You are currently viewing 4 reasons why the Amex Platinum may be the ideal card for Delta flyers

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

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the top earners on airfare purchases.

Beyond earning, though, there are various other reasons why the Amex Platinum Card is a great option for all sorts of air travelers. And it’s an especially good option for Delta flyers.

Thanks to Delta’s close partnership with Amex, semi-regular travelers on the carrier have more reasons than most to consider adding this card to their wallets. Here’s what to know.

Maximize your airfare purchases

As mentioned above, most other cards can’t beat the Amex Platinum when it comes to the return you’ll get on airfare spending.


The card earns 5 points per dollar on airfare purchases made directly with the airline or through Amex Travel on up to $500,000 spent on these purchases per calendar year (then 1 point per dollar spent). TPG values American Express Membership Rewards at 2 cents apiece, so that’s like getting 10% back on your spending.

In the case of Delta specifically, remember that Amex points transfer to Delta SkyMiles instantly on a 1:1 basis. So, earning 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar is like earning 5 Delta SkyMiles per dollar on airfare spending.

That beats what you can earn on Delta purchases with a cobranded Delta credit card.

Related: Why this TPG staffer is chasing Delta elite status

Earn valuable points

Speaking of transfers, the Amex Platinum earns Membership Rewards points that can be converted into miles or points with several different airline frequent flyer and hotel points partner programs.

While you could transfer your Membership Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio to Delta SkyMiles, you don’t necessarily have to focus on the program like you would if you were simply earning Delta SkyMiles with one of the airline’s cobranded credit cards.

Basically, it’s like the best of both worlds — you can still use your Amex points toward Delta awards, but you have many options beyond that.

You can book Delta One awards for very low rates by transferring your Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)

While Delta might be your preferred airline, having transferable points helps you for a few reasons:

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

As long as you have Membership Rewards, you have Delta miles whenever you need them. But if a different opportunity arises, you’re ready for that, too.

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

Transfer to Delta and partners

As mentioned, you can instantly transfer the Amex Membership Rewards points you earn with the Amex Platinum (and other eligible cards) to Delta 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 also Delta’s exclusive partner for its lineup of cobranded credit cards, so it’s a good bet you’ll be able to leverage this benefit for years to come.

However, one of the main reasons to accumulate points with Amex rather than just directly with Delta is that you can leverage the power of airline partnerships beyond Delta’s SkyMiles program. For instance, you can transfer Membership Rewards points not only to Delta but also to Virgin Atlantic.

As with any transferable currency, you should only transfer when you are confident that there is available award inventory. Transfers only go one way: You can’t convert Delta miles back into Amex Membership Rewards points if you change your mind.

Related: 6 Delta SkyMiles sweet spots worth saving up for

Lounge access

Aside from earning, the Amex Platinum has several day-of-travel perks that can save you time and money.

Many Delta loyalists will opt for the airline’s top-tier personal card, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, to access Sky Clubs when flying Delta. The Delta Reserve gets you unlimited Delta Sky Club access when you fly Delta through Jan. 31, 2025; this will be limited to 15 visits per year from Feb. 1, 2025, unless you spend $75,000 on your card in a calendar year.

Conversely, the Amex Platinum still gets you unlimited access to Sky Clubs when flying Delta through Jan. 31, 2025; although, you’ll get five fewer visits (10 in total) per year from Feb. 1, 2025, unless you spend $75,000 on your card in a calendar year.

airport lounge

You can also access Centurion Lounges with both cards. The difference is that you’ll only get access to them with the Delta Reserve if you are flying Delta and you purchased your ticket with a U.S. Amex-issued card. The Amex Platinum gets you access, regardless of the carrier you fly with.

Finally, there is an up-to-$200 airline fee statement credit per calendar year on the Amex Platinum, which can cover 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 with a checked bag fee perk, you can offset the cost through your Platinum Card. Enrollment is required.

Related: Best credit cards for airport lounge access

A reason to still consider Delta cobranded cards

While the Amex Platinum is an excellent all-around choice for Delta flyers, there’s one area where four Delta cobranded cards have the advantage.

If you’re working toward Delta Medallion elite status, you can accrue Medallion Qualification Dollars by spending on one of the following cards:

You’ll also receive an annual MQD Headstart that gives you 2,500 MQDs automatically deposited each year on all these cards.

Those are benefits that the Amex Platinum can’t provide, so if you’re dead-set on earning Delta elite status, you might want to consider one of its cobranded offerings.

Bottom line

The Amex Platinum has a hefty $695 annual fee (see rates and fees), but the cost can be easily justified if you take advantage of the many perks available. The Platinum Card earns our top spot as the best luxury card for Delta flyers thanks to benefits including Sky Club access when flying Delta, earning points that can be transferred to SkyMiles and a useful airline fee credit.

However, if you specifically want to earn MQMs toward elite status through spending and a welcome offer, you’ll still want to consider the other Delta cobranded options.

Apply here: The Platinum Card from American Express, or check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’ve been selected for an elevated welcome offer.

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