already spent over $30,000 and claimed my 15,000 bonus MQMs. In a few months I will reach $60,000 in spending and claim another 15,000 bonus MQMs and nudge just that much closer to my goal of 1 million miles lifetime with Delta and locking in my “annual” silver medallion status.
The other reason, more important than ever due to dwindling seats for complimentary medallion upgrades, is the shot at MORE upgrades for holding the Delta Reserve card. But a reader asked me via e-mail if this perk has gone away this year as he could not find it on the offer page anymore. No, it has not. The old wording on the AMEX site describe the perk this way:
“Receive UPGRADE Priority over non-Delta Reserve Card Members within Medallion level and fare class.”
To me this was an excellent way of describing this perk in the card T&C description. As a Medallion, when you are up against another medallion in the same fare class (happens quite often) then you would be one notch higher on the upgrade list and priority over another medallion. I have seen 1st hand and even talked to others and compared notes about all these terms and myself and another medallion both upgraded over a Diamond without the Delta AMEX Reserve card. But again, has anything changed for 2016?
Notice the new wording when you dive deep into the T&C of either the personal or business cards. It now tells us that:
“Medallion Status Upgrades. Upgrades are subject to limited availability and may not be available on all flights or in all markets.”
To me this new wording is much less clear but I have been assured that, other than the wording change, nothing about the card perk has changed. You will still have upgrade priority over another medallion in the same fare class that does not hold either the personal or business AMEX Reserve card!
To me, other than the MQM boost via spend each year, this now is one of the most valuable perks of holding the Delta AMEX Reserve card. Upgrades truly are harder than EVER to score in 2016 (and getting worse day by day). Every single little perk I can use to move up the list is so important to me. If I can get just one or two more upgrades a year by holding the Delta Reserve card, vs not getting those, I personally have received value back for the high $450 annual fee for the card.
Now I still appreciate the other perks this card gives me and by using AMEX SYNC and other promotions I am net paying nowhere near $450 to hold the card each year. But I have to tell you, if Delta and AMEX ever decide to eliminate the upgrade priority perk from holding the card I would have to rethink holding it long term as I have for so many years! – René
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