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

See why the AMEX Platinum is my top recommended military credit card.
I can show you how to get your 1st $550 annual fee waived when you sign up for my Ultimate Military Credit Cards course

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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

American Express Delta Reserve

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

Limited Time Welcome Bonus: 100,000 bonus Skymiles and 20,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM). Earn 80,000 miles when you spend $5000 in the first 3 months of cardmembership. Then, earn 20,000 bonus miles on your first card anniversary, 1 year after opening. Offers ends April 1, 2020.

  • 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
  • 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

American Express Platinum Delta Skymiles

Annual fee: $250, waived for military and spouses

Limited Time Welcome Bonus: Earn up to 100,000 bonus Skymiles. Earn 80,000 after spending $3000 in the first 3 months of cardmembership. Then earn another 20,000 miles after your first 1 year anniversary. Offer ends April 1, 2020.

  • 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
  • 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

American Express Delta Gold

Annual fee: $99 fee waived for active duty military and spouses

Limited Time Welcome Bonus: Earn up to 70,000 bonus Skymiles. Earn 60,000 miles after you spend $2000 in the first 3 months of cardmembership. Then earn another 10,000 miles on your 1st year card anniversary. Offer ends April 1, 2020.

  • 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.

AMEX Platinum With NO Annual Fees for US Military

Military servicemembers and spouses can get the American Express Platinum card with NO annual fees.

Learn how to apply for the AMEX military SCRA fee waiver.

The AMEX Platinum offers:

  • $550 Annual Fee WAIVED for US Military (and spouses)!
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards Points with $5000 spend in 3 month
  • $200 credit for Uber rides (or Uber Eats!) annually
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • Centurion Lounge and Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access
  • NO foreign transaction fees

These benefits make the AMEX Platinum my top recommend card.

If you already have an AMEX Platinum card, check out the other AMEX cards, Chase military credit cards, and this month's top recommended credit card bonuses, most with no annual fees for US military personnel.

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Comments (8)
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  • Alec Fleicher

    Does this annual fee get waived for Reservists?

  • Jade

    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?

    • Spencer

      Was the account opened before active duty service or before Oct 2017?

  • Wai

    Spencer, my mind is blown. I can pretty much get 3 FREE companion passes/year. =D

    • Spencer

      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.

  • Jake

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

  • Harris

    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?