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Sky Club Access for Delta American Express Cards: Which Cards are Now Eligible?

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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.


Some Delta American Express cardholders may currently access Sky Clubs. But the recent card refreshes made a number of changes as to which cards will be eligible (hint: fewer than before) and if there’s a cost for admission (for some cards, yes.)

Let’s examine this great perk for Delta travelers!

Why is Delta Sky Club Access Important?

Airport lounges provide the proverbial oasis from busy gate areas. Most feature a host of complimentary amenities such as:

  • Food
  • Beverages (including alcoholic drinks)
  • WiFi
  • Newspapers
  • Showers

Plus, they usually have easy-ish access to USB and electrical outlets for you to charge your computer, tablet, and cell phone.

Airline-branded club lounges (i.e. Delta Sky Clubs) also have customer service reps who can help with flight changes and rebookings, seat assignments, and more.

Airport lounges help make layovers pleasurable. For me, the time flies by and adds to the fun of traveling.

Delta Sky Club in Seattle

 

A great quality about Delta Sky Clubs is people may enjoy them upon arriving at their final destinationunlike American Express Centurion Lounges. I visit one of the LAX Sky Clubs whenever I arrive in Los Angeles between 4:30 PM and 6:30 PM. Traffic will be hideous getting home, so I use the time in the lounge to work. Plus, I save money on dinner by eating in the club.

Likewise, there are times I arrive at whatever city I’m visiting and need to get time-sensitive work completed ASAP before going to my hotel. Lounges are a great place to QUIETLY make phone calls, write a blog post, or dash off some fast emails.

And if you can’t expense your business travel meals, lounge access is a must.

Delta Amex Cards Providing Sky Club Access Through January 29, 2020

Delta Sky Clubs no longer sell day access or single-visit passes to non-members or people who don’t hold a Delta American Express card.

However, if you have one of these six Delta Amexes, you may access the club when presenting same-day boarding pass for a Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight.

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve Card (Complimentary for the primary cardholder; up to two guests and children under age 21 may also enter for $29 per person per visit.)

Delta Reserve Business Card from American Express.Delta Reserve Business Card (Complimentary for the primary cardholder; up to two guests and children under age 21 may also enter for $29 per person.)

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express.Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express ($29 per visit for the cardholder and up to two guests for $29 each person per visit.)

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express ($29 per visit for the cardholder and up to two guests for $29 each person per visit.)

Delta Gold American Express CardDelta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card ($29 per visit for the cardholder and up to two guests for $29 each person per visit.)

Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card ($29 per visit for the cardholder and up to two guests for $29 each person per visit.)

But all that changes at the end of January 2020.

Delta Sky Club at SFO

Delta Amex Cards Providing Sky Club Access — Effective January 30, 2020

Sorry, Delta Gold Amex cardholders.

You’re no longer welcome inside Sky Clubs, as of January 30, 2020.

3d rendering of a door with a "go away" doormat
(©iStock.com/zentilia)

 

These Delta Amex cardholders will be allowed in da clubs:

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve Card (Complimentary for the primary cardholder; up to two guests and children under age 21 may also enter for $39 per person per visit.) Plus, two complimentary guest visit passes per year.

Delta Reserve Business Card from American Express.Delta Reserve Business Card (Complimentary for the primary cardholder; up to two guests and children under age 21 may also enter for $39 per person.) Plus, two complimentary guest visit passes per year.

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express.Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express ($39 per visit for the cardholder and up to two guests for $39 each person per visit.)

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express ($39 per visit for the cardholder and up to two guests for $39 each person per visit.)

Note the Platinum cards’ entrance fees is raised to $39. And guest access for all Delta Reserve and Platinum cards is also hiked to $39.

Is Paying for Sky Club Access Worth It to Delta Platinum Amex Cardholders?

If you’re going to spend at least $39 per person eating and drinking somewhere in the airport, you might consider using the Sky Club benefit if you hold the Platinum (or Gold, at least for now) cards. That being said, most Sky Clubs don’t serve full meals. You’ll likely find heavy-ish hors d’oeuvres.

And if you have a layover of three or more hours, then think about paying for Sky Club access. You can find a comfortable spot to work, enjoy some snacks, coffee, water, cocktails, and whatever else.

And if you frequently enjoy an adult beverage (or several) at airports, you’ll probably save money visiting a Sky Club.

The bar and liquor bottles are seen at the Delta Sky Club Austin airport lounge at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) in Austin, Texas. Photo © Chris Carley / PointsLounge
Delta Sky Club in Austin

Keep in mind if you regularly visit an airport with a Sky Club, eight lounge visits offsets the price difference between the Platinum and Reserve cards. Think you’ll pop into Sky Clubs at least that often? Get the personal Delta Reserve or the business version. Plus, you can enjoy the Reserve cards’ added benefits (first class BOGO, better MQM bonus, Centurion Lounge access starting January 30, upgrade priority, and more).

Are There Better Cards for Delta Sky Club Access?

If upgrade priority isn’t important to you and MQM aren’t a concern, you’re probably better off getting one of the non-Delta American Express Platinum cards.

The Platinum Card from American Express.
The Platinum Card from American Express (learn more now)

The personal Platinum Card from American Express costs $550/year — the same price tag the Reserve cards will carry as of January 30, 2020.

In addition to Delta Sky Club access (when flying a Delta-marketed or operated flight) it comes with these benefits the Reserve card doesn’t have:

  • More Lounges
    • American Express Centurion Lounge access — whenever you fly any airline
    • Priority Pass Select membership
    • Escape Lounge access
    • Airspace Lounge access
  • $200 annual airline incidental credit
  • 5X points on purchases made directly with airlines (opposed to the Reserve card’s 3X on Delta only)
  • Up to $200/year Uber Cash
  • Complimentary Hotel Elite Status
    • Marriott Bonvoy Gold
    • Hilton Honors Gold
  • Up to $100 credit annually at Saks Fifth Ave

It also comes with a Global Entry / TSA PreCheck credit, just like both flavors of the Delta Reserve cards.

American Express Business Platinum card
The Business Platinum Card from American Express (learn more now)

The card is also available in a business version for $595 and comes with these benefits:

  • More Lounges
    • American Express Centurion Lounge access — regardless of airline you travel
    • Priority Pass Select membership
    • Escape Lounge access
    • Airspace Lounge access
  • $200 annual airline incidental credit
  • 35% Membership Rewards rebate when paying with points through Amex — a benefit I truly love.
  • 5X points on flight and prepaid hotels purchases made through amextravel.com
  • Up to $200/year Dell credit (good for more than just computers!)
  • Complimentary Hotel Elite Status
    • Marriott Bonvoy Gold
    • Hilton Honors Gold
  • $100 hotel credit on qualifying charges with The Hotel Collection.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express also has a Global Entry / TSA PreCheck credit.

Which Card Do You Think Is Best for Sky Club Access?

Please share in the Comments section below your thoughts and insights!

–Chris

Other Delta Amex Topics We’ve Covered This Month

Now is a fantastic opportunity to apply for Delta Amexes because many have great welcome bonuses — and you can lock in a year at their current annual fees.

We’ve covered several related topics during the past several weeks including:

Big Welcome Bonuses Expire WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30!

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve Card 

Delta Reserve Business Card from American Express.Delta Reserve Business Card 

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express.Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express

Delta Gold American Express CardDelta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card 

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.

12 Comments

  1. anonymous

    I will be canceling my Delta Gold card due to the loss of lounge access. It just doesn’t provide any meaningful benefit anymore.

  2. I have the Delta Amex Gold and use the BOGO free promotion every year. Even using it for nothing else I still feel it’s worth the annual fee.

  3. qofmiwok

    “Note the Platinum cards’ entrance fees is raised to $39. And guest access for all Delta Reserve and Platinum cards is also hiked to $39.” But right above it you still have the guest fees at $29. Some proofreading please.

  4. @qofmiwok: Corrected. Thanks for pointing that out.

    I believe there’s a comma missing between “proofreading” and “please.” 😉

  5. I was reading the terms of both the personal and business Reserve cards and noticed the following statement in the Delta Sky Club Access Effective January 30, 2020 section: The Delta Reserve Credit Card Basic and Additional Card Members receive complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club. The “Additional Card Members” component is new isn’t it? I did not see any mention of this in your post. I currently have the personal Reserve card and my wife is an additional card member. At the time that I added her, they gave me the option of adding her with a platinum card at no extra fee. Nonetheless, she is still an additional card member and I interpret this to mean we should both get in for free. Thoughts?

  6. @Bob – The key is in the wording. They say the word “Reserve” (the AU card with $175 fee) not the word “Platinum” (the no fee AU card). So no, an AU will not get into the Sky Club with the Platinum free AU card from your Reserve card this year or next.

  7. my husband has the lifetime sky club membership card. Bought from Northwest before it became Delta. Do I understand that none of these changes apply if he uses that card to enter?

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