AMEX Delta Credit Cards With No Annual Fee for Military

See why the AMEX Platinum is my top recommended military credit card.
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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. They also can 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 generous interpretation of the SCRA law.

American Express and Delta usually offer really good 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

AMEX Delta Reserve card free for US military
  • American Express Delta Reserve – learn how to apply
  • This is my TOP recommended AMEX Delta card for military
  • $450 (increasing to $550 in 2020) annual fee waived for US military (active duty and Title 10/32 Guard/Reserve)
  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Free Delta Sky Club (airport lounge) access
  • 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 $450 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 learn how to apply
  • $195 (increasing to $250 in 2020) annual fee waived for military and spouses
  • LIMITED TIME OFFER (ENDS 30 Oct 19) 75,000 Delta Skymiles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM) after $3000 of purchases in the first 3 months
  • Receive 50% cash back in the form of statement credits on purchase made directly with Delta with your new card within the first 3 months of Card member up to $500 cash back. Expires 8/15/2019
  • 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

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

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 $450 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
  • American Express Delta Gold card – Learn how to apply
  • 30,000 Delta Skymiles after $1000 in purchases in the first 3 months of card membership
  • $50 Statement Credit for any Delta purchase with your Card within your first 3 months
  • $95 annual fee waived for US active duty military
  • 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!

5 thoughts on “AMEX Delta Credit Cards With No Annual Fee for Military”

    • 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 card slots with a hotel credit card or the AMEX Platinum card.

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

    Reply
  2. 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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