Credit card review: Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card

Feb 27, 2020

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest credit cards information and benefits. It was originally published on Aug. 10, 2019.


Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card Overview

The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card is a decent option for frequent flyers of Delta. While its bonus categories of three miles per dollar are valid only for hotels and Delta purchases, this card offers a suite of perks that make it worth its $250 annual fee (see rates and fees). These benefits include free checked bags, priority boarding and an annual companion certificate. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

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

Delta Air Lines offers its business customers a choice of three American Express-branded credit cards — the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card. The middle card of this pack — the Platinum Delta business version — comes with a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees), along with help earning Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) toward elite status, a generous welcome offer and perks that offer a better passenger experience. But is it the right card for you? Let’s take an in-depth look at how its features stack up.

In This Post

Who is this card for?

This is the card to have if you’re a loyal Delta flyer who wants a generous welcome offer, the chance to earn MQMs that help with elite status on Delta and solid perks — all at a lower price than the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card, which has a $550 annual fee (see rates and fees). And you don’t need to own a Fortune 500 company to get one. Having an Etsy store as a side hustle can be enough to apply for this card.

Delta jet stocks up in Atlanta (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)
A Delta jet stocks up in Atlanta. (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

Welcome offer

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card is currently offering a welcome offer of 45,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 Statement Credit after your first Delta purchase on your new Card in the first 3 months.

The latest TPG valuations peg Delta SkyMiles at 1.2 cents per mile, making this welcome offer worth $640 by those calculations. You also don’t have to pay foreign transaction fees when traveling outside of the U.S. (see rates and fees).

Earning rates

With the Delta Platinum Business card, you’ll earn 3x Delta SkyMiles per dollar spent directly with hotels and on Delta purchases, including delta.com, phone reservations or ticket counters, Delta Vacation packages, seat upgrades/selection, Delta Sky Club membership or passes, pre-purchased and inflight meals, inflight alcoholic beverages and audio headsets (but not Wi-Fi).

First-class seats on a Delta A220 (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)
First-class seats on a Delta A220 (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

The higher miles per dollar spent don’t include popular business spending categories such as hotels, internet, shipping and office supplies. However, you can give employees their own cards, allowing you to earn miles on their business spending. On those larger business charges, you’ll also receive 1.5x miles for purchases over $5,000 (up to 50,000 miles).

This card is also handy for earning Delta elite status as you’ll earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, up to two times per year. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different from the miles you earn towards flights.

Redeeming

Your best option is almost always to redeem SkyMiles for air travel. Not only can you use your miles on Delta, but they’re also good on Delta’s 18 other SkyTeam airline alliance partners, along with other carriers including GOL, Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and WestJet.

It does take extra work to find bargain redemptions on Delta since it no longer has award charts, but they’re out there. Check out Delta’s SkyMiles Deals page for deep discounts on round-trip tickets in economy and Delta One between specific city pairs. Recent deals include round-trip tickets to Tokyo for 30,000 SkyMiles and the Caribbean for 12,000 miles round-trip.

Redemptions for seat upgrades are also an option, but again, there’s no award chart, so you won’t know how many miles it will cost until you book your ticket. You can also use your miles for upgrades on flights operated by partners Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic and Aeromexico, but know that you’re not getting the best value for them. Choose this option only if you really need an upgrade for a longer flight, such as Atlanta-Johannesburg via Europe on Air France or KLM, and want to save your cash.

Related: How to maximize your Delta SkyMiles redemptions

Delta One Suites (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)
Use your miles to upgrade to a Delta One Suites seat. (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)

Since the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Card doesn’t come with a Delta Sky Club airport lounge membership, you could also redeem 54,500 SkyMiles for one, though it’s not a great value.

Other options include online shopping, gift cards, magazines and unique SkyMiles Experiences. You can also transfer or gift your miles, or donate them to charity.

Perks

Even without lounge access, the Platinum Delta Business Amex has a number of features that make it a worthwhile look for regular Delta business flyers:

Companion certificate: Take someone along on your next round-trip on Delta using this certificate, good for a domestic main cabin round-trip flight every year you renew the card. Note this is valid on eligible paid fare and not valid on all flights. Additionally, you’ll need to pay up to $75 in government-imposed taxes and fees on the certificate.

Earn elite status miles: Earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, up to two times per year. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different from the miles you earn towards flights.

Free checked bag: You and up to nine travelers on the same reservation will get their first checked bag free when flying Delta. At a regular price of $30 a bag in each direction, even if you’re traveling alone, that saves you a minimum of $60 on every round-trip where you would have checked a bag.

Priority boarding: Enjoy Main Cabin 1 boarding on Delta flights for you and up to nine travelers on the same reservation.

Sky Club and lounge access: Pay $39 each for a single-day pass for you and up to two guests to more than 50 Sky Clubs and more than 250 partner and airport lounges around the world when you are on same-day Delta flights.

Inflight discount: Receive a 20% statement credit on purchases, including pre-purchased meals, and inflight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets, when using the card. The one major inflight expense not included in this discount is Wi-Fi.

Travel Accident Insurance: Get up to $500,000 in accidental death and dismemberment coverage while traveling when the fare is charged to the card.

Baggage Insurance Plan: You’re covered if your luggage is lost, damaged, or stolen when you use the card to pay for travel. Receive up to $1,250 for a carry-on and up to $500 for a checked bag.

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: You’re covered if your eligible rental car is damaged or stolen when you use the card to reserve and pay for it and decline company insurance. Note that this is secondary coverage and doesn’t include liability.

Roadside Assistance: Use this benefit for services such as changing a flat tire, jumpstarting a battery or getting a tow up to 10 miles and using your card to pay for the services.

Protections: The card comes with an extended warranty that adds up to two years onto an original manufacturer’s warranty for those five years or less. Purchase Protection covers items that are accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost if you paid for them with the card for up to 120 days after the date of purchase.

Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit: You get a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit (every 4 years for Global Entry, every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck) (up to $100).

Which cards compete with the Platinum Delta Business Amex?

(Photo by The Points Guy)
(Photo by The Points Guy)

The comparison isn’t quite apples to apples, but the closest competitor to this card is actually the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card. It comes with nearly as many perks as the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, but at a lower annual fee of $99 (waived the first year; see rates and fees). What you’re losing with the Gold card are the companion pass, a way to earn MQMs that help with elite Delta status and a pathway to discounted Sky Club passes.

You’ll get the same priority boarding and free checked bag with the Delta Gold card, along with all the travel and protection perks. But you’ll get a welcome offer on the Delta Gold of 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.

Bottom line

If you already have Delta Medallion elite status and don’t need MQM help retaining it, or you don’t care about the companion pass but still want many of the same card perks, then the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card is a great alternative at less than half the price (with the first year fee waived).

But the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card is a solid choice if you’re loyal to the Atlanta-based carrier and like having perks exclusive to the airline. Its $250 annual fee (see rates and fees) can be worth it if you take advantage of earning bonus MQMs that move you toward elite Medallion status and can also utilize the yearly companion certificate.

Feature photo by Wyatt Smith/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 Gold Business Card, please click here.

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

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.