Delta Air Lines is revamping its credit cards, bringing new benefits but also sharply higher fees.
American Express announced the moves Thursday, as the Delta American Express cards undergo major changes. Delta previously changed its rewards program in the fall, making it harder for cardholders to earn perks and restricting access to its popular SkyClub.
Companion Certificate expansions: This certificate provides Delta Reserve and Delta Platinum cardholders the option to host a friend or family member on a round-flight trip. The new changes expanded the certificate from 48 U.S. states to Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.
Medallion Qualification Dollar: Delta Platinum, Delta Platinum Business, Delta Reserve and Delta Reserve Business cardholders will get $2,500 medallion qualification dollars at the beginning of each qualifying year. Cardholders earn the dollars with daily spending, with $1 MQD for each $10 purchase with Delta Reserve cards and $1 MQD for each $20 purchase with Delta Platinum cards.
New rewards: Certain cards will offer new bonuses while earning rates remain the same.
Delta Gold Business cardholders will earn 2 miles per dollar on U.S. shipping, with up to $50,000 in eligible purchases per category per year. Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express cardholders will earn 1.5 miles per dollar on transit and U.S. shipping purchases. Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express cardholders will earn 1.5 miles per dollar on transit, U.S. shipping, and U.S. office supply stores spending.
New statement credits: Delta will offer a variety of flight credits, stays credits, rideshare credits and Resy credits. Depending on the credit card, members can save on dining, travel, and lodging during their trips.
For example, the new Resy benefit, according to American Express, provides an annual $120 Resy credit spread out over 12 months when you make an eligible Resy purchase. American Express’ resy.com is an online restaurant reservations system, that American Express acquired several years ago. The online reservations system allows you to make reservations at thousands of Resy participating restaurants in the U.S. and globally. You will need to enroll your American Express card with resy.com to take advantage of the benefit. Once you make a reservation and make a purchase at a U.S. Resy restaurant, your American Express account will be credited $10. The offer is good for one $10 credit per month.
Delta will increase annual fees for its six credit cards:
- Delta Reserve and Delta Reserve Business cards: from $550 to $650
- Delta Platinum and Delta Platinum Business: from $250 to $350
- Delta Gold and Delta Gold Business: from $99 to $150
If you plan on applying for an American Express/Delta SkyMiles card, they’ve upped the sign-up bonus miles offers when you spend a specific amount on the card within a certain time frame. For example, if you apply for the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express card with a $350 fee and make $4,000 worth of purchases within six months, you will earn 90,000 Delta SkyMiles. The value of miles, according to bankrate.com, is about 1.2 cents per mile and may vary depending on how they are redeemed.
For accounts opened before Thursday, the fee hikes will go into effect at the next renewal date on or after May 1.
Free Press staff writer Susan Selasky contributed to this report.