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Dumping Delta Amex cards next year (due to changes)? What card to go for instead.

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

My guess is many folks are thinking about dumping their Delta Air Lines / Amex co-branded credit cards (personal or business) in 2018. Why? Well, I kinda-sorta-maybe think it is because the bat crazy ¼ million spend number to be fully Delta MQD exempt was inflicted upon us. Oh, and did Amex lower the annual fee on any of their Delta cards for this or any of the other number of card member perk devaluations the past few years? That would be a big NOPE!

I feel you, I get you, I understand your pain. I myself, who currently holds a number of Delta Amex cards, will be keeping just one for 2018. But you may not want ANY going forward. Still, here are some things to think about before you cancel the card.

1) Wait till the annual fee bills before you dump the card. Why? You do not get any of your fee back if it has been more than 30 days since the last fee billed. Why not keep the card until the next fee bills then cancel if you want to. Oh, and if Delta Platinum or Reserve card wait a few days for your BOGO cert to load into your My Delta then cancel as it will not go away and you can still use it for a year (paying with ANY Amex card).

2) Look at what “Amex Offers to You” you can use (and SYNC deals) before you dump the card. Why not get credit back for your year of fee you already paid before you move on.

3) Make a retention call before you just cancel. Many readers are reporting getting ~$400 back on the Reserve cards due to the ¼ million dollar MQD change. Delta clearly is hurting their Amex partner while at the same time bragging up how many more card members have signed up this year. Strange partnership (or at least rather one sided).

So those are the steps to take before you move on to another card and maybe, for you, a better card. What card should you consider if you are still mostly a Delta flyer? To me the choice is super simple:

The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN (Learn more)

Yes the business card vs. the personal card, to me, is the clear and simple choice and a card I will hold and carry in my wallet until the day I die (as long as they do not change the program and perks that is). Why?

  • $200 yearly travel credit + $100 Global Entry credit. For years and years buying Delta e-Gift cards has worked and this effectively lowers the fee down to $250 per year. Factor in my 1x every 5 years GOES credit and I am down to $230 per year. Not bad when you look at the rest of the perks.
  • 10x International Gogo passes. OK they work on domestic flights too but I do not take much more than 10x international segments a year so this just covers me for the year at a great savings ( #ProTip: I use a second Gogo email / account to load my other 1x uses codes from other travel cards).
  • Sky Club access when flying Delta. Let’s face it, starting in 2019, Delta is decimating the value of “real” Sky Club membership when they are only allowing members who are flying Delta (or partners) to use their membership. How stupid is this I ask you? The result is any card that gets you access is just as good as real club membership. Heck, the non-Delta Amex Platinum card even works with the Diamond Medallion Choice Benefit guest pass add-on option (see why I love this card so much)!
  • Centurion Lounge access. I really value this as every year I spend a great deal of time in these Amex branded lounges (and can bring in 2 guests free as well). Honestly this alone is reason enough for me to hold this card each year.
  • 35% Points back when booking Delta tickets. I choose Delta as my yearly default airline to get the bonus points back booking coach or business on the Amex travel site. Do keep in mind any airline you book in business class on Amex travel you get the bonus points back as well.
  • 5x Points when booking flights. I have to say I tend to not take advantage of this feature of booking on Amex travel but I probably should. Instead I use my Citi Prestige card for the amazing travel insurance included but have never used it once. I need to rethink this and likely book on Amex travel for more points value back.
  • SPG / Marriott & Hilton Gold status. Getting mid tier hotel status with sweet perks just for holding this card is simply amazing. I use these perks and never have to worry about how many nights I stay at either brand.

Bottom line, The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN (learn more), is the card to consider if you are dumping your Delta SkyMiles Amex credit card next year. Between the perks, the solid points earnings potential and tie-in with Delta makes it a clear winner to me (not to mention the new card bonus offer as well).

You tell me. Are you considering dumping one (or more) of your Delta Amex cards in 2018? If so, what card (or cards) are you considering as a replacement card for your travel needs? – René


Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. Do you know if the DL Reserve and/or DL Platinum can be downgraded to a no annual fee Amex?

    • @MikeO – The Blue? Yes. This could be a wise move to retain a card you have held for a long time. Do note this is ONLY for personal Delta Amex cards, not the biz.

    • @Bill – Anyone can get the card. For example, if you ever buy and sell on eBay (even if you do not make any money) you may want the card for that. Just put zero business income and then later on in the app put your other income. All who are points fans should get business cards for the points and perks.

  2. So, planning to downgrade or cancel Delta Platinum or Reserve cards. I believe the BOGO certs are added in january. To take advantage of those, must the card be kept open? Or can i just book and use them and then kill the card?

    • @Tom – The BOBO will hit your My Delta about 1-3 days after your yearly fee bills (keep in mind you have 30 days to get the fee back). You then have 1 year to spend and fly the BOGO. There is no rush. It will not go away for a year (no matter what Delta or Amex says).

  3. I have the non business iteration of the platinum amex unaffiliated and ADORE it!
    You also get priority club membership and free entrance to many airports. Sans Delta or Centurion clubs.
    Another great perquisite, among the many !

  4. I have personal and biz Reserve cards AND personal and biz plat cards, all Delta. I think I will drop the biz Reserve and get the AMAX ( non-Delta ) plat. I forgot you get gold SPG. Thanks for the reminder. I plan to keep one reserve card to get the 30K MQMs, and both platinums for the companion certs. Food plan IYO?

  5. Keeping Biz Plat and dumping Delta Amx this year for all the aforementioned reasons. Really disapointed experiences with Delta this year despite being Platinum. Few upgrades, no visibility to miles redemption, Club changes etc.

  6. Could probably try 3 Delta eGift Cards (50s) on Amex Platinum (personal) for 5x and pay the rest of the ticket on Citi Prestige for the insurance.

  7. Makes sense. Why have a bunch of delta cards when other cards provide more value? I dumped a delta gold card when the 250K spend was announced. I kept a platinum delta card. I wonder if that is worth keeping.

    I assume you are keeping the reserve card to improve upgrade chances. I wonder about trading the platinum card for a reserve card. I don’t fly delta as often now and I have several other cards with a high annual fee. I hate shelling out those fees and am reluctant to add another card with a $450 annual fee. Any thoughts? Thanks.

    • @John – For me, the Reserve card BOGO and more upgrades make it still a keeper – well at least for now. So I pay both fee’s.

  8. I’ll echo what Nina said, with the AMEX Platinum, included benefit of free Priority Pass Select membership is another added lounge benefit that pays for itself plus always 2 guest for free. I fly mostly international, the majority of time, I’ve found these lounges to be superior to most Skyteam lounges. The regular Prestige Priority Pass membership cost $399 but guest pay $27. AMEX Platinum pays for itself and then some. Don’t forget the $15 a month UBER credit available.

  9. Cancelled my AMEX Delta Reserve Business, AMEX Delta Platinum & AMEX Green…kept the Delta Reserve and got a Southwest Premier VISA…I’m a 2M miler and Delta Diamond for as long as in existence but flying Southwest in 2018…direct flights to my cities and more on-time arrivals to my destinations.

  10. AMEX Business Platinum is tempting, and I do a lot of eBay sales. But there is no Delta MQM bonus associated with this card, correct? The 30K MQMs I get with the AMEX Delta Reserve make it hard to part with.

  11. @René

    I carry the DL Amex Plat and the regular Amex Business Plat. You forgot some additional perks, like the 5% back on all BN.COM purchases, those that buy lots of Nook Books will like this. Also 5% back from Fedex, HP.COM, Hertz and 1800flowers. if you dont want the 5%, you can get 2 points for dollar instead. This years, I got $35 back from BN.COM

    In addition to GOGO, it also gives you a Boingo account, which is something I haven’t tried yet.

    Another nice perk that can utilized on purchases over $5,000 you can get 1.5 points for dollar spent. for up to 1,000,000 bonus points.

    Also comes with free membership to Avis Preferred, Hertz Club Gold and National Emerald Club Executive.

  12. As you see in the comments lots of people have multiple Amex cards. Rene couldn’t you do a column giving some advice to multiple AMEX card holders – what to fold and what to fold? In my case I have a personal Reserve but the Business Non Delta Plat and the Delta Plat. Should I drop the Delta Plat and convert the Reserve to the Business Reserve?

  13. So…I see I have a companion certificate for renewing my Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card. I was reading the terms and conditions. Under “Restrictions” it says: Companion tickets are not transferable. At the bottom of the page under “Transferability,” it says: The Companion Certificate is transferable. So…which is it???

  14. I have the personal AMEX Delta Reserve Card. My question is when I look at my “My Delta” it says if I spend $25,000 it’s for my MQD Waiver. If I use my AMEX DL Reserve card and spend $25,000 will that at least keep me at mininum of Silver Medallion? or do I need to do MQM or MQS? (This is for 2018)

  15. Rene, my husband has a personal Platinum Amex and I have the addiontioal card. What benefits does that additional card have?

    • @Diane – To be clear non Delta personal Plat AU card gives you most of the same perks as primary card holder minus $200 travel credit. It is an amazing AU card.

  16. @Jack,

    I think you have that backwards. René can confirm, but it may pay to apply and get a new DL Plat, as you may be illegible for the new card bonuses and then cancel the DL Amex Reserve. Aside from possibly getting a better position on the upgrade list, which won’t help me as I am a GM, I see the DL Plat Amex as a better deal and have the regular Amex Business Plat for everything else.

    This gives me the benefit of the $25k MQD Waiver, 2 free bags for up to 4 people on my itinerary and a free domestic companion ticket every year. The Plat Business Amex for about the same fee gives me the rest of the benefits that I think the DL reserve will and with the $200 a year back on Delta expenses, pretty nets out the DL Amex Plat to being free.

    Just my $.02

  17. HI Renee,
    Just to be clear the 250,000 mqd waiver is just for diamond.
    Doesn’t it is stay at 25k for silver, gold and plat?

  18. Joel Gilbertson Reply

    So I understand, with the Reserve card you get the MQM waiver at $25,000 and an additional 15,000 miles when you spend $30,000. With the Amex Platinum card, you still get the MQM waiver at $25,000 but do not get the additional 15,000 miles when you spend $30,000. What you do get, however, is access to the Centurion lounges with two guests. Is this all correct?

  19. 24 year card holder and I will be dumping all Amex cards if they don’t correct this latest welcome bonus fandango.
    5K short of Plat, and they are dragging their heels on awarding 10K I earned early November.
    Everyone says “it’s coming, don’t worry” and Delta says even if it is posted in January if was earned in Nov it will count for this year. I can’t get anyone to put it in writing – big surprise.
    When they tell me “too late” in January I’ll say buh-bye.
    Such short term thinking on their part.

    • @Joel – As mentioned, the non-Delta Amex Platinum cards provide no MQMs nor any kind of MQD at all for spend.

  20. Rene – You’re planning on reducing to one Delta AMEX (I assume the Reserve)? You don’t find the MQM threshold bonuses worthwhile enough to maintain more than 1? Do you get so many MQMs from just flying that this advantage isn’t worth it for you?

    In my case, For Delta AMEX, I have a Personal Reserve, a Personal Platinum and a Business Platinum. I’ve maxed the MQM bonus thresholds on the two personal cards and the first threshold on the business card for each of the past few years, but will have less spending in 2018. I’m considering dropping the Personal Platinum and maxing out the MQM opportunities on the Personal Reserve and Business Platinum, opening up a slot for a different personal AMEX card. I can’t think of any advantage to keeping the Delta AMEX Platinum with the other two open — Is there anything I’m missing on this?

    • @Dale – I plan to keep one Reserve card and hit the 60k spend. I will be rolling over Diamond. With Aeromexico runs I will pick up 70k more MQMs and ~$14k MQD credit. Don’t need more than that this year. I will look for no 1x lifetime Platinum or Reserve offers in 2019. Your plan also looks smart.

  21. Earlier in December I got the AMEX Personal Platinum card with the intention of dropping my Delta Reserve card. The renewal for the Reserve card happened on Dec. 27 and the certificate was deposited into my SkyMiles account.

    Today I called AMEX to cancel the Delta Reserve card, and they offered me a $400 loyalty credit or 40,000 SkyMiles. I kept the card. The companion certificate by itself made the decision no-brainer.

  22. I will reach my eligible purchases threshold for my Miles Boost in the billing period at the end of which my annual membership fee will be posted. If I read these posts correctly, my strategy should be to allow the fee to post, retrieve my Boost MQMs and companion certificate, and then cancel the card within 30 days in order to be refunded the annual fee. Is that correct?


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