Delta and American Express Increase Credit Card Fees, Enhance Benefits
February 2, 2024: Delta Air Lines and American Express have jointly announced adjustments to their co-branded credit card portfolio, impacting cardholders with both fee increases and benefit enhancements. This move, effective May 1st, 2024, for existing customers, reflects a strategic shift to bolster the value proposition while aligning pricing with the expanded offerings.
Annual fees will witness upward revisions across the three tiers of cards – Gold, Platinum, and Reserve. The Gold card will see a $51 increase to $150, while the Platinum card’s fee jumps to $350, representing a $100 climb. The most significant increase applies to the Reserve card, rising by $100 to land at $650 annually.
Despite the fee hikes, cardholders are not left empty-handed. Each tier boasts an array of new benefits designed to offset the increased cost and provide greater value, particularly for frequent travelers. The Gold card introduces a $100 annual Delta Stays credit and a $200 Delta flight credit upon reaching specific spending thresholds. The Platinum card ups the ante with a $120 Resy credit, a $120 rideshare credit, and a $150 Delta Stays credit. Finally, the Reserve card offers a combined $560 annual statement credits – $240 Resy, $120 rideshare, and $200 Delta Stays.
Furthermore, the cards continue to offer core benefits such as Delta SkyMiles® earning on purchases, airport lounge access, complimentary companion certificates, and priority boarding. Notably, the Platinum and Reserve cards also boast MQD (Medallion Qualification Dollars) boosts and waiver of foreign transaction fees, catering specifically to frequent flyers seeking elite status within Delta’s loyalty program.
The fee hikes and benefit enhancements have sparked mixed reactions. While some cardholders appreciate the expanded offerings, others express concerns about affordability, particularly for those who may still need to utilize the new benefits fully. The long-term impact on cardholder retention and overall program success remains to be seen.
This development comes amid broader trends within the credit card industry, where issuers are increasingly balancing fee increases with enhanced benefits to cater to diverse customer preferences and maintain profitability. Whether Delta and American Express’s strategy successfully retains and attracts cardholders within the competitive travel rewards landscape will unfold in the coming months.