Delta Reserve Credit Card Review: Is It Worth Having?

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Delta Reserve Credit Card

Having an AmEx Delta Reserve credit card puts you in the frequent flyer elite category. But this card does not come cheap—the annual fee is a mind-numbing $450. I dare you to name a credit card that charges that much. I think you will be hard-pressed to name one because the Delta Reserve card is in a class on its own. So is $450 really worth it? Can this fee be justified as an investment? Or is it an elitist’s folly?

You won’t get perks anywhere else like this

For the amount you pay, you certainly get a lot of awesome advantages. The Reserve card certainly does not scrimp on the perks. Here’s a rundown on what you can expect from this offering from American Express:

  • Welcome Offer Bonus—you get 10,000 bonus miles on the very first swipe of your card. 10,000 miles are worth $100. This means you get a bonus of a hundred-bucks on your very first purchase.
  • Medallion Qualification Miles—you don’t only get bonus miles on your first purchase, but you also earn 10,000 Medallion points. Also known as the MQM, this is a program that earns Delta frequent flyers freebies and upgrades. 
  • Big Yearly Skymiles and Medallion Qualification Miles Bonus—here’s how they reward you by using this card: spend $30K or more for the year and you get 15,000 miles as a bonus. But if you’re a really big spender and can rack up more than $60K in purchases a year, Delta will reward you with another 15,000 miles. That should bring your miles total to 30,000. Ditto for the MQM. You get the same amount of miles when you spend $30K or $60K.
  • Accumulate Points Fast—with the Reserve card, it’s easy to rack up both Skymiles and MQM points because you earn 2 points for every dollar you spend for Delta Airlines purchases. For other purchases, you earn 1 point per dollar spent. Add these points with your Welcome Offer Bonus and the yearly miles bonus and you got yourself a boatload of miles.
  • Companion Airfare Certificate—card holders will receive a companion certificate which can be exchanged for a domestic ticket. While the tickets are free, the card holder is still expected to shoulder the ticket’s taxes.
  • All-day Access to Delta’ Sky Club Lounge—all Reserve card holders enter the Sky Club Lounge free of charge. Inside the lounge, they can grab a drink or a sandwich, check their email using the complimentary WI-Fi, or even take a shower.
  • Upgrades—when you hold a Reserve card, you get priority upgrades over other Delta passengers. But in order to do this, you need to rack up MQM points. The more MQM points you have, the higher your priority.
  • Other perks like: 20% discount (as statement credit) on in-flight purchases, free first bag check in, concierge services, roadside assistance and travel accident insurance.

Delta Reserve Credit Card

Is it worth the $450?

To answer this question, we need to determine how often you use the Reserve card and how often you fly with Delta. If you’re a big spender and you fly with Delta quite a lot, then this card is for you. The Skymiles bonus, the MQM bonus, the companion airfare certificate and the Sky Club Lounge access are already worth more than the $450 you pay for your Reserve card.

However, if you can’t meet the $30K requirement to get the Skymiles and MQM bonus, and you don’t fly that often, consider getting another credit card. The annual fee is just too much for your intermittent enjoyment of the card’s perks. There are other cards out there that give out a lot of perks at half the price of the Delta Skymiles Reserve card.


Just like any spending or investment, it is to your advantage to research more on the Delta Reserve credit card before signing up. You need to determine whether its benefits can more than compensate for the $450 annual fee you have to shell out. If you are doubtful of your capacity to spend $30K a year, then you are better off with another credit card. A good card to consider from the same provider is the American Express’ Platinum Card. Its perks and rewards may not be as grand as Delta’s Reserve card, but it’s quite generous too with an annual fee of only $195.


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