August 11, 2022

Credit Cards That Get You Discounted or Free Delta Sky Club Access

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Credit Cards That Get You Discounted or Free Delta Sky Club Access

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  • If you want access to Delta Sky Club lounges, certain Delta credit cards can get you in for free.
  • This is a better deal than paying for a Sky Club lounge membership outright.
  • However, you can also get access with other premium Amex cards, although the annual fees are higher.
  • Read Insider’s guide to the best airline credit cards.

Like the other major US airlines, Delta has its own network of airport lounges, called Delta Sky Clubs. With dozens of locations in the US, Sky Clubs offer a place to relax and enjoy amenities including free snacks, drinks, and Wi-Fi before your flight. 

Normally, Delta Sky Club access is restricted to passengers traveling in eligible premium cabins on Delta and SkyTeam partners, certain elite members on qualifying flights, or those who have purchased a Sky Club membership. Membership prices start at $545 per year, but if you have the right credit card, you can access Delta Sky Clubs at no charge.

Read more: Guide to the best Delta credit cards in 2022

The best credit card with Sky Club lounge access for you depends on your other travel goals and spending habits. Here’s a rundown of the differences between these cards to help you choose.

Delta Sky Club credit card access

If you have the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, you can access Delta Sky Clubs if you’re traveling on a Delta flight that same day. These cards also come with day-of-travel benefits on Delta flights, including a free checked bag and priority boarding for the cardholder and up to eight companions on the same reservation.

Read more: Amex Platinum vs Delta Reserve: Both get you into any Delta lounge, but one goes even further — here’s how to decide which premium card is right for you

But even if you don’t want to commit to opening a Delta co-branded credit card, there’s a way to get into Delta Sky Clubs for free. The Platinum Card® from American Express
and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
also come with Sky Club lounge access if you’re flying on a same-day Delta flight — in addition to offering complimentary entry to other lounges in the Amex Global Lounge Collection, including:

  • Amex Centurion Lounges (some of the best airport lounges in the US)
  • Priority Pass** (more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide)
  • Escape Lounge – The Centurion Studio Partner
  • Plaza Premium lounges
  • Lufthansa lounges (when flying Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, or SWISS)

Delta credit cards with Sky Club access


Regular APR


15.99% – 24.99% variable APR


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.99% – 24.99% variable APR


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Annual companion certificate benefit, which is valid for domestic first class and Comfort+ as well as the main cabin
  • Access to Delta Sky Clubs and American Express Centurion Lounges when you’re flying Delta
  • Earns 3x miles on Delta purchases

Cons

  • Very high annual fee
  • Doesn’t offer bonus miles on non-Delta purchases

Read Our Review
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More Information

  • Earn 100,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn up to 60,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 15,000 MQMs up to four times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Receive a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+® or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Complimentary access into the Delta Sky Club® for you when travelling on a Delta flight.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge or Escape Lounge – The Centurion® Studio Partner when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

The $550-annual-fee (See Rates) Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and $550-annual-fee (See Rates) Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card come with Delta Sky Club access for the primary cardholder and any additional cardholders when traveling on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight.

Read more: Delta SkyMiles Reserve card review

Cardholders are also eligible to bring in up to two guests or immediate family (spouse or domestic partner and children under 21 years of age) at a cost of $39 per person, per visit, provided the guests are traveling on a same-day Delta or Delta partner-operated flight.

In addition, when you first open your card and each year on your account anniversary, you’ll receive two one-time Sky Club lounge guest passes. These can be used by guests traveling with you, as long as they’re also flying on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight.

The annual fees on these cards are just a smidge higher than the cost of buying a Delta Sky Club lounge membership outright, so opening a card is a better value considering all the other perks you receive. These cards are also a good choice if you want to boost your Delta SkyMiles account balance by earning miles for your everyday spending.

Read more: Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card review

Along with a free first checked bag and priority boarding on Delta, cardholders also get access to Amex Centurion lounges when they fly Delta and use the card to pay for their ticket. The Delta Reserve cards also offer an annual Delta companion certificate, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, access to complimentary upgrades and upgrade priority, and a slew of other travel and purchase protections.

Amex Platinum card Delta Sky Club access


Regular APR


See Pay Over Time APR


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


See Pay Over Time APR


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Long list of travel benefits, including airport lounge access and complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott (enrollment required)
  • Annual statement credits with Saks and Uber

Cons

  • Bonus categories leave something to be desired
  • One of the highest annual fees among premium travel cards

Read Our Review
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More Information

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

If you want Delta SkyClub access but don’t want to lock yourself into a Delta co-branded card and/or earning Delta miles, the Platinum Card and Amex Business Platinum Card are also excellent choices. Both cards allow Delta SkyClub access for the primary cardholder and authorized users, again only if they’re flying Delta that day.

Read more: Amex Platinum card review

With a $695 annual fee (See Rates), the Platinum Card is pricier than either of the Delta Reserve cards. But in return, cardholders receive more comprehensive lounge access and a generous suite of perks that can more than offset the annual fee, including:

If you’re a small-business owner, the Amex Business Platinum Card with a $695 annual fee (See Rates) could be a better bet. It offers the same airport lounge access as the personal Platinum Card, and comes with slightly different benefits that include:

  • Up to $200 per year in airline incidental fee credits** on your selected airline
  • Up to $400 in statement credits toward U.S. Dell purchases** each calendar year once you enroll your card (divided into two $200 credits: up to $200 between January and June, and up to $200 between July and December)
  • Up to $10 per month in statement credits toward purchases made from any US wireless telephone provider (up to $120 per calendar year)
  • Up to $360 per year in Indeed credits** (up to $90 per quarter)
  • Up to $150 per calendar year** in statement credits toward select Adobe purchases, including Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat Pro DC

Read more: Amex Business Platinum card review

Another way to get discounted Delta Sky Club access


Regular APR


15.99% – 24.99% variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.99% – 24.99% variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® 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® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S. and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

If you’re not willing to commit to a card with a $500+ annual fee but still want to enjoy occasional Delta Sky Club access, consider the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card. These cards have a $250 annual fee (See Rates) and come with a free first checked bag and priority boarding on Delta flights, along with other travel perks.

Read more: Delta SkyMiles Platinum card review

While these cards don’t offer complimentary Sky Club access, cardholders can get a reduced rate of $39 per person per visit when they use the card to pay and are flying Delta or a Delta partner airline that day. The rate also applies to up to two guests or immediate family traveling with you.

Bottom line

Delta Sky Club airport lounges can make your travels more comfortable and save you money on expensive airport food and drinks. And you don’t have to be flying first class or have elite status to get access.

You can always pay $545 or more per year for a Delta Sky Club membership, but frequent Delta flyers can get a better deal by opening one of four cards that offer Sky Club access when you have a same-day Delta flight:

Alternately, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card offer cardholders access at a discounted rate of $39 per visit.