Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card Review
Business travel rewards cards aren't all alike and some set themselves apart from the crowd.
The is designed to offer the ultimate Delta flight experience -- largely due to a long list of premium travel perks and generous rewards.
This card is most rewarding when your business books Delta flights but you can also earn plenty of miles on everyday business spending.
The card does have a $550 annual fee, which can't be overlooked.
But, our review of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express card will show who will get the most value from the rewards and card benefits.
*See Rates & Fees. Terms apply.
Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Pros & Cons
Earn Miles Toward Delta Award Travel
The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card offers miles on every purchase, with three tiers for earning them.
Here's how rewards work at a glance:
- Earn 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases.
- After you spend $150,000 in purchases during a calendar year, earn 1.5 miles per dollar the rest of the year.
- Earn 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.
Keeping the annual fee in mind, this card may be best suited to heavier spenders who mainly charge Delta purchases.
For example, if you spend $20,000 with Delta annually you could earn 60,000 miles toward award travel.
Cardmembers can also earn Medallion Qualification Miles in the Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer program.
Miles can be redeemed for Delta award flights, seat upgrades, car rentals, merchandise, gift cards and other options, including charitable donations.
Miles don't expire so you can use them at your own pace.
You can also redeem miles for flights with these Delta travel partners:
- Aerolineas Argentinas
- Air France
- China Eastern
- China Airlines
- China Southern
- Hawaiian Airlines
- GOL through March 31, 2020*
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
- Korean Air
- Mandarin Airlines
- Middle East Airlines
- Saudia Airlines
- Shanghai Airlines
- Tarom Airlines
- Vietnam Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Virgin Australia
- Xiamen Airlines
Delta no longer publishes an award chart so it can be difficult to gauge what miles are worth.
But generally, you can squeeze 1 to 2 cents in value per mile when using them to book flights.
Top-Tier Travel Perks
The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card edges ahead of other travel rewards cards when it comes to perks.
Here's a closer look at some of the card's most attractive benefits.
Complimentary lounge access
As a cardmember, you enjoy complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying with Delta. Plus you'll get two one-time guest passes for Delta Sky Club you can use for traveling companions each year.
Typically, a one-time pass costs $59.
You can also get complimentary access to The Centurion Lounge when booking Delta flights with your card.
When you renew your card each year, you automatically get a free companion certificate.
The certificate is good toward a round-trip Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort or Main Cabin fare. Taxes and fees still apply.
This perk alone is worth the card's annual fee.
Status boost allows you to earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles in the Delta SkyMiles program after making $30,000 purchases on your card in a calendar year.
You can get a boost up to four times per year to qualify for Medallion Status.
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit
This card offers up to a $100 fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
You can use this benefit once every four years for Global Entry membership or once every four and half years for TSA PreCheck.
First checked bag free and priority boarding
The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card includes your first checked bag free.
That can save you up to $60 per ticket on round-trip flights. The first checked bag free benefit is also free for up to nine passengers flying on the same reservation.
Cardmembers enjoy Main Cabin 1 priority boarding on Delta flights. This benefit is also extended to up to nine passengers booked on the same reservation.
All of these benefits make the card more valuable and help to offset the $550 annual fee.
What Else Do You Get With the Card?
The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card does have some other benefits you might appreciate.
- Car rental loss and damage insurance
- Baggage insurance plan
- Global Assist Hotline access
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
- Amex Offers
- Dispute resolution
- Expense and account management tools
- Extended warranty protection
- Purchase protection
Each of these benefits can be useful for managing business travel and everyday spending.
The most obvious fee to consider is the annual fee. At $550 (see Rates & Fees; terms apply), it's one of the more expensive business travel rewards options.
Whether the fee makes sense for you depends on how often you travel and how much you spend with Delta each year.
If you regularly fly Delta and you don't mind paying a little more to get all the extras this card comes with, it could be well worth it.
Compared to Similar Business Credit Cards
The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card is just one of several premium travel rewards cards you might consider.
Take a look at these other card options for earning travel rewards.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
*See Rates & Fees. Terms apply.
The rewards you with three miles per dollar on Delta purchases and purchases booked directly with hotels.
Purchases over $5,000 earn 1.5 miles per dollar, up to 50,000 additional miles per year.
Other eligible purchases earn one mile per dollar. When you meet the spending requirement, you can earn an outstanding introductory welcome bonus that could help you bank some extra miles.
Card benefits include a Delta companion certificate, priority boarding, free checked bags and discounts on eligible in-flight purchases. The card has a $250 annual fee (see Rates & Fees; terms apply).
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
*See Rates & Fees. Terms apply.
The offers five Membership Rewards points per dollar on flights and hotels booked through amextravel.com.
Purchases over $5,000 earn 1.5 points per dollar, up to 50,000 additional points per year. Other eligible purchases earn one point per dollar.
You can also get 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more and get 35% of your points back when you redeem them for travel. This card comes with premium benefits such as a $200 airline fee credit, American Express Global Lounge Collection access and up to a $100 fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
The annual fee is currently $695 (see Rates & Fees; terms apply), however.
That makes it a little more expensive than the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card. But you have the flexibility of earning more points on airlines other than Delta.
American Express® Business Gold Card
*See Rates & Fees. Terms apply.
The offers rewards tailored to your spending.
With this card, you earn four Membership Rewards points per dollar in the two categories your business spends the most in each month.
The list includes these categories:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
- U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- U.S. purchases for shipping
You earn the four points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each year. After that, you earn one point per dollar. All other purchases also earn one point per dollar.
The annual fee is a little bit less than the Delta SkyMiles Reserve card, at $295 (see Rates & Fees; terms apply).
Business Credit Cards vs. Personal Credit Cards
Business and personal credit cards may look alike but they're not the same.
With a business card, you're charging business purchases and earning rewards tailored to those purchases. So for example, you might be earning miles on business travel or cash back at office supply stores.
A personal card, on the other hand, is more likely to reward you for personal travel or everyday spending. So you might earn points or cash back on groceries and gas.
Business and personal cards also differ when it comes to fees, APRs and terms and conditions. A business card can offer benefits for businesses, such as accounting tools or business airport lounge access. Personal cards offer perks that cater to the everyday consumer or traveler.
Finally, business and personal credit cards vary in terms of fraud protections and credit reporting. A business credit card account can be reported on your business credit history while a personal card would show up on your personal credit report.
Applying for a business credit card
The process for applying for a business credit card is very similar to applying for a personal card. To apply, you'll need to give the credit card company:
- Your name
- Your business name
- Social security number or employer identification number
- Address information
- Personal income
- Business revenue
- Number of employees
- Years in business
- Business type
If you need to get a business credit card but you don't have any revenue yet because your venture is new, don't panic. You could still be approved, based on your personal credit score and income information.
You could apply for a business credit card using an employer identification number (EIN) in place of a social security number. But your social security number is needed to get an EIN.
The may work well for business travelers who prefer Delta and are comfortable paying a higher annual fee.
The card benefits can help to offset the fee, along with the miles you can earn on purchases.
You may want to try a different card if you don't fly Delta as often or you don't think you'd use all of the card's perks.
Overall, this card is suited to business owners that spend frequently and want to enjoy an upgraded travel experience.
See the rates & fees for the mentioned American Express cards: Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card (Rates & Fees; terms apply), Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card (Rates & Fees; terms apply), The Business Platinum Card from American Express (Rates & Fees; terms apply) and American Express Business Gold Card (Rates & Fees; terms apply).