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Travelers agree that Delta Sky Club is one of the best airport lounge networks. In fact, there has been a recent influx in membership that’s making it more challenging to gain access as overcrowding becomes more common. Beginning January 01, 2023, general SkyMiles members will no longer be able to purchase access. However, it’s still possible to visit through several travel credit cards.

The Delta Sky Club at LaGuardia Airport. Credit: Delta Air Lines

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards

The best Delta Air Lines credit cards are some of the best options for getting complimentary or discounted lounge access. These cards provide other Delta-related perks including free checked bags, annual companion certificates, and the opportunity to earn Medallion Status Boosts.

Consider these personal cards first:

  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card: Cardholders receive complimentary Sky Club access and also receive two one-time guest passes each year. You can also enjoy Centurion Lounge access when booking Delta flights. The annual fee is $550 (See Rates & Fees).
  • The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card: The cardholder and up to two guests can visit at a discounted rate of $50 per person. Other notable benefits include a free first checked bag and Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding. Its annual fee is $250 (See Rates & Fees).

Learn more: Airline Credit Cards

The small business versions of these cards offer similar lounge benefits. They are the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card.

Neither of the Delta Amex Gold credit cards offers airport lounge benefits.

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a better option when you prefer access to multiple lounge networks, especially if you fly on different airlines. With this card, you can visit Delta Sky Club locations when you’re flying on Delta. Other participating lounge networks include The Centurion Lounge, Priority Pass Select, Escape, and Lufthansa Lounge.

This card also offers airline fee credits, hotel credits, and Uber Cash each year. It’s possible to enjoy several other travel and lifestyle benefits too.

The annual fee is $695 for this travel card, but it comes with perks valued at over $1,400 (See Rates & Fees). You may wonder if the Amex Platinum Card is worth the annual fee. If you travel often, this card can definitely help boost your trips.

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Business travelers wishing to fly in the lap of luxury should consider The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

Its airport lounge benefits are similar to the personal version as you can visit Delta Sky Clubs when you’re flying on an active Delta itinerary. Otherwise, you can visit one of the other Global Lounge Collection partners such as The Centurion or Priority Pass.

Plus, select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Card or any of the Additional Cards on your Platinum Card account.

Additionally, unlock over $1,000 in value per year for statement credits on select purchases, including tech, recruiting, and wireless with the Business Platinum Card.

Cardholders can get up to $189 back per year to enroll in CLEAR® membership when they use their Card to enroll. 

The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees).

Check out our The Business Platinum Card from American Express review to learn more about this card’s many perks.

Buy a Sky Club Membership

Delta recently announced a major policy change regarding who can buy a Sky Club membership.

Starting January 01, 2023, only Medallion members can buy or renew their annual membership with cash or by redeeming SkyMiles.

The annual membership fees are also increasing on January 01, 2023:

  • Individual: $695 or 69,500 miles (was $545 or 54,500)
  • Executive: $1,495 or 149,500 miles (was $845 or 84,500 miles)

You may also consider getting the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Credit Card instead as its annual fee can be more affordable than the individual membership. Plus, you enjoy a few extra loyalty benefits when you’re in the terminal or on the plane.

Related: The Best Airline Miles Credit Cards

Redeem Choice Benefits

Starting February 1, 2023, members qualifying for Diamond Medallion status for the 2024 Medallion Year will need to redeem three Choice Benefit selections (currently two selections) to get Executive Membership.

Additionally, individual memberships and credit card guest pass access will no longer be offered as Choice Benefits for the 2024 Medallion Year and beyond.

Related: Do You Need A Credit Card That Comes With Lounge Access?

Upcoming Delta Sky Club Restrictions

Several other changes are coming that can impact Delta Sky Club access if you don’t have an active membership or a participating credit card.

  • Delta Sky Club members flying on basic economy must have a participating credit card to enter.
  • Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion Members flying internationally in the main cabin or on Delta Comfort+ will no longer receive club access automatically (starting 2/2/2023) unless they have a Sky Club membership or a participating credit card.
  • Diamond Medallion, Delta 360, and Delta One customers will receive an expedited entry when club locations are at capacity.

As a result, getting the Amex Platinum or the Amex Delta SkyMiles Reserve is your best option to verify you have access to the Sky Club locations when you’re flying on Delta flights.

Summary

These Delta Sky Club restrictions are a bummer for casual travelers that periodically visit airport lounges. However, other airlines are implementing similar changes to continue offering an enjoyable experience for frequent flyers and their most loyal customers. Getting one of the best travel credit cards becomes more valuable than before to get the best travel benefits.

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