Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express Review

Business owners with loyalty to the Atlanta, Georgia-based airline will want to investigate the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express. It’s a solid choice for businesses with employees that annually spend $50,000 or more on the card, and even the occasional Delta trip will earn some notable perks and rewards. If you’re looking to redeem travel points across multiple airlines, you may be better served by some other cards that have more flexibility in that arena. American Express is one of the largest card issuers in the world, and cards like its Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card allow the transfer of points to several domestic and international airlines.

The Essentials of the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

    • APR: 17.24% – 26.24% variable
    • Annual Fee: $195 ($250 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020)
    • Primary feature: Travel rewards get you 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases with the first three months)
    • Introductory bonus offer: $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase on the card within the first three months

What’s Interesting About the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

A number of perks come with this card. After renewing membership each year, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card lets you take another traveler with you on your next trip. The companion certificate covers one round-trip flight annually, but you’ll be responsible for up to $75 in fees or taxes levied by the government.

On Delta flights, you and up to nine fellow travelers on the same reservation will get your first bag checked for free. That perk, through four two-way trips for one person per year, will generate enough savings ($240) to more than compensate for the card’s annual fee – at least until January 30, 2020, when that fee increases to $250.

Purchase protection gives you coverage for items that are lost, stolen or damaged within 120 of purchase on the card. Also, if bought with the card, a product’s original manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less is extended by two years.

Things to Consider

Naturally, sole proprietors or businesses whose employees don’t travel would probably opt for a card that offers cash-back percentages on qualified purchases. Also, a business card like the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card comes with no annual fee and offers a 0% introductory purchase and balance transfer APR for 12 months. After that, there is a variable APR of 14.74% – 20.74%.

Delta’s Medallion elite status affords you many benefits which include allowances for first-class upgrades, priority check-in and boarding, and more. In order to reach this level, you’ll need to accumulate a certain number of Medallion Qualifying Mile (MQM) to reach each tier. Delta loyalists, therefore, who have already hit the Medallion status may not see the introductory bonus miles as much of a draw for owning the card.

How to Get the Most from this Card

To reap the greatest collective benefits from the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, users will need to understand how the platform works, and the spending levels that trigger the best airline rewards. On top of the introductory bonus miles, cardholders can snag another 10,000 MQMs by making purchases of $25,000 or more in a calendar year. Business travelers who visit the Delta Sky Club between flights will pay $29 (increasing to $39 after 1/30/2020) for access, and every dollar spent with Delta earns two miles. Those miles also extend to certain food, beverage and amenity purchases aboard Delta aircraft.

There are passive benefits that only hold value if or when you need them: priority boarding, baggage, and car rental damage insurance, to name a few. However, getting the most bang for your buck as a business owner would entail issuing cards to employees (if you have them) and allowing their expenses to roll up to the company as a whole. On the rate side, APRs for the SkyMiles card are competitive, but you will find better deals through cards such as the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card with rates that range from 13.74% – 23.74% variable.

Other Card Options That Might Interest You

A couple of other cards may be worth investigating for comparison’s sake. For example, you can look at a card with the same lineage and some stepped-down benefits like the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express. What you gain over the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card is a fee of $95 that’s waived in the first year. You’ll retain priority boarding status and free checked bags, but you’ll give up the opportunity to earn those extra MQMs after you spend $25,000, as well as the companion travel perk. So, if you don’t care about Medallion status with Delta, this card may suit your needs.

The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is also a solid alternative, especially if you travel frequently. Not only can you accumulate points with other airlines, but you also rake in 6 points for every dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy properties. A free night’s stay is awarded after each year of membership. Purchases at U.S. restaurants, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping, gain 4 points per dollar. Introductory bonus points amount to 75,000 when you spend $3,000 in the first three months of ownership. Finally, the annual fee for the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ card is $125.

The Final Word

If Delta is your business airline of choice and you enjoy the elite status that comes with frequent patronage, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express will be right up your alley. Miles — particularly those MQMs — can add up and roll over to subsequent years of membership. And if you have employees, those qualifiers will accumulate faster if you allow those folks access to use cards for all travel and per-diem expenses. You can find better rates with other cards. Also, if you’re fond of finding airfare deals when and where they arise, there are cards that transfer points to multiple carriers. Overall, however, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card is a solid option for Delta loyalists, and those not concerned with the added perks can move down to the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card.

Thom Tracy

Personal Finance Contributor

Thom Tracy is a personal finance writer from Scranton, PA with 28 years of experience in the insurance, employee benefits and financial services industries. He has been a contributor to QuickBooks and Investopedia, and likes to cook, hike, and discover new music in his spare time.