Choosing the right credit card for your travels can sometimes feel like choosing your favorite child. But for frequent Delta flyers, we think there's a clear winner. And you won't find the name “Delta” on the card.
It's the Platinum Card® from American Express. Not to be confused with the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card, this is American Express' premium credit card, with benefits that got even sweeter after the rollout of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card at the end of 2016.
With a $695 annual fee (see rates & fees), this card isn't for everyone. But combine those perks with the relationship between American Express and Delta (which still allows you to use these points towards Delta flights) and more, and it's undeniably the most powerful card for Delta flyers.
Here are four of the top reasons why Delta flyers should pick up the American Express Platinum card.
Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Card from American Express.
Earn 5X Points on Airfare Purchases
One of the updated benefits American Express rolled out in response to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card launch was the ability to earn 5X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with the airline or through amextravel.com on up to $500,000 spent each year. This beats both the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and the co-branded Delta American Express credit cards in this category which only earn 3X points and 2x points on air travel, respectively.
Let's spell this out a bit. Let's say you book $1,000 in flights on Delta. If you were to pay with the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card, you'd earn 2,000 bonus points. But with the American Express Platinum card, you'd earn 5,000 bonus points.
That's an unbeatable return, making this card the absolute best for booking flights whether you're flying with Delta or any other airline – so long as you book direct.
Transfer Membership Rewards Points to Delta
All those extra points won't do you any good if you can't use them. You're in luck.
If flying with Delta is your top priority, you can transfer the American Express Membership Rewards points you'll earn with this card directly to your Delta SkyMiles account on a 1:1 ratio.
So using the Amex Platinum card will effectively net you 3X more Delta SkyMiles on your airfare purchases than you would receive if you use your co-branded Delta American Express credit card.
Thrifty Tip: Transfering Membership Rewards points into your Delta SkyMiles account is one of our favorite ways to earn Delta SkyMiles.
Delta is one of many great transfer partners that you can utilize with these points. So if your sights are set beyond flying Delta, you've got some amazing options.
|Program||Type||Transfer Ratio||Transfer Time|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||Airline||1:1||Instant|
|Cathay Pacific||Airline||1:1||1-7 days|
Access Delta Sky Clubs and Other Lounge Networks
One of the biggest perks of Delta's top-of-the-line Delta Reserve card is that you can get into Delta's SkyClubs. But the American Express Platinum has the same benefit.
If you are flying on Delta or a Delta-coded flight, the American Express Platinum card will get you access to the Delta SkyClub for free. You will have to pay $39 to bring any guests into the Sky Club with you, but this is still a great benefit if you often travel with Delta.
In addition to the Delta SkyClubs, the Amex Platinum card offers the best lounge access of any credit card available in the marketplace. Just for holding the card, you get access to the following lounge networks:
Amex Centurion Lounges: These are American Expresses flagship lounges and can only be accessed by Platinum cardholders. You are allowed to bring in up to two guests on each visit. There are currently Centurion lounges in Seattle (SEA), San Francisco (SFO), Las Vegas (LAS), Dallas (DFW), Houston (IAH), Miami (MIA), Philadelphia (PHL), New York (LGA) & Hong Kong (HKG).
Amex also has plans to roll these out soon in Denver (DEN), Charlotte (CLT), New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), and London (LHR) If you frequent any of these airports with any regularity, the Platinum card is a no-brainer for this reason alone.
Priority Pass: The Platinum Card from American Express also offers Priority Pass Select membership. If you are not familiar with Priority Pass, it is a network of airport lounges all over the world that are typically not affiliated with any airline. Just for holding the Platinum card, you will get free membership and be able to bring in up to two guests with you on each visit. Priority Pass will even allow you to eat at many airport restaurants.
The Escape Lounge: The Escape Lounge is quickly becoming one of my favorite airport lounges. It offers a great alternative to the Delta Sky Club at MSP. There are also domestic lounges at Oakland (OAK) and Reno-Tahoe (RNO).
Receive An Annual $200 Airline Credit
One of the many benefits offered by the American Express Platinum Card is up to an annual $200 airline credit that can be used on your selected airline each year.
The credit is meant to pay for fees such as checked bags, change or cancelation fees, taxes and fees on award tickets or lounge access.
The best part of this is that the benefit is a calendar year benefit while the annual fee on the credit card is on a cardmember year benefit. You should be able to get the $200 credit twice before having to pay the second annual fee. This certainly makes the card's $695 annual fee (see rates & fees) much easier to swallow.
See our guide on the best ways to use your annual $200 credit.
Benefits of The Platinum Card From American Express
Welcome Offer: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in purchases in your first 6 months of card membership. Make sure to see if you are eligible for the 150,000 point welcome offer.
Annual Uber Credit: Receive up to $200 for Uber rides annually. You will receive up to $15 each month to spend on Uber and up to $35 in the month of December. This can also be used on UberEats to order takeout food.
5X Membership Rewards points: on flights booked directly with the airlines or with American Express Travel, and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com on up to $500,000 spent each year.
$200 Airline Fee Credit: Receive $200 per calendar year for airline incidental fees at one airline. This will even work to purchase gift cards at certain airlines.
Lounge Access: Receive access to Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Escape Lounges, and membership in the Priority Pass Select program. This card is widely considered the best credit card for airport lounge access.
$100 Application Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: If you apply for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and pay with the Amex Platinum Card, the application cost will be reimbursed ($100 for Global Entry and $85 for TSA PreCheck). You are eligible to receive this credit once every four years.
$100 Saks Fifth Avenue Credit: Each year, you will receive two $50 credits to be used at Saks Fifth Avenue stores. One $50 credit will be available from January through June & one will be available July through December. The offer can be used both in-store and online. Read more about this here.
Hotel Status: The Platinum card offers complimentary Marriott and Hilton Honors Gold status just for being a card member.
Access to the Platinum Concierge: Receive around-the-clock assistance with travel planning and booking, shopping advice and other personal requests.
Extended Purchase Warranty: Can extend the original manufacturer's warranty for up to one extra year for eligible purchases made on your card.
Annual Fee: The personal version of the card has an annual fee of $695 which is not waived for the first year of card membership.
Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Card from American Express.
Thanks to benefits like earning 5X points on airfare purchases, Sky Club lounge access, gift card credits and the ability to transfer Membership Rewards to Delta SkyMiles, it is a no-brainer for Delta flyers to carry the Amex Platinum card. It offers a better return on spending than the Delta American Express co-branded credit cards along with many other benefits that make it a winner if you can justify the annual fee.