I have held either a Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card (or both) for as long as I can remember. I am talking about decades of card membership. My business Reserve card is one of my oldest credit cards I have ever held. Every year come January 1st it has been my go-to card for spending at least $60,000 per year. Why?
- MQMs. It really is all about helping me keep my status and I need MQMs to help make up for any shortfall in flying 125,000 per year. Spending 2 x $30,000 per year has earned me the bonus MQMs I have needed year after year.
- Upgrades. I want to always be in the pointy end of the jet and if I did not clear my upgrade preflight I wanted to be #1 on the upgrade list. My Delta Amex Reserve card helps me do that.
- 1st class BOGO cert. The value of a “free” first class ticket for my wife could and does all but wipe out the rather substantial fee for the card.
- Sky Club access. The Reserve card gets me into the Delta Sky Clubs when I fly Delta — and I even get a few guest passes each year. I value all the perks the Sky Club offers me.
- Amex Offers for You. I have harvested, over the years, a huge amount of rebates on purchases that have helped to justify the large yearly fee for this card.
But then 2020 and COVID happened.
I have not been on a Delta jet since February when I returned from my NCL Breakaway Western Caribbean cruise (at least I got to see the new New Orleans Sky Club). I do not plan to get on a Delta jet, or any other airline, for the rest of 2020 because it is clearly not safe, or enjoyable, to travel just now, no matter what Delta does or says to try to convince me otherwise. I will be shocked if I fly before the summer of 2021 and it may be as late at Q4 of 2021 before I once again set foot into an airport.
Thus almost my entire list of benefits for the Delta Amex Reserve card is all but worthless (for now). They have NOT done smart things like the non-Delta The Platinum Card® from American Express has done to extend other non-travel related credits and perks to make me want to keep the card (and even use it for daily spend).
Beyond that, I am still really ANGRY at Delta for the change to the ¼ million spend change to be MQD exempt for Diamond status. I hope Delta’s loyalty people rethink this ridiculously punishing change in value to my Delta Amex card – but I am not holding my breath.
I have no interest in putting extra spend on any Delta Amex card just now because after Delta has mortgaged Skymiles I fully expect the prices for awards to go up and with NO PUBLISHED AWARD CHARTS we all know Delta can, if they want to, charge 1+ Million miles for a single award ticket.
Delta has called 2020 a “push” by rolling over my Diamond status from this year to next year. But with likely very limited flying next year I have little incentive to keep the card for, presumably, a more normal 2022 flying year. If 2022 is looking better then I can plan a bunch of mileage runs to start the year along with making card choices.
I did call the Amex retention line but they were not willing to waive the fee for a year or give me a massive amount of Skymiles as a motivation to keep the card as is. That left with me few options other than downgrade to the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card.
Bottom line: I am happy to pay $55 for a year to keep “a” Delta Amex card and only spend on things that can reward me with Amex Offers at a discount and keep my large credit line alive until the time I again want to upgrade the card back to a Reserve card.
Now it is up to you dear Delta Air Lines to make me want to do that again rather than dump it and move on and to fix so many of the things they have broken with Skymiles over the years – that and for COVID to go away and be safe to travel all over the world once again. – René
PS – Hey Delta, since you read the blog, how about you start by bringing back stopovers on award tickets! THAT would be a HUGE move in the right direction.
To see rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please visit this link.
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