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Delta SkyMiles? Reserve vs. The Platinum Card? from Amex: Platinum Comes Out Ahead

Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card? The Platinum Card? from American Express
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card?
LEARN MORE Rates & Fees / Terms Apply on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 3X miles per dollar on Delta purchases made directly with Delta and 1X miles per dollar on all other eligible purchases. $650 annual fee.
The Platinum Card? from American Express
LEARN MORE Rates & Fees / Terms Apply on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 5X Membership Rewards? points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year), 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, and 1X points on other eligible purchases. $695 annual fee.
KEY TAKEAWAYS
SUMMARY

When comparing the Delta SkyMiles? Reserve American Express Card to The Platinum Card? from American Express, it’s clear that the Amex Platinum offers more benefits. With extra bonus points on flights and hotels, plus credits for travel and entertainment, the Amex Platinum stands out as a versatile and rewarding choice. On the other hand, the Delta SkyMiles Reserve focuses on Delta purchases and may be better for you if you’re a loyal Delta customer.

Let’s explore the differences between these two American Express cards to help you choose the right one for your needs.

Delta Reserve vs. Amex Platinum

When comparing the Delta SkyMiles? Reserve American Express Card vs. The Platinum Card? from American Express, the Platinum card is the clear winner.

It card gives you extra bonus points on eligible flights and prepaid hotels, plus credits designed to defray the cost of travel and entertainment. In contrast, the Delta SkyMiles Reserve only gives you 3 miles per dollar spent on Delta-operated flights.

Here’s a quick overview of how these American Express cards compare.

Delta Reserve vs. Amex Platinum: An overview

? Delta SkyMiles? Reserve American Express Card The Platinum Card? from American Express
Best for Delta Air Lines super-loyalists Frequent travelers not loyal to a specific airline
Welcome bonus 95,000 miles if you spend $6,000 within six months of opening your account 80,000 points if you spend $8,000 within six months of opening your account
Earning rewards 3X miles on Delta purchases

1X miles on other purchases
5X points on eligible flights booked directly with airlines or via American Express Travel

5X points on eligible prepaid hotels booked via American Express Travel

1X points for everything else
Annual fee $650 $695
Foreign transaction fees None (see rates and fees) None (see rates and fees)
Other benefits Annual companion pass

TSA PreCheck/Global Entry fee credit

20% back on eligible in-flight purchases

Priority boarding

Free checked bag

Airport lounge access
Over $1,000 in statement credits annually

Airport lounge access

TSA PreCheck/Global Entry fee credit

CLEAR Plus credit

Annual flexible hotel and airline credits

Hotel elite status
Learn more ??? Read more: Delta Reserve Card review ??? Read more: Amex Platinum Card review
Top American Express credit cards of 2024 Compare cards side-by-side Credit Cards with Mouse Cursor COMPARE CARDS

Delta Reserve vs. Amex Platinum: Welcome bonus

Each card comes with a generous welcome bonus, but which one is better depends on how much you plan to spend.

If you’re interested in the Delta SkyMiles Reserve, American Express is offering a welcome bonus of 95,000 miles if you spend $6,000 within your first six months of membership.

The Amex Platinum has a welcome offer of 80,000 bonus points if you spend $8,000 within six months of opening your account.

Delta Reserve vs. Amex Platinum: Rewards

When we compared the Delta Reserve card vs. Amex Platinum, we discovered that the Amex Platinum card is better for earning and redeeming awards because it comes with fewer restrictions.

Which is better for earning rewards?

Amex Platinum is the clear winner when it comes to earning rewards.

Instead of earning miles, you earn Membership Rewards Points at the following rates:

With the Delta Reserve, you only earn 3 miles per dollar spent on eligible Delta purchases. Otherwise, you earn 1 mile per dollar spent on all other categories.

Which is better for redeeming rewards?

The Amex Platinum is also better for redeeming rewards, as you earn points instead of miles.

You can redeem these points in the following ways:

Once you earn miles with the Delta SkyMiles Reserve, you have several redemption options:

The SkyMiles Reserve gives you more redemption options, but most of them are specific to Delta purchases. Therefore, the Amex Platinum gives you more flexibility.

Delta Reserve vs. Amex Platinum: Travel perks

This category has no clear winner, as both cards come with generous travel perks. The right card for you depends on your travel habits.

Airport lounge access

Delta Reserve cardholders get complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club when traveling on a same day Delta flight. Starting February 1, 2025, access will be limited to 15 days of Sky Club usage per program year (February 1 to January 31). However, you can earn unlimited access if you spend $75,000 per calendar year on your Delta SkyMiles Reserve card.

If you get the Amex Platinum, you’ll receive 10 days of usage per year as a standard benefit, but you can earn unlimited access by spending at least $75,000 per calendar year. To access the Sky Club, you must be traveling on a same-day flight operated by Delta.

Amex Platinum members also have access to Escape Lounges and lounges in the American Express Global Collection?, while Delta Reserve members have access to Escape Lounges and Centurion? Lounges.

In this category, both cards are evenly matched. If you prefer to book with Delta, the Reserve has a slight edge since it gives you five additional days of complimentary Sky Club access each year.

Travel insurance

Both cards come with comprehensive American Express travel insurance benefits. For example, American Express offers coverage for trip cancellations, trip interruptions, lost/damaged baggage and trip delays.

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/?benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

TSA PreCheck/Global Entry

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve and Amex Platinum cards both come with a statement credit for TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry. The TSA PreCheck is worth $85 and the Global Entry credit is for $100. You can use the Global Entry credit every four years or the TSA PreCheck credit every four and a half years.

In-flight benefits

The Delta Reserve entitles you to 20% back on eligible in-flight purchases, such as snacks, beverages and prepurchased meals. You get this benefit in the form of a statement credit.

With the Amex Platinum, you have the opportunity to earn up to $200 in statement credits per year for incidental airline fees charged to your card. To use this benefit, you must choose a qualifying airline ahead of time.

For this category, the Delta Reserve is better if you always book your flights with Delta. The Amex Platinum is better if you’d rather use another airline.

Annual companion pass

When comparing the Delta SkyMiles Reserve vs. Amex Platinum, the Reserve card comes with a significant benefit that the Amex Platinum doesn’t have: the annual companion pass. Every time your card renews, you’ll receive a companion certificate, which entitles you to one free flight for a travel companion.

The companion certificate is only good for certain fare codes, but you can use it to book a seat in Main Cabin, Comfort+? or First Class. Note that you must choose a destination in the United States, Central America or the Caribbean.

Priority boarding

If you get the Delta Reserve, you’ll be able to board with Zone 5 Priority Boarding on all Delta-operated flights. The Amex Platinum doesn’t give you access to priority boarding, so the Reserve is the clear winner here.

Checked bags

As a Delta Reserve member, you can check your first bag for free if you book a Delta flight with your eligible card. You don’t get free checked bags with the Amex Platinum.

Hotel credit

In addition to giving you 5 points per dollar spent on eligible hotel stays, the Amex Platinum comes with an annual hotel credit worth up to $200 per calendar year. To earn the credit, simply book a prepaid hotel stay with The Hotel Collection? or Fine Hotels and Resorts?. You must book through American Express travel and use your Platinum Card to cover the charge. (Note: The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay)

Delta Reserve vs. Amex Platinum: Other card benefits

When comparing the Amex Platinum vs. Delta Reserve, we also looked at non-travel card benefits. Based on our research, the Amex Platinum is one of the best credit cards on the market, as it gives you multiple ways to earn bonus points and statement credits.

Here’s what you get with each card:

1

Ridesharing credits:

The Amex Platinum entitles you to $15 per month in Uber Cash. plus a bonus $20 in December (up to $200 per year). If you get the Delta Reserve, you’ll have the opportunity to earn up to $10 in statement credits each month ($120 per year) for Curb, Revel, Alto, Lyft and Uber rides.

See More See Less
2

Amex Offers:

Both cards give you access to Amex Offers, which give you statement credits and other bonuses when you add offers to your account and redeem them before they expire.

See More See Less
3

Purchase Protection:

The Delta Reserve and Amex Platinum protect eligible purchases for 90 days from the original purchase date. This benefit reimburses you up to $10,000 per occurrence ($50,000 per calendar year) for lost, stolen or accidentally damaged items.

See More See Less
4

Warranty protection:

Both cards also come with warranty protection. This benefit gives you an extra year of warranty coverage on eligible items. Note that you can only use this benefit on items that have an original manufacturer’s warranty of no more than five years. You must use your Delta Reserve or Amex Platinum to pay for the purchase.

See More See Less
5

Digital entertainment:

If you get the Amex Platinum, you have the opportunity to earn up to $20 per month ($240 per year) in statement credits on Peacock, The Wall Street Journal, Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, SiriusXM and The New York Times purchases (Enrollment required). The Delta Reserve card doesn’t have a digital entertainment benefit.

See More See Less
6

Walmart+ credit:

If you use your Amex Platinum to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership, you’ll earn a monthly statement credit to cover the cost. This benefit is worth approximately $155 per year. The Delta Reserve card doesn’t have a Walmart+ benefit.

See More See Less
7

Equinox credit:

If you use your Amex Platinum to pay for an Equinox club membership or an Equinox+ subscription, you’ll earn up to $300 per year in statement credit (Enrollment required). The Delta Reserve doesn’t come with an Equinox benefit.

See More See Less

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/?benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Delta Reserve vs. Amex Platinum: Rates and fees

Since they’re both American Express cards, the Delta Reserve and Amex Platinum have comparable rates and fees. Once the annual fee for the Delta Reserve increases on May 1, 2024, the Amex Platinum will only cost $45 more?per year.

Both cards have the same cash advance fees, cash advance APR and foreign transaction fees ($0). The Amex Platinum has a slight edge in terms of authorized user fees, and it also has a slightly lower cap on regular APR.

Delta Reserve vs. Amex Platinum: Rates and fees

Type of rate or fee Delta SkyMiles Reserve Amex Platinum
Annual Fee $550 ($650 starting 5/1/24) $695
Authorized User Fee $195 $175
Cash Advance APR 29.99% variable 29.99% variable
Cash Advance Fee $10 or 5% of the advance, whichever is greater $10 or 5% of the advance, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction Fees $0 $0
Introductory APR N/A N/A
Regular APR 21.24% to 29.24% variable (see rates and fees) 20.99% to 29.99% variable (see rates and fees)

Delta Reserve vs. Amex Platinum: Eligibility

Both cards are reserved for consumers with good to excellent credit scores. Therefore, one isn’t any harder to get than the other, provided you meet the minimum income and credit requirements.

Should I get the Delta SkyMiles Reserve or Amex Platinum card?

The Delta Reserve is a good fit for consumers who fly Delta regularly and want to maximize their Delta-related benefits.

The Amex Platinum is a better fit for people who aren’t loyal to Delta and would rather focus on earning points and statement credits based on their typical spending habits. If you get the Amex Platinum, you can easily earn back the fee by using the full Equinox, Walmart+, Uber and digital entertainment credits each year.

Advertiser Disclosure

Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card?

Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card?
LEARN MORE Rates & Fees / Terms Apply on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 3X miles per dollar on Delta purchases made directly with Delta and 1X miles per dollar on all other eligible purchases. $650 annual fee.
Show More Show Less

The Platinum Card? from American Express

The Platinum Card? from American Express
LEARN MORE Rates & Fees / Terms Apply on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 5X Membership Rewards? points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year), 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, and 1X points on other eligible purchases. $695 annual fee.
Show More Show Less

FAQ: Delta Reserve vs. Amex Platinum

Is the Delta SkyMiles Reserve card better than Platinum?

It depends on your needs. The Delta SkyMiles Reserve is the better choice if you want to maximize your Delta travel benefits.?If you use multiple airlines, the Amex Platinum is probably a better fit. Although it has a higher annual fee, the Platinum Card gives you 5X points on all eligible flights and prepaid hotel stays.

When should I use Amex Platinum over Delta Reserve?

You should use the Amex Platinum instead of the Delta Reserve if you don’t spend enough on Delta purchases to justify the annual fee for the Reserve card.

Does Amex Platinum give you Delta lounge access?

Yes, Amex Platinum members qualify for unlimited Sky Club Access through January 31, 2025. Starting on February 1, 2025, you’ll receive 10 visits per year as a standard benefit. You can earn unlimited access if you spend $75,000 or more on your Amex Platinum each calendar year.

Is Delta Reserve or Amex Platinum harder to get?

The Delta Reserve and Amex Platinum are for consumers with good to excellent credit scores, so your chances of approval are about the same for both.

About the Author

Leigh Morgan
Leigh Morgan Personal Finance

Leigh Morgan is a seasoned personal finance contributor with over 15 years of experience writing on a diverse range of professional legal and financial topics. She specializes in subjects like navigating the complexities of insurance, savings, zero-based budgeting and emergency fund development.

In the last five years, she’s authored over 300 articles for credit unions, digital banks, and financial professionals. Morgan is also the author of “77 Tips for Preventing Elder Financial Abuse,” a book focused on helping caregivers protect the elderly from financial scams.

In addition to her writing skills, she brings real-world financial acumen thanks to her previous experience managing rental properties as part of a $34 million real estate portfolio.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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