Delta and American Express launch first-ever credit card design made from airplane metal

From June 16 through Aug. 3, 2022, new Delta SkyMiles Reserve and Reserve Business Card Members can apply for a limited-edition, first-of-its-kind Reserve card design, allowing Card Members to experience a piece of the magic, history and innovation of the “Queen of the Skies."

Calling all flyers: For the first time ever, you can carry a piece of an aircraft in your wallet. Delta and American Express are launching a limited-edition Boeing 747 card design made with 25% airplane metal from Delta Ship #6307, a retired Delta Boeing 747 from the airline’s fleet.

“The idea of making a metal credit card out of actual airplane metal began years ago, and the creativity and innovation that was required to achieve this is incredibly meaningful,” said Dwight James, S.V.P. of Customer Engagement & Loyalty at Delta and CEO of Delta Vacations. “We’ve partnered with Amex to transform a piece of Delta’s history into a collector’s item you can use in your everyday. The 747’s legacy lives on for a new generation of Delta flyers through this first-of-its-kind credit card that our members will be proud to keep in their wallets.”

From June 16 through Aug. 3, 2022, customers can apply for the Boeing 747 Delta SkyMiles Reserve and Reserve Business Card – while supplies last. Along with best-in-class travel benefits, it comes with access to exclusive content via an augmented reality experience that comes with the welcome kit. Created especially for the limited-edition card design, the AR experience features the history of the Delta Ship #6307 and the Boeing 747, flight stories and the card transformation.

“This is the most unique card design Delta and Amex have created to date,” said Jon Gantman, SVP and General Manager of Cobrand Product Management at American Express. “To transform fuselage into metal that can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use while still functioning as a contactless credit card was a huge feat. This special-edition Boeing 747 card design is one more way Delta and American Express continue to partner together to bring Card Members unique products and experiences.”

Aircraft History

The Boeing 747 Reserve Card started out as Delta ship #6307, a now-retired Boeing 747-451. The Boeing 747, known as “The Queen of the Skies” and “The Jumbo Jet” for its majestic presence and distinctive “hump,” set the stage for many advancements in air travel and was a beloved part of Delta’s fleet.

The double-decker 747 revolutionized the industry; it was a major engineering advancement compared to prior long-range planes with its speed, long-haul flight capability and sheer size. The aircraft marked the beginning of an era of more accessible international travel and came with luxuries like spiral staircases to the upper deck and stand-alone piano bars.

Following Delta’s 747’s retirement in 2017, Delta introduced the Airbus A350 into its fleet, which is one of the most advanced and fuel-efficient long-haul planes to date. The A350 is the first aircraft to feature the Delta One Suite, the world’s first “all-suite” business class, and an improved cabin experience throughout.

Transformation: The Card

To begin the transformation from “wings to wallet,” Delta teams reached out to the team at the boneyard in Arizona, where the 747 was moved after retirement. The big question: would it be possible to disassemble the main body of the aircraft, the fuselage, and mold it into metal that could be cut into a credit card?

After a year of research and development to ensure the airplane metal could work as a functioning credit card that stands up to daily wear and tear, a team of metal workers began disassembling the aircraft. They then prepped the aluminum exterior so the material could be cleaned, processed and rolled into thin sheets to preserve its authenticity. The Boeing 747 Card is made with 25% airplane metal and has layers of polymer print to protect the aluminum as well as an antenna that enables contactless payments.
In parallel, Delta and Amex were hard at work on a sleek design that pays homage to the aircraft’s history and the 747’s distinctive shape. At every step, teams took care to ensure that the Card would honor the history of the retired aircraft while giving it a new purpose through this project.

Flight Stories

Delta Ship #6307 holds special meaning for many Delta customers and employees; this aircraft has provided transport to US service men and women, evacuated travelers from Florida during Hurricane Irma, united families and friends and transported travelers to bucket-list destinations all over the globe.

The 747 was more than an iconic aircraft. It was the setting for weddings, including flight attendant Holly R. and pilot Gene P.’s, who tied the knot on board Delta’s final 747 ferry flight in 2018.

The Queen of the Skies leaves a legacy that lives on through stories like these and, now, through the limited-edition credit card design in your wallet. If you want to learn more about this iconic aircraft, visit the dedicated Boeing 747 exhibit at the Delta Flight Museum.

Whether you are a foodie, thrill-seeker, business traveler or looking to spend more time with loved ones, the Delta SkyMiles American Express Cards are your ticket to more – and more enjoyable – travel. Learn more about our limited-time offers, special-edition Boeing 747 Reserve and Reserve Business card design and best-in-class travel benefits.