Credit Cards

Delta Platinum Amex vs Amex Platinum Card: What Are the Differences? [2020]

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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.


“How are the Delta Platinum Amex and American Express Platinum Card different?” This is a question we’re asked fairly often. (It doesn’t help that so many things Delta and Amex carry the “Platinum” title.)

Several readers have requested a post comparing the two cards. Given The Platinum Card from American Express‘ new mega welcome bonus, now is a good time!

Delta Platinum Amex vs Amex Platinum Card: Which One is Better?

After we’re asked about the differences between the cards, the next question usually is along the lines of “Which one should I get? Which one is better?”

As with many things in the points-miles-loyalty program world, beauty is in the eye of the cardholder, if you will. So much depends on a person’s budget, travel preferences, point-earning strategies, and point-redeeming strategies.

The Platinum Card from American Express (the “Amex Platinum Card”) holds a ton of great travel benefits such as complimentary access to airport lounges across the world, complimentary hotel status Hilton and Marriott, and its Membership Rewards points are incredibly flexible. It’s also expensive. The card carries a $550 annual fee.

Meanwhile, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card (aka “Delta Platinum Amex”) is great for people who fly Delta even just a couple of times each year. The cardholder and up to eight others on the same PNR/confirmation number each get their first checked bag for free — on each trip. That can save a lot of money. Plus, the points earnings are — generally — better than the Amex Platinum Card. (Buying Delta airfare, though, earns more points with the Amex Platinum Card than any Delta Amex — unless there’s an Amex Offer or other promotion like this running.)

Plus, the Delta Platinum Amex allows cardholders to spend their way to MQM bonuses and ditch the MQD spend requirements.

Delta Sky Club Seattle

The Platinum Card from American Express is known for its airport lounge benefits, including Delta Sky Club admission for the cardholder when flying Delta. One of my friends flies Delta several times a year — but never checks a bag and couldn’t care less about status. (Hey, that’s his choice.) But he loves lounge access. So he carries the Amex Platinum card and couldn’t be happier.

Details are shown on Delta Air Lines first A220 in Atlanta, Georgia at Hartsfield Jackson International airport on Sunday October 28,2018. (Chris Rank/Rank Studios 2018)
Details are shown on Delta Air Lines first A220 in Atlanta, Georgia at Hartsfield Jackson International airport on Sunday October 28,2018. (Chris Rank/Rank Studios 2018) via Delta News Hub/Flickr

Meanwhile, others don’t give a CRJ’s tail about lounge access, thank you very much. They’d rather have the Delta Platinum Amex’s companion certificate and free first checked bag benefits.

And then there are those of us who have both cards (and then some) because we take advantage of most (if not all) of both cards’ benefits.

Again: it all comes down to personal preference.

So with that in mind, below is a chart highlighting some of the similarities and differences between the two cards. This isn’t a complete table — but hopefully, it gives you a good overview

The Platinum Card from American Express Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
The Platinum Card from American Express. The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express.
Annual Fee $550 $250
Additional Cardholders $175 (up to 3) for Platinum Cards with select benefits. Or Gold Cards for free without benefits. Free. No benefits extended.
Current Welcome Offer Learn more here. Learn more here.
What Type of Points Does It Earn? American Express Membership Rewards. Delta SkyMiles
Basic Points Earnings 5X on purchases made directly with airlines.

5X on airfares or hotel nights purchased through AmexTravel.com.

1X on all other purchases

3X on Delta Air Lines purchases

3X on purchases made directly with hotels

2X on at restaurants worldwide

2X at US supermarkets

Transfer Points to Other Programs? Yes. See a list of eligible programs here. No.
Select US cell phone provider and streaming service credits (through December 2020) Yes. No.
Global Entry or TSA Pre√ Application Credit Every Four Years (Up to $100) Yes. Yes.
Delta Sky Club Access (When Flying Delta) Complimentary for cardholders — including paid authorized users. $39 for cardholders.

Bring up to two guests for $39 per person.

American Express Centurion Lounge Access Complimentary for cardholders — including paid authorized users.

Complimentary access for up to two guests per paid Platinum card — including paid authorized user cards.

No.
Escape Lounge Access Complimentary for cardholders — including paid authorized users.

Complimentary access for up to two guests per paid Platinum card — including paid authorized user cards.

No.
Priority Pass Membership Complimentary for cardholders — including paid authorized users. No.
Complimentary Access to the Amex Global Lounge Collection Yes. No.
Eligible Spending Counts Toward Delta MQD Waiver No. Yes.
Cardholder is Eligible to Use Delta’s Pay With Miles (PWM) Feature. No. Yes.
Earn Delta Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM)Boosts Through Credit Card Spend No. Yes. 10,000 bonus MQM after spending $25,000 on purchases in a calendar year. Another 10,000 bonus MQM after spending an additional $25,000 on purchases during a calendar year.

(Long story short: spending $50,000 on purchases gets you 20,000 bonus MQM.)

$200 in Annual Airline Incidental Credit Yes. Enrollment is required. Benefit is limited to one eligible airline selected by cardholder. No.
Complimentary First Checked Bag Free When Flying Delta Air Lines No. Yes for cardholder and up to eight others on same confirmation number/PNR.
20% Statement Credit on Onboard Purchases Made During Delta Air Lines Flights (i.e. Premium Snacks, Alcoholic Beverages.) No. Yes.
Companion Certificate for Eligible Delta Air Lines Flights No. Yes, beginning second year of cardmembership.
Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status Complimentary for cardholders — including paid authorized users. No.
Hilton Honors Gold Elite Status Complimentary for cardholders — including paid authorized users. No.
No Foreign Transaction Fees. Yes. Yes.
Trip Delay Insurance Yes. Applies to covered reasons if a trip is delayed by more than 6 hours. Maximum of $500 per trip, maximum two claims per eligible account per 12 consecutive month period. Terms, conditions, and limits apply. Yes. Applies to covered reasons if a trip is delayed by more than 12 hours. Maximum of $300 per trip, maximum two claims per eligible account per 12 consecutive month period. Terms, conditions, and limits apply.
“Priority Boarding” (Main Cabin 1) on Delta Air Lines Flights When Flying Coach No. Yes.
Up to $200 in Annual If-Used Uber Cash Deposits for Uber or Uber Eats. Complimentary Eats Pass Subscription Yes. No.
Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts Benefits Yes. No.
Saks Fifth Avenue Statement Credit — $50 Semi-Annually Yes. No.
International Airline Program Yes. Save on international First, Business, Premium Economy seats on more than 25 world-class airlines. No.
Rates & Fees See applicable rates, terms, and fees. See applicable rates and fees.

Final Thoughts

The Platinum Card from American Express and Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card are somewhat similar in title (“Platinum”) but (most of) the similarities stop there. They’re not necessarily for everyone. But if you know which benefits you want — and how to get at least your annual fee worth — they can greatly enhance your travel experiences.

If you prefer one or the other, please tell us why in the below Comments section. Or if you like — or dislike both — share those thoughts, too!

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.

8 Comments

  1. The Delta Amex gives me the MQD waiver to make PM status every year without spending any $ on Delta flights. And I can get all of my 75,000 MQMs with spending and PWM. Everything else is just a bonus.

  2. I have the business Amex Platinum card, as well as DL plat and DL Reserve business cards.

    Not sure if its still there, but the Amex Plat used to have a free companion ticket for international first or business class ticket purchased through them.

    So not sure if if they still do the 30 percent points back when either paying with points on your preferred airline or business/first on any airline.

  3. Very helpful. Could you add a column to include the DL Amex Biz Platinum? (I don’t think it includes 2x groceries but something else.)

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