Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card: Is It Worth the High Fee?

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card: Is It Worth the High Fee?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Editor's Rating

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A solid travel card for businesses that have large expenses or are focused on earning status with Delta.
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Editor's Rating

?
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A solid travel card for businesses that have large expenses or are focused on earning status with Delta.
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The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card is a solid travel card for businesses that have large expenses or are focused on earning status with Delta. The card offers a favorable welcome bonus, Delta specific travel perks, and an annual miles boost. If your business wants a low annual fee card or flexibility when redeeming points, you should consider a different card. However, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card is a great option for your business if those aren't considerations.

Review: Our Opinion on the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

While the high annual fee (See Rates & Fees) may worry prospective cardholders, it's clear that the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card offers plenty of value in return. For cardholders this value means a solid overall experience when flying with Delta and savings that can be achieved. For instance, assuming your business is meeting the spending requirements, the annual miles boost alone is worth $390 per year according to our valuations. Combine that with the annual companion certificate, which is our favorite feature of the card, and you easily offset the cost of the card. Delta offers perks through this card that not only save you money, but are important for frequent travelers, and make your air travel as hassle-free as possible.

Good For…Bad For…
Delta frequent flyersBusinesses that are looking for a low fee card
Businesses that value airline statusA business that wants point redemption flexibility
Business with large annual expenses

This card quickly grants you status with Delta. While MQMs are difficult to value since the cost is dependent on a multitude of factors, its evident that they're worth a lot when you consider the perks Delta offers customers with status, such as first class upgrades and priority wait list status.

The card caters to users who want the most out of their flight experience. Given that the card offers its users typical rewards for all purchases, even ones made with Delta, this is where you can make the card worth it for your business. For instance, the value of the card will increase every time you visit the SkyClub, or make an in-flight purchase. Potential cardholders should think about how much they are willing to pay for the perks of this card.

The major downside of this card—ignoring the annual fee—is the lack of redemption options for SkyMiles. If you fly Delta frequently, this won't be an issue. If your business is looking for a credit card that offers flexible point redemption, you should consider the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. If it's a cheaper card you're after, consider the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card. We discuss these cards in detail and draw comparisons against the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card below.

Bottom Line: If your business values status and has large expenses, this card is hard to beat. That said, its tailored to a specific customer. If you want point flexibility, a lower annual fee, or you aren’t able to meet the spending requirements for the bonuses, there are other options that could be more beneficial for your business.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card Benefits and Features

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card awards users two SkyMiles on purchases made directly with Delta and one SkyMile on all other eligible purchases. SkyMiles can be redeemed for a variety of things, notably airline tickets and seat upgrades. The card currently has the following welcome offer: Earn Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months. MQMs are one of the ways that Delta tracks user loyalty. The only way to earn MQMs is either through bonuses offered by two credit cards—the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card or the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card—or by flying with Delta.

SkyMiles don’t expire, so users can redeem them at any time. This card comes with an annual fee of $550 (See Rates & Fees). Though the fee may seem steep, cardholders are awarded access to an around the clock concierge service, which can be used for a wide range of things from dinner reservations to gift planning.

Delta currently charges per checked bag, but with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, cardholders can receive one free checked bag on an eligible flight, which means that cardholders could save money on a round-trip. While the benefit applies to the main cardholder, it also applies for up to nine additional cardholders when flying with the main cardholder.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

$550

15.74% - 24.74% Variable

Good/Excellent

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months.
  • With Status Boost™, earn 15,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your new Card in a calendar year, up to four times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different from the miles you earn toward flights.
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club® Access and complimentary access to The Centurion Lounge when flying on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight. The eligible flight must be booked on a U.S. issued American Express Credit Card.
  • After you spend $150,000 on your Card in a calendar year, you earn 1.5 Miles per dollar (that’s an extra half mile per dollar) on eligible purchases the rest of the year. Eligible purchases after spending $150,000 do not include Delta purchases. If your purchase qualifies for a category that has a higher mileage accelerator, only the higher accelerator will apply.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you spend overseas.
  • Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta.
  • Terms and limitations apply.
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Additional Perks

Another perk offered by the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card is an annual companion certificate, which is granted upon card renewal and can be redeemed for a free round-trip flight for a companion. The certificate is valid for domestic flights in several seat classes including the main cabin, Delta Comfort+, and first class.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card holders benefit from complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club, which is worth $59 per admission to a Club. As a cardholder you can bring two additional guests, but they'll be charged $29 per person.

If you use the card during a flight you receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit. Cardholders are eligible for Zone 1 priority boarding for Delta flights. This feature also extends to nine additional guests so long as they're traveling with the primary cardholder.

How Much is a Delta SkyMile Worth?

Based on our research, we estimate the value of a Delta SkyMile to be worth 1.3 cents for an economy class round-trip flight. To figure out the value, we collected the price of dozens of itineraries for popular domestic routes using both dollars and SkyMiles. Our next step was to divide the dollars by the amount of SkyMiles it costs to fly the same route in order to determine a SkyMile's value. Then we averaged the value of a SkyMile across dozens of itineraries to come to a consensus value.

Since we collected an average, it's important to note that the value of a SkyMile for ordinary use will depend on multiple factors including the city you fly out of, the destination, the seat type you select, day of the week, the length of your stay, the season of your flight, among other variables. For example, our research found that your points are typically worth less when flying during the weekend when compared to flying during the week. However, flying internationally resulted in a higher value for the SkyMiles. That said, since there are so many variables involved, it's best to shop around when redeeming your SkyMiles to ensure that you're redeeming them at a high value. We list the results of some popular routes used in our research below:

Type of BookingRouteSkyMilesUSD
WeekendLA to SF12,000$88
WeekdayLA to SF17,500$206
WeekendDAL to CHI34,000$174
WeekdayDAL to CHI19,000$174
InternationalNYC to TOR19,500$318
InternationalORL to BCN60,000$1,303
InternationalLA to TYO70,000$1,173

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please click here.

How Does the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card Compare to Other Credit Cards?

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card is a great credit card for business travel, specifically for businesses that value status. Comparing this card to other travel cards allows potential cardholders to evaluate various criteria. Below, we see how the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card stacks up against the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, and the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card vs Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

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We recommend the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card over the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card for businesses that meet the card's bonus spending requirements. The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card’s additional benefits, such as potentially getting a free first class seat for your companion, and complimentary Delta Sky Club access gives the card an advantage.

Highlights

  • 1.5 miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (that’s an extra half point per dollar), up to 50,000 additional miles per year. 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases.
  • Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 Statement Credit after your first Delta purchase on your new Card in the first 3 months.
  • $250 annual fee. (See Rates & Fees)

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, please click here.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card vs Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is a solid card for businesses that fly with multiple airlines, or those that spend a lot in the cards bonus categories. The points available to earn on the bonus categories are worth up to $5,625 when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Furthermore, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers its users the ability to transfer points to several airline and hotel travel partners. If you fly Delta frequently, you’ll be missing out on perks such as the annual companion certificate, complimentary Sky Club access, and free checked bags.

Highlights

  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card Review

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card vs Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

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If you want to transfer your points to several airlines, or if your business spends more at Marriott Bonvoy properties than on Delta flights, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is a solid card for your business. In addition to having flexible points, cardholders will be able to earn a 1.8% to 5.4% rewards rate (based on our estimated point value of $0.009 multiplied by the points earned), depending on their spending. This card also lets cardholders transfer points to frequent flyer programs.

Highlights

  • Receive 1 free night award every year after your card account anniversary.
  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, please click here.

The information related to the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

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