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As air travel continues its slow climb back to pre-pandemic levels, airlines are pulling out numerous incentives to get flyers back in the sky — and one of those ways is with their cobranded credit cards. And as a small business owner, you have even more access to earn valuable rewards from personal and business credit cards.
With the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, you will earn Delta SkyMiles on all eligible purchases, which can be redeemed for flights on Delta Air Lines and its partners. In addition, you will have a long list of benefits including airport lounge access, travel insurance, boosts towards elite status, complimentary seat upgrades and more.
Below, Select breaks down the rewards, benefits and fees associated with the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card to help you decide if it’s the right card for your needs.
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On the American Express secure site
Earn 3X miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta
Earn 60,000 bonus miles, 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and a $100 statement credit after spending $4,000 on your new card in your first three months.
16.74% to 25.74% variable
Balance transfer fee
Foreign transaction fees
The welcome bonus for the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex is valuable as you can earn miles to fly for free, and if you plan on flying often, this card can get you to Delta Medallion loyalty status even quicker.
The welcome bonus is currently: 60,000 Delta SkyMiles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and a $100 statement credit after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
Since the card earns a minimum of 1X miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases, you will have a minimum of 64,000 Delta SkyMiles if you meet the minimum spending threshold. Even at a modest valuation of one cent per mile, this is $640 in airline miles right off the bat. Adding in the $100 statement credit, the card delivers $740 in value—justifying the $550 annual fee in the first year (see rates and fees), plus some.
And if earning elite status with Delta is a priority, the MQMs earned will get you even closer. But to earn status with Delta, you must meet certain metrics within these categories:
- MQMs (Medallion® Qualification Miles). This measures how far you’ve flown, as well as what class flown (or)
- MQSs (Medallion® Qualification Segments). This is the number of flights taken (and)
- MQDs (Medallion® Qualification Dollars). This is the number of dollars spent on flights.
Each status level requires different amounts for each, so if you regularly fly with Delta or its partners, this card can jumpstart your status earning journey.
The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card is ripe with benefits. When you’re approved for the card, you will have access to these perks:
Earning miles for spending
When you spend on the card, you will earn:
- 3X Delta SkyMiles per dollar spent on eligible purchases directly with Delta
- 1.5X Delta SkyMiles per dollar spent on all eligible purchases made after you spend $150,000 in a calendar year
- 1X Delta SkyMiles per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases
If you aim to earn Delta Medallion elite status, the Delta Amex Reserve Business Card will ‘boost’ your status by adding additional MQMs to your balance after meeting certain spend thresholds. You can earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to 4 times per year, getting you closer to Medallion Status.
So if you plan on spending heavily and value Delta elite status, this card can get you there even quicker.
Airport lounge access
With this card, you will get access to a wide array of airport lounges. First, when you’re flying on Delta, you will have access to Delta SkyClubs for you and your companions. However, guests will be charged $39, but to get started, you will receive two guest passes per year for complimentary entrance.
Additionally, when you purchase a Delta flight with the card, you will earn access to The Centurion® Lounge or Escape Lounges. These lounges are exclusive to American Express cardholders.
And if you have employees working for you, you can add them as authorized users, and they will also receive the same lounge access.
Select calculated how many points the average American can earn in a year when using their Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card. We worked with the location intelligence firm Esri, who provided us with a sample annual spending budget of $22,126.
The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). Here’s what the average consumer would earn using this card:
- Groceries: 5,174 Delta SkyMiles
- Gas: 2,218 Delta SkyMiles
- Dining out: 3,675 Delta SkyMiles
- Travel: 6,732 Delta SkyMiles (Assuming all travel dollars are spent with Delta Air Lines directly).
- Utilities: 4,862 Delta SkyMiles
- General purchases: 3,953 Delta SkyMiles
With all spending considered, this would give a cardholder 26,614 Delta SkyMiles in the first year, and if you include the 60,000 miles welcome bonus, 86,614 SkyMiles. Over a five year period, cardholders could earn 193,070 Delta SkyMiles. Cardholders could earn more (or less) miles depending on their annual spending habits.
But arguably the best part of the card is earning Delta SkyMiles that can be redeemed in a variety of ways.
How to earn and redeem Delta SkyMiles
Earning Delta SkyMiles
There are several ways to earn Delta SkyMiles, but the two most prominent options are: flying with Delta Air Lines and spending (and earning welcome bonuses) on their cobranded credit cards.
As you fly with Delta Air Lines, you will earn miles based on how much you spend on your ticket. You’ll earn fives miles for every dollar spent on Delta flights in Main Cabin or above. And if you have Delta Medallion status, those earnings go up to 11 miles per dollar spent on tickets.
Additionally, there are several Delta SkyMiles cobranded credit cards to choose from, including both personal and business credit cards.
The other Delta credit cards available are:
Redeeming Delta SkyMiles
After you earn the miles, the fun part is redeeming them for free flights. And the great part about Delta is not only their top rated customer service, but the flexibility you have when using your miles.
First, you can easily redeem your miles for free flights on Delta’s website. When you’re searching for flights, be sure to click the checkbox saying ‘shop with miles’. However, you may notice as you are searching that different airlines may pop up in your search. That’s because Delta is part of SkyTeam, an airline alliance that partners together to fly their customers around efficiently. For example, if you search a flight from Los Angeles, CA to Paris, France, you will notice that Air France flights appear. That’s because Air France is part of the SkyTeam alliance as well.
Airline alliances give you great opportunities to use your miles on other airlines. Keep in mind that as you earn Delta SkyMiles, you can redeem them with any of Delta’s partner airlines, which include: Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, AeroMexico, Air Europa, Air France, China Airlines, China Eastern, Czech Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, ITA Airways, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, LATAM, MEA, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and Xiamen Air.
The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card can provide great value for consumers who enjoy traveling and want perks to make their flying experience even better. But, is it the best travel-rewards credit card for you?
Select analyzed two other premium travel credit cards to see how they match up with the Delta Reserve Business Amex.
Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a solid premium travel credit card offering the ability to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, which are transferable rewards that can be redeemed with several different airline and hotel loyalty programs. The card also comes with airport lounge access through Priority Pass, comprehensive travel insurance, annual travel credits, TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credits and more.
However, you’re not able to transfer Chase points to the Delta SkyMiles loyalty program. But, you can transfer them to the Flying Blue (Air France/KLM’s loyalty program) and book Delta flights that way. It’s one extra step, but you can find some great redemptions which are potentially cheaper than booking through Delta directly.
Both cards come with a hefty $550 annual fee, but even with an identical annual fee and similar benefits, these cards serve different purposes.
If you fly primarily with Delta and aim to earn Delta medallion status, the Delta Reserve Business Amex card is probably the better fit of the two. If you prefer flexibility with the rewards you earn for your spending, and are impartial with the airline you fly, the Chase Sapphire Reserve could be a great pick for your go-to credit card.
Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express is a popular premium credit card for its long-list of benefits, including complimentary hotel elite status with Hilton and Marriott, travel credits, airport lounge access, concierge service and more. And as you spend on the card, you earn American Express Membership Rewards points, which can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Delta SkyMiles, plus 19 other partners like Air France/KLM’s Flying Blue, Air Canada Aeroplan, Marriott and British Airways.
However, the major difference is the Amex Platinum comes with an even higher annual fee of $695 (see rates and fees). But, if you use enough of the benefits you can quickly justify the cost of the annual fee.
So how should you decide between the two? The difference is how often you fly with Delta. If you fly regularly, the Delta Reserve Business Amex should be your pick as it has the Status Boost feature to help you earn status.
While the cards have similar access to Delta and Amex Centurion lounges, the Amex Platinum comes with a Priority Pass membership and less restrictions on visiting Centurion lounges. Understanding which airport lounges you’ll visit could help you select one card over the other.
If you don’t fly enough to earn status, and can justify the $145 difference in annual fee, you should strongly consider the Amex Platinum for your wallet as you will get many more benefits and opportunities to earn back the value of the annual fee.
The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card is best for small business owners who regularly fly with Delta Air Lines and their partners, and for those who value elite status on the carrier. If you’re spending tens of thousands of dollars per year on a business credit card, the Delta Reserve will reward that spending with boosts towards Delta Medallion status. Plus, the lounge access and free checked bag benefits can save you money and make your travel experience a bit more comfortable.
Additionally, this is a great card for someone who travels occasionally with others, as you’ll receive a yearly companion certificate good for domestic flights in any class of service. So if you want to pay for a first class seat, your travel companion will receive the same ticket — less taxes and fees.
The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card is the top-tier of the Delta business credit cards, and it packs a punch with its welcome offer, benefits and ability to help cardholders earn Medallion status with the airline.
But as a small business owner, it’s necessary to ensure your business is able to use a credit card responsibly. So before applying for the card, be sure to review your business’ budget and planned expenses to see if the annual fee is worth it, and the potential value that you and your business could extract from the card.
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.