Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free See more cards
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Loves to explore places and experience new things See more cards
Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty See more cards
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.
Lucrative welcome offer
Comforting travel perks
High annual fee
- Lucrative welcome offer: Through April 1, 2020, you’ll get 80,000 miles after you spend $3,000 within the first three months you have the card. This is a significant amount of miles that could be worth $1,200 or more in airfare.
- 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).
- 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
Through April 1, 2020, you can earn 80,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on your card within the first three months of account opening. This is a strong welcome offer that matches or beats offers from competing airline credit cards.
According to our analysis of this program, Delta SkyMiles are worth 1.6 cents each.This means the welcome offer on this card could be worth $1,280 in airfare, although redemption values can vary.
It gets a little better if you renew the card (and renew the annual fee) on the anniversary of card membership: you’ll get 20,000 additional miles.
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 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.
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).
In addition to flights, you can also redeem your 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
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
To get the most out of 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’s Pay with Miles option 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.
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
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.
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.