This past week I gifted a friend 15,000 MQMs. I am just about always done with my $60,000 Delta Amex Reserve card (learn more) spend goal by this time of the year, each year, because I always have large tax bills to pay and it is a simple quick way (at very little cost) to get my spend done. But once I have this my card tends to go into my “sock drawer” until 1JAN the following year.
Now I say sock drawer, but in reality it stays in my wallet because their is the rare time that I have to produce my Reserve card to get into the Delta Sky Clubs (since Sky Club membership is all but pointless in 2019+). Also, there are the now rare times an Amex Offers for You is only targeted for this card and I will use it even over the 60k yearly spend.
I have kept the Reserve card for so many years for the perks despite that fact that no new perks have been added to this card at least from the Amex side. Delta has made lots of changes some good and some bad. For example:
- You used to be able to bring a guest into the Sky Club with the Reserve card.
- With the +1 upgrade at your status level change both upgrade on coach BOGO certs
- The better chance for upgrades is now official not just a “hush hush” perk
- The 25k spend for more upgrades did not change with the ¼ million Diamond spend waiver enhancement
- You still get Sky Priority security line (if you don’t have TSA PreCheck already).
- You can still pay $175 for an authorized user to get Sky Club access (but no other perks).
So while the yearly fee for the card has not changed the perks have not really changed much either and the cut of guesting someone into the Sky Club still bugs me to this day and every time I fly with my wife.
But what if Amex decided, like they have with the personal (learn more) and business (learn more) non-Delta Amex Platinum cards, to raise the yearly fee on the cards from $450 to some higher number? Would it still be worth keeping this card then? Maybe – maybe not – it all would depend on one thing for me.
First off there is Sky Club access. Since even “members” (not really members anymore in 2019+) have to be flying Delta or a Delta partner to get in the card fee right now is a real value. Why in the world would anyone pay $545 for membership when they can pay $450 for the Reserve card and get MORE perks than real paid club membership. This is one of the reasons I fully expect the Reserve card fee to jump to at least $545 very soon (and a reason to get the card NOW before any jump in fee).
Right now I know I am getting more upgrades by holding the Reserve card but Delta selling upgrade for as low as $2.00 to others and thus all but robbing me of my loyalty to Delta is making this perk less and less valuable each year. If the fee goes up why keep paying when Delta will “pull the rug out from under you” if you will. I would have to think hard about keeping the card if the fee goes up.
So what would make me maybe pay more for the Delta Amex Reserve card (learn more) each year? A permanent change to allow a 3rd spend bonus. Even with a SkyMile (SkyPenny) now really only worth 1 cent each in value, getting a 3rd 15,000 SkyMiles and MQM bonus each year for spending $90,000 on the card cold make a higher fee worth it. I would not want to see it jump more than $100-150 as more than that I would have a hard time trying to justifying the new perk.
What do you think? Do you expect Amex to soon raise the yearly fee for the Reserve card(s)? Would you pay more for the card with no new perks? Would you pay more for the card if the 3rd spend goal were a permanent feature and if so how much more? Let me know! – René
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