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Delta Reserve Upgrade Offer Details

It looks like American Express is scrambling a little bit to get people to hold onto the premium Amex Delta card. Could it be because of the recent Delta changes that will make this card mostly worthless in a year? Or, could it be that cardholders are upset about the new retroactively punishing Delta family card rule? Who knows what triggered this round of upgrade blasts, but the offers have been going out to many, myself included. I wanted to share my Delta Reserve upgrade offer details ,and Rick's as well since his offer is slightly different.

Updated 5/18/24: Added in a new offer people are seeing for the business card as well.

Delta Reserve Personal Upgrade Offer

Here are my Delta Reserve upgrade offer details:

  • Earn 40,000 Delta Skymiles after spending $4,000 on your card within 6 months of upgrading the card.
  • The $650 annual fee is NOT waived
  • I would need to keep the card open for 12 months from upgrade or risk losing the bonus miles
  • You can read our full review on the card here.

Rick's upgrade offer was slightly different / better:

  • Earn 50,000 Delta Skymiles after spending $5,000 on your card within 6 months of upgrading the card.

Delta Reserve Business Card Upgrade Offer

Here are the details for the Delta Reserve Business card upgrade offers that have gone out (HT DDG)

  • Upgrade to the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business Card to earn 30,000 Bonus Miles and a $300 statement credit after you spend $8,000 in purchases on the new Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • The $650 annual fee is NOT waived
  • I would need to keep the card open for 12 months from upgrade or risk losing the bonus miles
  • You can read our full review on the card here.

The spend is twice as much here versus what we have seen on the personal card. You do end up with around $175-$200 more value from the spend. I doubt many will find this offer as compelling overall though.

Card Perks & Earning Structure

The Delta Reserve is all about the perks / access it offers. The earning structure is actually a step down from the less expensive Delta Platinum card:

  • 3x Delta Skymiles per dollar on Delta flights
  • 1x Delta Skymiles per dollar on all other eligible purchases
The card perks are noticeably better though, as it should be for a $550 annual fee. Here are some notable ones:
  • The ability to earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles towards elite status after you spend $30,000 through December 31, 2023, up to 4 times a year
    • Effective January 1, 2024, this benefit will no longer be available, and there will be a new way to earn toward Medallion Status with the Card. Learn more at delta.com/skymilesprogramchanges.
  • Complimentary access to Amex Centurion Lounges when your Delta flight is purchased with the Reserve card.
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club access when traveling on a Delta flight
    • Effective February 1, 2025, cardholders will receive 10 visits per year. To earn an unlimited number of visits each year starting on February 1, 2025, cardholders must spend $75,000 or more each calendar year.
  • Two one-time Sky Club guest passes annually
  • First checked bag free
  • 15% off when using miles to book award travel on Delta flights through delta.com or the Delta app (discount does not apply to partner-operated flights or taxes and fees)
  • Upgrade priority over other Medallion members within the same Medallion level and fare class
  • A companion certificate for a domestic first class, Delta comfort+ or main cabin round-trip each year upon card renewal (plus taxes and fees of up to $80)
  • Main Cabin 1 priority boarding
Delta Reserve Upgrade Offer Details

Is This Offer Worth Taking?

I am going to dive into my personal internal debate on this offer tomorrow. That is because it kind of gums up my plan to take advantage of Delta on the way out the door. I still want to go over who this offer does, and does not, make sense for in general terms though.

Who This Offer Does Not Work For

  • Anyone who has never held the Delta Reserve card before should avoid this and grab one of the increased welcome offers on the card before accepting any upgrades.
  • If you don't value the perks of the card much then the miles are not enough to offset the annual fee
  • Anyone who has Delta lounge access with a Platinum Card or Business Platinum may have a difficult value proposition since having lounge access already lessens the value of the Reserve.
  • If you already struggle to find uses for the Delta Skymiles you do have.

Who This Offer Works For

  • Anyone that has had the Delta Reserve card before could be intrigued to get another similar welcome offer on the card.
  • If you value the lounge access and don't have another Platinum card to get you in
  • If you value the status boarding bump as an elite member, and believe it helps, then it may make sense to take this
  • You have a specific redemption in mind where the 40K, or 50K, Skymiles outweighs the $550 annual fee
  • If you otherwise would have closed your Delta cards and have a stash of Skymiles. The 15% award rebate could come in handy for another year then.

Delta Reserve Upgrade Offer Details: ToP Thoughts

While this upgrade offer is far from a slam dunk that other cards offer, it could make sense for some. To figure out if it is for you use the bullet points listed above. Then ask yourself, do you line up more with the list of people this makes sense for? Or, do you line up more with the list of people it does not work for? Answering that should help you decide what to do with this offer, assuming you are targeted for it.

I'll dive into my thoughts on this offer, and maximizing Delta on the way out the door as a whole, more in depth in an article tomorrow. Until then, let me know if you would take this Delta Reserve upgrade offer in the ToP Facebook Group.

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