AMEX Delta Credit Cards Military Benefits 2020 | No Annual Fee for Active Duty

I will show you how to get your 1st $550 annual fee waived in my Ultimate Military Credit Cards course
The Chase Sapphire Reserve travel card is fee waived for military.

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American Express Delta credit cards are an excellent way for military servicemembers and their spouses to earn free travel around the US and internationally. These travel credit cards provide lounge access, annual companion passes, and help you get upgraded to a higher class of travel.

Military servicemembers and their spouses can get all of the Delta AMEX cards without an annual fee. This is thanks to AMEX's Military Lending Act and SCRA policy.

American Express and Delta usually offer excellent limited time offers on these cards. Since you are restricted to earning AMEX welcome bonuses once per lifetime, you should wait for one of these limited time offers to come around.

American Express Delta Reserve Military

AMEX Delta Reserve card free for US military

American Express Delta Reserve

Annual Fee: $550 per year, but waived for US military servicemembers and spouses to $0

Welcome Bonus: 40,000 bonus Skymiles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM). Earn 40,000 miles when you spend $3000 in the first 3 months of cardmembership.

  • This is my TOP recommended AMEX Delta card for military
  • $550 annual fee waived for US military (active duty and Title 10/32 Guard/Reserve)
  • 3x miles on Delta purchases
  • 20% off in-flight Delta purchases, posted as a statement credit
  • Free Delta Sky Club (airport lounge) access when travelling on a Delta flight in any class
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck (military should get Global Entry)
  • Annual Companion Certificate
  • No foreign transaction fees

The AMEX Delta Reserve is my top recommended Delta AMEX card for military personnel and spouses.

This card really packs a lot of features in. The biggest benefit of this card is the annual companion certificate, which is especially generous if you live in Hawaii or Alaska.

After you have had the card for a year and renew it, you will be offered a companion pass. It's valid for a round-trip First Class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin companion ticket within the contiguous 48 states. You just have to pay taxes and fees for your companion.

The companion pass normally excludes Hawaii and Alaska. However, residents of Hawaii and Alaska, including military personnel stationed there, can take flights originating in Hawaii and Alaska to the main 48 states and return. You must have a Hawaii or Alaska address in your Skymiles account.

Here's the fine print:

Companion Certificate valid for one round-trip First Class, Delta Comfort+® or Main Cabin Companion ticket with the payment of applicable taxes and fees detailed below and the purchase of certain adult round-trip fares on published routings within the 48 contiguous United States. Residents of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) must originate from there to the 48 contiguous United States and have an address on their SkyMiles account in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the USVI.

AMEX Delta Reserve Benefits for Military

Second, you can earn the welcome bonus. That's a lot of miles in your account and Delta Skymiles never expire.

Third, you can get free Delta Sky Club access with this card. You must have your card on you and a same day boarding pass on a Delta marketed (code-shared) or operated flight.

Guests are allowed at $29 per person. Not ideal, but if your spouse gets their own annual fee-waived card, that can help out.

Delta Sky Clubs offer a break from the normal airport terminal experience, similar to what you get with an AMEX Centurion lounge or Priority Pass lounge, both free with an AMEX Platinum card.

Finally, this card is 100% free for military servicemembers and spouses. That is a ridiculous benefit no one else gets.

The card is worth the $550 annual fee for the companion pass and the welcome bonus points, but when you get all of these benefits for no annual fee? It's a no-brainer.

Right you you could earn 210,000 Delta Skymiles as a welcome bonus across 3 of the Delta credit cards listed on this page. That could get you in Delta's awesome lie flat product, Delta One, from Honolulu to Atlanta round-trip:

American Express Delta Platinum

AMEX DELTA Platinum no annual fee for military

American Express Platinum Delta Skymiles

Annual fee: $250, waived for military and spouses

Welcome Bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus Skymiles after spending $3000 in the first 3 months of card membership.

  • Earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • 3x Skymiles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels
  • 2x Skymiles on restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets
  • 20% off in-flight purchases on Delta, posted as a statement credit
  • Main Cabin Priority 1 boarding – get that overhead storage!
  • First checked bag free – Delta usually checks up to 4 bags free for US military on leave or on orders
  • Fee credit for Global Entry (military should get this one) or TSA Precheck
  • No foreign transaction fees

This is a great card by itself, but like the AMEX Gold and AMEX Green, you can upgrade this card to the highest tier AMEX Delta Reserve and earn an additional companion pass every year. Learn more about upgrading the AMEX Gold to Platinum and the AMEX Green to Platinum.

Simply keep this card on a separate AMEX login or move it to a separate login. After one year of card membership, you should be offered an upgrade link in the “Useful Links” section of your AMEX account.

Normally upgrading would carry a $550 annual fee, but because of the AMEX military fee waiver, you can get a second AMEX Delta Reserve for NO annual fee.

American Express Delta Gold

AMEX Delta Gold for Military and Spouses

American Express Delta Gold

Annual fee: $99 fee waived for active duty military and spouses, and $0 for the first year for everyone

Welcome Bonus: Earn 35,000 bonus Skymiles.

  • 2x miles on Delta purchases, restaurants worldwide, and US grocery stores
  • 20% off in-flight purchases, posted to your account as a statement credit
  • Main Cabin Priority 1 boarding – get that overhead storage!
  • First checked bag free – Delta usually checks up to 4 bags free for US military on leave or on orders
  • No foreign transaction fees

Like the Platinum Delta Skymiles from American Express above, you can upgrade this card after 1 year to an additional Delta Reserve. This unlocks yet another annual companion pass for you.

I hope you saved up a lot of leave for all the free flying you're going to be able to do!

AMEX Delta Credit Card Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does American Express Delta waive annual fees for military?

Yes! AMEX Delta cards are all fee waived, including the $550 per year AMEX Delta Reserve. Head to this page if you want to learn more about AMEX's MLA and SCRA policy.

Do military spouses get AMEX Delta credit cards with no annual fee?

Yes! As parts of AMEX's Military Lending Act (MLA) and Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA) compliance, accounts opened before or during active duty military service are eligible for an annual fee waiver. Learn more about AMEX MLA here.

Are all Delta credit cards from American Express?

Yes, Delta and AMEX have an exclusive agreement through 2029. All Delta credit cards are issued by AMEX.

Does Delta Airlines accept AMEX?

Of course, they are partners!

Is the Delta American Express card worth it?

The Delta Reserve card from American Express is 100% worth it for military servicemembers and their spouses. The $550 annual fee is waived to $0. You get all the benefits and perks of card membership without paying the annual fee.

15 thoughts on “AMEX Delta Credit Cards Military Benefits 2020 | No Annual Fee for Active Duty”

  1. I am a military spouse and i have regular a sky miles card. Can i request to be upgrade to the Amex Delta Reserve Military Card?

    Reply
    • Yes, but you should probably just open your own Amex Delta Reserve card and earn the welcome bonus as well! Don’t upgrade if you haven’t had the card before. You will miss out on the valuable welcome bonus.

      Reply
  2. I have to put this card on a separate login to be eligible for an upgrade? I won’t get the upgrade offer if I put all the cards in a same account? I currently have platinum.

    Reply
    • That’s the easiest way to upgrade. If it’s on the same account you have to call to upgrade. If it’s on a separate login, then you can request the upgrade online. You can upgrade the Delta Platinum to the Delta Reserve. I recommend you get a Reserve first before you upgrade the Platinum to it, so you earn the welcome bonus.

      Reply
  3. Can someone help? I keep getting the runaround from AMEX. They are saying that because my account was opened during the active duty time period, my account is not eligible for relief under SCRA. Therefore, my annual fee will not be waived. Is this correct? The rep I talked with when setting it up said the annual fee is waived for AD/Reservists/NG SMs.

    Reply
  4. Another big bonus is being able to pay with miles. $0.01/mile isn’t a great redemption, but it beats their miles+dollars fares.

    You might want to include the other January additions. Delta Reserve gained guest passes to the Sky Club, Centurion lounge access, and travel insurance. Also, new bonuses: Reserve is 70k miles for $5,000 spend, Platinum is 70k for $2,000 spend plus a $100 credit for a Delta purchase, and Gold is 50k miles for $1,000 spend.

    Reply
  5. I am having trouble, as the military spouse, getting annual fee waived for my Delta Reserve under SCRA or otherwise. Does the AD SM have to be listed as a joint owner on the account for it to qualify? Under the SCRA eligibility section on AMEX website, it appears as though SM must be joint on account. What has been your experience?

    Reply
    • Wai – Yes! You can have up to 5 AMEX credit cards, so if you wanted to you could open up 2 more AMEX Delta Reserve cards and get 5 free companion passes a year. But you may want to fill those other 2 AMEX credit card slots with a hotel credit card.

      Reply
  6. Service members currently stationed overseas? Tickets from Korea to most of the surrounding countries aren’t expensive…

    Reply
  7. I thought you couldn’t stack cards like that. Meaning you could apply and received all three but you would not earn the rewards.

    Are you saying you have all three and received all the miles?

    Reply

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