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Delta Reserve Credit Card From American Express Review

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Who Is the Delta Reserve Credit Card From American Express Good For?

Delta has gotten its share of groans in recent years from points and miles enthusiasts for the difficulty involved in redeeming Delta miles, but now the airline has cleaned up the long-standing issues with its website and pledged to make more award seats available even at the lowest redemption level.

Thanks to its position as part of the Air France-KLM-Delta conglomerate and its partnership with Virgin Atlantic, Delta SkyMiles not only open a lot of boarding doors, but they typically open to quite nice ones. The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is the way to make sure that’s the case.

The high annual fee of $550 gets you free access to Delta Sky Club (similar to lounge access from the United Club Card and the Citi/AAdvantage Executive Card) and a way to earn Delta Medallion Status faster.

20.99% to 29.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
American Express
American Express

Welcome Bonus:

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve card offers a bonus of 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 6 months of card membership.


The Delta Reserve credit card

Points Earned:

  • 3x miles on Delta purchases made directly with Delta
  • 1x miles on everything else

What Do Your Miles Get You?

Some of the best ways to use Delta miles are on its most closely affiliated partners: Virgin Atlantic, which Delta is now a majority owner of, and Air France KLM, which are part of the same umbrella company as Delta.

Delta miles will also get you to most places in the world, thanks to its membership in the SkyTeam alliance. You can book flights on: Aerolineas Argentinas, AeroMexico, AirEuropa, Air France, China Airlines, China Eastern, CSA Czech Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, ITA Airways, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and XiamenAir.

Delta also has partnerships with select regional carriers and nonalliance carriers to fill in the gaps: Air Baltic, Cape Air, China Southern Airlines, EL AL, LATAM Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and WestJet Airlines.

Delta SkyMiles can be used for five different buckets of award redemptions, though the higher-priced awards do not carry additional perks like American Airlines AAnyTime awards. Most Delta awards, particularly those on Delta-operated flights, can be booked as Cash + Miles awards, with part of the payment in SkyMiles and the remainder in cash.

Delta miles can also be used to book Round the World Tickets with the SkyTeam alliance.

Usage Perks:

  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club® access
  • Complimentary access to the Centurion® Lounge
  • Annual companion certificate upon card renewal for First Class, Delta Comfort+®, or Main Cabin domestic travel
  • Free first checked bag on Delta flights for member and up to nine individuals on the same reservation
  • Priority boarding on Delta flights
  • 20 percent off in-flight purchases on Delta flights
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Flights on almost all partners are available for booking online

Usage Quirks:

  • Cancellations must be made more than 72 hours before departure to redeposit miles
  • Award pricing is ad hoc according to demand, as Delta does not publish award charts

How Far Do Your Points Dollars Go?

Delta has been known historically for not having many flights available at the lowest award level, and since it no longer publishes award charts, it’s difficult to determine how many points are truly required for award flights, particularly on the plethora of partners now available for booking online.

A recent search for flights between New York and Paris (a very common route for partner Air France) showed that most awards are still relatively inexpensively priced, with fares rising steeply on the weekends, as is also the case with cash fares.

You’ll typically get from 1.2 to 1.4 cents per mile on this route in economy and 5 cents per mile in first class. That’s an especially good value, considering the high quality of Air France’ premium cabins.

Delta Reserve cardholder benefits

Additional Cardholder Benefits:

  • Access to complimentary upgrades
  • Baggage insurance
  • Roadside travel assistance
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Free credit for Global Entry and TSA Precheck
  • Extended warranty
  • Return protection
  • Purchase protection
  • No foreign transaction fees

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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