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Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Card Review 2023


When flying, many people look to an airline credit card for two key benefits: free checked bags and priority boarding. The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
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The information for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

(terms apply) offers those and a few other key perks that can justify its annual fee, assuming you learn how to use them. These include an annual companion flight certificate and a 15% discount when redeeming your miles on Delta flights. Our Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card review helps you understand this card to decide whether you should apply.


Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card basics

  • Annual fee: $250.
  • Welcome bonus: 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first three months of card membership.
  • Rewards: 3 miles per $1 on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and on eligible purchases made directly with hotels, 1.5 miles per $1 on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more up to 50,000 additional miles per calendar year and 1 mile per $1 on other eligible purchases.
  • Recommended credit score: While there’s no specific requirement, most American Express cards require a good to excellent credit score for approval. This is typically considered 670 or above, though other factors beyond just your credit score will be evaluated.
  • Other benefits: When flying with Delta, you’ll get a free first checked bag and Main Cabin 1 priority boarding, plus you’ll receive a Main Cabin (economy) companion certificate on each account anniversary, useful for bringing someone on a flight with you after paying no more than $80 in taxes and fees. Enjoy 20% back in statement credits on eligible inflight Delta purchases with your card and 15% discounts on Delta award flights using your miles. You’ll also get up to $100 back as a statement credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee (available every 4 years for Global Entry or 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck).

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card review

Business owners who travel regularly have no shortage of airline credit cards to choose from, offering everything from a few perks (typically with no annual fee) to luxury perks like upgrades and lounge access (typically with annual fees of $400 or higher). 

For those who want something between these two extremes, the most important benefits likely are free checked bags, priority boarding and discounts that improve the travel experience. The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Card offers these and more for a moderate annual fee of $250.

When traveling on Delta, you’ll receive a free first-checked bag. This benefit also extends to those traveling on your same reservation — up to eight companions. The same number of companions will also enjoy your priority boarding benefit, which allows you to board in the group Main Cabin 1. This group boards before all other economy passengers, though you could board earlier if you earn elite status with Delta Air Lines or travel in a premium cabin.

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card also offers a 20% discount (as a statement credit) for eligible inflight food and beverage purchases made with your card on Delta flights. 

You’ll also receive a statement credit of up to $100 to reimburse your application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. This benefit is available once every 4 years (Global Entry) or every 4.5 years (TSA PreCheck). As Global Entry membership provides access to TSA PreCheck lanes, getting Global Entry is the better option, though it requires an in-person interview.

On each cardholder anniversary, you’ll receive a companion certificate that allows you to bring a friend on a Delta flight within the continental U.S., eligible for economy cabin bookings. To redeem this certificate, you’ll pay taxes and fees of no more than $80. 

The most unique benefit on this card, however, is the TakeOff 15 benefit. When redeeming your SkyMiles for Delta flights, you’ll pay 15% fewer miles than those without an eligible Delta credit card. There is no limit to how often you can use this benefit, meaning the only limit to how many miles you’ll save with this benefit is based on how many miles you redeem. 

When making purchases or booking travel, the card also offers several built-in protections. These include no foreign transaction fees, secondary car rental insurance¹, trip delay insurance (applicable after delays of 12 hours or more)² and a baggage insurance plan³. 

You’ll also enjoy purchase protection for up to 90 days⁴ and extended warranty benefits, offering an additional year on warranties of five years or less⁵. Plus, cardholders have access to Amex Offers, which provide targeted offers for cash back or bonus points on eligible purchases from numerous merchants. 

If you’re interested in earning elite status with Delta, cardholders can accelerate their progress with purchases on this card. Until January 1, 2024 you can earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $25,000 on purchases with your card. This benefit is available twice in a calendar year, allowing you to earn up to 20,000 bonus MQMs. Also ending on January 1, 2024, is the ability to pay a $50 per-visit fee to visit a Delta SkyClub lounge using this card.

Pros

  • Free checked bag for you and your companions: You’ll get a free first checked bag on Delta flights, including up to eight companions on your same reservation. 
  • TakeOff 15 benefit provides unlimited mileage savings: Cardholders pay 15% fewer miles when booking Delta flights using their miles. There’s no limit to how much you can save with this benefit, but note that it doesn’t apply to partner airline bookings using your miles.
  • Annual companion certificate can be worth the annual fee itself: This benefit allows you to bring a friend on a flight for no more than $80. If traveling at a peak period, such as spring break or Thanksgiving, this could provide significant savings.

Cons

  • The most valuable benefits require effort to get value: While the companion certificate and TakeOff 15 perk can provide incredible value, they also take effort and knowledge to maximize. 
  • Benefits are available on a card with a lower annual fee: If the benefits you care about are complimentary checked bags and priority boarding, those are available on the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
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    The information for the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

    (terms apply), which has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99 annual fee.
  • Two benefits end in January 2024: Accessing the Delta SkyClub with this card and accelerating your path to elite status through purchases on this card will both disappear on January 1, 2024.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card rewards

You’ll earn 3 miles per $1 on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and on eligible purchases made directly with hotels, 1.5 miles per $1 on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more up to 50,000 additional miles per calendar year and 1 mile per $1 on other eligible purchases. We value Delta SkyMiles at 1.4 cents apiece. Thus, these earning categories represent 4.2%, 2.1% and 1.4% return on spending, respectively.

Let’s look at how many miles a cardholder could potentially earn. We’ll assume a business owner who spends $500 per month on flights and $6,250 on other expenses with the card each month. That’s $6,000 of flights annually and $75,000 of annual spending on other purchases, and let’s say three of those purchases are above $5,000 each.

Earnings vary, based on whether you’re making large or small purchases. Earning 1.5 miles instead of 1 mile per $1 spent adds 50% to your earnings — up to 50,000 bonus miles in this category annually. If you typically make a lot of large purchases, buying inventory for example, then you could earn more than a business owner who spends the same but does it in smaller amounts at a time.

If you’re interested in earning Delta SkyMiles, your best rate will be on Delta purchases made directly with the airline (not through a travel agent or sites like Expedia). However, you won’t earn at high rates on everyday spending, utilities, transit or other business expenses. 

Consider whether you could earn at higher rates with another card, then consider whether those higher earnings are more valuable than the Delta-specific perks you would give up by swapping this card for a different one.

What can you do with your earnings? Let’s look at a few examples. 

With the TakeOff 15 discount, Delta awards between Los Angeles and Honolulu can be found for 9,300 miles each way in Basic Economy or as much as 42,500 per person in first class.

Short, non-stop flights also can present good value. An example is this flight from St. Louis to Minneapolis–St. Paul.

Another option is heading down to Brazil, flying direct from New York City to São Paulo for just 41,600 miles in Basic Economy, thanks to the TakeOff 15 benefit.

Delta doesn’t use fixed pricing, meaning how many miles you need for a flight can change based on demand, cash ticket prices and availability. However, it’s still possible to find flights to Europe for a fair price, such as this economy flight to Paris. Watch out for Delta’s sometimes egregious prices for lie-flat business class.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card perks

On top of the TakeOff 15 benefit, another key to recouping the cost of the annual fee on this card is using the companion certificate. The main rules to keep in mind are that it only applies to Main Cabin (economy) and flights within the continental U.S. (unless you live in Alaska or Hawaii, and then you can use it to fly from your home to the continental U.S.).

You’ll pay taxes and fees to redeem this ticket, and the amount of savings it provides will depend on the cash price of the ticket. You’ll need to buy a ticket for yourself, then you can bring a companion for $80 at most.

Lack of other bonus categories

Many credit cards offer additional bonus categories between “spending with our airline” and “other purchases”. However, that’s not the case here. Aside from purchases of $5,000 or more, there’s no other bonus category. While many small business cards offer bonus earnings on advertising, transit, office supplies, gas and other categories where business owners tend to spend money, it’s a negative to not have an additional earning category on this card. 

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How the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card compares to other small business airline cards 

Business credit cards come in all shapes and sizes. While we’re specifically evaluating an airline credit card today, you may be better served with a general travel rewards credit card if the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card isn’t the ideal card for your small business. Let’s see how this card compares to a few other options.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card vs. United℠ Business Card
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The information for the United℠ Business Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

If you’re considering an airline credit card from another major airline, the United Business Card has an annual fee of $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $99.

You’ll earn 2 miles per $1 at United, on dining (including eligible delivery services), at gas stations, office supply stores and local transit and commuting and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases. You’ll get a free first-checked bag on United flights, which also applies to one companion on your same reservation, and priority boarding on United flights.

With the United Business Card, you can earn a $100 United travel credit after seven qualifying United purchases in a year, 25% back on inflight purchases and a 5,000-mile bonus if you also hold a personal United credit card.

Cardholders also have access to Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection for exclusive hotel bookings, two annual one-time passes to visit a United Club lounge and the ability to accelerate elite status through credit card spending. While you won’t get award discounts with this card, you will have access to extra award redemption seats that United doesn’t make available to the general public.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card vs. CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
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The information for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

 

With the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Card, you’ll pay an annual fee of $99, waived for the first 12 months. Cardholders enjoy a free first-checked bag, which is available to up to four companions on the same reservation. Cardholders also get preferred boarding and 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi, food and beverage purchases with their card. 

Cardholders also can earn a domestic travel companion certificate after spending $30,000 or more on purchases in a year and then renew the card by paying the next annual fee (card must remain open for at least 45 days after account anniversary). Redeeming the certificate costs $99 plus taxes and fees. Keep in mind, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card offers a companion certificate without any spending thresholds to achieve.

With the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Card, you’ll earn 2 miles for every $1 on cable and satellite providers, select telecommunications merchants, eligible American Airlines purchases, car rentals and gas stations and 1 mile per $1 on other purchases. Also earn 1 loyalty point for every mile earned. Cardholders also earn 1 Loyalty Point per $1 spent on the card; Loyalty Points are the metric used for earning AAdvantage elite status. It’s possible to spend your way to American Airlines elite status through spending on this credit card — done much more simply than you can with Delta.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card vs. Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
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The information for the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

 

If your main interests are the free checked bags, TakeOff 15 perk and preferred boarding, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business card version can offer you those at a much lower annual fee then the Platinum Business version. For a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99 annual fee, you’ll still enjoy many of the same Delta-focused perks, 20% savings via statement credits on eligible inflight Delta purchases and access to the TakeOff 15 benefit.

While the Gold version doesn’t offer a companion certificate, it does offer a $100 Delta flight credit after spending $10,000 on purchases in a calendar year. 

On purchases, you’ll earn 2 miles per $1 on eligible purchases made directly with Delta, on U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, U.S. shipping purchases and restaurants and 1 mile per $1 on other purchases. Effective 1/1/24, the U.S. shipping and U.S. advertising categories will have a cap of $50,000 in eligible purchases per category, per year. Unfortunately, this card doesn’t have any bonus categories — a negative trait the cards have in common — but at least the Platinum version earns bonus miles on large purchases. 

Is the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card worth it?

To justify the $250 annual fee year after year, you need to obtain at least the same if not better in value from the card’s perks. Valuing Delta miles at 1.4 cents apiece, you would need to redeem 17,858 miles per year with the TakeOff 15 benefit to get more than $250 in value from those miles. 

However, if you use the companion ticket, calculate the savings from that and adjust the mileage requirement accordingly. For most people, redeeming the companion certificate, getting a free checked bag once or twice, and then earning 10,000 miles annually more than justifies the annual fee. If you aren’t doing those things, then the fee isn’t worth it.

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card is right for you if:

  • You regularly check bags on Delta flights. At $30 for the first checked bag on most flights, you could recoup your annual fee from this benefit alone if you fly regularly and check a bag on each flight.
  • You often fly in Basic Economy and want to overcome its restrictions. Delta co-branded credit card holders can still get free checked bags and preferred boarding when flying the airline’s most discounted fares.
  • You fly Delta often and will benefit from the mileage savings. Getting a 15% discount on award bookings is a valuable benefit if you redeem miles often, and this benefit is one of the best reasons to hold a Delta credit card.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

While the application page doesn’t specify a required score, most Amex cards require a good or excellent credit score. Typically that means a score of 670 or above.

Through January 1, 2024, cardholders have the ability to purchase a Delta SkyClub day pass for a single visit. This costs $50 per visit. However, the ability to access lounges with your card is ending in 2024.

To access a SkyClub, present your same-day boarding pass for a Delta flight, government I.D. and pay the $50 visit fee with your Delta SkyMiles Business Platinum card. However, this benefit is ending in 2024.

The application page does not state an income requirement. Approved applicants have a wide range of personal income amounts and business revenue amounts. Income is not the only factor Amex will consider. Your personal and business credit scores also will be evaluated, as well as factors like previous credit cards you’ve had from Amex and your payment history on those.

¹Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

²Up to $300 per Covered Trip that is delayed for more than 12 hours; and 2 claims per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

³Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

⁴When an American Express® Card Member charges a Covered Purchase with their Eligible Card, Purchase Protection can help protect their Covered Purchases for up to 90 days from the Covered Purchase date if it is stolen or accidentally damaged. The coverage is limited up to $1,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

⁵When an American Express® Card Member charges a Covered Purchase to an Eligible Card, Extended Warranty can provide up to one extra year added to the Original Manufacturer’s Warranty. Applies to warranties of five (5) years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your Card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.