Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Is turning their passion into a money-making venture See more cards
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Card is best for frequent business travelers who usually fly Delta and have good credit and a sizeable budget. At $250, the annual fee is relatively high for an airline card, but if you’re in the air regularly, the waived baggage fees and yearly companion ticket (good for main cabin domestic flights) more than outweigh that cost.
Plus, the rewards rate for purchases with Delta or at any directly-booked hotel is nothing to scoff at: triple miles for every dollar spent is as good or better than you’ll find on many airline and general travel cards, and even Delta’s highest-tiered business card, the $550 Delta Reserve for Business, doesn’t offer any bonus miles for hotel stays.
Big spenders get even more value: Any single purchase of $5,000 or more earns extra miles, and if you spend $50,000 in a calendar year, you’ll be well on your way to Delta’s elite flying status, which comes with complimentary upgrades and VIP perks.
That said, a card with another airline is likely to have relatively comparable benefits and a lower annual fee, so if you don’t have a particular affinity for Delta and don’t put a high value on travel amenities, you may want to look elsewhere.
Triple miles on Delta and hotel purchases
Potentially big boost toward elite flying status
High annual fee
No complimentary lounge access
- Triple miles on Delta and hotel purchases: Getting 3 miles for every $1 you spend with Delta or on hotel stays booked directly is quite competitive relative to what’s offered on other airline cards. Some flexible travel cards not affiliated with a particular airline have better reward opportunities, but you probably won’t get the same travel perks with those cards. (Though they may offer the opportunity to transfer your miles to select airline programs.)
- Potentially big boost toward elite flying status: If you’ve got a big enough budget, you’ll be fast-tracked toward coveted Delta Medallion status without even stepping foot on a plane, with the “Status Boost” program. Spend $25,000 in a calendar year and you’ll get 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). Spend $50,000 or more and you’ll get another 10,000 MQMs. (To reach the first tier of Medallion status, you need 25,000 MQMs.)
- Travel benefits: While priority boarding privileges and a free checked bag aren’t unusual for airline cards with similar (or lower) annual fees, these perks make your cost easier to swallow. One checked bag costs $60 on a round-trip Delta flight, so this feature alone—valid for up to eight other people traveling under the same reservation—may be worth hundreds of dollars each time you fly. Plus, you’ll get a round-trip U.S. economy-class ticket for a travel companion each time you renew your card.
Delta’s status system can be confusing. MQMs reflect the distance and fare class you’ve flown within a calendar year; Medallion Qualification Dollars reflect the dollars spent. For Silver status (the first tier), you'll need to earn 25,000 MQMs plus 3,000 MQDs. The MQD requirement is waived if you charge at least $25,000 to your card during the calendar year.
- High annual fee: The fee, which was increased to $250 as of Jan. 30, 2020, is pretty steep, especially if you’re not a big spender who will benefit from the boost toward elite flying status. You can get a card with a competing airline for around $100, though you’re not likely to earn as many miles per dollar you spend.
- No complimentary lounge access: Unlike the Delta Reserve for Business, this card doesn’t offer any complimentary access to those coveted Delta Sky Club airport lounges. You can pay a fee—$39 per visit—but considering another airline card with a lower annual fee will offer you two free passes each year to its airport lounge network, this is pretty stingy.
You’ll earn 70,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) if you spend $4,000 on your card within your first three months of opening an account.
The bonus miles alone are worth about $1,078 when redeemed for flights, according to the latest analysis by The Balance. This is by far the best welcome offer among the Delta suite of business cards. Unless you really want an extra boost to reach elite frequent flyer status faster with the Reserve card, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card is worth considering for the welcome offer alone.
Earning Points & Rewards
There’s nothing complicated about earning miles on this card. For every $1 you spend with Delta, including on flights, in-flight food and beverages, seat upgrades, and Sky Club membership, you’ll earn 3 miles. Any purchases made directly with a hotel will also garner 3 miles per $1.
To earn the higher rate, purchases must be charged directly with hotels. In other words, you cannot prepay with a third party, such as an online travel agent, or as part of a vacation package. (Though you can reserve with a third-party.) Purchases at spas or restaurants inside hotels may not qualify for the bonus miles either.
You’ll also get 1.5 miles per dollar on all single purchases that are $5,000 or more, which can come in handy for business equipment. For all other purchases, you’ll get 1 mile per $1 spent.
These rewards rates are quite respectable, but other business travel cards, many of which have a lower annual fee, pay at least double miles or points on more types of business expenses, so the best card for you will depend on where most of your budget goes.
If you’re like most people, you will want to save up your miles and use them for award Delta flights. Because flight prices range widely, you’ll want to do some shopping around to make the most of your points. Miles do not expire, so you can save them up for as long as it takes to get a flight.
Another option is to pay partially with miles and partially with cash by choosing flights that are eligible for the Pay with Miles feature. This takes some of the guesswork out of redemption values, since miles used this way are worth 1 cent each. You must redeem your miles in 5,000-mile increments, and each increment gets you $50 off your airfare.
The Balance values each Delta mile at an average of 1.54 cents when redeemed for reward flights. Anything over 1 cent is considered a decent value in the world of rewards, though it’s worth noting that competitors including United Airlines and American Airlines have miles worth more than 2 cents apiece, according to our latest analysis.
You can also use miles to upgrade your seat to a nicer cabin, fly on more than 20 partner airlines booked through Delta, rent a private jet, or book vacation packages. Or, you can redeem them on gift cards, magazines, merchandise, or to make a donation to a charity. Chances are, though, you’ll get the most value by redeeming them for flights. For more information about using SkyMiles, see our guide to Delta's frequent flyer rewards program.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Keep in mind you can add up to 99 employee cards to this account with no additional fee. The extra spending on those cards can help you accumulate more miles and reach that $50,000 spending threshold to earn the maximum number of MQMs. Just note that additional cardholders are not eligible for perks of their own (like free checked bags and priority boarding) unless they are traveling with the main cardholder under the same reservation.
And don’t forget to take advantage of the annual companion certificate to squeeze even more value from the card.
If the complimentary upgrades and other perks that come with Medallion status aren’t your main goal, you may also want to consider pairing this card with another rewards card that offers a stronger earnings rate on non-Delta purchases.
Depending on what your business budget includes, how big it is, how often you fly, and how much you value traveling in comfort, other Delta credit cards may be better suited to you.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card’s Excellent Perks
This card offers a lot of cardholder benefits, but some stand out for their exceptional value. The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card offers six perks our editors consider “excellent”:
- Airline companion pass: When you renew your card on your membership anniversary, you’ll receive a companion certificate good for one domestic round-trip main cabin companion ticket. Fees and taxes are not included.
- Free checked bag: You won’t pay a baggage fee for your first checked bag, and neither will up to eight travel companions on the same reservation. That means you can save as much as $540 on a round-trip flight.
- Priority boarding: You’re entitled to receive Main Cabin 1 priority boarding on Delta flights. Getting on early gives you a leg up when looking for that coveted overhead bin space.
- Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement: Cardholders can apply for one of these expedited airport clearance programs and be reimbursed for the application fee when the membership is up for renewal (roughly once every four years). The fee will be credited on your statement. Additional cardholders do not get this benefit.
- Insurance coverage for lost luggage: If your baggage is lost or stolen, you can get up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage as long as your trip was paid for with the card.
- Insurance coverage for trip delays: If you pay for your entire trip with this card and it’s delayed for more than 12 hours, you’ll get up to $300 per trip twice a year.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card’s Other Features
- Discounts on in-flight purchases
- Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
- Extended warranties
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Travel and emergency hotline
American Express earned the top spot (out of 11) in J.D. Power’s 2020 Credit Card Satisfaction Study. With many account management tools and a robust app, business owners can easily monitor employee cards and integrate transaction data with their bookkeeping. Customer support is always a call or click away as well, 24/7.
The security features on this card are on par with competitors.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card’s Fees
Beyond the annual fee, cardholders won’t have to worry about other common fees if they keep their accounts in good standing. And if your business travel takes you abroad, you don’t have to pay foreign transaction fees.