Delta Reserve vs. Amex Platinum: A Comprehensive Analysis

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In the realm of premium travel credit cards, two notable contenders stand out: the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card (Delta Reserve) and The Platinum Card from American Express (Amex Platinum). Both cards offer a plethora of benefits designed to enhance the travel experience, but they cater to slightly different needs and preferences. This article provides a detailed comparison of these two cards to help potential cardholders make an informed decision.

Overview of Delta Reserve vs. Amex PlatinumDelta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card:

The Platinum Card from American Express:

  • Annual Fee: $695
  • Best For: Luxury travel and access to a broad range of airport lounges
  • Key Benefits: Extensive lounge access (including Centurion Lounges), annual travel credits, Uber credits, hotel elite status, Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits, and concierge service.

Amex Platinum and Delta Reserve Comparison Table

Feature/BenefitAmex PlatinumDelta Reserve
Annual Fee695650
Welcome Offer80,000 100,000 (Special Welcome Offer) Membership Rewards points after purchases of $8,000 within the first 6 months60,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after purchases of $5,000 within the first 6 months
Earning Rates5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), 
5x points on prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel, 
1x on other purchases
3x miles on Delta purchases,
1x on other purchases
MQD HeadstartNone$2,500 for each Medallion qualifying year and move closer to upgrading status for the following year
MQD BoostNoneEarn 1 qualifying Medallion dollar for every $10 in purchases during the calendar year
Lounge AccessAccess to Global Lounge Collection (Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass, Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta, and other partner lounges)Complimentary Delta Sky Club access & One-time Guest Passes (free access to the Delta Sky Club, as well as four one-time guest passes annually)
Сomplimentary access to Amex Centurion Lounges when flying Delta
Travel Credits$200 credit back on your statement every year for the costs of booking Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection;
$200 Airline Fee Credit during the calendar year (for one selected airline);
Receive $15 in Uber Cash to pay for eligible Uber Eats orders and Uber rides in the U.S. + $20 bonus in December – $200 Uber Cash per year;
Cover the cost of your CLEAR Plus membership7 by receiving up to $189 in account credit per calendar year after paying for CLEAR Plus with your card;
Up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits, and Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit;
$240 Digital Entertainment CreditGet up to $100 on your bill for purchases at Saks on Fifth Avenue or on ($50 on your statement from January to June and up to $50 on your statement from July to December);
$200 credit from Delta Stays (for booking hotels or renting accommodation on the Delta Stays website at;
20% Back on In-flight Purchases;
Up to $20 per month on your bill statement for eligible purchases at Resy restaurants in the U.S. – $240 annually;
Up to $10 on your statement every month after using your card to pay for rides in the US – up to $120 annually;
First Checked Bag FreeNone Yes (check in the first suitcase on Delta flights for free)
Hotel BenefitsMarriott Bonvoy Gold Status, Hilton Honors Gold Status, Fine Hotels + Resorts programNone
Car Rental BenefitsPremium Car Rental Statuses (Avis, Hertz, National)None
Travel InsuranceTrip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, baggage insurance plan, car rental loss and damage insuranceTrip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, baggage insurance plan
Purchase ProtectionExtended warranty, purchase protection, return protectionExtended warranty, purchase protection
Additional BenefitsPremium status for Avis, Hertz, National car rental;
$300 Equinox credit, access to Global Dining Collection, exclusive experiences with By Invitation Only;
Uber VIP customer status;
Access to exclusive reservations from Resy;
Platinum Travel Service
Companion Certificate upon renewal;
Hertz President’s Circle Status;
Baggage Insurance Plan;
Upgrades and first-class experience with Delta;
TakeOff 15 (Get a 15% discount on any award travel booking with miles on Delta flights);
Earn up to $50 off airfare for every 5,000 miles redeemed for miles when booking on
Premium Global Assist HotlineYesYes
Trip Delay InsuranceYesYes
Points Transfer PartnersAn extensive list of airline and hotel partnersDelta SkyMiles program only
Transaction FeesNo Foreign No Foreign 
Amex Platinum and Delta Reserve Comparison Table

Comparative Analysis Of Cards In Detail

Amex Platinum and Delta Reserve Travel Benefits

Delta Reserve

  • Delta Sky Club Access: Complimentary access for the cardholder when flying on a Delta-operated or Delta-marketed flight.
  • Annual Companion Certificate: A domestic first-class, Delta Comfort+, or main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal.
  • Priority Boarding and First Checked Bag Free: These perks can save time and money for frequent Delta travelers.
  • MQM Boost: Earn up to 15,000 MQMs towards Medallion Status after spending $30,000 in a calendar year, and another 15,000 MQMs after spending $60,000.

Amex Platinum

  • Lounge Access: Includes Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), and more.
  • Travel Credits: Up to $200 airline fee credit, $200 Uber credit, $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit, and more.
  • Hotel Benefits: Automatic Gold status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy, plus benefits through the Fine Hotels & Resorts program.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit: Up to $100 statement credit every 4 years for Global Entry or every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck application fee.

Delta Reserve vs. Amex Platinum: Earning and Redeeming Points

Delta Reserve

  • Earning Rates: 3x miles on Delta purchases, 1x mile on all other purchases.
  • Redeeming: Miles can be used for Delta flights, partner flights, seat upgrades, Delta Sky Club membership, and other travel-related expenses.

Amex Platinum

  • Earning Rates: 5x Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel, 5x points on prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel, 1x point on other purchases.
  • Redeeming: Membership Rewards points can be transferred to a variety of airline and hotel partners, redeemed for travel through Amex Travel, used for statement credits, gift cards, and more.

Can you transfer Amex Membership Rewards points?

Yes, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to a variety of airline and hotel loyalty programs. Here is a list of some of the major transfer partners:

Airline Partners
  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • AeroMexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club
  • Asia Miles
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • El Al Matmid Frequent Flyer Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Hotel Partners
  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Bonvoy

Points transfer ratios and minimum transfer amounts can vary depending on the partner. Typically, you can transfer Membership Rewards points at a ratio of 1:1 to many airline partners, but it’s important to check the specific details for each program, as transfer ratios and promotions can change.

Additional Benefits

Delta Reserve

  • Complimentary Upgrades: Cardholders who are Medallion members have access to complimentary upgrades.
  • In-Flight Savings: 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on eligible in-flight purchases.
  • Travel and Purchase Protections: Includes trip delay insurance, baggage insurance plan, and purchase protection.

Amex Platinum

  • Concierge Service: 24/7 concierge service to assist with travel bookings, dining reservations, and more.
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts: Exclusive benefits such as room upgrades, daily breakfast for two, early check-in, late check-out, and unique property amenities.
  • Purchase and Travel Protections: Extensive protections including trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage insurance, and purchase protection.

Ideal User Profile

Delta Reserve

  • Frequent Delta Flyers: Those who fly Delta frequently and can take full advantage of Delta-specific perks like Sky Club access and MQM boosts.
  • Companion Travelers: Individuals who can utilize the annual companion certificate for domestic travel.
  • Medallion Status Seekers: Travelers looking to earn and maintain Medallion Status with Delta.

Amex Platinum

  • Luxury Travelers: Those who value premium travel experiences, including extensive lounge access and luxury hotel benefits.
  • High Spenders: Individuals who can maximize the card’s earning potential and annual credits.
  • Diverse Travelers: Those who prefer flexibility in travel benefits across multiple airlines and hotel chains.


The American Express Platinum and Delta Reserve credit cards are a great choice for frequent Delta Flyers. They both offer access to lounges where you’re likely to use them most often, as well as travel insurance benefits that can protect you in the event of a trip interruption or delay. 

The question of choice becomes this: How do you want to use your loyalty points? 

If you need additional Medallion Qualifying Dollars or a companion certificate, you should choose the Delta Reserve card.

If you prefer flexibility in travel and want to use the benefits of different airlines and hotel chains, it is better to choose the American Express Platinum. This card also gives you additional access to lounges provided by the Priority Pass advantage.

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