What new perks would you like to see for the Delta American Express Credit Cards?

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Business Credit Cards

Oh yes please Amex!

There are many sweet perks the Delta cobranded American Express cards offer and especially so when it comes to the high end Reserve card (personal or business) that gets you into the Sky Club free (same day travel), more upgrades (i.e. an upgrade tiebreaker), free bags, priority boarding and check-in as well as priority TSA security line and a bunch more.

But the one perk that is “meh” (at best) is 2x Delta SkyMiles for buying tickets with the Reserve card (or any of the Delta Amex cards). After all, most folks value a SkyMile at 1-2 cents each and that means you are at BEST getting 4 cents value and at worst 2 cents value for buying your tickets with these cards – there are MUCH better values in travel cards for buying airline tickets.

Plus, none of the Delta Amex cards offer you things that many of these other travel cards do like travel insurance for delayed flights and so on. To me, the only reason to buy a Delta ticket with a Delta Amex card is to help reach your yearly spend goals of $25,000 across all your Delta cards for a better shot at medallion upgrades and to reach the yearly Platinum Medallion and lower MQD spend waiver. That is very different from real points value for buying the ticket itself.

Well take a look at the screen shot at the top of this post that a reader sent me as well as another screen shot of a survey of possible new benefits from the Delta Amex cards that could be on the way. Do note on the latter shot some of the things mentioned are already perks while others are not (very confusing if you ask me). Let’s break out some of the best ideas and the ones that would motivate me to always pay for my Delta tickets with my Delta Amex card.

  • Book directly with Delta and get 3 days to cancel for a full refund versus the standard 1 day.

Oh this would be HUGE! I really do not care anymore about delayed flight insurance because I, at long last, followed the wise advice of getting a yearly blanket travel policy that covers me for just about everything (even for things I have not yet booked). But there have been a number of times that I would have liked to have changed a flight just outside the normal Delta 1 day cancellation window. I would love a 3 day window.

  • Price Drop Protection: Book and automatically get a refund if the price drops within 10 days

Almost as amazing as the change to 3 day cancel window would be this when you book with the Delta Amex card. These two of these ideas, as a package, would be enough for me – even without raising the number of SkyMiles I would earn – for booking with the Delta Amex cards.

  • Get 3 miles per $1 spend on Delta purchases

OK this one is a no brainer and should already be in place Amex. This would improve earnings to 3-6% in value. At the low end even this 3x number is not as good as other cards. To me I think the Delta Amex Gold and Platinum cards should offer 3x and the Reserve cards should be 4x or even 5x SkyMiles!

  • Get passes to access the Delta Sky Club

This would be really sweet since Delta is basically killing real Sky Club membership in 2019 (you must be flying Delta or partners to enter even with membership). I would love to have a few of these free passes when the situation presents itself that I need to guest someone in and do not feel like gifting Delta $30 to get a friend in with me.

  • Get free annual access to Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi on Delta

Hello – THIS! I have been yelling about this for years. The Delta Amex Reserve card should offer this perk each year. The Delta CEO has been talking about the fact that he sees on-board wifi will be free at some point in the future – until then let us get it free with a high end Delta Amex card.

  • Monthly Lyft credits

This one would be nice but not “that” exciting but it would be a way to combat the monthly Uber credits so many get with the non-Delta Amex Platinum card. Call this idea a good one but not one that would change my purchasing habits by itself.

So the above are the ideas for card perk changes that got my full attention. If these changes were implemented they would impact my spending choices on what card to pull to pay for Delta tickets. What do you say? Do any of the ideas above, or the other ones, excite you? Are there other perks you would rather see added to Delta Amex cards? Be sure to comment below! – René

 

 


 

18 comments

  1. I messaged Delta & Amex customer service about this after getting the Reserve card. There is nothing that financially adds value to the Reserve Card after year one to justify the $450 fee, so this has to change. I can get almost every benefit of the Reserve with the Platinum at a $255 yearly savings. And you get much more lounge value with the standard AMEX Platinum – Between the Amex Centurion, Priority Pass and Sky Clubs. But then we’re also missing the direct value in Uber, Sacks and $200 travel credit. So…

    Note – this is all from the reserve card point of view. …

    Delta needs to match the 5x miles for delta purchases
    They need to add a restaurant multiplier, maybe also for gas and other travel
    They need to solidify the tiebreaker situation especially since not everyone is diamond – I’m lowly Gold… maybe throw in some upgrade certs
    Travel credit is a given with luxury travel cards and Amex needs to match the more than 50% that Hilton gives on their Ascend card
    Delta needs to make this a metal card – make me feel special like I do with my Amex Platinum, CNB Crystal or even my Amazon Prime card!

    Nice to haves would be
    -a consierge line to help plan travel with Delta
    -Upgrade from Sky to Premium boarding
    -instant bump by one medallion level

    Overall I want them to make this card cover the value I could get spending on other cards as the amounts to get value is so very high. Without doing something – I’m downgrading my reserve next year to a Delta Platinum.

  2. I’d be in favor of all the ideas mentioned. Another benefit they could consider is to copy the AAdvantage Platinum card’s 10% rebate when redeeming points. I redeemed 70K AAdvantage miles earlier this year, but with the rebate, it only deducted 63K from my account. (by the way, that was a business class redemption from ATL-MNL. 63K Skymiles would never happen on that route with DL’s redemption rates, but that’s another topic)

    In the end, I agree. I’m canceling my DL Amex Platinum this year and will keep the reserve (for at least this year), but aside from the companion pass, there’s not much incentive to keep paying $450/year to keep the card. I get much better incentives with other cards.

  3. I only fly about 45,000 MQMs per year. As such, the only reason I keep the Reserve card is for the 30,000 MQMs that take me from GM to PM and the free SM award ticket reinstatement waiver that PM provides. I figure the $450 covers 3 award ticket reinststement fees plus I get the companion cert as a bonus.

  4. @lancelot You get the companion pass (domestic) with the Delta Platinum card too.

    My general feeling about Delta messing with the card is that if they give something they will take it away elsewhere. Gogo passes? — no way it will happen, they make money selling Gogo. Skyclub guest passes? Yeah, if it’s a foot in the door to limit access for reserve cardholders, i.e. you’ll now get 20 passes/year to get yourself in instead of unlimited access when you are flying. The only thing on the list that probably won’t cost them real $$ is the extended cancellation period, which would be quite nice.

    By far the most important thing for me is the MQMs and I’m barely able to spend enough to get those. Change that and I’m out. The rest of the stuff is nice but not a deal breaker for me. Others have different needs, of course.

  5. The Reserve should absolutely not given Premium boarding – if that’s the case, why would I bother flying 125k MQMs to achieve Diamond? Then I’d rather fly other airlines, but hold the Reserve for the few rare times I would fly Delta.

  6. The free bags and companion pass are enough to keep me around. We are a family of 4 that travels 5-6x a year. MQMS have gotten me gold status. But yes, if they want to remain competitive, a restaurant or grocery multiplier would be very helpful. I am miffed that I can’t put all my spend on my Amex as we know not everyone takes Amex.

  7. I’d like to see unlimited dummy bookings. Oh wait. We already have that. How about no hidden seat maps for Reserve Card holders! And no more fake upgrade emails!!!

  8. Clear membership credit. Delta reserve card should add a $99 credit to cover Clear.

    Clear
    Bump in Delta Skymiles (3-5x) for DL tickets.
    With the 72 hour cancellation and the 10 day price drop protection.

    With the companion certificate, bag fees, skyclub access added with the above the Delta Reserve would be fine at $450.

    Delta/AMEX get at me for my consultant check.

  9. I don’t care about Uber credits, or clear, or early boarding.
    My main thing is that for $450 you should be able to bring 1 guest into the lounge with you. It would also be great if you could visit the lounge if not flying Delta.
    Now if they want me to put more spend on the card, your other ideas about earning more points are great. Or adding value when purchasing Delta tickets, like longer cancellation policy or more points. As is, there is no reason for me not to use my CSR for 3x and travel protections.

  10. My Amex Platinum Card rewards at 5x for miles. Reserve could and should match this. It would result in increased spend by folks like me who carry both cards, increase loyalty (I’d think) and slightly simplify my life.
    Free GoGo seems a no brained and it’d be a zero net loss to DL IMO.
    This one will be controversial but…MQM bonus bumps at $75k or $90-&100k would direct more of my spend to Reserve. I realize and appreciate the AIS argument but for non business spenders, when we reach those levels there should be incentive.
    A specific number of lounge passes annually? Maybe not open the doors to guests but if I’ve only got 1/2 until boarding I’m less inclined to walk to a lounge and pay for my spouse to access.
    Honestly, I’m a solid Gold but have some difficulty reaching PL, I’m looking for a good milage run out of NYC before end of year. If I’m spending $70-100k on a branded card, mostly Reserve, throw us a bone.

  11. 5X miles on Delta buys. Already available on AMX Plat, but that does not help your dollar spend.
    2X miles on everything else.

  12. @Mike Thanks for the clarification. Understood, but 5x for DL purchases, I’d use Reserve vs Plat for those purchases. Seems an unnecessary division of loyalty when the purchases are both on an Amex product and w DL.
    I can always use a little help getting unconflicted

  13. @HuntingtonGuy
    They already are doing another 15k MQMs when hitting 90k spend for most this year. Announcement came in a promo email. I seem to think it will stick around for next year.

    Glad I didn’t have to switch to the Platinum card this year to keep getting MQMs. May actually get rid of that one.

  14. I am with you Rene on purchasing an annual travel insurance policy. I picked up that Allianz multi-trip annual policy and I am so glad I did! I didn’t get the Cadillac one but even the $249 policy came with 100,000 evacuation, $20,000 medical, trip cancellation/interruption, baggage etc. Great advice.

  15. It sounds like some people in here seem to think “if I’M paying FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS per year in annual fees it’s American Express’s responsibility to make sure I somehow get 2x that in value back.”

    Upgrade by one medallion level….what? Premium group boarding…why?

    From Amex’s perspective I’m sure the ~$250 differential between the delta platinum and reserve is fully covered by the enhanced companion ticket, sky club access (even if it sucks), and higher upgrade priority.

    At the end of the day, a $450 annual fee is a lot to pay for some of these benefits but if they were substantially better, they would just be cut when amex figured out they aren’t profitable at all

  16. Timely article, Rene

    I would ask for leveraging relationships with other partners into something greater than the $0.006/skymile that frequently occurs. I know Ed B. & Co. have talked about driving the value of Sky Miles down to $0.01/mile, but if we could get $0.02/mile on car rentals, or hotel nights, etc, that could be real value, something that would make me use my Delta co-branded cards, rather than the seldom they’re used today. I foresee my best value CSR UR or AmEx Plat/Gold MR far easier and more easily applied for at least another year, probably longer!

  17. MQD credits. $30k spend; 15k mqms, 15k SkyMiles and 1.5k in MQDs. Same at $60k and again at $90k (if they decide to make that level permanent). That would be enough for me to keep the card.

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