Credit Card Review: Delta Skymiles Platinum American Express

I have been carrying this card for a long time and I love to travel. Getting 1 mile for each dollar spent allows me to use miles for my vacation airfare and save tons. I use miles for all of my vacation flights and still add to my balance. I take advantage of all of the bonus offers that come my way, too.

I decided to post this review as AMEX's site makes it fairly difficult to get all of the details on the benefits you get from the card. I have dug through it and highlighted the major benefits here. I am normally not a fan of annual fees but this card is the exception for me. It carries a fee of $150 per year which sounds steep until you add up the benefits you get.

The major benefits are:

  • Earning Delta Skymiles - This is the most obvious but their are some details behind it. Any Delta purchase gets 2 miles per dollar spent. All others get 1 mile per dollar spent. There are bonus thresholds of $25k and $50k in spending where you get 10,000 bonus miles and elite qualifying miles for each milestone.
  • Pay With Miles Option - Delta allows you to use your banked miles to pay for all or part of your purchase. This is handy because for each 10,000 miles you apply it is $100 off the ticket price. The minimum you can use is 10,000 and increments of 5,000 ($50) after that. This is only available to Delta AMEX Gold or higher cardholders.
  • No Partner Airline Award Ticket Fee - Delta charges a $20 fee if you book an award ticket (using miles) if it is on another airline aside from Delta (for example Air France). As a cardholder this is waved! $20 per airline can add up!
  • Fee-Free Amex Gift Cards - The usually carry a fee but are free to all AMEX cardholders most of the time.
  • Fee-Free Traveler's Checks - I don't use these much but it can be handy if you are going somewhere that has little or no ATM access.
  • Bonus Offers - Delta AMEX cardholders get constant bonus miles offers from Delta. Right now, for instance, you get double all miles flown through the end of the year.
  • Fraud Protection - AMEX is one of the best companies when it comes to reversing charges with little hassle.
  • Free overnight delivery if card is lost or stolen - I have used this a couple of times. They will overnight you a new card at no charge if needed (inside the USA).
This card has other smaller benefits that I don't utilize as much. The ones above I have found to be most important and well worth the $150 annual fee as an avid international traveler. I also travel for work so I earn even more miles and extras from Delta as well. Being based in Atlanta Delta is the best overall choice for me.

I am no longer immediately turned off by annual fee cards. I do my own analysis and see if I get more than the cost of the annual fee back in things that are actually useful to me. With so many different rewards cards out there you have endless options. Find a card that fits what you enjoy most and go for it. Just be sure to pay the balance every month!