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Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card Review

Offering complimentary Delta Sky Club® access, an annual opportunity for bonus miles and bonus MQMs, and even more perks and rewards-earning chances, this luxury card could be a great fit for the Delta-loyal business.
 CardRatings Senior Manager  | Updated

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Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
Our Rating:   
Good, Excellent
on American Express's secure website

CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

  • Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Wait for your flight in comfort with complimentary access to Delta Sky Club® and The Centurion Lounge when flying on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight and booking your flight on a U.S.-issued American Express credit card.
  • Earn three miles per $1 spent on Delta purchases.
  • This card is designed for businesses with a deep loyalty to Delta. To fully offset that steep annual fee, you'll need to put the Delta-specific perks to good use and you'll definitely want to spend enough on the card to earn those annual bonus miles and bonus MQMs.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card Essentials

Frequent travel for business can be a grind. The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card offers several ways to make the experience both more enjoyable and even, believe it or not, rewarding. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card is well-suited for companies that do high-volume travel, prefer to do it with Delta Airlines and appreciate a fair amount of comfort when they do.

The ball gets rolling quickly with an offer that features 45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification® Miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. That alone is a HUGE welcome offer opportunity that can give new cardholders a big jump start toward Silver Medallion® elite status (achieved at 25,000 MQMs). Any frequent traveler knows that frequent flyer miles are fantastic, but the real value comes from the status miles you earn which is usually based on the number of flights you take or the total amount of money you spend with the airline in a given time period. Having the opportunity to earn status miles as part of your welcome offer is an enticing feature.

On an ongoing basis, you earn three miles for every $1 spent directly with Delta and one mile per $1 spent on other qualifying purchases. Miles can be redeemed for flights, seat upgrades, gift cards or shopping.

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card also offers a Status Boost™ opportunity through which you earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 on purchases on your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card in a calendar year (up to four times per year).

Even though the annual fee is steep at $550, it could be largely offset with the various perks and features, not to mention the rewards you can earn, including complimentary access to Delta Sky Club® as well as to The Centurion Lounge (you must book your flight on an eligible U.S.-issued American Express card) when flying on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight, priority boarding, your first bag checked free, as well as 24/7 concierge service and no fee for foreign transactions. See Rates and Fees.

Top Features

 Rewards
After you spend $150,000 on your Card in a calendar year, you earn 1.5 Miles per dollar (that's an extra half mile per dollar) on eligible purchases the rest of the year. Eligible purchases after spending $150,000 do not include Delta purchases. Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta.
 Bonus Rewards
Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months.
 Annual Fee

What Our Editors Like Most About the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

Who doesn't love upgrades, free travel and exclusive access? The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card is loaded with all three.

Earning 45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (spend $4,000 in your first three months) is a nice perk. And don't forget to look forward to the other perks and features that come with being a cardholder.

For a business that relies on frequent travel, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card affords the opportunity to rack up miles in the Delta SkyMiles® frequent flyer program very quickly. Three miles for every $1 spent with Delta and one mile for every $1 spent on other qualified purchases is very enticing, but it's the Status Boost™ opportunity that really piques our interest: spend $30,000 on your card in a calendar year and you'll receive 15,000 bonus MQMs up to four times a year.

For those who enjoy receiving special treatment, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card provides complimentary access to Delta Sky Club® lounges and The Centurion Lounge any time you fly with Delta. You also receive priority boarding and, just to add to the money-saving perks, your first checked bag on Delta flights is free.

Using the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card for all your Delta travel and related purchases can help you earn even more perks and upgrades as those annual MQM bonus opportunities will move you into higher tiers of the Delta Medallion Program.

As an added little bonus, you enjoy a 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases (in the form of a statement credit on your card).

Potential Downsides of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card has an annual fee of $550. That's a significant investment unless you know you will be doing enough travel to make it worthwhile. Keep in mind that the lounge access and miles you could earn should go a long way toward offsetting that.

And, as with any airline reward redemption, you will be responsible for paying the taxes and fees on the flight even if you have enough miles to cover the full cost.

How the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card Compares to Other Travel Rewards Cards

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card vs. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Learn More

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a more general rewards card that functions on American Express' Membership Rewards® program. That flexibility comes with an annual fee of $595. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is currently featuring a welcome offer opportunity of 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first three months of card membership. For reference, that bonus alone could be worth more than $750 in flights given that you can receive 35 percent of your points back (up to 500,000 points a year) when you Pay with Points for a first- or business-class flight on any airline (or any class flight on your pre-selected airline) through amextravel.com. The catch with this bonus offer, of course, is the high spending threshold you have to meet in order to earn those points. See Rates and Fees.

In terms of earning rewards on an ongoing basis, the Delta card focuses on, well, Delta. The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card offers three miles for every $1 spent with Delta; whereas, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has more general earning options for travelers, including five points for every $1 spent on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com.

Both cards offer one mile (or point) for each $1 spent on additional qualifying purchases, but The Business Platinum Card® from American Express also rewards you with 1.5 points per $1 on purchases of $5,000 or more, allowing you to earn up to 1 million extra points per year. With the Delta card, you'll earn 1.5 miles per $1 spent on every purchase (except Delta purchases) after spending $150,000 on your card in a year.

Additionally, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has you select one qualifying airline at the start of each year and then you can qualify for a reimbursement of up to $200 per year for incidental expenses such as checked bags and in-flight drinks with that pre-selected airline.

And, really, flexibility is the key difference between these cards. Both offer luxury treatment like access to airport lounges and more, but if you aren’t loyal to the Delta brand you could find more value with The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card vs. Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Citi<sup>®</sup> / AAdvantage<sup>®</sup> Executive World Elite<sup>™</sup> Mastercard<sup>®</sup>

Learn More

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is offering 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending at least $5,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening (Citi is a CardRatings advertiser).

Again, both cards carry higher-than-typical annual fees and, as we'll see, both offer similar luxury perks for their respective airlines.

The cards have similar rewards programs, with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card connected to Delta SkyMiles® and the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® connected to American Airlines AAdvantage® miles; however, the American Airlines card offers two miles for every $1 spent on eligible purchases with the airline, while the Delta card offers three miles. Both cards offer access to exclusive "members only" airport lounges (though guests traveling with you can accompany you free of charge into the American Airlines Admirals Club® lounges with that card and you'll pay for your guests with the Delta card) and both offer cardholders priority boarding and a free checked bag.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card vs. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Learn More

While the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card is perfectly suited for companies that do frequent business traveling, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is designed for a wide range of business expenditures that could include travel or cash back.

The other big difference is in the annual fees. The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card has an annual fee of $550, compared to just $95 per year for the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card offers 100,000 Ultimate Rewards® points for spending at least $15,000 in qualifying purchases over the first three months – those points are worth up to $1,250 since your points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards® portal.

In fact, the overall miles/points systems for the two cards are very different. The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card gives three miles for every $1 spent with Delta Airlines and one mile per $1 on all other qualifying purchases. The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card offers three points for every $1 (up to $150,000 spent per year) on shipping; advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines; travel; and internet, cable and phone services. You'll also earn one point per $1 on all your other purchases.

What you won't get with the Chase card is the luxury treatment or the rewards for your brand-loyalty – though you also won't be paying an above-average annual fee to carry the card.

Who Should Get This Card?

If you and your company do a great deal of traveling for business and if Delta is your airline of choice, this is a card you should certainly consider having in your wallet. It's scope of benefits is admittedly narrow, and it isn't designed for just any cardholder. But it's luxury perks and rewards with Delta could save the right business quite a lot of money.

To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured in this post, please visit the following links: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (See Rates and Fees); Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card (See Rates and Fees)

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card Compared to Other Travel rewards Cards

Apply online for Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Apply online for Citi<sup>®</sup> / AAdvantage<sup>®</sup> Platinum Select<sup>®</sup> World Elite<sup>™</sup> Mastercard<sup>®</sup>
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
Apply online for American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp<sup>℠</sup> Card
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card
Rewards
After you spend $150,000 on your Card in a calendar year, you earn 1.5 Miles per dollar (that's an extra half mile per dollar) on eligible purchases the rest of the year. Eligible purchases after spending $150,000 do not include Delta purchases. Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. 
Rewards
2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. 
Rewards
3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees. 
Rewards
Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants. Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases 
Rewards
Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services. Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases 
Bonus Rewards
Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months. 
Bonus Rewards
Earn 100,000 Miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months.  
Bonus Rewards
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®  
Bonus Rewards
Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening  
Bonus Rewards
Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.  
Annual Fee
$550 
Annual Fee
$95 
Annual Fee
$550 
Annual Fee
$99, waived for first 12 months 
Annual Fee
$0 

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