Amex Delta benefits / AF changes Jan 30 2020

Like everything else Amex has done lately,
Changes are mostly negative with most of the ‘positive’ changes things that remain poor after the ‘upgrade’. Looks like I will delete my new delta platinum card shortly after the 1yr mark (and hopefully not adversely penalized by Amex for being too close to “cancelling in first year” which is disallowed in terms). I got it just for the large sign-up bonus that was available of $500 credit on $1k delta spend and 50k miles… Before the newly announced AF increase with no new benefits, I was trying to justify the companion cert and checked bags as maybe being worth $200 or at least to try to find that value once.

Edit: Alternately, maybe I downgrade to the Blue and the Pay with Miles feature will at least get me an extra ~10% benefit on the 55k miles I have from the Platinum card.

Free and Gold: I didn’t bother to look at

Delta Platinum:
- Annual fee increases 28.2% from $195 to $250

  • Delta Sky Club per visit fee increases 34.5%, from $29 to $39
  • Loss of 10k miles bonus at $25k spend and 10k miles bonus at $50k spend
  • Increase to delta points earned per category (2x-3x for Delta, 1x-2x for Restaurants/Hotels). Still all pretty terrible compared to other premium cards available. (CSR, etc)
  • Global Entry fee credit. Worthless to me, worth something to others, max value <$25/yr
    Net Value change for the Delta Platinum: Minimum cardholder loss per year of $35. Max loss of ~$255 (if one would use $50k spend for the MQMs, they now lose $200 worth of delta points.)

Delta Reserve:
- Annual fee increase of 22.22% from $450 to $550

  • Removal of Sky Priority Security Access benefit
  • Removal of 15,000 miles at $30k spend and 15,000 miles at $60k spend
  • Increase to delta points earned for Delta spend from 2X to 3X (all other at 1X)
  • Global Entry fee credit. max value <$25/yr
  • Access to Complimentary upgrades (members without medallion status)
  • 2 Delta Sky club one-time passes (for guests)
  • Access to Centurion Lounge (only while flying on Delta)
  • 15,000 MQM at $90k spend and 15,000 MQM at $120k spend
    Net changes: For a very high delta spender (lots of flights, $120k credit card spending…), has some added features maybe worth the $100-$400 extra cost to them. Centurion lounge (only on Delta), Sky Club guest passes, more MQM available at $90k/$120k spend.
1 Like

Very annoying. Although, companion certificate on the DL plat is still often worth more than $250, unless you mostly travel solo. On the Reserve, it’s worth a bit more, but not $550.

I haven’t worked it out yet, do you have an example redemption? Seems like the other condition is not flying cheaply. From terms, look like they may still charge $75 for the “free” ticket but also require spending an extra $60-$150 on the purchased ticket since it only works with Main Cabin and not Basic Economy fares.
But I haven’t had or used one yet, maybe the fee for usage is <<$75.

The fee is a lot less than $75. It’s similar to mileage awards where it’s around $10. I think most people who have this card are not flying basic economy on 4+ hour flights, and that is where the biggest dollar benefit is anyway. I love basic economy on personal tickets flying for 1-2 hours, but there’s not much point in having status if I’m not going to purchase into main cabin on cross country flights.

I just got the card a couple months ago, so I haven’t used it yet either, but FT has sample itineraries where it works out to a pretty good value, and not like the “fake” free companion international tickets that some of the other credit cards offer that actually require you to pay significantly more to get an identical ticket.

I see, status could change things but I don’t have that :). The CC also gives me main cabin boarding order and checked bag. Maybe I’m looking at it wrong, but the CC basic economy-> main cabin upgrade was the main potential ongoing value I saw when acquiring the card. The only thing the “upgraded” basic economy doesn’t get is assigning seats at time of purchase. I found that Delta seems to also proactively move seats around after auto-placement to put basic economy seats on the same itinerary next to each other (They did so on my KEF>JFK flight, anyways. At T-24 it assigned a separate middle and isle and there were only middles I could change them to. Somewhere before t-6, Delta moved seats around so that they were not separate and instead an adjoining isle and middle. ). So if it’s 2 people, you should either get window and middle or isle and middle.

Maybe I misread, but I thought the Delta companion ticket was not even valid for international flights?

Ive rarely flown delta, but Southwest seems less cost advantaged now so I am also hoping to find a use next year.

Oh, yeah if you don’t have status, there’s not that much of a difference. If you do, you generally cannot get upgraded to comfort or first on basic economy tickets (though on some short flights with few elites, it happens).

If you don’t fly enough on a particular airline to have status, I think it’s generally safe to say that in-flight benefits you get from an airline specific credit card probably aren’t going to be worth much to you.

1 Like