Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum Review [2020]

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There are a lot of good co-branded airline credit cards out there and American Express issues several different types of Delta credit cards. The Delta SkyMiles Platinum is a mid-tier credit card that comes with a lot of perks and benefits just perfect for someone who is a fan of Delta.

In this review article, I’ll break down all of the perks and benefits you need to know about the Delta SkyMiles Platinum.

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum overview

  • 3X on Delta
  • 3X on Hotels
  • 2X on restaurants
  • 2X on US supermarkets
  • First Checked Bag Free
  • Priority boarding
  • Companion certificate
  • Discount on lounge access
  • Status boost
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $250 annual fee

Welcome bonus

The welcome bonus for the Delta SkyMiles Platinum changes all the time.

We’ve seen the bonus range from around 35,000 miles all the way up to 100,000 miles. The 100K offer is very rare and offered 80,000 bonus miles after you spent $3,000 in your first 3 months plus 20,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary.

So this is the type of travel rewards credit card that you want to try to time your application with so that you can jump on one of the most lucrative offers. Personally, I would wait for an offer of at least around 70,000 miles.

In addition to bonus miles, you can also earn Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). Typically the offer would be something like 5,000 MQMs after spending $2,000 in the first three months. These MQMs are bonus miles that you don’t use to redeem on flights but instead they help you earn elite status quicker (more on that below). 

Another interesting thing about the welcome bonus is that it sometimes come with an additional statement credit, such as $100. The statement credit is usually triggered very easily by doing something like making one simple purchase.

Tip: If you are wondering what type of redemptions you can get with your Delta Sky Miles, I recommend that you read up on our best uses of Delta Sky Miles.

Delta plane on tarmac

Bonus categories

  • 3X on Delta
  • 3X on Hotels
  • 2X on restaurants
  • 2X on US supermarkets

3X on Delta

3X on Delta flights is pretty great compared to many cards that only offer 2X. Of course, you have to consider that you could use the American Express Platinum Card to earn a whopping 5X Membership Rewards on your flight. Since Delta is a transfer partner of American Express, that could be a much more efficient route to rack up Delta miles.

(There is a tiny surcharge when transferring points to Delta.)

3X on Hotels

Earning 3X on hotels is not bad at all. I would just consider that there are cards that offer 3X on all travel purchases such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve. With that card you also get much better travel protections so I would much rather use a card like that to book hotels and other travel bookings.

2X on restaurants

2X on restaurants is okay but you can do much better. Personally, I prefer to use the American Express Gold Card which earns 4X on restaurants worldwide. Once again, you can transfer your American Express Membership Rewards to Delta so it could make a lot more sense to use a card like the Gold Card.

2X on US supermarkets

2X on US supermarkets is another so-so category. The Gold Card will earn 4X on US supermarkets on up to $25,000 of spend each year so once again that is my preferred way to go. It’s worth noting that superstores and warehouse clubs are not considered supermarkets.

So overall the bonus categories are pretty decent on the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card but it’s hard to not go with alternatives since American Express has much better earning rates with other cards that allow you to transfer your points to Delta.

Tip: Check out the free app WalletFlo so that you can optimize your credit card spend by seeing the best card to use! You can also track credits, annual fees, and get notifications when you’re eligible for the best cards!

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Perks

First Checked Bag Free

With the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card you will get your first checked bag for free for yourself and also for passengers traveling on the same reservation. There is a maximum of nine waivers per reservation.

Baggage fees for Delta will usually cost $30 for your first checked bag so this can amount to pretty substantial savings if you fly a lot, especially if you’re flying with several other individuals on your same reservation.

Related: Checked Baggage Ultimate Guide

Priority Boarding

You will receive Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights. This benefit is limited to the basic cardmember and not authorized users. However, you can get this benefit for other travelers on the same reservation (up to nine passengers per reservation).

Here’s a look at all of the Delta boarding groups in the order in which they board:

  • Delta One
  • Delta Premium Select or First Class
  • Delta Comfort+
  • Sky Priority
  • Main cabin one
  • Main cabin two
  • Main cabin three
  • Basic Economy

You can find out more about the Delta boarding process here.

Companion certificate

The Delta companion certificate is a certificate that can be used to buy two roundtrip tickets for the price of one plus taxes and fees of the companion ticket.

That means you essentially get an extra ticket for free when you buy one ticket, which can save you hundreds of dollars. There are quite a few restrictions for this perk but we have a detailed write up on it you can check out here.

Lounge access

You don’t get free access to the Delta Sky Club but Delta SkyMiles Platinum members (and authorized users) get access to the Delta Sky Club at an exclusive per-visit rate of $39 per person when traveling on a same-day Delta or Delta partner airline flight.

JFK Sky Club Sky Deck

20% Back on In-Flight Purchases

As a cardholder, you will get 20% back on in-flight purchases. This discount will trigger on eligible purchases for things like pre-purchased meals, and in-flight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages, and audio headsets. It does not apply to any other in-flight purchases like wifi.

Status boost

Delta is one of the few airlines that allow you to earn elite status credits through your spend.

With the Delta SkyMiles Platinum, you can earn 10,000 MQMs after $25,000 in eligible purchases, up to 2x per calendar year. This means that you can earn a total of 20,000 MQMs after $50,000 in spend.

That is enough to get you pretty close to Delta Silver although you will still need to earn an additional 5,000 MQM and also achieve the $3,000 in Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD).

If the MQD thresholds are not met, you can still qualify for Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion Status if you have earned the required Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) and make at least $25,000 in eligible purchases.

You can also qualify for Diamond status even if you don’t meet the MQD threshold. As long as you have earned the required MQMs or MQSs and make at least $250,000 in eligible purchases within that “Qualification Year” on your card you’ll achieve diamond status.

A Qualification Year is from January 1 to December 31 of a given year.

The end of the qualification year will always be December 31 regardless of when you opened up your card. This means that in some instances you may only have a few months or weeks to meet this requirement the first year.

All purchases made by additional card members (authorized users) will count towards the eligible purchase threshold.

The only cards eligible for the MQD waiver are the following: Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card, Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card, Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Card, and Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Card.

However, if linked to the same SkyMiles number, you can get credit towards the MQD waiver with cards like the Delta SkyMiles Blue Card, Delta SkyMiles Gold Card, Delta SkyMiles Business Card, or Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Card.

Here is a look at the Delta Medallion qualification requirements.

Medallion TierMQMs or MQSs requirementMQSs requirement (only for US residents)
Silver25,000 MQMs or 30 MQSs$3,000 MQDs
Gold50,000 MQMs or 60 MQSs$6,000 MQDs
Platinum75,000 MQMs or 100 MQSs$9,000 MQDs
Diamond125,000 MQMs or 140 MQSs$15,000 MQDs
Delta Medallion qualification requirements

Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit

You can receive one Global Entry $100 statement credit every 4 years or one TSA Pre-Check $85 statement credit every 4.5 years. Global Entry will get you expedited entry back into the US so that you can avoid those long lines at immigration and customs.

TSA Pre-Check allows you to bypass the main security line at airports and also allows you to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Shoes can stay on
  • Belt can stay on
  • Light jackets can stay on
  • Laptops allowed to stay in bag
  • Liquids (3-1-1 Rule) can stay in bag

Benefits and protections

Trip Delay Insurance

You will get coverage for delays 12 hours or longer and the coverage will cover you for up to $300 per trip. This is not the best type of trip delay insurance because other cards will cover you for delays after six hours and provide coverage up to $500 per trip.

Baggage Insurance Plan

Most states will provide you with coverage depending on the type of baggage that you have. For carry-ons you can get up to $1,250 worth of coverage and for checked bags you can get coverage up to $500 subject to terms and conditions.

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

Rental car coverage will be secondary with this card. Secondary coverage is pretty standard for a co-branded airline credit card but there are some cards issued by Chase that offer primary coverage.

Extended Warranty

American Express will extend your warranty one additional year on warranties up to five years.

Purchase Protection

You’ll get purchase protection on purchases up to $1,000. This is not very competitive purchase protection as other cars will cover you up to $10,000 per purchase.

Additional benefits

Final word

As you can tell, this card has a lot of benefits. If you are somebody who regularly flies Delta you can easily offset the annual fee by taking advantage of the perks like free checked baggage, the companion certificate, elite status perks, and others. For that reason, I think this can be a great card to hold onto in the long-run.