Delta Reserve Credit Card Review: Best for Frequent Travelers

Frequent flier? Earn Delta SkyMiles with this credit card.

More than 145.6 million passengers entrust Delta Air Lines with their travel needs. Delta fliers might want to check out the Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express before planning their next trip. Continue reading this review to see if this travel credit card has a place in your itinerary.

Delta Reserve Credit Card at a Glance
Annual Fee $450
APR 17.49%-26.49%
Rewards 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles and 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 within your first three months; Additional 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles and 15,000 bonus miles if $30,000 is spent each calendar year
Features 2 miles per every $1 spent on Delta purchases, 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
Late Fees Up to $38
Returned Payment Fees Up to $38
Foreign Transaction Fee None
Information accurate as of Sept. 18, 2018.

The Delta Reserve card is designed for Delta die-hards, with enough bonus features to potentially offset that $450 annual fee. Take a look at a quick breakdown of the pros and cons to see if it’s right for you.

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Delta Reserve Credit Card Pros

  • High mileage bonus offer
  • Cardholders can achieve Medallion status, which comes with additional bonuses
  • No foreign transaction or over-limit fees

Check Out: American Express Delta Platinum SkyMiles Credit Card Review

Delta Reserve Credit Card Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Tiered miles-to-dollar ratio only applies to Delta
  • High variable APR

Continue reading this review to find out:

What You Need to Know About the Delta Reserve Card

Cardholders can rack up 40,000 bonus miles, which Delta calls SkyMiles, if they spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening an account. These miles can then be used for:

  • Booking flights
  • Flight upgrades to first class or Delta One
  • Travel purchases such as hotel bookings, merchandise and car rentals
  • Charity donations

Who this card is best for:

  • Travelers looking to cut down on purchases during their trip
  • Frequent patrons of Delta Air Lines

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Best Features of the Delta Reserve Credit Card

The 40,000 bonus miles is definitely a plus, but the card comes equipped with other features to help you take advantage of Delta rewards. You earn one mile for every $1 spent on purchases, but two miles if those purchases are made directly with Delta.

The card also rewards high spending. Purchasing $30,000 on the card within the calendar year nets you an additional 15,000 bonus miles and 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles. Two things to note is that this is an annual feature, not a one-time benefit, and those additional 15,000 Medallion miles — combined with the initial 10,000 offer — will officially qualify you for Silver Status.

Medallion Qualification Miles

Medallion Qualification Miles go toward your Medallion Status, which is Delta’s own tiered rewards program. Silver, the first attainable Medallion status, requires 25,000 Medallion Qualification Miles. These benefits include complimentary flight upgrades, preferred seating and priority waitlist status.

Travel Benefits

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The card does not incur a foreign transaction fee, so international travelers will benefit along with domestic. Other travel benefits include:

  • First bag checked is free
  • Baggage insurance plan
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Priority boarding
  • 20 percent savings on in-flight purchases

Perhaps the most beneficial feature is a First Class, Delta Comfort or Main Cabin companion certificate upon your renewal of the card, which is great for traveling in pairs.

The Bottom Line

The card is most beneficial for frequent travelers who fly Delta. The card’s main features all revolve around purchasing through Delta, with a design to guide cardholders toward Medallion Status. The card’s high fees should make potential customers consider what they want out of a travel card, and how long they intend to use it.

Click through to learn about strategies you can use to avoid credit card debt.

More on Credit Card Advice

This content is not provided by the companies mentioned. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express or Delta Air Lines.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been endorsed by American Express.

About the Author

Sean Dennison

Sean joined the GOBankingRates team in 2018, bringing with him several years of experience with both military and collegiate writing and editing experience. Sean’s first foray into writing happened when he enlisted in the Marines, with the occupational specialty of combat correspondent. He covered military affairs both in garrison and internationally when he deployed to Afghanistan. After finishing his enlistment, he completed his BA in English at UC Berkeley, eventually moving to Southern California.

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