Travel Related

Is Centurion Lounge Access with a Delta Reserve Card Really That Great?

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr
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.


A new perk for both the personal and business Delta Reserve cards is complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounges when the primary cardholder flies a Delta marketed and operated flight. This little bonus takes effect January 30, 2020, when the Delta Amex refresh “officially” kicks in.

But is this new benefit alone worth applying for a Reserve card?

Simply put: no.

Quick Background: American Express Centurion Lounges

Centurion Lounges are premium lounges located in several airports throughout the world — and their network is expanding. They feature handcrafted cocktails (though isn’t every cocktail handcrafted?), buffet spreads designed by renowned (at least locally) chefs, showers, nice places to relax, and more.

Many also have family areas where kids can play without disturbing other guests.

My daughter loving the American Express Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas.
My daughter loving the American Express Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas.

Here are some Centurion Lounge locations and our reviews:

New Centurion Lounge Benefit for Delta Reserve Cardholders

Starting January 30, Delta Reserve personal and business cardholders will receive free access to Centurion Lounges when traveling that same day on Delta. (Reserve cardholders also enjoy complimentary admission to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta itineraries.)

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve Card 

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

Cardholders may bring up to two guests at $50 each. But guests, too, must be on a Delta itinerary that same day.

The terms and conditions stipulate that “The eligible flight must be booked on a U.S. issued American Express charge or credit Card.” I’m not sure how that’s going to be enforced. So if you bought your flight with a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card, my assumption is you could still enter. Although maybe Delta will somehow code boarding passes to alert Centurion Lounge check-in reps if you didn’t book with an American Express card.

American Express Centurion Lounge DFW
American Express Centurion Lounge DFW

Keep in mind you can’t access Centurion Lounges when arriving at your final destination. And don’t try to enter more than three hours before your flight.

Food, beverage, and ambiance-wise, I’ll take nearly any Centurion Lounge over most Delta Sky Club any day. The only exception is the overcrowded and underwhelming Centurion Studio Seattle — which I visited for ten minutes before bolting to the fantastic, nearby Delta Sky Club.

Why the Centurion Lounge Benefit Alone Might Not Be Worth Getting a Reserve Card

Many Centurion Lounges aren’t located in the same terminals as Delta. In Dallas, you need to take the post-security AirTran from Delta’s gates to the Centurion Lounge. The San Francisco and Miami lounges, for example, are so far away that you travel to another terminal land-side and enter security.

In Las Vegas, though, the Centurion Lounge is relatively close — only a five minute walk.

Plus, keep in mind access is limited to just the cardholder — who must be flying a Delta itinerary that day. If you’re a free agent and travel other airlines, you’ll receive far more benefits from the Platinum Card from American Express or Business Platinum American Express card. The non-Delta Amex Platinum cards allow you to bring two guests for free to the Centurion Lounge. And you can fly any airline you want and still have access.

American Express Lounge MIA -- from the Delta gates.
American Express Lounge MIA — from the Delta gates.

For example, I work in Las Vegas several times a year and usually fly Southwest. The Reserve cards’ Centurion Lounge benefits wouldn’t get me admission. But my Platinum Card from American Express does — and I usually bring two colleagues with me.

The Platinum Card from American Express.The Platinum Card from American Express

American Express Business Platinum cardBusiness Platinum Card from American Express

 

Plus, both the Platinum Card from American Express and Business Platinum American Express card come with Delta Sky Club access (just like the Reserve cards), Priority Pass Select Membership (which the Reserve card doesn’t have), and admission to the Global Lounge network (also not included with the Reserve cards).

Should You Still Get a Delta Reserve Card?

Don’t get me wrong: the personal and business Delta Reserve cards are great for helping Medallions see more upgrades and acquire gobs of MQM. The first class BOGO is a nice benefit, too. The Centurion Lounge benefit is certainly a nice plus.

But if you’re a casual flyer who doesn’t care about upgrades, MQM, or the BOGO — and only has Centurion Lounges in your eyes, consider a Platinum Card from American Express or Business Platinum Card from American Express.

What Do You Think About the Delta Reserve Cards’ Centurion Lounge Access Benefit?

Please share your thoughts in the below Comments section!

–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.

9 Comments

  1. Brian Fisher

    For my travel patterns, I will say that a Priority Pass benefit on that card would be MUCH more valuable to me. I definitely want to try a Centurion lounge at some point, but on my next Mileage Run, having Priority Pass at my home airport of CHS and having it in JNB since I don’t believe I will be able to get into the Clubhouse there would be very valuable to me. This is of course because I have the Reserve card and am not currently in a position to get another premium card that offers the Priority Pass benefit.

  2. Q: My wife has an “employee” Reserve card tied to my Business Reserve account. That gets her free entry to SkyClubs. Will it also work at the Centurion Clubs.

  3. I think the new PHX lounge will be in terminal 4, near AA international flight. Delta is in terminal 3.

  4. @Glen: The terms and conditions on Amex’s website say she — the Additional Card member — should have access to the Centurion Lounges.

  5. Brian Fisher

    @Chris Carley: That’s a very good point. Thanks for the tip!

  6. My corporate expense system gets credit card charge data and it includes my flight information in that charge. Not sure if there is some behind the scenes magic happening or it is included in the charge data but it can be done. So if they have that piece working they can verify.

  7. Christian D

    You didn’t mention the soon to open JFK T4 Centurion, in the same Delta terminal . Also a little further down the road, the LAX centurion, which will be in TBIT, which a year from now, will be connected to T2 and T3 and some Delta flights do leave from TBIT

  8. @Christian D: Good point about the JFK Centurion. Even though T2-T3-TBIT will be physically connected, it will still be sort of a hike.

Write A Comment

BoardingArea