Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card review: Sky Club access, 110,000 miles and a card made partly from a 747

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card overview

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card is Delta’s top-tier, cobranded business credit card, offering benefits best suited for high-budget businesses that are loyal to Delta. If Delta Medallion elite status and lounge access are important to you, there’s a lot to love about this card. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

Most top U.S. airlines offer consumer and business versions of their cobranded credit cards, and Delta is no exception. So if you are a business owner looking for a way to earn Delta miles on expenses and enjoy airline benefits, Delta and Amex offer three cobranded business credit cards.

The top-tier option is the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card, and it’s currently offering an enhanced welcome bonus for new applications.

But there’s another reason you may want to add this card to your wallet now. It’s also offering a limited-edition new physical card, made of 25% metal of a retired Delta 747 plane.

Here’s what you need to know about this premium business card.

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In This Post

Who is this card for?

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex is a great option for business travelers looking for luxury benefits and a way to hit Medallion elite status faster through card spending. However, the card does charge a $550 annual fee (see rates and fees), so you’ll want to make sure you can take advantage of the card’s offerings to justify the cost.

Because of how some of the benefits are set up, this is also a card best suited for large budgets. For example, to get the maximum number of Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) each year, you’ll have to spend $120,000 in total. And to unlock expanded earning potential on everyday purchases, you’ll have to spend more than $150,000 in total each calendar year.

(Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy)

The card application is pretty simple, although partnerships and corporations must submit a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) to activate an American Express business account. You can also apply as a sole proprietor using your Social Security number, so don’t assume you have to run a large business to get this card. Even if you’re just an eBay seller or freelance photographer, you could easily be eligible for a business credit card.

Welcome offer

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex is currently offering a welcome bonus of 110,000 bonus miles after spending $6,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Based on the latest TPG valuations, Delta SkyMiles are worth 1.41 cents per mile, making the 110,000 miles you can earn with this welcome offer worth $1,551.

Remember that Amex does have a once-per-card-per-lifetime restriction when it comes to welcome bonuses. As a result, if you’ve ever had the Delta Reserve Business card in the past (even if you didn’t earn a bonus), you won’t be eligible for this welcome bonus. Luckily, Amex has an on-site tool to warn you if you are ineligible for any given bonus before submitting your official application.

Note that the current offer runs through Aug. 3, 2022, and the limited-edition, 747 card art is only available while supplies last, so if you’re interested in it, be sure to apply sooner rather than later.

Related: The ultimate guide to credit card application restrictions

Main perks and benefits

There is a lot to love about the Delta Reserve Business Amex when it comes to the perks and benefits the card offers — especially for Delta travelers or those who live in a Delta hub or focus city.

The Delta Sky Club at La Guardia Airport Terminal C/D. (Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy)

Lounge access

Just by getting the Delta Reserve card, you’ve already covered almost the entire annual fee by gaining access to more than 50 Delta lounges around the world, although this only includes Sky Clubs and not partner lounges. However, guests are not complimentary; they cost $39 per person for up to two guests, which matches a regular individual Sky Club membership. Note that you also must be flying on Delta to access the lounges (again, just like a regular membership).

Note that Delta now restricts access to Sky Clubs to within three hours of departure, though it did backtrack on plans to eliminate access on arrival.

The card also includes access to American Express Centurion Lounges, also when flying on a same-day Delta ticket that you purchased with the Reserve card.

Two one-time Delta Sky Club passes

While guests normally cost $39 to bring into the Sky Club, you’ll get two one-time passes each year as a Business Reserve cardholder. This allows you to bring two people into the lounge when traveling together.

Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) waiver

When you spend $25,000 in a year, the spending requirement for Platinum, Gold, and Silver Medallion status is waived. You can also earn a waiver for the Diamond Medallion MQD requirements by spending $250,000 on the card in a year.

MQM Boost

As mentioned above, this feature can help you hit Medallion status before you ever step foot on a Delta aircraft. You’ll get 15,000 MQMs for every $30,000 you spend on the card each calendar year (up to four times per year). When you combine these earnings with the MQD waiver, you’ll be just shy of Platinum Medallion status from credit card spend alone.

Annual companion certificate

Cardmembers receive an annual companion certificate for a domestic first-class, Delta Comfort+ or domestic main cabin round-trip flight each year you renew the card. Note that you’ll need to pay up to $75 in government-imposed taxes and fees on the certificate.

Non-Medallion upgrades

Those who haven’t hit Medallion status will be given complimentary upgrades on eligible flights. While you will be added to the list after Medallions, this is a great perk for anyone who knows they won’t hit status immediately.

TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee credit

You’ll get up to $100 to pay for a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.

Get your Global Entry enrollment reimbursed, and enjoy included TSA PreCheck with Global Entry. (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

Delta flight perks

You’ll get a number of benefits on Delta-operated flights, including a first checked bag free, priority boarding and a 20% statement credit on all food, drink and audio headset inflight purchases.

Travel and shopping protections

The Delta Reserve Business card comes with a variety of protections when traveling on a ticket purchased with your card or when using your card on certain purchases. This includes:

Trip delay coverage* (Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company).
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance* (Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company).
Cellphone insurance* (Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company).
Baggage insurance* (Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company).
Extended warranty* (Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company).

*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.

Delta Reserve Concierge

Concierge staff are available 24/7 to help with restaurant reservations, special event planning, gift advice, and more. Global Assist gives you help with medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services when you travel more than 100 miles from home.

Related: The ultimate credit card concierge test: 3 cards, $300 and 1 night in NYC

Earning

(Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy)

With the Delta Reserve Business Amex, you’ll earn 3 miles per every eligible dollar  pent on Delta purchases, including at delta.com, via phone reservations or at ticket counters. This also applies to Delta Vacation packages, seat upgrades, seat selection fees, Delta Sky Club membership or passes, pre-purchased and inflight meals, inflight alcoholic beverages, and audio headsets.

Those with high annual spending habits will also benefit from earning 1.5 miles on all non-Delta purchases after spending a total of $150,000 in a calendar year. On all other eligible purchases, it drops to 1 mile.

You also won’t pay foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees) if you use the card when traveling overseas.

Redeeming

If you’re looking for bargains when it comes to redeeming your miles, go to the SkyMiles Deals page, where Delta regularly posts deep discounts on round-trip tickets in economy and Delta One between specific city pairs. Some notable recent Delta deals include Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., for 20,000 miles or Atlanta to New York City for only 13,000 miles.

You can also redeem your SkyMiles for upgrades to the next class of service on Delta, as well as certain flights operated by partners Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, and Aeromexico. While this isn’t a particularly valuable use of Delta miles, it’ll save you from paying cash or trying to find premium cabin award availability.

Note that Delta recently made some significant changes to its program, as all award flights now count toward status qualification. This (coupled with the potential for MQMs via spending on the Delta Reserve Business Amex and the fact that Delta rolled over all MQMs from 2021) could put Delta Medallion status within reach in 2022.

Delta One Suite (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Which cards compete with the Delta Reserve Business Amex?

If you’re looking at the Delta Reserve Business Amex, it might also make sense to consider The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, especially since you still get some great Delta perks with that card. New cardholders can earn 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first three months of card membership. TPG’s valuations put Membership Rewards points at 2 cents per point, making the offer worth $2,400.

These points can also be transferred directly to Delta SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio, but you’ll have many other valuable options — including Air Canada Aeroplan and Avianca LifeMiles.

The Business Platinum Amex offers the same access to Delta Sky Clubs when you fly same-day Delta flights as the Delta Reserve Business card. However, you’ll miss out on the other Delta-specific features of the Reserve card — such as the status boosts, companion certificate, free checked bags and priority boarding.

That said, the Business Platinum card has its own additional perks, such as earning 5 points per dollar on airfare and on prepaid hotels when you book them through Amex Travel, up to $200 in annual airline fee statement credits and additional lounge access at Centurion, Priority Pass, Airspace and Escapes lounges. You’ll also enjoy automatic Gold status with both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors, which can make your hotel stays more comfortable (and rewarding). Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Of course, these perks do come with a higher $695 annual fee (see rates and fees), but if you can maximize them, the Business Platinum Card could be a great option.

If the Delta Reserve’s $550 annual fee is too high for you to justify, another strong option is the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card. The Delta Platinum Amex is currently offering 100,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership.

(Photo by The Points Guy)

This card also comes with a nice suite of benefits for the lower $250 annual fee (see rates and fees), including a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee credit (up to $100) and an annual companion certificate at renewal. For those interested in Medallion status, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Amex offers 10,000 MQMs after you spend $25,000 in a calendar year (up to 20,000 MQMs total per year) and offers an MQD waiver after spending $25,000 in a calendar year.

Bottom line

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card is a good option if you’re a Delta enthusiast and would buy a Sky Club membership regardless. It’s also a solid option for businesses with large amounts of spending.

And with the limited-edition card art made (in part) from a 747, it’s also appealing to aviation enthusiasts.

If you’re in the market to earn Delta miles and elite status while enjoying a host of luxury Delta benefits, it doesn’t get much better than the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex.

Official application link: Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon, Benét J. Wilson, Edward Pizzarello and Christina Ly. 

Featured image by Wyatt Smith for The Points Guy. 

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.

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