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The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card annual fee is waived for US military servicemembers and their spouses.
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 on Delta.
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 Card Military
Annual Fee: $550 per year, waived for US military servicemembers and spouses to $0
Welcome Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion(R) Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
- 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)
- Annual Companion Certificate – earn a domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate every year on your account anniversary. *Payment of government taxes and fees of no more than $80 is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions may apply, see terms and conditions.
- 3x miles on Delta purchases, 1x on all other eligible purchases
- Complimentary Delta Sky Club (airport lounge) access when travelling on a Delta flight in any class
- Complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book and fly a Delta Flight with your Reserve Card
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck (military should get Global Entry)
- First checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Earn up to 60,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM) with Status Boost® every year. After you spend $30,000 on your card, you can earn 15,000 MQMs four times per year. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different from the miles you earn towards flights.
- No foreign transaction fees, terms apply
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 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:
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Annual fee: $250, waived for military and spouses to $0
Welcome Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion(R) Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
- Receive an annual Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate on your account anniversary. Payment of government taxes and fees up to $75 may be required.
- 3x Skymiles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels
- 2x Skymiles on restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, and U.S. supermarkets
- 1x Skymiles on all other eligible purchases
- 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
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion(R) Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost(R) per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion(R) Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion(R) Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- No foreign transaction fees, terms apply (rates and fees)
This is a great card by itself, but like the American Express® Gold Card 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 The Platinum Card® from American Express 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 the $550 annual fee, but because of the Amex military fee waiver, you can get a second Amex Delta Reserve with a waived annual fee.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Annual fee: $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99 – fee is waived for active duty military and spouses
Welcome Bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
- 2x miles on Delta purchases, restaurants worldwide, and US supermarkets
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.
- Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
- $100 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, receive a Credit to use toward future travel.
- Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
- No foreign transction fees, terms apply (rates and 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)
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.
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.
Yes, Delta and Amex have an exclusive agreement through 2029. All Delta credit cards are issued by Amex.
Of course, they are partners! Delta accepts Amex for all purchase, both on the ground and in flight.
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.
Delta Reserve is definitely better than than the Amex Delta Platinum. However, you can get both and upgrade the Platinum to another Delta Reserve. Delta Reserve has an annual companion pass in Domestic First Class or Comfort+, while the Delta Platinum companion pass is only in Main Cabin economy.
The Delta Skymiles Reserve card is $550 but the annual fee is waived for US military servicemembers and their civilian spouses.
The best Delta Amex card is definitely the American Express Delta Skymiles Reserve card. The round-trip first class companion pass and complimentary Delta Skyclub access makes this card the obvious choice if you fly Delta often.
As of 2021, the Amex Delta Reserve card will start being manufactured out of metal, similar to the Amex Platinum card.