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How ’bout That? Delta Amexes Might Actually Be Worth Using for Delta Trip Purchases (This Year)!

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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.


Here are words I never thought I’d write:

I might use my Delta Business Reserve card to purchase Delta Air Lines tickets.

American Express announced yesterday that both the personal/consumer and business flavors of Delta Amex cards were eligible for 5X SkyMiles on Delta purchases this year. (The only exception? The Delta Blue card. I’m not shedding tears.)

This gives cardholders some decent incentive to use their eligible card for Delta trip spending. (If you hold more than one Delta American Express card on your Amex account, you can only add the 5X SkyMiles offer to one. So apply it to the Delta Amex that’s best for you this year.)

Wait for a second, you may think. Why wouldn’t you always use your Delta Amex for every Delta purchase?!

Well, for several reasons. But that might go on hiatus this year.

Delta Reserve and Platinum metal American Express cards

Why I Don’t Usually Buy Delta Tickets on My Delta Credit Cards

I honestly don’t remember the last time I purchased a Delta trip using any of my SkyMiles cards.  Here’s why I give that business to other products.

Points Earnings

I get a much better bang for my buck using non-Delta credit cards for most of my mothership spending. Such as:

Better Bonuses Elsewhere

Several options consistently provide me more lucrative earnings or redemptions:

The Delta Reserve and Platinum cards, though, usually top out at 3X for Delta purchases.

Transferrable Currencies are More Valuable

I usually prefer earning Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards points over airline and hotel loyalty program points.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa Infinite Credit Card

Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to other travel programs to be redeemed for award flights. Or you can use them as cash to book trips through Amex’s or Chase’s travel services and still earn miles.

Trip Interruption, Delay, and Cancellation Protection

I use the Chase Sapphire Reserve for the vast majority of my airline ticket purchases. It offers great trip coverage when you put even just a portion of your airline fare onto the CSR. While many premium Amex cards include some coverage, entire trips must be charged to the eligible card.

I usually also carry travel insurance. But the CSR and insurance are a solid tandem to keep me relatively protected in the event of something unforeseen.

For my Delta Amex Companion Certificate airfare purchases, I generally go with the Platinum Card from American Express unless there’s an Amex Offer for statement credit on another card.

Bottom Line: If Delta and Amex made it more rewarding and beneficial for me to purchase airfares on the co-branded cards, I’d likely use them far more often.

A Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-300 (A330-323, to be exact), tail number N813NW, is seen at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

My Plan for Purchasing Delta Tickets This Year

But yesterday’s announcement has me rethinking things a little.

Until I reach the $30,000 spend threshold for my bonus MQM/Status Boost, I’ll consider using my Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card for any Companion Certificate trip bookings. Those require the paid ticket portions to be purchased with any American Express card.

But for everything else, I’ll likely keep using my Chase Sapphire Reserve because of the trip coverage and Ultimate Rewards points value (which I think is potentially closer to 6 or 7 cents).

Then again, I’m not close to traveling for a while, so…

What’s Your Plan?

If you haven’t been using your Delta Amex to book Delta tickets, are the Amex Offers enough to get you to start putting them on your card? Please share your thoughts in the below Comments section!

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.

5 Comments

    • Barry Graham Reply

      The offer shows as 2x not 5x, taking the total from 3x to 5x.

  1. Does paying with a Reserve card still get you upgrade priority over medallion flyers using another card?

    • @GP – You do not have to pay with the Reserve to get upgrade priority – you just have to HOLD IT and make sure it show up in your “My Delta” that you are a card holder then yes it would be one of the tie breakers over another flyer.

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