What is the Best Delta AMEX card for Flyers? Is it the GOLD Personal Card?
What is the Best Delta AMEX card for Flyers? Is it the Platinum Personal Card?
What is the Best Delta AMEX card for Flyers? Is it the Reserve Personal Card?
If I had no status with Delta, and I chose Delta as my airline to fly only a few times a year, this would be the card I would hold long term. Why? That is what we are going to take a look at and help to consider if this card is the best choice for you.
As with the Gold Delta card, when it comes to ANY AMEX cards, it is critically important to understand the current rule (as of this post date) for receiving a bonus offer from any card. Right now if you have EVER held any specific AMEX card you cannot get the new card bonus again. You can get the card again for all the perks, but not the new card bonus points. This means even if you made the mistake of downgrading (or upgrading) to this card from some other card, you have held it and cannot get the bonus ever again!
Time to seriously consider the Platinum Delta personal card. While I am sure many do go for this card because of the sign-up bonus it is not the reason to hold it long term. I think for the non-waived annual $195 fee, this is one of the best valued Delta AMEX cards hands down. Let’s look at some of what I feel are the most beneficial perks of this card and a reason to consider the Platinum personal card.
Just like with the Gold card, you can use this to avoid paying bag fees that are billed each way so you are talking $50 round trip. The Platinum Delta personal card gets you your first bag free. The super simple math tells us that if you take just a couple of trips on Delta you have paid for the fee to hold the card. As added financial incentive you can have the first bag fee waived for up to 9 travelers with you on the same reservation. This bag fee waiver alone explains why I say if you fly Delta you really need to hold some kind of Delta AMEX card when you fly.
We again have the sweet perk of priority boarding. You, and those with you on the same reservation, get Zone 1 boarding. You must understand this does not mean you are boarding first. Delta boarding is a bit confusing but the important bit is you need to understand that many times Delta will start forcing you to “gate check” your bag when you board after Zone 1. What this means is your approved carry-on size bag will be checked to your final destination whether you like it or not. If you care at all about overhead space, holding some kind of Delta AMEX card really is all but a must today.
For those who are looking at earning elite status with Delta the perk of using “Pay with Miles“. This allows you to spend your SkyMiles at 1 cent each booking flights on Delta.com. This is not always the best value / redemption for your miles, but it gives you tremendous flexibility to book anything you want that has any open seat. Plus, if you are working on any kind of status, you do earn FULL elite points or MQMs even if you pay for the flight in full with SkyMiles with the Pay with Miles perk. Lastly, as a side tip, always compare any award price to the option to Pay with Miles as sometimes this can be a cheaper option.
On the subject of elite, you get bonus MQMs for getting the card and for reaching the $25,000 in spend and again the $50,000 level posted before 31DEC each year. This could mean the difference between earning status or not or reaching the next level. Also you can, by spending $25,000, earn the Delta Medallion Qualification Dollar Waiver. This can be HUGE if you fly a ton but mostly on cheaper tickets and are having a hard time spending enough MQDs each year. A sold card perk.
Just like with the Gold card, when you pay for food or drinks on-board a Delta jet with your Delta Platinum card you save 20% off the published prices. Why not get something back when paying for snacks for your entire family or a work mate (and maybe a drink for you) this can really add up over the year.
Then we have something amazing that only kicks in year two of card membership that is the BOGOF or buy one get one free coach certificate. Yes, it is limited to L,U,T, X, V fare classes but that means only the lowest E class is excluded. I know most readers USE this cert every year and save hundreds of dollars that more than offsets the annual fee for the card with this single perk alone. Some even get and hold BOTH the personal and business Delta Platinum card to get two certs each year (again after year two of card membership). Lastly on the BOGOF certs remember the primary flyer will earn points for the flight while the companion will not. The only downside of these certs is you can NOT upgrade to C+ or 1st class when flying these certs. But you will, if you have status, be able to select exit row or other preferred seats.
Next yes, you do earn 2 SkyMiles per dollar when buying Delta tickets, but I tend to avoid this. I personally feel there are better cards that offer greater travel protection like the Citi BANK Prestige card that once you hit a delay of 3 hours or more benefits start to kick in. Yes, 2x per dollar is a nice perk but at least know there are other options that may be better personally for you.
Other than all these major travel perks that I value and I think others do too as well as Delta flyers. But one last one outside the travel world is the amazing AMEX Extended Warranty perk. You need to read the details to make sure whatever you buy is covered but for most items you are basically adding one year of warranty to what you buy. I have again and again had AMEX simply give me my money back when something I purchased broke outside the manufacturer’s warranty. It is quick and simple and AMEX is amazing at taking care of you when you need it. This is simply real value and piece of mind.
So there you are. Is the personal Delta AMEX Platinum card the best one for you to hold? For many the answer is yes but for others the Reserve card may be the ultimate choice (and the card I hold btw). We will look at that next up. – René
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.