A worthy business card contender: Review of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest credit card information and benefits.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card Overview
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card is a worthy card contender 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 in the 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.
Who is this card for?
This is the card to have if you’re a loyal or semi-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 or another side hustle can be enough to apply for this card.
The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card limited-time offer allows new cardmembers to earn 90,000 bonus miles and a $100 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months. Offer ends 4/28/21.
The latest TPG valuations peg Delta SkyMiles at 1.1 cents per mile, making this welcome offer worth $990 by those calculations. You also don’t have to pay foreign transaction fees when traveling outside of the U.S. (see rates and fees).
With the Delta Platinum Business card, you normally earn 3x Delta SkyMiles per dollar spent directly with hotels and on Delta purchases, including delta.com, phone reservations or at ticket counters, Delta Vacation packages, seat upgrades and selection, Delta Sky Club membership or passes, pre-purchased and inflight meals, inflight alcoholic beverages and audio headsets (but not Wi-Fi).
The higher miles per dollar spent don’t include popular business spending categories such as 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.
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 other SkyTeam airline alliance partners, along with carriers including Virgin Atlantic 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.
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. (It’s typically not a good value.)
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.
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 frankly, it’s a terrible value. However, you can buy your way into the Sky Club for $39 per person when traveling on a same-day Delta or Delta partner flight. You can also bring up to two guests or immediate family (spouse or domestic partner and children under 21 years of age) for $39 per person, per location.
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.
Even without free 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 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 toward 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.
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 90 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?
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 path 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.
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 The Points Guy.
Additional reporting by Ed Pizzarello.
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.
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Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spend on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and on every eligible dollar spent on purchases made directly with hotels. Earn 1.5 miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (that’s an extra half point per dollar), up to 50,000 additional miles per year. 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases. Get closer to status with Status Boost™. Spend $25,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year and earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs); spend a total of $50,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in a calendar year and earn an additional 10,000 MQMs. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different from the miles you earn toward flights. Terms and limitations apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles and a $100 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer Ends 4/28/21.
- Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and on every eligible dollar spent on purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 1.5 miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (that’s an extra half point per dollar), up to 50,000 additional miles per year. 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases.
- With Status Boost®, earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, up to 2x per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Plus, throughout 2021 earn an additional 2,500 MQMs after making $25,000 in purchases, up to 2x. That’s in addition to the 10,000 MQMs that you would earn with Status Boost.
- Status-like benefits: First Check Bag Free on Delta flights + Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.
- Terms and limitations apply.
- See Rates & Fees