Delta SkyMiles Platinum Credit Card Review

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The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card from American Express is among the few Delta co-branded credit cards that offers access to Delta’s SkyClub airport lounges (albeit for a fee). That in itself may justify the steep annual fee, especially for Delta Air Lines flyers who want airline-related perks. For heavy spenders the card offers a shortcut to elite status in Delta's frequent flyer loyalty program—and even more perks. 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card

overall rating
3.1
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $250
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3 miles per dollar spent directly with Delta, 2 miles per dollar at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, and 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.0
for Fees
1.2
for Rewards
4.8
for Credit
2.2

Current Offer:

Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.

Top Rated For

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

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The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card is best for travelers who fly Delta frequently enough and value getting a boost toward the airline’s elite traveling status—and all its perks—enough to feel the card is worth the $250 annual fee. Cardholders earn 3 miles per $1 spent on hotels and Delta purchases as well as 2 miles per $1 spent on restaurants worldwide and on U.S. supermarket purchases, which makes this card a good choice for frequent flyers who have the spending power to pile up Delta SkyMiles and take advantage of them.

Pros
  • Welcome offer boost toward elite status

  • Comforting travel perks

Cons
  • High annual fee

Pros Explained

  • Welcome offer boost toward elite status: On top of extra miles, if you meet the spending requirement, you'll earn enough Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) to nearly reach the gold elite status tier within the Delta SkyMiles program which will give you even more access to additional travel perks and higher earning rates on Delta flights.
  • Comforting travel perks: You’ll get a free checked bag benefit for up to nine people on the same itinerary, a fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck, plus priority boarding and entry into Delta Sky Clubs (for a $39 per-visit fee).

Cons Explained

  • High annual fee: This card’s annual fee is on the high side among airline credit cards, and it may be hard to justify if you don’t fly Delta often or need this card’s help to achieve elite status with the airline.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card Welcome Offer

You can earn 40,000 bonus miles and 5,000 MQMs when you spend $2,000 on your card within three months of opening a new account. Plus, you'll earn a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within the first three months, too.

American Express is offering new cardholders a bit of flexibility during COVID-19. If you open this card before May 31, 2020 and you'll have six months to earn the welcome offer instead of three. If you're already a cardholder but opened your account after Dec. 1, 2019, you'll also have an extra three months to earn your bonus, if you haven't already. 

This is a good bonus that aligns with what comparable airline credit cards are giving new cardholders. According to our valuation calculations, Delta SkyMiles are worth 1.60 cents each, which means this welcome offer is worth about $640 in airfare, although redemption values can vary.

Earning Points & Rewards

This card was recently refreshed to include better bonus categories that make it easier to collect miles. Currently, you’ll earn:

  • 3 miles per $1 spent on purchases made directly with hotels
  • 3 miles per $1 spent on Delta purchases
  • 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets
  • 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases 

When you spend $25,000 or more on this card in a calendar year, you’ll receive 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) to use toward elite status that year. Those MQMs can give you a boost toward status with Delta’s frequent flyer program. If you manage to spend $50,000 on your card within a calendar year, you’ll get another 10,000 MQMs, and your 20,000 MQMs will put you four-fifths of the way to Silver. 

Redeeming Rewards

Like many other frequent flyer programs, Delta doesn’t issue an award chart. This makes it difficult for consumers to know how many miles they’ll need for an award flight. However, there are plenty of good deals to be had. 

Generally speaking, round-trip domestic flights start at 30,000 miles in economy, whereas round-trip international flights will set you back 60,000 miles or more in economy. You can use miles to fly a premium cabin, including Delta One, although you’ll pay several hundred thousand miles for this type of redemption.

You can redeem Delta SkyMiles for flights with Delta and more than 20 airline partners that include Air France, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic (although you still have to book through Delta).

Delta’s Pay with Miles option also lets you exchange miles for cash discounts on airfare—$50 for every 5,000 miles you redeem. Just remember that you can only trade miles in increments of 5,000, so be thoughtful when redeeming. For example, say a flight costs $311. You would need to redeem 35,000 miles to cover the full cost of that fare, essentially wasting $39 worth of miles. Instead, you could redeem 30,000 miles for a $300 discount and pay the remaining $11 with your credit card.

In addition to flights, you can also use miles for: 

  • Seat upgrades
  • Delta Sky Club membership
  • Delta vacation packages
  • Delta SkyMiles experiences
  • Delta gift cards
  • Shopping in the Delta SkyMiles marketplace
  • Magazine subscriptions

To see how the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Credit Card’s miles stack up, check out our in-depth analysis of what credit card points are worth.

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

To get the most out of rewards earned with this card, you should strive to be as flexible as possible with your travel plans. If you’re willing to consider multiple destinations and dates, you’ll be able to compare pricing and get a better value from your miles. 

You should also check out the Delta SkyMiles Deals page, which includes all of Delta’s award sales in one place. These deals change all the time and are only good for specific airports, however, so you’ll need to be flexible and check back often until you find a deal that fits with your plans.

Delta SkyMiles never expire, so you don’t have to worry about periods of inactivity and you can save your miles for the priciest awards and upgrades. For more tips about using SkyMiles, check out our complete guide to the frequent flyer rewards program.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card’s Excellent Perks

There are many benefits that credit cards offer, but a few stand out in our editors’ minds as “excellent.” The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card has these:

  • Airline companion pass: This card comes with a companion certificate you can redeem for a round-trip flight in Main Cabin economy upon renewal of your account. (You’ll still be on the hook for up to $75 in taxes and fees.) 
  • Free checked bag: You’ll also receive a free checked bag on Delta marketed and operated flights, and this perk applies to up to eight additional people on your itinerary. 
  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement: Basic cardholders will receive a credit of up to $100 for TSA Precheck every 4.5 years or Global Entry every 4 years. 
  • Priority boarding: Receive Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights. This perk is good for the cardholder and up to eight companions on the same itinerary. 
  • Airport lounge access: Cardholders and authorized users can gain access to Delta Sky Clubs for a discounted rate of $39 each when they’re flying with Delta or a partner airline.
  • Insurance coverage for lost or damaged luggage: You’re covered for the cost to replace lost luggage on a trip paid for with the card for up to $500 for checked bags and $1,250 for carry-on.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card’s Other Features

  • Discounts on in-flight purchases
  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Extended warranties
  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases

Customer Experience

American Express earned the second spot out of 11 credit card companies in J.D. Power’s 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study, which considered the user experiences of more than 28,000 credit card customers nationwide.

American Express also has a helpful mobile app that makes it easy to track your spending and pay your bill. For the full frequent flyer experience, however, you should download the Delta app since it allows you to track your rewards, search for award airfare, and access a digital boarding pass from your smartphone.

Security Features

American Express offers industry standard security features for its credit cards including account monitoring and alerts, and zero liability for fraudulent purchases.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card’s Fees 

The annual fee on this credit card is steep, but it’s worth the investment if you can take advantage of all the cardholder perks you’ll receive. As you might expect with an airline travel card, this one doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

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CURRENT CARD
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card
overall rating
3.1
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $250
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3 miles per dollar spent directly with Delta, 2 miles per dollar at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, and 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Delta. "Platinum: Important Information Regarding Rates, Fees, and Other Cost Information." Accessed Jan. 29, 2020.

  2. Delta. "What You Need to Reach Medallion Status." Accessed Jan. 29, 2020.

  3. J.D. Power. "2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study." Accessed: January 29, 2020.