American Express Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card – Review
The Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card is reserved (no pun intended) for loyal Delta business travelers who like to travel in style and don’t mind paying the $450 annual fee. It’s a perennial contender for inclusion on our best small business credit cards list. For the relative handful of business travelers who can afford to carry it in their wallets, it’s worthy of honorary inclusion in our best travel rewards credit cards list too.
Delta Reserve for Business is similar to the original Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express, which is designed for consumers. Like the consumer version, it offers complimentary and unlimited access to Delta Sky Club airport lounges for the primary cardholder. It offers a big boost toward exalted Delta Medallion status, with even juicier rewards for big spenders. And it offers a complimentary companion airfare ticket (less taxes and fees) on every cardmember anniversary – perfect for cardholders who don’t like to travel alone.
Other popular, exclusive American Express business credit cards and charge cards include The Business Platinum Card from American Express, the Business Rewards Gold Card from American Express, and the Plum Card from American Express, to name a few.
Think Delta Reserve for Business is the perfect card for your business spending (and travel) needs? Read on to learn more about this exclusive opportunity.
Earn 10,000 bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40,000 bonus SkyMiles when you spend at least $3,000 in eligible purchases during the first 3 months your account is open.
Delta Reserve for Business’ most generous benefits involve the Delta Medallion status program, which has a bevy of perks designed to increase comfort and convenience for frequent Delta flyers: accelerated MQM and SkyMiles earnings, complimentary preferred seating and class upgrades, priority boarding, waived baggage fees, and more.
The program has four distinct tiers: Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. As you ascend the tiers, the benefits get better: Diamond status, the highest tier, includes two Global Entry application vouchers, complimentary Sky Club membership, Medallion status gifting privileges, and more.
To reach each successive Medallion status level, you need to combine Medallion Qualification Miles (actual flight miles calculated as a multiple of total flight distance – 200% of first-class flight distance and 100% of economy flight distance, but sometimes more or less) or Medallion Qualification Segments (any Delta flight segment, meaning multi-leg one-way flights count as multiple segments) and Medallion Qualification Dollars (base fares, surcharges, and certain upgrades, but usually not taxes or fees) within a single calendar year.
After reaching a given Medallion status threshold, you retain that status for the remainder of the current year and the entire year following.
The status thresholds are:
Delta Reserve for Business earns unlimited 2 Delta SkyMiles for every $1 spent on eligible Delta purchases. All other eligible purchases earn an unlimited 1 SkyMile per $1 spent, with no caps or restrictions on how much you can earn or spend.
The best way to redeem your accumulated SkyMiles is for Delta airfare. Domestic economy one-ways within the continental United States typically require at least 10,000 SkyMiles, but bear in mind that Delta’s redemption tables are subject to change over time. Longer flights within certain regions (for instance, New York to Los Angeles, as opposed to Minneapolis to Detroit) and high-demand flights (such as spring break journeys to popular vacation destinations) require more SkyMiles.
SkyMiles’ redemption values fluctuate considerably depending on the route, time of week, time of day, and other factors. As a rule, expect your miles to be worth between $0.005 to $0.02 at redemption.
When you use your card to make at least $30,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year, you receive 15,000 bonus MQMs and 15,000 bonus SkyMiles. When you make an additional $30,000 in eligible purchases in the same calendar year ($60,000 in total annual purchase spending), you earn an additional 15,000 MQMs and 15,000 SkyMiles. That equates to a total potential spending bonus of 30,000 MQMs and 30,000 SkyMiles simply for spending heavily on this card.
Put another way, when you spend $60,000 in a calendar year, you automatically earn a Medallion level upgrade with no spending required, plus enough SkyMiles to cover the cost of three one-way award flights on low-cost itineraries.
When you spend at least $25,000 in a calendar year, you earn a Medallion Qualification Dollar waiver. This eliminates the need to reach the normal MQD threshold needed to qualify for a given Medallion status level. Instead, you can achieve the same status level with MQMs or MQSs alone. For instance, with the waiver, you automatically earn Platinum status as soon as you earn 75,000 MQMs in a travel year, and the $9,000 MQD threshold becomes irrelevant.
Standard travel benefits include:
This card has some additional non-Delta travel benefits underwritten by American Express. They include complimentary baggage insurance for lost, stolen, or damaged luggage; 24/7 concierge service exclusively for Delta Reserve for Business cardholders; 24/7 roadside assistance; complimentary loss and damage insurance for rental cars paid in full with the Reserve card; 24/7 global assistance for travelers more than 100 miles from home; and accidental death and dismemberment travel insurance.
The Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card has a nice lineup of shopping benefits underwritten by American Express. The most noteworthy include extended warranties of up to one year on certain items with original warranties of five years or less and purchase protection (reimbursement) for broken or stolen items within three months of purchase.
Delta Reserve for Business has a $450 annual fee. There is no foreign transaction fee. Cash advances cost the greater of $5 or 3%. Late and returned payments both cost up to $38. Terms and conditions apply; see rates & fees.
This card requires good to excellent credit.
Even if you live close to a Delta or partner hub, the Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card might not be appropriate for your needs. After all, while virtually every U.S. air traveler has at least considered flying Delta at some point, only a small handful have walked into a Sky Club lounge or availed themselves of the lavish perks available only to Diamond Medallion status members.
Unless you’re a frequent business traveler who enjoys (and wants your employees to enjoy) the very best in commercial airline service, Delta Reserve for Business probably isn’t your ideal travel rewards credit card. But don’t despair – there are plenty of lower-cost business travel cards that offer a great compromise between tangible benefits and everyday value.
The Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card is ideal for discerning business travelers who value complimentary airport lounge access, exalted frequent flyer status, and annual companion fares that turn first-class dreams into everyday realities. Of course, those benefits come at a hefty price: a $450 annual fee. If you fly Delta infrequently or simply don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with this card, it’s probably not worth the sticker price. Otherwise, it’s a no-brainer.
Key benefits include super-fast progress toward elevated Medallion statuses, complimentary access to Sky Club lounges, annual companion certificate with first-class privileges, easily attainable welcome offer, and no foreign transaction fee.
Big drawbacks include the hefty annual fee, slow SkyMiles accumulation on non-Delta spending, no air travel or partner credits, airfare rewards and redemption limited to Delta, and poor redemption values at the SkyMiles MarketPlace.
Overall, this is an excellent card for devoted Delta business flyers who like to travel in style and bring friends along for the ride.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.
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American Express Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card – Review
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