That is one of the things that I love most about the Delta SkyMiles program. Another thing that I love about the program is the Delta Reserve card. You may already be familiar with some of the most compelling reasons to get onboard with the Delta Reserve card, such as free status upgrades on flights and mileage for spending activity etc. But were you also aware of these other 10 reasons to hold the Delta Reserve card?
1. Priority Boarding: Reserve cardholders get priority boarding on Delta flights. While this won’t jump you in front of passengers with disabilities, elderly and passengers traveling with small children, active military or first class ticketed passengers, it will get you above the general boarding queue. Additionally, if you’re fortunate enough to hit the Delta Diamond status with the help of your trusty Delta Reserve card then you will be able to board with ticketed first class passengers, even when you’re not holding a first class ticket.
2. No Foreign Transaction Fees: There are no foreign transaction fees when you use your Reserve card abroad. This can be particularly useful if you’ve subscribed to the Reserve card exactly for what is intended: traveling.
3. Companion Certificate: Reserve cardholders receive an annual companion certificate good for a domestic first-class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin round-trip companion ticket. While this is certainly a pro, I could just as easily move this one into the Con category of this article because I’ve come across many instances where I couldn’t use my companion tickets on flights that still had plenty of regular coach seats.
There is a cap on the number of companion passes that can be used on flights, and the number is a closely guarded secret as far as I am aware. Just be sure to check the availability for using your certs before getting too far ahead in your planning. Otherwise, your best friend might be disappointed to learn that dream vacay to the Mexican Riviera is a “no go”.
4. Complimentary Delta Sky Club Access: Reserve cardholders get complimentary access to Delta Sky Club for themselves and up to two guests. This may only be valid on days you’re traveling as a ticketed passenger with Delta, so if you’re frequently flying other airlines or your go-to airport is not a Delta hub, this may not be as useful to you.
5. SkyMiles: All purchases made with your Delta SkyMiles Reserve card will earn you three SkyMiles per dollar spent. The mileage multipliers are constantly changing so it would be best to confirm this stat prior to signing up for your Delta Reserve card, however, generally speaking it is a safe bet there will be plenty of multiplier opportunities for you with the breadth and depth of reach Delta has on partnerships.
6. Priority Baggage Handling: Reserve cardholders get their checked bags handled first. Your bags are also slated to come off the luggage carousel more quickly than your fellow passengers that don’t have their bags tagged as a Priority. If you check your bag often, this could be helpful, especially if you’re rushing at JFK or LAX to get ahead of the customs queue.
7. Waived Change Fees: Reserve cardholders are exempt from all domestic change fees. This is another point that is constantly changing with airlines, so suffice it to say to check on this rule prior to signing up for your card if this is important to you.
8. Discounts on In-Flight Purchases: Reserve cardholders receive a 20% discount on in-flight purchases. And alongside that are plenty of free drink vouchers. Mine usually end up expiring because I often get upgraded to first class, where the drinks are free anyway.
9. Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: Reserve cardholders are covered for car rental loss and damage insurance when renting a car using their Reserve card. This is a general benefit of many American Express cards but it is always peace of mind knowing you have this.
10. Extended Warranty: Reserve cardholders receive an extended warranty on eligible purchases. I’ve only ever had to use this feature once, but when you do, you’re so glad you have it.
1. $550 annual fee. This is probably the single biggest con about this card. It was raised by $100 not that long ago (you know that old story, inflation and all). If you just want to add a spouse, family member or friend to your account, you can go with a Platinum card for $175.
2. You have to do quite a bit of spending before achieving the Diamond MQD exemption level. Well, $250,000 of credit card spend to be exact, if you’re relying solely on your credit card to get you there. This threshold was raised a few years back and is probably now the single biggest reason why I usually remain at the Delta Platinum level versus making it to Delta Diamond every year.