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It’s Gone: Delta’s Limited-Edition Reserve Card … Made From 747 Metal!

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Editors Note: The Limited Edition Boeing 747 Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card design was available while supplies lasted through August 3, 2022, and is no longer offered at this time.

You think travel credit cards made of thick metal are cool? Try a card made out of metal from an old plane.

Delta in June unveiled one of the coolest looking limited-edition credit cards we've ever seen: A sleek, black Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card card made with metal from one of its retired Boeing 747s. It's emblazoned with the silhouette of the Queen of the Skies as well as some statistics about the majestic plane. Just look at this.


delta skymiles reserve card boeing 747


That new 747 design is part of a broader summer splash with some massive new bonuses on each of Delta SkyMiles American Express cards – including a whopping 100,000-mile bonus after spending $5,000 in three months on the Reserve. But if you want it in your wallet, you'll have to hurry: The bigger bonuses and limited-edition design will disappear this Wednesday, Aug. 3.

After initially making it available to both new and existing cardholders, Delta and American Express now only allow new applicants for the Reserve card to get this new design.

Let's be clear: Credit cards are serious business. You should never apply for a credit card if you're already in debt, and never charge more to a credit card than you can afford to pay off immediately. And of all the reasons to apply for a new credit card, the way it looks is at the bottom of the list.

That said … there's no denying this is pretty darn cool. It looks just as good in the flesh as it does in fancy mockup images – maybe even better.


delta reserve limited edition card


Delta retired its Boeing 747s back in 2017, ditching the iconic double-decker plane in favor of a new generation of fuel-efficient wide body planes to connect the world. The card itself is made from 25% metal from one old Delta 747: N667US, which originally belonged to Minnesota-based Northwest Airlines until the two airlines merged in 2008. It flew a total of 68 million miles from the time it entered service in 1990 until its last flight on Nov. 18, 2017.

Here's a shot of the very Northwest 747-400, before it was re-painted and re-configured for Delta, that will now find a spot in travelers' wallets.


northwest boeing 747
Photo courtesy of Eddie Maloney via Flickr


“The idea of making a metal credit card out of actual airplane metal began years ago, and the creativity and innovation that was required to achieve this is incredibly meaningful,” Dwight James, Delta's senior vice president of customer engagement and loyalty and the CEO of Delta Vacations, said in a statement back when this card first launched. “We’ve partnered with Amex to transform a piece of Delta’s history into a collector’s item you can use in your everyday. The 747’s legacy lives on for a new generation of Delta flyers through this first-of-its-kind credit card that our members will be proud to keep in their wallets.”


About the Delta Reserve Card

The Reserve Card is Delta's top card, but that doesn't mean it's the best card for Delta flyers.

It depends on what you need. The Reserve is best for ultra-frequent Delta flyers who want Sky Club access and to climb the rungs of Delta Medallion Status. And at $650 a year (see rates & fees), it's not for everyone.

Beyond lounge access, you also get an annual companion certificate on any Delta flight within the continental U.S., including first class. It also has all the usual card perks you get from other Delta products, like free baggage, priority boarding, and more. But if you're just in the market to earn a bunch of Delta SkyMiles, you're probably better off with a different Delta credit card.

Instead, the real value of the Delta Reserve Card is in the chase for status … and you need to spend a lot of money to make that happen.

With status boost, you can get 15,000 MQMs by spending $30,000 throughout the year. That’s almost enough to automatically get Delta Silver Medallion Status without taking a single flight. You can repeat that by spending $60,000, $90,000 and $120,000 as well. That’s enough to spend your way to Gold Medallion Status without taking a single flight. 

If this is all making your head spin and you don’t understand or care about status with Delta, move along. If you don’t value status, or can’t spend that much money to unlock it, this card isn’t really worth the annual fee of $650.


Full Benefits of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

    • bonus_miles_full
    • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight – savings of at least $60 on each round-trip flight, per person
    • Priority boarding (even with a basic economy ticket)
    • Get unlimited complimentary Delta Sky Club access when flying Delta, through Jan. 31, 2025. Beginning Feb. 1, 2025, you'll be limited to 15 Sky Club visits per year, unless you spend $75,000 or more on your card in a calendar year.
      • You also get four free guest passes and can bring up to two guests in at a time. After that, each guest visit will cost an additional $50.
    • Complimentary access to the American Express Centurion Lounges when you are flying Delta on a ticket purchased with your Reserve card
    • Get a economy, Delta Comfort Plus, and first class companion certificate to destinations throughout the U.S. (including Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico) as well as many destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America, each year upon card renewal
    • MQD Headstart: Get a head start on earning Medallion status with an automatic 2,500 Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) each year (beginning Feb. 1, 2024)
    • Earn 1 MQD for every $10 you spend on your card
    • Earn 3x SkyMiles per dollar spent on Delta purchases
    • Earn 1x SkyMiles per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases
    • Up to a $200 Delta Stays credit: Earn up to $200 in statement credits each year when you make a Delta Stays prepaid hotel or vacation rental booking on the Delta Stays platform.
    • Up to a $120 Rideshare Credit: Get up to $120 in statement credits (doled out in $10 monthly installments) a year when you use your card to pay for a ride with Uber, Lyft, Curb, Revel, or Alto.
    • Up to a $240 Resy Credit: Get up to $240 in statement credits each year (doled out in $20 chunks each month) when you use your card to pay for eligible purchases on Resy, Amex's restaurant reservation platform. This is also a use-it-or-lose-it benefit: Any unused balance won't roll over to the following month.
    • Get up to a $100 credit to cover the cost for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck once every 4.5 years for the application fee for TSA PreCheck® and every 4 years for Global Entry
    • Complimentary space-available upgrades, even for non-Medallion members. A great way to improve your upgrade chances.
    • Get 15% off SkyMiles award tickets with TakeOff 15 when booking on delta.com or through the Fly Delta app
    • Hertz President's Circle Status: Receive complimentary top-tier Hertz President's Circle elite status upon enrollment.
    • Enjoy 20% off in-flight purchases such as food & drinks in the form of a statement credit
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • $650 annual fee (See rates & fees)


delta reserve card

Learn more about the *delta reserve card*.


Bottom Line

A travel credit card made after aviation geeks' hearts!

We've seen other airlines and credit card companies roll out limited-edition designs, but this one takes the cake. It's not just a credit card: It's a piece of history.

But this new design (and a massive 100,000-SkyMiles bonus) is only available through Wednesday, Aug. 3. So if (and only if) you've had the Reserve card in mind, now's the time to act.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

11 Responses

  • Hiya! Bonuses for the card are 15,000 MQMs per each $30K in card spend. 18,750 was the “extra bonus” during Covid. I confirmed the MQMs I have eaten this year. I hope that helps!

  • I read your article this morning and went immediately to my Amex app and ordered the new design 🤣 it’ll be here next week!

  • Only downside is that it still earns SkyMiles which is arguably the worst loyalty currency of any program in the world. I think until Delta apologizes for its disingenuous removal of their award chart and general failure to deliver value in exchange for our hard-earned points, I can’t see myself wanting to further support this charade of a loyalty program. I rank it very closely ahead of American Express and it’s theft of cash value out of customer accounts after it previously told everyone that their American Express Platinum cards would get them a cash value of $0.02 per point when used for travel and then came in one day and looked at the cash value sitting in everyone’s bank accounts and said the terms and conditions allow us to steal this from you. As I always say to these companies that cheat by the terms and conditions, once you’ve gone to the fine print you’ve already lost.

  • For those that already have this card any idea what the process is to change it to this new design? Thanks

  • I’ve had a Delta Reserve card since they started the program and had an Amex since 2006. Called to ask for this card and the representative told me it was not available for existing customers at that time, only new customers. Very stupid and short sighted to prioritize new customers over long term, loyal customers.

    • 100%… I called back in late June and requested the new design (I’m an existing Delta Amex Reserve cardholder)… they said yes, no problem, you are eligible as an existing cardholder for the 747 card. They sent out a normal (not 747 design) card… Called back and explained and was informed that existing cardholders are no longer eligible to receive 747 design card… but were when I ordered the new card… frustrating to say the least.

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