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Final Weeks: Delta Amex Annual Fees Go Up January 30. Now’s the Time to Apply!

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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.


If there’s a Delta Amex you haven’t yet held, now is the time to apply and lock in savings of up to $100 — before six cards’ annual fees go up.

Los Angeles, California - April 18, 2014: A Delta Air Lines Boeing 757-200 with the registration N655DL takes off from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in California. Delta Air Lines is the world's largest airline with 733 planes and some 160 million passengers in 2012. It is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
(©iStock.com/Boarding1Now)

Quick Background

Delta Air Lines and American Express announced in late September some pretty massive changes to their co-branded credit card line.

Some of the moves were positive, there were a few negative ones, too — including annual fees being raised across the board on personal and business versions of the Gold, Platinum, and Reserve cards.

These changes take effect January 30 — only about four weeks away.

People who apply January 29 or sooner for new a Delta Amex card can enjoy an entire year of its current annual fee.

Let’s take a quick look at the affected cards — and how much their annual fees will rise.

All of the below cards will still receive:

Delta Reserve Cards

A Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card from American Express (consumer/personal version)
The consumer/personal version Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card from American Express

Both the personal and business versions of the Delta Reserve American Express cards currently carry $450 annual fees.

Each card jumps to $550 starting January 30.

The major additions (which also don’t kick in until the 30th) to both cards include:

  • Four 15,000 bonus MQM (“Status Boosts”) each time you accumulate $30,000 in spend, up to four times a calendar year.
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre√ fee credit
  • 3X SkyMiles on Delta airlines purchases
  • Two (2) Delta Sky Club guest passes each year
  • Centurion Lounge access when flying a Delta marketed and operated flight. The ticket must also (allegedly) be purchased with an American Express card.
  • Access to complimentary upgrades without holding Delta Medallion status. But I think this will mostly be an empty benefit.

The business Reserve also earns 1.5 SkyMiles on purchases after you spend $150,000 on the card. Unless you’re going for the $250,000 Diamond waiver (why not take an MQD mileage run instead?) I think you’re much better off turning to a card earning at least 1.5X Ultimate Rewards or Membership Rewards points — both of which are more valuable than SkyMiles.

Other standing benefits include:

Delta Reserve Welcome Bonuses

Of the two cards, the personal Delta Reserve has a better welcome offer.

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

Earn 75,000 bonus SkyMiles and 10,000 bonus MQM after using your new card to make $5,000 in purchases within three months of being approved. This offer expires January 29, terms and limitations apply.

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

The business flavor offers 40,000 bonus SkyMiles and 10,000 MQM after spending $3,000 within the first three months).

Delta One business class seat and domestic first class seats RenesPoints blog
Holding a Delta Reserve card is a tie-breaker when it comes to upgrades

Delta Platinum Cards

Both the personal and business Delta Platinum American Express cards’ annual fees increase from $195 to $250.

The personal/consumer Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card‘s big changes taking effect on January 30 include:

  • 3X on purchases made directly at hotels
  • 3X on Delta Air Lines purchases
  • 2X at restaurants
  • 2X at US supermarkets
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre√ fee credit

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card has fewer changes, such as:

  • 3X on purchases made directly at hotels
  • 3X on Delta Air Lines purchases
  • 1.5X on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre√ fee credit

Both cards still include a yearly companion certificate for select coach fares. Plus, you’ll receive 10,000 bonus MQM when you spend $25,000 on your card, up to twice a year.

Delta Platinum Welcome Bonuses

As with the Reserve card, the personal version has a better welcome offer than it’s business counterpart.

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

Earn 75,000 bonus SkyMiles and 5,000 bonus MQM after using your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within three months of being approved. Plus, earn a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase on your new card within the first three months of being approved. This offer expires January 29, terms and limitations apply.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express

The business flavor offers 35,000 bonus SkyMiles and 5,000 MQM after spending $1,000 within the first three months. Plus, earn a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase on your new card within the first three months of being approved.

Delta Gold Cards

Last but not least, we have the personal and business Delta Gold SkyMiles American Express Cards.

Their annual fees go up only slightly — from $95 to $99.

The personal/consumer Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card‘s big changes taking effect on January 30 include:

  • 2X at restaurants
  • 2X at US supermarkets
  • $100 credit for future Delta travel after you spend $10,000 in eligible purchases during a calendar year

The Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card has fewer changes, such as:

  • 2X at restaurants
  • 2X on US shipping and US advertising in select media
  • $100 credit for future Delta travel after you spend $10,000 in eligible purchases during a calendar year

Both cards will still receive 2X on Delta purchases.

Delta Gold Welcome Bonuses

Both welcome offers are identical.

Receive 30,000 bonus SkyMiles after using your new card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of being approved. Plus, enjoy a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within those same first three months.

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card

–Chris

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.


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6 Comments

  1. Mark Harrington Reply

    No more 5x miles for airline tickets with Platinum Business?

  2. Mark Harrington Reply

    Is there any disadvantage to booking directly with AMEX vs Delta?

  3. I hold just the Business Platinum card right now and use it to book airfare on the Amex site. I love the 35% back on tickets, maxed mine out last year, and the fact that you earn miles and all the perks. I also use it to book paid tickets. Their site is not as user friendly as most airline sites and as Chris said, you can’t always see all the flights.
    Last week I needed to book a multi-city ticket and it would not do it. It started out by telling me there were no nonstops SLC-ATL. On the first leg it only should AA connecting flights. I called in and the Rep could not do it either so I gave up and booked on delta.com with a 3x card.
    I will miss the free GOGO passes but the 35% back and Amex offers makes this card a keeper for me.

  4. Hey Chris,
    I see a Sky Miles double dip opportunity on the Gold and Platinum cards, fwiw. Getting the 2x per dollar on restaurant spend from AmEx, that can be supplemented via Sky Miles Dining, which also awards miles per dollar spent, from Delta (I’m currently at a 5X miles/dollar spent, so it’s a nice little bonus. Admittedly, they’re just more Sky Miles, but to me, they’re handy to have. Just not to hoard! 🙂

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