By most accounts, the Delta Amex Platinum Card has the largest portfolio of any American Express card. This includes 7.5 million cardholders, which is greater than The Amex Platinum, which has 6.5 million cardholders. The Platinum is also the most widely accepted credit card in the world, accepted by airlines, hotels, rental car companies, grocery stores, many foreign auto companies and more.

The Delta Amex Bank is a major player in the world of travel credit cards, and it also happens to be one of the biggest cobrand partners in the world. The company says that it has the largest portfolio of cobrand partners (or partners that share a name as is the case with Delta) in the world, and many experts agree. It also happens to be the largest cobrand of the group, being the only one that is not a brand with its own name.

Is The Delta Amex Portfolio Now The Largest, Most Successful Cobrand In The World?

by Gary Leff on July 16, 2021

I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. Citibank is an advertising partner of this site, as is American Express, Chase, Barclays and Capital One. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available — instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same). Terms apply to the offers and benefits listed on this page.

During Delta’s earnings call on Tuesday the airline shared several fascinating statistics, for instance that corporate travel rose from 20% of 2019 levels in March to being 40% recovered in June, and the airline expects to be back to 60% of 2019 levels by September.

Perhaps even more interesting is the detail they shared on their American Express credit card relationship.

  • They’ve seen a 75% increase in new cardmember acquisitions and are now 90% back to 2019 levels
  • They’re seeing an increase in customers upgrading to higher fee cards (Gold -> Platinum -> Reserve)
  • And spend volume on the cards in June was 115% of 2019 levels, even though travel spend is still down 25% on the cards.

Delta’s revenue from American Express has fully recovered from the pandemic, and unsurprisingly the Delta cards are the number one portfolio for spending that American Express has. (Costco of course was larger before American Express lost them to Citibank, and Delta was number two behind Costco even then.)

It will be interesting to hear any data on co-brand partnerships shared during the upcoming United and American Airlines earnings calls. It’s possible that some of this spending growth is transitory, with consumers in a strong cash position as a result of rising asset values (homes, equities) and government stimulus (direct payments, pandemic unemployment) as well as having had fewer opportunities for discretional spend during the pandemic. It’s possible some of this growth is simply driven by higher prices.

It’s also possible that this is unique to Delta, and that could mean the SkyMiles card portfolio has grown beyond the size of the AAdvantage card portfolio, which until now has been largest.

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

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