For a $195 annual fee this card earns 1 Delta mile per dollar, and 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases. It gives you a first bag free on Delta flights for up to 8 people, priority boarding, a companion ticket, and the ability to earn Medallion Qualifying Miles.
With so many choices to earn Delta SkyMiles via a credit card, there are really only two reasons you should get this card over the others:
1. You want a boost on Medallion status.
This is a big one. If you want to keep earning Medallion status with Delta, this is a smart way to boost your balance. Even if you think you’ll hit the status you want this year just from flying, remember that Delta lets you roll over extra Medallion Qualifying Miles each year. So what you earn from the card each year won’t go to waste. Instead, it can go toward helping you re-qualify next year.
2. You can get value out of the companion certificate.
If you travel each year with a companion domestically, then there’s a good shot you’ll get something out of this.
The certificate requires you book some of the lower available fares, which is fine. And availability isn’t perfect, but it is pretty decent if you plan ahead. So if you end up using the certificate, you’ll save $300 or so in airfare each year. That more than covers the annual fee in value.
Alternatives to the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card
As we say above, you really shouldn’t get this card unless you value the Medallion Qualification Miles or get use out of the domestic flight Companion Certificate each year. Otherwise, there are other cards that earn Delta SkyMiles more quickly vs the Platinum SkyMiles card with lower fees, including these:
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card: Free bags for less
Get the entry level Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card if you want the free baggage benefit. The annual fee is only $95 and you get the same priority boarding benefit as well. All that’s missing are the companion certificate and Medallion Qualifying Mile options.
Amex EveryDay: No annual fee
If you want to earn SkyMiles with no annual fee, get the Amex EveryDay credit card. It earns Membership Rewards points, which you can transfer into your SkyMiles account at any time, instantly. The conversion rate is 1 for 1, so 1 Membership Rewards point = 1 Delta SkyMile.
There are no Delta baggage or other flight benefits, but you’ll earn miles more quickly. Every billing period you use the card 20 times or more, you’ll earn a 20% bonus on your points earned, and it earns 2x points on groceries (up to $6,000 worth a year). So it’s a card that earns 1.2 miles per dollar, and 2.4x on groceries.
Amex EveryDay Preferred: Fastest earning
While the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card offers a 10,000 mile bonus when you spend $25,000 in a year, which works out to earning about 1.4 miles per dollar, you can actually do better with another card.
The Amex EveryDay Preferred earns a 50% bonus each billing period you use the card 30 times or more, which works out to 1.5 points per dollar. And it earns 2x on gas and 3x on groceries (up to $6,000 a year in groceries), which work out to be 3x on gas and 4.5x on groceries when you count the 50% bonus.
There’s no faster way to earn SkyMiles from ongoing spending than this card, and the annual fee is just $95.
Delta Reserve Card: SkyClub access
If you want all of the Platinum benefits plus unlimited access to Delta SkyClubs, then the $450 a year Delta Reserve is for you. It also earns more Medallion Qualification Miles – 15,000 after $30,000 in spending, and another 15,000 after $60,000 in spending. It also gives you a slight edge in upgrade priority if you’re already a Medallion member. Beware though that Delta no longer offers free guest access to SkyClubs. You’ll need to pay $29 per guest.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card Benefits
First free checked bag
You get your first bag checked free on Delta flights. And if you have other people booked in the same reservation, up to 8 of you can get a free bag. You don’t need to buy the ticket with your card to take advantage of it, just have your SkyMiles number in your reservation.
This one has a catch. While you get ‘Zone 1’ boarding, in reality Zone 1 is not the first group to board the plane. So save yourself embarrassment and know that Zone 1 comes after First Class and Delta’s most frequent fliers in the boarding process. There are a lot of Delta frequent fliers, so there are no guarantees there will be space in the overhead bins when Zone 1 boards, but it beats being in Zones 2 – 4.
This one trips a lot of people up. While Amex does have a Platinum Card that offers complimentary SkyClub access, it’s not this one. Instead, it’s the $450 a year Platinum Card from American Express, which doesn’t have a Delta logo on the front. With the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Credit Card you need to pay $29 each time you visit a SkyClub.
In-flight purchase discount
Anytime you use the card to buy food or drinks in-flight with Delta, you’ll get a 20% discount. Unfortunately purchases of WiFi access don’t count, as those are handled by another company, GoGo Wireless.
Foreign transaction fee waiver
You can use the card on international trips without worries. You won’t be charged the customary 3% foreign transaction fee.
Flight delay / Trip cancellation insurance
Unfortunately this card, like all American Express cards, does not offer coverage if your flight is delayed or you need to cancel your trip. However several Chase and Citibank cards do. You can read about them here.
Car rental collision coverage
You get secondary car rental collision coverage with this card. Like all American Express cards, you won’t be covered in certain countries, like Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Australia, and New Zealand. There’s a $50,000 limit on car value and you can see all of the fine print from Amex here.
But you may find some Citibank and Chase cards offer better coverage in more countries with higher limits. You can read more about them here.
Can you combine miles with another Delta card? Yes, if you want to really max out your Delta miles, you can hold different kinds of Delta credit cards, and they can all contribute to your SkyMiles account.
If you want to earn Medallion Qualification Miles, you can earn from up to 4 cards: this card, the Platinum SkyMiles for Business, the Delta Reserve and the Delta Reserve for Business. In total, you could earn 100,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles a year from card spending if you go all the way. That’s 20,000 from each Platinum version, and 30,000 from each Reserve version. You’d need to spend $220,000 on your cards each year to do it, but it’s possible and Amex is happy to earn your business that way.
When do you receive the companion ticket? You’ll get an email from Delta each year after your annual fee hits with instructions on how to use your companion ticket. Only renewing cardholders get the ticket, so if you’re just signing up for the card now, you’ll need to wait a year before you get the ticket.
Do you need to pay for your ticket with the card to get the free bag? No, just make sure the SkyMiles number that’s on your card is the one that’s in your reservation.
When do the miles expire? Delta SkyMiles never expire, whether or not you keep or cancel a Delta SkyMiles credit card. So whatever you earn with the card is yours to keep.
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