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Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express – Review
Published or updated:December 19, 2016 The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express is an airline credit card for frequent Delta flyers who like to travel in comfort and style. The rewards scheme is similar to the Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Card, with the important addition of a loyalty component that accelerates heavy spenders’ progress toward Delta’s coveted Medallion status tiers. Used properly, the Medallion benefit can be incredibly valuable, and arguably alone makes Platinum Delta SkyMiles worthwhile. Aside from the rewards program, this card has a host of generous perks and benefits that collectively outshine those of many competing cards. On the other hand, Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business’s generous travel rewards come at a price: a $195 annual fee, charged from the first year onward. If you don’t take ample advantage of this card’s rewards and benefits, it may wind up costing more than it’s worth. On the other hand, if you use this card as it’s meant to be used, you’ll reap the rewards (literally).
Published or updated:December 19, 2016Advertiser Disclosure:This post includes references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.
The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express is an airline credit card for frequent Delta flyers who like to travel in comfort and style. The rewards scheme is similar to the Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Card, with the important addition of a loyalty component that accelerates heavy spenders’ progress toward Delta’s coveted Medallion status tiers.
Used properly, the Medallion benefit can be incredibly valuable, and arguably alone makes Platinum Delta SkyMiles worthwhile. Aside from the rewards program, this card has a host of generous perks and benefits that collectively outshine those of many competing cards.
On the other hand, Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business’s generous travel rewards come at a price: a $195 annual fee, charged from the first year onward. If you don’t take ample advantage of this card’s rewards and benefits, it may wind up costing more than it’s worth. On the other hand, if you use this card as it’s meant to be used, you’ll reap the rewards (literally).
Delta SkyMiles Business’s additional travel benefits, all underwritten by American Express, including baggage insurance for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage; complimentary loss and damage coverage for rental cars charged in full to the SkyMiles card; 24/7 roadside assistance; 24/7 global assistance for long-distance travelers; and accidental death and dismemberment travel insurance.
- MQM Bonus and MQD Waiver Dramatically Accelerate Medallion Status Progress. Once you reach $25,000 in annual spending with this card, you earn a 10,000 MQM bonus and an MQD waiver, which renders MQDs irrelevant in status tier calculations for the remainder of the current year. If you hit $50,000, you earn another 10,000 MQMs, for a 20,000-MQM bonus in total. Put another way, that’s 80% of the way to the next-highest status tier (Diamond excepted).
- Awesome Sign-up Bonus. Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business has a generous, 3-part sign-up bonus: If you spend at least $1,000 and make a single Delta purchase within 3 months, you get 35,000 bonus SkyMiles (good for up to 3 domestic one-way fares), 5,000 MQMs (20% of the way to Medallion Silver status, the lowest Medallion tier), and a $100 statement credit. This is a better deal than most other business travel cards, including competing American Express and Delta credit cards.
- Free Companion Airfare Every Year. This card awards a complimentary companion airfare certificate every year your account remains open and in good standing. This benefit is redeemable for any domestic round-trip fare, pegging its potential value at several hundred dollars. Companion fare benefits are distressingly rare in the business travel card space, and those that exist – such as Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Business’s $121 companion fare – aren’t as attractive.
- Annual SkyMiles Bonus Can Fund 1 Round Trip or 2 One-Ways. This card’s total annual SkyMiles bonus – 20,000 SkyMiles when you spend at least $50,000 per year – is sufficient to cover 2 free domestic one-ways or 1 free domestic round trip. That’s a nice little bonus, especially considering you’ll likely have Medallion status (translating, potentially, to a free class upgrade) by the time you redeem your award.
- OPEN Savings Benefit Boosts Spending Power at Popular Merchants. This card awards 5% off spending with OPEN Savings partners – an effective 5% cash back rate on purchases with popular merchants such as Hertz (potentially popular with business travelers) and FedEx. This is a big advantage over non-Amex cards, which don’t belong to the OPEN Savings network.
- Discounted Airport Lounge Passes. This card’s airport lounge benefit – $30 off Sky Club passes for you and up to 2 companions – is worth up to $90 every time you fly. If you have time to kill between flights, why not take advantage?
- No Foreign Transaction Fee. If you travel outside the U.S. often, you’ll love this card’s lack of a foreign transaction fee. It’s not super hard to travel internationally and remain loyal to Delta, as the airline and its partners serve plenty of international destinations.
- High Annual Fee. Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business’s $195 annual fee is higher than many competing business cards’, and isn’t waived during the first year your account is open. To make this recurring charge worthwhile, you need to use this card (and its non-SkyMiles benefits) heavily.
- Airfare Rewards and Redemption Aren’t Versatile. SkyMiles aren’t the most versatile travel rewards currency in the world – they’re only good for award travel on Delta. If you don’t want to feel pressured to remain loyal to Delta, or don’t live near an airport served by Delta, consider a general purpose travel card such as American Express Business Platinum or Capital One Spark Miles for Business.
- Non-Delta Spending Earns Rewards Slowly. Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business accrues just 1 SkyMile per $1 in non-Delta spending. That’s a decidedly mediocre rate. If earning rewards quickly is important to you, look for a business travel card that earns 1.5 points per $1 spent (Capital One Spark Miles Select) or 2 points per $1 spent (Capital One Spark Miles) on all spending – though remember that SkyMilescanbe worth more than Capital One’s No Hassle Miles.
- MarketPlace Redemptions Offer Poor Value. The SkyMiles MarketPlace is usually not a good place to redeem your accumulated SkyMiles. That’s because MarketPlace redemptions often value points at well under $0.01 apiece, compared with upwards of $0.01 apiece (in many cases) for airfare redemptions. It only makes sense to redeem SkyMiles at the MarketPlace if you don’t plan to travel anytime soon – and, if that’s the case, you should strongly consider ditching this card anyway.
Many U.S. business owners live close to an airport served by Delta, a huge airline with 3 principal U.S. hubs, several major “focus” cities, and hundreds of domestic and international destinations. If you’re one of them, you probably won’t have trouble earning and redeeming SkyMiles with the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express.
On the other hand, if you don’t live near a Delta airport, another business travel credit card (perhaps a more general card, such as Capital One Spark Miles) is probably a better bet. And, if your credit isn’t in excellent shape or you’re just not sure you’ll earn rewards fast enough to offset this card’s annual fee, a less costly (and less generous) card is likely to suit you better.
Brian Martucci is a blogger-journalist who writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time-, money- and stress-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.
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Category: Business card