Both the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card give cardholders complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounges when the primary cardholder flies a Delta marketed and operated flight.
But is this benefit alone worth applying for a Reserve card?
Simply put: no.
Quick Background: American Express Centurion Lounges
Centurion Lounges are premium lounges located in several airports throughout the world — and their network is expanding. They feature cocktails, buffet spreads designed by renowned (at least locally) chefs, showers, nice places to relax, and more.
Some have family areas where kids can play without disturbing other guests.
Here are some Centurion Lounge locations and our reviews:
- American Express Centurion Lounge Las Vegas (LAS)
- American Express Centurion Lounge Los Angeles (LAX)
- American Express Centurion Lounge San Francisco (SFO)
- Old American Express Centurion Lounge DFW (now closed)
- New American Express Centurion Lounge DFW
- American Express Centurion Lounge Miami (MIA)
- American Express Centurion Studio Seattle (SEA)
- American Express Centurion Lounge New York LaGuardia (LGA)
Centurion Lounge Benefit for Delta Reserve Cardholders
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card receive free access to Centurion Lounges when traveling that same day on Delta. (The benefit is valid only at Centurion Lounges in the United States and Hong Kong. (Reserve cardholders also enjoy complimentary admission to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta itineraries.)
Cardholders may bring up to two guests at $50 each. But guests, too, must be on a Delta itinerary that same day.
The terms and conditions stipulate that “The eligible flight must be booked on a U.S. issued American Express charge or credit Card.” I’m not sure how that’s enforced. If you buy a flight with a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card, can you still enter? Although maybe Delta somehow codes boarding passes to alert Centurion Lounge check-in reps if you didn’t book with an American Express card.
Keep in mind you can’t access Centurion Lounges when arriving at your final destination. And don’t try to enter more than three hours before your flight.
Food, beverage, and ambiance-wise, I’ll take nearly any Centurion Lounge over most Delta Sky Club any day. The only exception is the overcrowded and underwhelming Centurion Studio Seattle — which I visited for ten minutes before bolting to the fantastic, nearby Delta Sky Club.
Why the Centurion Lounge Benefit Alone Might Not Be Worth Getting a Reserve Card
Many Centurion Lounges aren’t located in the same terminals as Delta. In Dallas, you need to take the post-security AirTrain from Delta’s gates to the Centurion Lounge. The San Francisco and Miami lounges, for example, are so far away that you travel to another terminal land-side and enter security.
In Las Vegas, though, the Centurion Lounge is relatively close — only a five-minute walk.
Plus, keep in mind access is limited to just the cardholder — who must be flying a Delta itinerary that day. If you’re a free agent and travel other airlines, you’ll receive far more benefits from The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. The non-Delta Amex Platinum cards allow you to bring two guests for free to the Centurion Lounge. (Well, until February 2023.) And you can fly any airline you want and still have access.
For example, I work in Las Vegas several times a year and usually fly Southwest. The Reserve cards’ Centurion Lounge benefits wouldn’t get me admission. But my Platinum Card® from American Express does — and I usually bring two colleagues with me.
Plus, both The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express come with Delta Sky Club access (just like the Reserve cards), Priority Pass Select Membership (which the Reserve cards don’t have), and admission to the Global Lounge network (also not included with the Reserve cards). Enrollment is required to take advantage of the Priority Pass Select benefit.
Should You Still Get a Delta Reserve Card?
Don’t get me wrong: the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card are great for helping Medallions see more upgrades and acquire gobs of MQM. The first class BOGO is a nice benefit, too. The Centurion Lounge benefit is certainly a nice plus.
But if you’re a casual flyer who doesn’t care about upgrades, MQM, or the BOGO — and only has Centurion Lounges in your eyes, consider The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.
What Do You Think About the Delta Reserve Cards’ Centurion Lounge Access Benefit?
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To see rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please visit this link. Terms apply.
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