Delta Reserve Credit Card Review (2021)

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American Express and Delta have been in close contact for many years. As a result, seven Delta Amex cards are co-branded, including the Blue and Gold cards as well as the Platinum and Reserve cards.

Delta Reserve American Express Basics for September 2021

This post will focus on the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card. This card is the most expensive of Amex's four personal Delta cards co-branded by Amex, and comes with many amazing benefits.

Delta Reserve Amex Bonus: 80K Miles + 20K MQMs

The Delta Reserve Card offers a limited-time welcome bonus of 80,000 SkyMiles and 20,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles for those who spend $5,000 within the first three month. This bonus is one of the best we've seen, especially considering the elite status booster.

Virgin Atlantic Business Class: Redeem your SkyMiles

Card Eligibility

You can only get the welcome bonus once in your life. You can still get the Delta Amex Gold and Platinum, as well as any of its business versions.

Learn more about Amex's general application restrictions by clicking here

Delta Reserve Credit Card Annual Fee

Annual fee for the Delta Reserve Card is $550 (Rates and Fees).

Delta Reserve Card: Mileage Earning

You can only earn the Delta Reserve Card's spending bonus. Earn:

Purchases directly with Delta (including flights, vacations and other travel) qualify for 3x SkyMiles

All other purchases eligible for 1x SkyMiles

Ironically, other Delta cards that have lower annual fees offer more robust bonus categories. They don't feel the need to offer huge bonuses to encourage people to spend, so there is another incentive to use this card (which Ill explain below).

The Delta Reserve Amex card is ideal for earning MQMs or getting an MQD waiver. This is essential for earning status.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

The good news about the Delta Reserve Card is that foreign transaction fees (Rates and Fees) are not applicable. This means you can use it abroad with ease.

Earning Delta Reserve Card Status

The best thing about the Delta Reserve Credit Card is the ease with which you can earn elite status. Spend enough money on the card to earn elite status

Earn up to 60,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs), per annum. In 2021, you could earn even more. Ill discuss this below.

A full waiver can be obtained on the Medallion Qualifying Dollars requirement (MQDs), which normally requires you to spend between $3,000 and $15,000 annually with Delta in order to achieve status.

This is in addition to the 20,000 MQMs that are currently offered as part the welcome bonus.

What is the secret to this?

You can earn Delta Reserve Card status with the Delta Reserve Card

Earn Medallion Qualifying Miles, (MQMs),

Delta Airlines is one airline that makes it easy to earn status by using credit cards. Delta Reserve Card is the best Delta card to earn status. The Delta Reserve Card allows you to:

After spending $30,000 within a calendar year, you can earn 15,000 bonus MQMs

After spending $60,000 within a calendar year, you will be eligible for an additional 15,000 bonus MQMs

Spend $90,000.00 in a calendar year to earn an additional 15,000 bonus MQMs

After spending $120,000 within a calendar year, you will be eligible for an additional 15,000 MQMs

This is the earnings situation in normal circumstances. However, 2021 will see a 25% increase in MQMs for all thresholds. This card could bring you as high as 75,000 MQMs in a single year.

This means that if you spend $120,000, you'd earn 60,000 MQMs cumulatively. You will earn 25% (3,750), MQMs for each $30,000 threshold. This totals 18,750 MQMs per threshold. That's enough to earn Platinum Medallion Status.

All MQMs earned on Delta credit cards are eligible for lifetime SkyMiles status.

Delta Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) Waiver

To earn Delta status, you must earn a set number of Medallion Qualifying Miles or Medallion Qualifying Segments. You also need to earn a set number of Medallion Qualifying Dollars.

The Delta Reserve American Express allows you to waive the MQD requirement when qualifying for spending.

Spend $25,000 on your card during the qualifying year to receive an MQD waiver to upgrade to Silver, Gold, and Platinum status

Spend $250,000 on your card during the qualification year to receive an MQD waiver in order to attain Diamond status

This card can earn you status by helping you spend on it

Lounge Access with the Delta Reserve Card

The lounge access perks that the Delta Reserve Credit Card offers sets it apart from other Delta Amex card cards. SkyClub and Centurion Lounge access are available, as well as a few SkyClub passes.

What does this mean?

Complimentary Access to Delta SkyClub

You can get complimentary Delta SkyClub access for owning the Delta Reserve Card. Discounted access can be purchased for your guests at $39 per person.

This card comes with a Delta SkyClub membership that is great!

SkyClub Access with the Delta Reserve Card

Two Delta SkyClub Guest passes annually

The primary cardmember gets SkyClub access on Delta flights the same day. They also get two SkyClub guest passes each year.

These cards can be used by the primary cardmember for guests into the lounge. This will allow you to skip the $39 guesting fees twice.

Access to the Centurion Lounge Complimentary

When you travel on Delta, the Delta Reserve Card offers free access to the Centurion Lounge. Access is granted to the primary cardmember. Additional guests are subject to $50 per person.

Centurion Lounges offer, for the most part, a significantly better food and beverage selection than most domestic airlines lounges in the United States. This is a great option.

Access to the Centurion Lounge is available at The Delta Reserve

Delta Reserve Card Perks & Benefits

Although the Delta Reserve Credit Card offers a nice bonus, I'd rather choose the Gold or Platinum version if I was looking for the best welcome bonus. The cards also have lower annual fees.

You should get the Reserve version because it has valuable long-term perks. The Reserve Card can be used to earn status and allow you to access lounges. However, there are many perks that go beyond that.

Let's take a look at some benefits.

Annual Companion Certificate

Each year, you will receive a companion certificate for domestic roundtrip flights. You can use this certificate for domestic roundtrips in economy and first class.

The government-imposed taxes, fees and charges for the companion are all payable. There are some things you should know when redeeming the certificate.

This card is valid for round-trip travel within 48 contiguous United States

The certificate can be used by residents of Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico who have SkyMiles accounts. They are able to travel from their home country to any 48 contiguous United States.

The government taxes must be paid for the second person on your reservation

Companion certificates can only be used for travel in first and second class. Comfort+ has the W fare class. Economy has the L, U. T. X and V fare classes.

The certificate expires on the last day of travel.

First Checked Bag Free

The Delta Reserve Card allows you to get your first checked bag for free. This is a $30 per person discount.

This benefit is only available to the primary cardmember, and any other person traveling on the same reservation as them (maximum nine).

Your Delta Amex card does not have to be used to pay for the flight. However, you will need your SkyMiles number to make the reservation.

This bag is great value considering that it costs $60 per person roundtrip. If you're traveling with someone, the fees will be $120 roundtrip.

Delta Platinum Amex allows you to save on checked bag fees

Priority Boarding

Main Cabin 1 priority boarding is available to those who have the card. This will increase your chances of getting a seat and securing space for your carry-on. Make sure that the primary SkyMiles cardmember is connected to the reservation.

20% Delta Inflight Savings

Reserve Delta Amex members can get 20% off on eligible pre-purchased meals and on-flight purchases of food, alcohol, and headphones for Delta flights. The statement credit will take between 8-12 weeks to post.

Pay with Miles

Delta offers a Pay With Miles option, where you can redeem one cent for each Delta flight purchase if you have a Delta credit card. This is in increments of 5,000 mile per $50. Although it isn't the best deal anywhere, this feature is only available to eligible cardholders.

This is a great way to earn elite miles and redeem your miles for flights.

SkyMiles members love Pay with Points.

Upgrade Priority

If you are a Medallion member, the Delta Reserve Card gives you priority for complimentary upgrades. The card acts as a tiebreaker.

The Reserve Card gives you priority to upgrade over Medallion members of the same Medallion level or fare class. This can make a significant difference in clearing or not, given how competitive upgrades can be.

Upgrades To First Class & Comfort+ For Non-Elite Members

Non-elite members can get a complimentary Reserve Card for first class and Comfort+ upgrades on all eligible flights. Although you will be at the bottom of the upgrade queue, there are many situations in which this could help to score a comfortable Comfort+ seat or even a first-class seat.

TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry Complimentary

The Delta Reserve Card entitles you to a Global Entry credit or TSA Precheck credit every four years. If you are eligible, this can help you save a lot of time at security and immigration.

Delta Reserve now offers TSA Pre-Check credit

Travel Delay and Cancelation Insurance

American Express provides reimbursement for trip cancellations and interruptions

This applies to roundtrip tickets purchased entirely with your card. It does not apply to award tickets that are paid in taxes.

This applies to all covered reasons. These include everything from bad weather to sickness

You can get reimbursed up to $10,000 for non-refundable travel expenses, or up to $20,000 per 12-month period

Amex also offers reimbursement for delays in travel as follows:

This applies to roundtrip tickets that are paid entirely with your card

If you are delayed for at least 6 hours, this applies to you. In which case, you can get reimbursements up to $500 per covered journey for expenses like meals, hotels, or other essentials. You can make two claims in a 12-month period.

For more information, please refer to your cardmember agreement.

Purchase Protection & Extended Warranty

You may feel more confident when you spend money on your Reserve Card.

Purchase protection: You are covered up to 90 days after the purchase date when you charge eligible items to your card

Extended warranty: You can get an additional year to your original warranty if the warranty is less than five years.

You will need to review your cardmember agreement in both cases.

Protect your cell phone

The Delta Reserve Card provides cell phone protection. It works like this:

Card members may be eligible for reimbursement if a cell phone is lost or damaged.

This coverage covers up to two claims. The maximum amount per claim is $800 and the maximum 12-month period is $1,600.

A $50 deductible is required for each claim

A wireless bill must list the cell phone line, and prior wireless bills must be paid with the card.

The Delta Reserve provides exceptional cell phone coverage

Amex Offers

Amex Cards offer great benefits such as access to Amex Offers. These offers include discounts or bonus points for purchases at all types of retailers. You can save a lot of money by getting multiple Amex cards so you can receive these deals on multiple cards.

You could save hundreds of dollars each year by using Amex offers. These offers can be accessed by logging in to your account and scrolling to the bottom on your account summary page.

ShopRunner Membership

You get the Delta Reserve Amex and a ShopRunner membership. This gives you two-day free shipping on eligible products at more than 100 online shops. To take advantage of your free membership, you only need to sign up.

Is the Delta Reserve Amex worth it?

Although the annual cost of the Delta Reserve Credit Card is high, it also has great benefits for Delta flyers. This card can help you earn up to 60K MQMs per annum (75K in 2021), without even taking into account the 20K MQMs that are currently offered as part the welcome bonus.

There are many other perks that come with this card, including lounge access, first checked bag free, inflight savings and priority boarding. You also get an improved upgrade priority. This card is full of perks.

Although this card is not for casual Delta flyers, it is worth looking at if you are a frequent Delta flyer.

Are you looking for a business credit card instead?

The Delta Reserve Amex may sound appealing to you, but you're looking for a card that will work for your small business instead, the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card is a better choice.

The card offers the same benefits as the regular one, but with an even better bonus which includes a statement credit and a bonus welcome bonus. Only one difference is that the business cards earn 1.5x miles for every $150,000 spent annually. This could prove to be valuable for large spenders.

Amex Platinum Vs. Delta Reserve Card

Many people may be trying to decide between The Platinum Card (review) from American Express and the Delta Reserve Card. There are some benefits that overlap between the cards:

Both allow you to join the Delta SkyClub if you fly Delta on the same day

You can access Centurion Lounges with the Amex Platinum, regardless of which airline you fly. The Delta Reserve allows you to access Centurion Lounges if you fly Delta on the same day.

However, this is where the similarities end.

The Amex Platinum Card comes with a $695 annual fee (Rates and Fees), but it also offers many perks to offset that cost. These include a $300 Equinox credit, $240 digital entertainment credit (annual), $200 airline fee credit (annual), $179 CLEAR credit (annual), $100 Saks credit, up $179 back on CLEAR memberships every year, Priority Pass membership (registration is required), and more. This card is great for accessing lounges.

Delta Reserve Card is worth your consideration if you are a Delta flyer. It can help you earn Delta status and offers many Delta-specific perks you won't get with other cards.

Centurion Lounge access is available at the Amex Platinum regardless of which airline you fly.

Delta Reserve Card Vs. Delta Platinum Amex

Delta's most premium credit card is the Delta Reserve Credit Card. But, is it worth it when compared to Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card (review), with a $250 annual fee (Rates and Fees?

Both cards offer the same benefits: a free first checked bag, 20% off inflight purchases, priority board, and other perks.

Both cards can be used to earn elite status, but the Reserve card allows you to earn more MQMs.

Both cards come with a companion certificate. The Platinum one is valid only for economy class, and the Reserve one for first-class.

Platinum does not offer complimentary access to a lounge, but the Reserve has.

The companion certificate for the Reserve Card is also valid for first class.

Delta Reserve Amex Card Summary

Although the Delta Reserve Card may not be for everyone, it is a great card for frequent Delta flyers who would benefit from lounge access, companion tickets, upgraded priority and the ability earn status through credit card purchases. The card's improved welcome bonus makes it a great time to get it.

Do you have the Reserve Card, Delta loyalists? Why or why not?

Follow this link to find out more information about the Delta Reserve Amex Card and how you can apply.

Apply Now

These links will take you to the fees and rates for American Express Cards. These are: The American Express Platinum Card (Rates and Fees), Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express card (Rates and Fees), Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express card (Rates and Fees).