Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

For businesses wielding the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, it’s all about climbing the ladder to bigger and better reward statuses. As you rack up Delta SkyMiles, you’ll progress through ascending levels of the airline’s Medallion status, which boosts mile rewards and benefit levels with increasing spending. The premium travel card commands a high annual fee, but realizing a couple of basic benefits puts that expense in the rearview mirror. 

As you make your way through airports, you’ll receive complimentary access to Delta Sky Club, and once per year, you’ll receive a companion certificate that covers the cost of airfare for a fellow traveler. So, if you enjoy lux accommodations and perks along your business travel routes, this card will hold considerable appeal for your business.

This card benefits companies with frequent travel on the agenda, particularly when employees are included in the mix. You’ll also enjoy free baggage checks for you and your colleagues, saving you up to $60 per checked bag. Thus, if you flew four times per year with four employees, you would save up to $960 annually. That’s a good chunk change and likely a reason in itself to justify the annual fee. Among other cost savings, throw in 20% discounts on in-flight purchases, and you have a great card to carry along on business trips.

Down to business with the DeltaSkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

  • APR: Variable APR of 17.24-26.24%, with no special introductory offer on purchases or balance transfers. 
  • Annual Fee: $450 ($550 if the application is received after 1/30/2020).
  • Reward Rates: The Delta Reserve Credit Card earns you two miles for every dollar spent directly with Delta and then one mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer: You’ll receive 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles and 40,000 bonus miles after you make $3,000 worth of purchases in the first three months of card ownership.

Perks and features of the DeltaSkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

  • Priority boarding privileges: You’ll hop on your business flights without delay by flashing main cabin one priority boarding status. This perk applies to all employees or companions who travel on the same reservation. 
  • Delta Sky Club access: Enjoy complimentary visits to Delta lounges at airports around the world. If you’re not on a Delta flight, you’ll pay a reduced access fee of $39 per visit. 
  • Baggage check: When flying round trip on Delta, your first bag is checked for free. Waivers also extend to travelers in the same party on the same reservation. 
  • Companion certificate: Each year, you’ll receive a companion certificate good for a flight within the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Applicable taxes and fees above $75 are the responsibility of the cardholder. 
  • Concierge services: You can enlist the help of a knowledgeable assistant to lend a hand with flight reservations, hotel bookings or a search for a great restaurant.

Is the DeltaSkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card right for my business?

Quite frankly, the allure of a travel card for an organization depends mainly on how often employees travel. If you’re jetting from place to place frequently and want access to private airport lounges and a chance to reach Medallion status, here’s your gateway. You should perform a cost/benefit analysis before committing, but that gets fairly simple when you balance the annual fee against the $545 yearly value of Sky Club access and the companion certificate.

For the freelancer who works remotely and doesn’t visit clients, the DeltaSkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card doesn’t make a lot of sense. The annual fee is prohibitive, the 2X bonus rewards are meted out through SkyMiles via Delta purchases only and most all other benefits are tied to travel. By the same token, the card also isn’t the right fit for a small retail company that operates regionally and whose main expenses include payroll, inventory and overhead. Also, if you’re looking to finance a piece of equipment through a low introductory rate or complete a similarly priced balance transfer, you’ll need to look elsewhere, as the high APR could cut into savings realized elsewhere.

Infrequent travelers who want a more balanced approach could look to the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. The annual fee only sets you back $95 annually and includes a massive 80,000 bonus point welcome offer after spending $5,000 in the first three months. You can also redeem rewards through gift cards or statement credits. And if travel becomes a part of your routine, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program offers a 25% bonus on points redeemed for airfare and hotels. Multiplier bonuses of three points per dollar span travel and everyday expenses, so you have more flexible ways to earn optimum rewards with the Ink Business card.

The bottom line 

Value, in the case of a travel card, is in the eye of the beholder. Whether you own a company that has a troop of mobile employees or just want to bag some satisfying benefits for yourself, the DeltaSkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card will meet your expectations. The annual fee is steep, but in one or two fell swoops, you’ll make up for that cost and erase some of the anxieties and inconveniences of business travel. And you can save some big bucks along the way.

The card won’t appeal to everyone, however. Businesses that stay close to home or spend big outside travel categories won’t want to part with $450 to secure benefits they won’t use. With that in mind, a more preferred option would be a cash-back card offering some basic travel perks but more geared toward rewards on common spending categories. Since you know your business better than anybody, the choice is up to you.

Thom Tracy

Thom Tracy is a writer and consultant with 28 years of experience in the insurance and financial services industries.