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 Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card is best for business travelers who usually fly Delta. Cardholders get a free checked bag, priority boarding, and a yearly companion certificate, which together outweigh the annual fee. Big spenders get even more value: 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.
However, other travel rewards cards with lower annual fees come with better rewards-earnings rates and more valuable sign-up offers, so this card is really only worthwhile if you have an affinity for Delta and appreciate travel perks.
Potentially big boost toward elite flying status
Free checked bag
Meager sign-up bonus
No complimentary lounge access
- 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. Spend $25,000 in a full calendar year and you’ll get 10,000 so-called 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, among other things.)
- Companion certificate: Renew your card each year, and get a domestic round-trip main cabin companion ticket. Fees and taxes are not included, however.
- Free checked bag: You can check your first bag for free and save up to $60 on a round-trip Delta flight. Reservation must include the Basic Card Member's SkyMiles number, with a maximum of up to nine waivers per reservation.
- Meager sign-up bonus: This card offers just 35,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 within your first three months. That’s about half what you can get from competing cards, some of which have a lower annual fee.
- No complimentary lounge access: Unlike the Delta Reserve for Business, this card doesn’t offer any complimentary airport lounge access. You can pay a fee—$29 per person, per visit ($39 beginning Jan. 30, 2020)—but considering you can get two free passes on other airline cards with comparable or lower annual fees, this is a drawback.
You’ll earn 35,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 on your card within your first three months of opening an account. That’s a $560 value when the miles are redeemed for flights, according to the latest analysis by The Balance. While the relatively low spending requirement makes this bonus easy to achieve, it pales in comparison to competing bonuses of 70,000 or 80,000 miles worth $1,000 or more, according to our research.
If you book a Delta flight in the first three months, you’ll also get an extra $100 statement credit. Plus, if you meet the $1,000 spending requirement, you’ll get 5,000 MQMs toward Medallion status.
Delta’s status system can be confusing. MQMs normally represent the total distance you’ve flown within a calendar year; MQSs are the number of flights you take; MQDs are the dollars spent. For silver status (the first tier), you'll need to earn 25,000 MQMs (or 30 MQSs) plus 3,000 MQDs (the amount spent on flights).
Earning Points & Rewards
There’s nothing complicated about earning miles on this card. Delta purchases, including flights, in-flight food and beverages, seat upgrades, and Sky Club membership, earn 2 miles for every $1 you spend. All other purchases earn 1 mile per $1.
You can add up to 99 employee cards to this account (and there’s no additional fee to do so)—that’s extra spending that can help you accumulate more miles.
Considering you’re paying $195 per year for the card (and the annual fee is going up to $250 on Jan. 30, 2020), these rewards are disappointing. Other business travel cards with an even lower fee have higher earnings rates on more categories of spending.
Delta and American Express are revamping the entire suite of SkyMiles cards. Beginning Jan. 30, 2020, you’ll earn 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Delta purchases and on hotels. You’ll also earn 1.5 miles per $1 on purchases of $5,000 or more.
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 rewards flight.
Another option is to pay partially with points and partially with cash. If you choose this, you must redeem your miles in 5,000-mile increments, with a 5,000-mile minimum to start.
The Balance values each Delta mile at an average of 1.60 cent when redeemed for airfare. 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.
Although you can choose to use your miles on other purchases including magazines, merchandise, or to make a donation to a charity, the redemption value with those purchases is likely to be less than a penny a mile.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Earning the welcome offer shouldn’t be too difficult since just $1,000 in spending is required in the first three months. Of course, the more you spend, the more miles you will accrue, so it’s a good idea to put those additional employee cards to good use so you can rack up miles. Plus, if you’re chasing Medallion status, more spending will get you closer to the annual MQMs bonus.
Also, don’t forget to take advantage of the waived checked bag fees when you fly, and use your annual companion certificate to squeeze even more value from the card.
Depending on how much you value Medallion status, you may want to consider pairing this card with another rewards card that offers a stronger earnings rate on non-Delta purchases.
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 five 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, however.
- Free checked bag: You won’t pay a baggage fee for your first checked bag, and neither will up to eight travel companions.
- Priority boarding: Card Members are entitled to receive Main Cabin 1 priority boarding on Delta flights. This perk is limited to basic card members (not additional card members).
- Travel Accident Insurance: Get up to $100,000 in benefits for accidental death or dismemberment that occurs while traveling on a common carrier that you booked with this card.
- 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.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card’s Other Features
- Discounts on in-flight purchases
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
- Extended warranties
- Refund when merchant won’t accept returned item
- Travel and emergency hotline
- Roadside assistance hotline
American Express once again earned a second place ranking (out of 11) in JD Power’s 2019 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. American Express does also offer free credit scores and other credit monitoring tools via its MyCredit Guide tool.
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.