Credit Cards

The Three Delta Business Amex Cards: Comparing and Contrasting [2021]

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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.


Many people are starting to see at least a faint light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. Some budgets are returning, a few trips are being planned — and people are interested in their points arsenals again!

We’ve seen a significant uptick in emails asking our guidance about various credit cards. Given the huge Delta Amex welcome offers available for a limited time and the personal/consumer card comparison we discussed last week, now’s a great opportunity to examine the three business flavors of Delta Amexes!

Folks who’ve held at least one of the Delta business Amex cards: we’d love your thoughts. Which cards you like (or don’t), which benefits were the most useful for you and your business, and which didn’t really live up to your expectations. Are you applying for a new Delta Amex during this promotion?

Even if you currently hold a Delta credit card, you can apply for one you haven’t already had — and still be eligible for its welcome offer. And if you have the personal version of a card, you can go for the business product. For example, if you hold the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card but want some more bonus MQM, the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card’s welcome offer could work out great for you.

With that, let’s examine the three Delta business Amex Cards!

Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
Annual Fee $99 (waived the first year) $250 $550
Foreign Transaction Fees None. None. None.
Current Welcome Offer Limited time offer expires on April 28, 2021: Earn 70,000 bonus SkyMiles and a $50 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on your new card within three months of being approved for the Card.  Limited time offer expires on April 28, 2021: Earn 90,000 bonus SkyMiles and a $100 bonus statement credit after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your new card within three months of being approved for the Card.   Limited time offer expires on April 28, 2021: Earn 80,000 bonus SkyMiles, 20,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in eligible purchases on your new card within three months of being approved for the Card. 

Total Points/SkyMiles Earned Per Dollar Spent On:

Purchases Made Directly with Delta Air Lines 2X 3X 3X
U.S. Purchases for Advertising in Select Media 2X 1X 1X
U.S. Purchases for Shipping 2X 1X 1X
Purchases Made Directly with Hotels: 1X 3X 1X
Dining Purchases Worldwide (Including Takeout and Delivery) 2X 2X 1X
Purchases of $5,000 or More 1X 1.5X 1X
All Purchases After Spending $150,000 on Card During a Calendar Year 1X 1X 1.5X
All Other Eligible Purchases 1X 1X 1X

Delta Medallion Status Benefits

Earns Bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM) / Status Boosts After Reaching Prescribed Spending Thresholds No. Yes. Receive 10,000 bonus MQM when you spend $25,000 on your card during a calendar year.

Earn one additional 10,000 bonus MQM if you spend another $25,000 during the same calendar year.

(Long story short: spend $50,000 in eligible purchases, get 20,000 bonus MQM.)

Special promotion for 2021: Cardholders earn 12,500 MQM for every $25,000 spent on eligible purchases on a Delta Amex Platinum Card. Limit of $50,000 in eligible spending.

Yes. Receive 15,000 bonus MQM each time you spend $30,000 during a calendar year.

This is capped at a maximum of 60,000 bonus MQM each year (which would cost $120,000 in eligible expenses).

Special promotion for 2021:  Cardholders earn 18,750 MQM for every $30,000 spent on eligible purchases on a Delta Amex Reserve Card. Limit of $120,000 in eligible spending.

Ability to Gift Bonus MQM from Delta Amex Spending to Another SkyMiles Member You Designate No. No. Yes.
Spending Counts Toward $25,000 Delta Amex MQD Waiver for Silver, Gold, and Platinum Medallion Status ($250,000 for Diamond Medallion) Not on its own. Cardholder must otherwise be the primary cardholder of a Delta Platinum (personal or business) or Delta Reserve card (personal or business). Yes. Yes.

Delta Travel Benefits

Main Cabin 1 “Priority” Boarding When Flying in Coach (Even Basic Economy) Yes. Yes. Yes.
Free First Checked Bag for Cardholder and Up to Eight Passengers Flying a Delta-operated and Delta-marketed Itinerary and Traveling on Same PNR/Confirmation Number Yes. Yes. Yes.
20% Statement Credit on Delta In-Flight Purchases (Premium Snacks, Alcoholic Beverages, etc.) Yes. Yes. Yes.
Cardmember is Eligible to Use Delta’s Pay With Miles Service Yes. Yes. Yes.
Access to Delta Sky Clubs When Flying on a Same-Day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated Flight None. $39 for the primary cardholder.

Other guests: $39 per person. Immediate family permitted or two other guests.

Complimentary for primary and paid additional cardholders.

Two guest passes each year of card membership.

Other guests: $39 per person. Immediate family permitted or two other guests.

Access to American Express Centurion Lounges When Flying on a Same-Day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated Flight PURCHASED WITH AN ELIGIBLE AMERICAN EXPRESS CARD None. None.

Complimentary for primary and paid additional cardholders.

Two guests may be admitted for $50 per person.

Cardmembership Serves as a Tie-Breaker for Delta Complimentary Upgrades No. No. Yes.
Companion Certificate (“Buy-One, Get-One”) Each Year Upon Card Renewal No. Yes, for select Main Cabin fares. Yes, for select First Class, Comfort+, and Main Cabin fares.
Cardholder is Eligible for Complimentary Upgrades on Delta Air Lines Flights, Regardless of Holding  Any Medallion Status No. No. Yes.
$100 Delta Flight Credit Yes. Receive a $100 Delta flight credit after spending $10,000 in eligible purchases made with the card year during a calendar year. No. No.

Other Benefits and Perks

Up to $100 Statement Credit (Every 4.5 Years) for Global Entry or TSA Pre√ Application Fee No. Yes. Yes.
Cell Phone Protection (Select Replacements and Repairs. Limits and Terms Apply.) No. Yes. Yes.
Trip Delay Insurance if Entire Roundtrip with Paid with the Card No. Yes. Trip must be delayed more than 12 hours. Certain expenses will be reimbursed and must be paid for with the Card. Maximums: $300 per trip, two claims per eligible account per 12 consecutive month period. Yes. Trip must be delayed more than six (6) hours. Certain expenses will be reimbursed and must be paid for with the Card. Maximums: $500 per trip, two claims per eligible account per 12 consecutive month period.
Trip Cancellation and Interruption Coverage if Entire Roundtrip with Paid with the Card No. No. Yes. Covered reasons only. Non-refundable travel expenses purchased with the same eligible Card, up to $10,000 per trip and up to $20,000 per eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period.
Rates & Fees Learn more here. Learn more here. Learn more here.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card

Which Card Offers the Best Benefits?

As always, this is subjective. In this case, it varies by a company’s budget, spending habits, travel preferences, and travel goals.

If you want to enjoy airport club lounges, Companion Certificates, and increase your chances of sitting in business class during your trips, then the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card is your best bet.

As a small business owner, I can attest that airport club lounge access saves me money on trips. Instead of paying for meals at airports or hotels during travel days, I generally head into a Delta Sky Club or Centurion Lounge (the latter on departure days only) for a bite to eat. Plus, I find it easier to work at a table (or at least sitting in a decent chair) with a nearby power source than hoping to score a spot in a gatehouse.

I sometimes end up flights arriving during a major city’s morning or evening rush hour. It’s great to visit the Sky Club where I find a place to work, maybe enjoy some food and drink, and hang out until traffic and rideshare rates calm down.

Which Card Earns the Most SkyMiles?

Just like its personal/consumer flavor, the Reserve card is a big loser in this category.

And I hate that. I really do. I understand the card earns a haul of bonus MQM. But once I meet my MQM spending goals, my Reserve card only comes out during Delta flights (for the 20% statement credit on onboard purchases). That’s it.

The other two cards are different when it comes to bonus categories. The Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card rewards businesses for select advertising and shipping purchases. The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card, meanwhile, offers 3X on hotel purchases. (But most road warriors have their preferred hotels — as well as said hotels’ credit cards.)

What credit card is best for YOUR business?
(©iStock.com/Chalirmpoj Pimpisarn)

Here’s the thing: if you really want to consistently earn redeemable miles/points for your business, a Delta Amex card is probably not the way to go. You’re much better off with a credit card actually geared toward businesses. Something like the American Express Business Gold Card has more points-earning potential. Plus, you can transfer Membership Rewards points to Delta SkyMiles. Or use the card’s 25% Pay With Points rebate to buy travel — and not only save Membership Rewards points but also earn SkyMiles on your purchase.

Or look at the no-annual-fee Chase Ink Cash Credit Card, which awards 5X Ultimate Rewards points on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services each account anniversary year. And 2X Ultimate Rewards points on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. While you can’t transfer Ultimate Rewards points to SkyMiles, you can use them to pay for travel through Chase (or just get cashback/statement credit for your business).

Not Eligible for Cell Phone Statement Credits and Bonus Delta Points Amex Offers

Earlier this year, American Express added statement credits for dining purchases made on select co-branded credit cards — including the Delta Amexes. The cards were also eligible for Amex Offers that boosted points earnings to 5X on Delta purchases.

However, those offers are open only to “eligible Delta SkyMiles…American Express Card Members as of January 1, 2021.” So if you’re approved for a new Delta card since then, you won’t receive those promotions.

Your Questions, Comments, and Advice

Have a question about the Delta cards? Please ask us in the below Comments section! And if you’re a Delta Amex veteran, please consider sharing your thoughts about which card(s) worked best for you and why. Or if you had a bad experience or think people should know something that may not seem obvious, please contribute 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.

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