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Big Delta Amex credit card changes (improved companion certs, increased annual fees and more)

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While you were sleeping, six airline credit cards were under the knife receiving serious makeovers.

The Delta SkyMiles Gold, Delta SkyMiles Platinum, and Delta SkyMiles Reserve credit card variants now come with hundreds of dollars in additional statement credits and enhanced benefits. Joining these positive changes are higher annual fees. Let’s take a look at these fresh Delta credit cards to help you decide if they’re better or worse than before for your travel style.

Delta credit card changes

Additional statement credits

All six annual fee-incurring Delta credit cards have received new statement credits that skyrocket their potential annual value. They include: 

  • More valuable Delta Flight Credits to be used on Delta flights.
  • “Stay Credit” to offset prepaid hotels booked through Delta.
  • “Rideshare Credit,” which you can redeem with Uber, Lyft, and other partners.
  • “Resy Credit” for discounted meals at participating U.S. Resy restaurants.

Below are the new credits you’ll get with each of these cards.

Delta Credit Card New or improved credits
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card $200 Delta Flight Credit after spending $10,000 on purchases within a calendar year (up from $100)

up to $100 Delta Stay Credit

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card $200 Delta Flight Credit after spending $10,000 on purchases within a calendar year (up from $100)

up to $150 Delta Stay Credit

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card up to $120 Resy Credit ($10 per month)

up to $120 Rideshare Credit ($10 per month)

up to $150 Delta Stay Credit

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card up to $120 Resy Credit ($10 per month)

up to $120 Rideshare Credit ($10 per month)

up to $200 Delta Stay Credit

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card up to $240 Resy Credit ($20 per month)

up to $120 Rideshare Credit ($10 per month)

up to $200 Delta Stay Credit

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card up to $240 Resy Credit ($20 per month)

up to $120 Rideshare Credit ($10 per month)

up to $250 Delta Stay Credit

Also of note: Delta SkyMiles Platinum cards now receive Hertz Five-Star elite status, while Delta SkyMiles Reserve cards receive top-tier Hertz President’s Circle elite status. These come with perks like a wider vehicle selection and rental upgrades when available.

Improved companion certificate

Each cardmember anniversary, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Delta SkyMiles Reserve personal and small business credit cards receive a Companion Certificate that allows you to bring along a travel buddy on a round-trip Delta-operated flight for just the cost of taxes and fees (maximum $80). Previously, this Companion Certificate was only valid for travel within the Continental U.S. But you can now use it for flights to Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Central America, as well.

To boot, all credit cards now allow you to book Delta first class and Delta Comfort+ in addition to Main Cabin seats (a privilege that was formerly an exclusive benefit of Delta SkyMiles Reserve cards).

These are massive upgrades that take an already excellent money-saving perk to the next level. You could quite easily save over $1,000 in airfare, depending on your route.

Fast track to elite status

The new elite status benefits touted by Delta credit cards are no secret. Delta announced these changes months ago — but only now are they kicking in. If you’ve got Delta elite status aspiration, you’ll love these changes.

First, all Delta Platinum and Reserve credit card variants receive an “MQD Headstart” — that is, $2,500 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQDs) each year on February 1 (the beginning of the qualifying elite status year). If you hold more than one of these credit cards, you’ll receive multiple MQD Headstarts. In other words, it’s possible to receive up to $10,000 MQDs automatically each year.

The above Delta credit cards are also eligible to earn MQDs from everyday spending. You’ll receive $1 MQD per $20 spent on the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card and Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Card — and you’ll receive $1 MQD per $10 spent on the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card and Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Card.

For context, here are the number of MQDs you’ll need to earn elite status with Delta:

  • Silver Medallion: $5,000 MQDs
  • Gold Medallion: $10,000 MQDs
  • Platinum Medallion: $15,000 MQDs
  • Diamond Medallion: $28,000 MQDs

These two elite status benefits can go a long way in springboarding you toward status that confers perks like Delta Sky Priority (priority bags, check-in, boarding, etc.), travel vouchers, seat upgrades, and more. If you’re an astonishingly big spender, you could conceivably earn Delta’s top-tier status without ever leaving the ground.

Enhanced spending perks for small business credit cards

Both the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Card and Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Card have received two upgrades related to spending.

  1. The Delta Platinum business now offers 1.5X Skymiles on transit, U.S. shipping and purchases over $5,000 (capped at $100,000).
  2. The Delta Reserve business now offers 1.5X at transit, U.S. shipping, and U.S. office supply stores. 

Also worth mentioning is the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Card, which now earns 2 miles per dollar for shipping and advertising (capped at $50,000 per calendar year).

Increased annual fees

All six Delta credit cards have sustained considerable annual fee increases. Here’s what new cardholders will pay for the privilege of holding the following Delta credit cards (new annual fees will affect card renewals beginning May 1, 2024):

  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card — $150 (previously $99)
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card $350 (previously $250)
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card — $650 (previously $550)

In a word: Ouch. Still, while this is a big bump, it doesn’t mean the cards aren’t worth it. As long as you extract more value from a card than you’re paying for its annual fee, it’s a deal.

Increased welcome bonuses

To celebrate the relaunches of these cards, Amex has upped the bounty for new cardholders for a limited time:

Consumer

  • The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card: Earn 70,000 Bonus Miles after spending a total of $3,000 in eligible purchases on the new Card in the first 6 months of membership (terms apply).
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending a total of $4,000 in eligible purchases on the new Card in the first 6 months of membership (terms apply).
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card: Earn 100,000 Bonus Miles after spending a total of $6,000 in eligible purchases on the new Card in the first 6 months of membership (terms apply).

Business

  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card: Earn 80,000 Bonus Miles after spending a total of $6,000 in eligible purchases on the new Card in the first 6 months of membership (terms apply).
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card: Earn 100,000 Bonus Miles after spending a total of $8,000 in eligible purchases on the new Card in the first 6 months of membership (terms apply).
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card: Earn 110,000 Bonus Miles after spending a total of $12,000 in eligible purchases on the new Card in the first 6 months of membership (terms apply)

Are these changes a good thing?

Each credit card offers unquestionably more yearly value that can easily offset the newly increased annual fees — but some benefits are quite niche. You’ll almost certainly need to tweak your lifestyle to squeeze the maximum value from these benefits.

For example, to use your annual Stay Credits, you’ll have to book a hotel stay or two through Delta instead of directly with the hotel. This could mean that you won’t earn hotel points for your stay — and those with hotel elite status will miss out on valuable benefits. 

With some credits being doled out in monthly increments it’s a safe bet you won’t be able to maximize each and every penny without a considerable amount of effort. Also, those who don’t live in big cities will have a tough time redeeming Resy Credit, as participating locations will be limited.

For those that will use these new perks, the cards are a no-brainer. Here’s the new potential value for each card minus the increased annual fee.

Card Value of new credits Annual fee increase Potential net value
Delta SkyMiles Gold Card up to $300 $51 ($99 to $150) $249
Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Card up to $350 $51 ($99 to $150) $299
Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card up to $390 $100 ($250 to $350) $290
Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Card up to $440 $100 ($250 to $350) $340
Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card up to $560 $100 ($550 to $650) $460
Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Card up to $610 $100 ($550 to $650) $510

Harder-to-quantify benefits, such as the enhanced Companion Certificate and elite status headstarts on select cards, may also be needle-movers for you.

Just remember: There’s a difference between “value” and “savings.” Just because a card offers a lot of potential value, it’s not a good deal for your situation unless you can organically use its benefits. 

Bottom line

Six Delta credit cards have received dramatic changes as of Feb. 1, 2024. Added statement credits and improved benefits come at a higher price. Do the math to see if these changes are better or worse for your travel style.

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, see this page

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, see this page

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, see this page

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, see this page

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, see this page

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, see this page



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