4 reasons why the Amex Platinum may be the ideal card for Delta flyers

Loading...

Load Error

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest information. 

The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the top cards for frequent flyers, thanks to the 5x bonus category for airfare purchased directly from the carrier or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year). Based on TPG’s valuations, 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar equals a return of 10% — exceeding all other cards for airfare, including the popular Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Even during the pandemic, the card presents a strong value proposition, thanks to some non-travel perks such as an up-to-$200 annual Uber credit (which can also be used for Uber Eats and only for U.S. services) and a number of temporary credits and Amex Offers. Then, of course, there are the 5x points offered on airfare booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, along with prepaid hotels.

Want the latest card and travel news sent to your inbox? Sign up for our TPG daily newsletter.

There are various reasons why the Platinum Card is a great option for all sorts of air travelers, but it’s an excellent option for Delta travelers. Thanks to Delta’s close partnership with Amex, semiregular travelers on the carrier have more reasons than most to consider adding this card to their wallets.

Here are four reasons why the Amex Platinum is worth an especially close look for semifrequent Delta flyers.

In This Post

Get an unbeatable return on airfare purchases

As mentioned above, the Amex Platinum can’t be beaten when it comes to the return you’ll get on airfare spending. Even though TPG values both American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents apiece, thanks to the Platinum Card’s 5x category, you’ll still come out way ahead against the Sapphire Reserve’s 3x on travel (including airfare).

And while you can earn Delta SkyMiles directly with a cobranded Delta credit card, the 5x points you get from the Amex Platinum still puts you ahead. Even Delta’s top card — the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card — only earns 3x miles on Delta purchases.

Related: Why this TPG staffer is chasing Delta elite status during the pandemic

Earn incredibly flexible transferable points

The Amex Platinum earns transferable Membership Rewards points that can be moved to many airline and hotel partners. We’ve always favored transferable points over airline miles, but that is even more of a necessity during this time of decreased travel and uncertainty. And Delta recently devalued its SkyMiles program, causing partner award rates to skyrocket. So while you could transfer your Membership Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio to Delta SkyMiles, you don’t have to. You have lots of options beyond Delta.

While Delta might be your preferred airline, having transferable points helps you for many reasons, a few of which are below:

  • It gives you numerous options to book airlines and hotels you normally might not have on your radar.
  • It protects you from loyalty program devaluations.
  • It minimizes the risk against bankruptcies and program suspensions.

Transferable points such as Membership Rewards points could even be a financial safety net for unplanned expenses, emergencies and more.

Related: Travel is back. Now, points and miles devaluations are (likely) coming

You can transfer points to Delta … or not

Video: Emirates airline may need more cash in 6 months (Reuters)

  • a sign in front of a building

    Bain considering bid for Toshiba – sources

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • a close up of a cake

    Emirates airline may need more cash in 6 months

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • Carney, Kerry's finance plan to boost climate action

    Carney, Kerry's finance plan to boost climate action

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • a close up of a computer

    Carrefour boosted by at-home dining

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • a building with a metal cage

    Virus tests save Roche as drug sales slide

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • logo

    TikTok sued for billions in child privacy suit

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • U.S. stocks fall for second day

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • a person holding a sign posing for the camera

    Apple launches new iPad Pro, slim colorful iMacs

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • a man standing in front of a monitor

    Commodities in supercycle 'for some time': trader

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • a close up of a bottle

    Venmo launches crypto buying, selling

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text message

    Sweden's Klarna offers carbon footprint tracker

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • P&G to hike prices on household staples

    P&G to hike prices on household staples

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • a man holding a sign

    FIFA: Super League clubs must face consequences

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • a store shelf filled with books

    Danone sticks to goals after weak start to 2021

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • a group of people walking in front of a store

    AB Foods first half profit halves on Primark hit

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • a person standing in front of a tree

    Texas police to demand Tesla crash data

    Reuters Logo

    Reuters

  • a sign in front of a building
    Bain considering bid for Toshiba – sources
    Bain Capital is considering a move to acquire Japanese conglomerate Toshiba, according to Reuters sources. Julian Satterthwaite reports.

    Reuters Logo
    Reuters

  • a close up of a cake
    Emirates airline may need more cash in 6 months
    Emirates may need to raise more cash this year, possibly through another equity injection from the Dubai government, if demand for air travel does not pick up soon, its president said on Wednesday. Emer McCarthy reports.

    Reuters Logo
    Reuters

  • Carney, Kerry's finance plan to boost climate action
    Carney, Kerry's finance plan to boost climate action
    UN climate envoy Mark Carney and U.S. peer John Kerry have announced a new plan to boost efforts by the financial system to help move the global economy to net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Megan Revell reports.

    Reuters Logo
    Reuters

UP NEXT

As mentioned, you can transfer the Amex Membership Rewards points you earn with the Amex Platinum (and other eligible cards) to Delta instantly at a 1:1 ratio. This is a great way to top off your Delta SkyMiles balance if you need extra miles for a particular redemption.

American Express is Delta’s exclusive partner for its lineup of cobranded credit cards. That partnership was extended through 2029, so it’s a good bet you’ll be able to leverage this benefit for years to come.

However, what’s even better about stashing points with Amex is that you can leverage the power of airline partnerships. For instance, you can transfer Membership Rewards points not only to Delta but also to Virgin Atlantic. With Virgin Atlantic, you’ll have another opportunity to book awards on Delta-operated flights using Flying Club miles.

As with any transferable currency, you should only transfer when you are confident that there is available award inventory as transfers only go one way and can’t be reversed.

Related: Best sweet spots with Delta SkyMiles

Access Sky Clubs, Centurion Lounges and a $200 airline fee credit

If Delta Sky Club access is a priority, you could fork over $550 annually for the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card ​(see rates and fees) to enjoy airport lounges when traveling on a Delta-operated or Delta-coded flight.

However, the Amex Platinum can get you Delta Sky Club access when you’re flying Delta, plus access to the network of luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges.

Most Centurion Lounges have now reopened and are generally superior options in terms of food, beverages and overall comfort. When you’re traveling through airports that don’t have a Centurion Lounge or Sky Club, the Amex Platinum’s Priority Pass Select membership — along with Airspace and Escape lounges — should have you covered. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Related: Which US airline lounges are currently open?

Finally, there is an up-to-$200 airline fee credit per calendar year on the Amex Platinum. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Eligibility for this offer is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

While it is definitely harder to use that credit in a pandemic if you aren’t flying, there are certain cases where it may still be beneficial. For instance, it covers checked bag fees on the airline you select each calendar year. If you’re flying Delta (or another U.S.-based airline) and don’t want to shell out for the airline’s cobranded card that has a checked bag fee perk, you can offset the cost through your Platinum Card.

A reason to still consider Delta cobranded cards

While the Amex Platinum is a no-brainer for Delta flyers, there’s one area where four Delta cobranded cards have the advantage. If you’re working toward Delta Medallion elite status, these cards could come in handy.

Delta is arguably the best airline when it comes to earning elite status without flying. You can earn lucrative Medallion Qualification Miles just from spending on the following cards:

  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card: 10,000 MQMs after spending $25,000 in a calendar year and another 10,000 MQMs after spending $50,000 in a calendar year.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card: 10,000 MQMs after spending $25,000 in a calendar year and another 10,000 MQMs after spending $50,000 in a calendar year.
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card: 15,000 MQMs for every $30,000 you spend on the card in a calendar year (up to four times for a maximum of 60,000 MQMs).
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card: 15,000 MQMs for every $30,000 you spend on the card in a calendar year (up to four times for a maximum of 60,000 MQMs).

Related: Delta now makes it even easier to earn elite status without flying — but is it worth it?

Bottom line

The Amex Platinum is currently offering a welcome offer of 75,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first six months of card membership. You’ll also earn 10x points on up to $15,000 in combined eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets during the same first six months of card membership. That’s an additional 9x points on top of the 1x points you earn for these purchases. However, you may be able to do even better by checking the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for an incredible 125,000-point offer (these offers are subject to change at any time).

The card has a $550 annual fee (see rates and fees), but the cost can be easily justified if you take advantage of the many perks available.

The Platinum is a card that has earned a spot on our list of the best cards for Delta flyers, thanks to benefits including Sky Club access when flying Delta, points that can transfer to SkyMiles and more. But if you specifically want to earn MQMs toward elite status through spending and a welcome bonus offer, you’ll still want to consider the other Delta cobranded options.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon.

Featured photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy. 

Source: Read Full Article