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Surprise for a Delta Reserve Amex Cardholder (and Maybe You?): A Discounted Annual Fee!

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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.


Credit card statement surprises usually aren’t the “fun” or “nice” or “good” kind of surprises. But reader “Stuart” received one this week!

The annual fee just posted for his personal/consumer Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card from American Express.

Instead of the new, higher $550 annual fee, he was charged only $450.

Delta Reserve annual fee for $450.

Delta and Amex announced last year several changes to their co-branded cards, including annual fee increases to all but the Delta Blue Amex card.

Stuart told me he’s been a Delta Reserve cardholder since May 2016. So that ruled out any sort of mysterious, unwritten clause that would somehow grandfather the old annual fee a new cardholder who signed up last year.

He also confirmed he’s never received an offer for a lower annual fee on his Reserve card.

Two Explanations?

Both Stuart and a fellow blogger suggested that, perhaps, this is Amex’s response to Chase giving Sapphire Reserve cardholders a $100 statement credit.

Being a pessimist, I sort of doubt that. I think Amex wants to bring in as much money as possible — especially now. Proactively issuing annual fee credits without retention calls doesn’t seem very Amex-like.

But I would love, love, love for them to prove me wrong here.

The other possible explanation is that this simply was a glitch. (Oh, that all of our cards could receive that glitch, right? 🙂 )

So keep an eye on those upcoming annual fees, folks!

The Delta Reserve Card from American Express

Can You Figure Out Why He Received a Lower Annual Fee?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Or if you’ve seen information elsewhere about this development, please send me a link!

Have You Received This Fun Surprise?

Have you enjoyed a “discount” lately on any of your cards — Amex or otherwise? Let us know in the comments section!

— Chris

Featured image: ©iStock.com/ceazars

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.

13 Comments

  1. If not a glitch, most likely explanation is waiting a year to increase the fee due to the COVID situation – one of the primary benefits of the card (Skyclub and now Centurion access) is now vastly reduced. Probably not a good time to give people sticker shock at renewal for something they aren’t currently using.

    • Well, mine renewed 20 March for $550. I have been with them since 2004. I would really be interested in what triggered the discount.

      • I’ve also been with Amex since 2004, and I was hit with the full $550 on Valentine’s day (no flowers from amex though).

        I’d be very curious as well to know what was behind this discount. I have both the Reserve and the Amex Platinum. I’m paying for the privilege of longingly walking past the closed Centurion lounge at Philadelphia and wondering if it’s all worth it.

      • That was still while we were in the midst of locking things down and people weren’t sure if this would be for 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years, etc.

        My guess is Amex and/or Delta discussed it at some point in late March/early April and decided to reduce the annual fee $100 automatically going forward until we get to a point where travel starts to come back.

    • I just checked and mine renewed on April 12th at $450.

      Apr 12

      RENEWAL MEMBERSHIP FEE
      add tags
      $450.00

  2. $550 fee for Business Reserve on 2/11/20 and $175 fee for affiliated Employee card on 3/13/20. I’ve had at least one AmEx card for 20 years. Business Reserve for three years and the Employee card for a little over one year.

  3. If I’d just been hit with a $550 renewal in the last month or so, I’d be on the phone with Amex to ask for a rebate. If anyone calls them, let us know the results,

  4. My delta amex platinum had a reduced renewal fee, just posted yesterday.

  5. How can anybody rationalize $550 or $450 for this card given they have lost 2 months and will likely lose another 4 to 6 months of club room access (key benefit for me). I’m cancelling on renewall next month unless they make me an offer for more than 30,000 miles. I’ll let you know what they offer.

  6. Barry Graham Reply

    I received an e-mail in January saying that my next renewal be $550. Elsewhere I saw that my “renewal after July 2nd” would be $550. I need to check if that means they have relented on the increase of if it simply means that’s when my renewal date is. I agree with everyone that $550 (or $450) for a card whose main benefit can’t be used right now is rather pointless and outrageous.

  7. ConsumerRep Reply

    $450 fee, along with a $100 loyalty credit! Amex holder of some variety since 2001.

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