Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express – Review

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express is an airline credit card for frequent Delta flyers who like to travel in comfort and style. The rewards scheme is similar to the Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express, with the important addition of a loyalty component that accelerates heavy spenders’ progress toward Delta’s coveted Medallion status tiers.

Used properly, the Medallion benefit can be incredibly valuable, and arguably alone makes Platinum Delta SkyMiles worthwhile. Aside from the rewards program, this card has a host of generous perks and benefits that collectively outshine those of many competing cards.

On the other hand, Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business’s generous travel rewards come at a price: a $195 annual fee, charged from the first year onward. If you don’t take ample advantage of this card’s rewards and benefits, it may wind up costing more than it’s worth. On the other hand, if you use this card as it’s meant to be used, you’ll reap the rewards (literally).

Earn 5,000 bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) (which count toward Delta’s Medallion loyalty status) and 35,000 bonus Delta SkyMiles (redeemable for award airfare and more) after you spend at least $1,000 in purchases on your card within 3 months of opening your account.

You’ll also earn a $100 statement credit when you make a Delta purchase with your card within the first 3 months.

Prospective Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business cardholders need to understand how Delta’s Medallion status program works.

The program has four tiers: Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. All are designed to reward frequent Delta flyers with benefits such as priority boarding, waived fees (such as baggage and standby fees), complimentary class and preferred seating upgrades, and accelerated MQM and SkyMiles earnings. Benefit generosity increases with each status tier, with Diamond members enjoying complimentary Delta Sky Club membership and two complimentary Global Entry application vouchers.

To achieve these tiers, you need to earn requisite combinations of MQMs (multiples of total flight distance flown on each flight, usually 100% of distance flown on economy flights and 200% of distance flown in first class) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs, or Delta flight segments) and Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs, or certain fare dollars spent with Delta: base fares, surcharges, and some upgrades) within a calendar year. Once earned, Medallion status remains in force for the remainder of the current year and the entire following year.

Status level requirements are as follows:

All eligible Delta purchases (airfare, in-flight purchases, Sky Club airport lounge passes, and other incidental expenditures) earn unlimited 2 Delta SkyMiles per $1 spent. All other eligible purchases earn 1 SkyMile per $1 spent, also with no limits.

The best way to redeem your SkyMiles is for Delta airfare. Redemption thresholds generally start at 10,000 SkyMiles for certain domestic economy one-ways, or 12,500 SkyMiles for a wider range of domestic flights on flexible travel dates. However, redemption requirements are subject to change, and some travel times, dates, and destinations (such as peak-season weekend flights to popular vacation destinations) require more SkyMiles.

SkyMiles’ redemption values vary, generally falling between $0.005 to $0.02 per mile at redemption, but sometimes higher or lower. Delta’s new Pay With Miles feature, an exclusive benefit for Gold and Platinum Delta SkyMiles cardholders, lets you use SkyMiles for partial airfare redemptions and pay the remainder of the ticket value with cash. Such redemptions always value SkyMiles at $0.01 each and require at least 5,000 SkyMiles – for example, a 5,000-SkyMile Pay With Miles redemption produces a $50 fare reduction.

You can also redeem SkyMiles at the Delta SkyMiles MarketPlace for merchandise, special experiences (such as musical performances), and gift cards. Miles redeemed for MarketPlace purchases are usually worth less than miles redeemed for airfare – in some cases, far less than $0.01 apiece. On the bright side, MarketPlace redemption sometimes require as few as 2,000 SkyMiles.

Every year your card account remains open and in good standing, you receive one companion certificate. Companion certificates can be redeemed for one domestic economy round-trip fare, provided the flyer travels with the primary cardholder and both tickets (or, in the companion fare’s case, government taxes and fees) are purchased with the primary cardholder’s Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business card.

If you charge at least $25,000 to your card in a calendar year, you receive 10,000 bonus SkyMiles and 10,000 bonus Medallion Qualifying Miles. If you charge at least $50,000 within a calendar year, you get another 10,000 SkyMiles and 10,000 MQMs. This equates to a total annual spending bonus of 20,000 SkyMiles and 20,000 MQMs.

If you earn enough MQMs or Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQSs) to reach a given Medallion status level and spend at least $25,000 in the same calendar year, Delta waives the Medallion Qualifying Dollar requirements for that tier. For example, if you earn 75,000 MQMs – enough to qualify for Platinum Medallion status – you don’t need the $9,000 MQDs normally required to actually earn Platinum status.

In addition to the companion certificate benefit, Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business has other valuable Delta travel benefits:

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business’s additional travel benefits, all underwritten by American Express, include:

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business has some useful shopping benefits underwritten by American Express, including purchase protection (reimbursement) for items broken or stolen within 3 months of purchase and up to one-year extended warranties on items with original warranties of five years or less.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business has some non-travel benefits for business owners, including:

There is a $195 annual 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 and fees.

This card requires good to excellent credit.

Many U.S. business owners live close to an airport served by Delta, a huge airline with three principal U.S. hubs, several major “focus” cities, and hundreds of domestic and international destinations. If you’re one of them, you probably won’t have trouble earning and redeeming SkyMiles with the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express.

On the other hand, if you don’t live near a Delta airport, another business travel credit card (perhaps a more general card, such as Capital One Spark Miles) is probably a better bet. And, if your credit isn’t in excellent shape or you’re just not sure you’ll earn rewards fast enough to offset this card’s annual fee, a less costly (and less generous) card is likely to suit you better.

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express is ideal for heavy-spending business owners who want to speed their progress toward Delta Medallion status, which confers progressively more generous benefits such as complimentary class upgrades, waived fees, and accelerated mileage earnings on Delta flights. It’s not great for business owners who don’t spend (and earn rewards) fast enough to offset the $195 annual fee, nor those who want the flexibility to travel with other airlines or redeem travel rewards with a wider variety of travel merchants.

Accelerated Medallion status, a great welcome offer, a companion certificate every year, discounted airport lounge access for up to two companions, OPEN Savings benefits, SkyMiles bonuses for heavy spenders, and Delta and travel benefits are all great. High annual fee, poor value on non-airfare rewards, and poor non-Delta rewards accumulation rate hurt. Overall, this card is great for business owners who regularly fly with (and spend heavily with) Delta.

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.

Categories: American Express Business, Credit and Debt, Credit Cards, Reviews, Small Business

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.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses 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.

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