How to maximize your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card benefits

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In a Nutshell

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card has many benefits, but they come with a high price tag. If you use benefits like the Companion Certificate, you could get your full value out of this card.
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The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card can be a bit of a gamble in how much value you get for the price. We’ll show you which benefits you can get with this card and how to use them so you can come out ahead.

Let’s start with the welcome bonus. If you spend $6,000 on purchases during the first 6 months after getting the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, you’ll earn 100,000 bonus miles.

If you fly on Delta frequently and like to travel in style, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card can be your best friend. Still, it comes with a super-high price tag: a $650 annual fee. You’ll want to get your miles out of this card.

This card offers strong value through its Companion Certificate and free checked bag.

But did you know about the car rental insurance and concierge service?

In this article, we’ll look at four ways to maximize your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card benefits. After all, you’ve already shelled out for the card, so why not use the benefits you’ve paid for?



1. Earn Delta flights

If you use your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, you can earn flights in two different ways.

  • If you purchase your own ticket and bring a friend, you can book your friend’s ticket using the Companion Certificate. Note that you’ll still have to pay any taxes and fees. With the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, you’ll get a new Companion Certificate each year upon renewal.
  • You can also book flights using SkyMiles, Delta’s frequent flyer points, instead of cash. You’ll earn one SkyMile per $1 spent on everyday items, and three SkyMiles per $1 spent on Delta purchases.

2. Use the travel perks

If travel stresses you out, this card can make your life a lot easier. You’ll be eligible for priority boarding on Delta flights, so you won’t have to push through throngs of people to settle into your seat.

Tired of cramming everything into a tiny carry-on bag? You’ll get your first checked bag for free by providing Delta with your frequent flyer number.

You’ll also get 20% savings on Delta in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit, so if you need that extra bloody mary, go for it. (Good to know: This credit does not apply to in-flight wireless internet access.)

You can also call up a concierge service for simple things like restaurant recommendations and gift advice.

3. Use the insurance programs

No one wants to think of bad things happening, but if they do, your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card has you covered in a lot of ways — as long as you use your card to pay.

You’ll be eligible for car rental loss and damage insurance. Be sure to decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver to be eligible for the insurance through your credit card.

These travel benefits do have limitations and exclusions, so make sure to read about the benefits in full on your card benefit paperwork.

You’re also eligible for lost, damaged or stolen baggage insurance up to $1,250 for a carry-on bag and $500 for a checked bag.

At a glance: Other airline rewards credit cards to consider

No-frills elite Delta rewards cardDelta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Lower-fee Delta rewards cardDelta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Best flexible rewards structureChase Sapphire Reserve®
Best luxury travel rewardsPlatinum Card® from American Express

Bottom line

Yes, you do need to pay a lot for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. But if you’re a frequent flyer on Delta Airlines, it may be possible to make the benefits worth the annual fee by using high-dollar perks like the Companion Certificate and the extra SkyMiles to book flights.

What’s more, the card can make your life a lot easier both when you travel and when you’re at home with all its various perks.

Now all you need to worry about is packing your bags and figuring out where to go.


About the author: Lindsay VanSomeren is a freelance writer living in Kirkland, Washington. She has been a professional dogsled racer, a wildlife researcher, and a participant in the National Spelling Bee. She writes for websites such a… Read more.