As a frequent Delta flyer, I’ve witnessed firsthand the ebb and flow of the airline’s premium credit card offerings. With major changes coming in 2024, I want to provide an updated guide and key observations to the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card – especially for those considering whether it still offers strong value after the modifications take effect. Before diving in with the 7 key things about the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card from Amex, here is a quick introduction.
Introducing Delta’s Longstanding Premium Card
The Delta Platinum Amex has been a staple for years among Delta’s most loyal customers seeking premium travel perks. With a $250 annual fee (See Rates & Fees), the card offers an array of benefits like:
- Lucrative 50,000 bonus mile welcome offer
- Annual companion certificate
- First checked bag free
- Priority boarding
Now that you have a glimpse of what Delta is offering and before you consider opting in for the card here are the 7 key things you should know about the card.
1. The Lucrative 50,000 Mile Welcome Bonus
The Delta Platinum Amex offers new cardholders the chance to earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening (Terms Apply). This provides tremendous value right off the bat.
Based on CreditPolice valuations pegging Delta miles at approximately 1.4 cents each, 50,000 miles are worth around $700. Compared to other airline cards, this ranks as one of the most generous welcome bonuses available.
To earn the full 50,000-mile bonus without overspending, be strategic about which purchases you put on the card in the first 3 months. Try targeting:
- Everyday Expenses: Use the card for things you already budget for like grocery store trips, dining out, gas, etc. These routine purchases quickly add up.
- Larger Planned Purchases: Did you already save up for a new laptop? Or were you planning a furniture upgrade? Knock out bigger items on your card too.
- Prepaying Bills: Pay your cell phone bill a few months early or overpay your power bill by $500 and get credit back later. This saves interest too!
- Booking Travel: Put any upcoming Delta flights or hotel stays on the card to expedite bonus progress.
Staying mindful to not overspend, you can easily hit the minimum spend organically through your regular budgeted purchases and larger planned buys.
Before applying, double-check your eligibility for the 50k mile bonus if you have or had other Delta Amex cards before. American Express strictly enforces welcome bonus limits.
MQM stands for Medallion Qualification Miles
2. Maximizing the Value of the Annual Companion Certificate
One of Delta Platinum Amex’s most valuable ongoing benefits is the annual companion certificate you receive each year upon renewal. I want to provide an in-depth look at how you can maximize the value of this perk.
As a reminder, this certificate covers the main cabin base fare for one roundtrip domestic Delta flight for a companion when taxes and fees are paid by the cardholder. This benefit alone can more than offset the card’s $250 annual fee if utilized strategically.
Let’s explore some tips and tricks to squeeze every ounce of value from the companion certificate:
- Book During Peak Travel Times: Aim to use the certificate during peak holiday travel seasons when base fares are typically $500+ roundtrip. Flying during Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving or other busy holidays is ideal.
- Fly to Popular Destinations: Look at flight options to ski or beach locales which routinely command premium airfare prices due to high demand. Destinations like Aspen, Vail, Hawaii, and Florida beaches are great options.
- Combine with Miles: You can redeem miles for your own ticket and use the companion certificate for a friend or family member. This “Points + Companion Certificate” strategy minimizes out-of-pocket costs.
- Remember Domestic Includes Hawaii/Alaska: Though geographically distant, complimentary domestic flights to Hawaii and Alaska are fair game with this certificate. This opens up pricier redemption possibilities.
- Compare Flight Prices: Use Google Flights or other tools to estimate base fares for potential flight options. Find routes with fares exceeding $250+ roundtrip when possible.
- Act Quickly Once Available: Check your Delta account frequently after renewal to book your certificate when it becomes available. Delta limits companion seat availability so act fast.
3. Checking Bags for Free
Checked baggage fees are a thorn in any traveler’s side. With the Delta Platinum Amex, you and up to 8 companions on the same reservation receive the first checked bag free when flying Delta. This perk applies to both revenue and award tickets.
With checked bag fees typically $30 each way domestically, this benefit can add up and save you a nice chunk of change. No more annoying trips to the ATM when you get to the airport and realize you forgot to pay to check your bag online!
4. Breeze Through Boarding with Priority Access
As any frequent flyer knows, overhead bin space fills up fast on crowded flights. With the Delta Platinum Amex, you can breeze right by and secure space for your carry-on with Main Cabin 1 priority boarding.
This perk is invaluable if you often travel with lots of electronics, camera gear, or other large items that don’t fit under the seat in front of you. No more gate-checking your prized carry-on against your will or having to wedge it in 3 rows back!
5. Entry to Delta Sky Club Lounges
When traveling on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight, you can access the Delta Sky Club while you wait with the Delta Platinum Amex. The entry rate is $39 per person when entering with your card.
While not free, it’s a nice discount from the standard entry rate of $59. And if you were going to purchase a day pass anyway, those savings add up quickly.
Something important to note – this Delta Sky Club access benefit will end on 1/1/2024 when card changes go into effect. So enjoy it while you can!
6. Waiving Medallion Qualification Dollar Requirements
Delta has revenue requirements called Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) for unlocking Medallion elite status. With the Delta Platinum Amex, you can waive MQD requirements by spending on your card.
You can waive MQD requirements for Silver, Gold, or Platinum Medallion status by spending $25,000 in a calendar year on eligible purchases with your card. If going for Diamond Medallion status, you’ll need to spend a whopping $250,000 on your card in a calendar year to waive MQD requirements.
This is a nice perk for those who fly Delta frequently but don’t quite hit the revenue thresholds otherwise required for status. But this benefit also goes away on 1/1/2024.
7. Earning MQMs from Everyday Spend
In addition to the MQD waiver, the Delta Platinum Amex allows you to earn redeemable Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) from everyday spending on your card.
You can earn 10,000 MQMs by spending $25,000 in a calendar year, and an additional 10,000 MQMs by spending $50,000 within that same calendar year.
So if you hit $50,000 in spending in a year, you’d earn 20,000 MQMs just from using your credit card. For context, that alone gets you halfway to Silver Medallion status!
Like the other Medallion-related perks, this benefit will also disappear as of 1/1/2024.
Is the Delta Platinum Amex Right for You?
Hopefully this guide gave you a comprehensive look at the key benefits of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card. As you can see, it offers great perks – especially for Delta loyalists looking to elevate their travel experience.
However, it’s crucial to consider the upcoming 1/1/2024 changes if you are interested in this card specifically for the Medallion status perks. There will be new ways to earn status through spending starting in 2024, but the current MQD waiver and MQM earnings from spending benefits will go away.
Analyze your typical Delta travel frequency, spending patterns, and goals for status to determine if the $250 annual fee will remain worthwhile for you after the changes take effect.
For me personally, the companion certificate and free checked bag perks on their own still justify this card. But as always, assess your own individual situation. And let me know in the comments if you have any other questions!
All information about The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card has been collected independently by CreditPolice. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
To view rates and fees of the American Express® Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card, see this page.