Delta Gold vs Platinum Cards: Which is Right for You?
delta gold vs platinum

The Delta Gold vs Platinum Cards: Which is Right for You?

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For more information check out our Advertising Disclosure.

American Express and Delta are out with the biggest-ever welcome bonus offers on the suite of Delta co-branded credit cards through April 28. And two of those offers stand out above the rest as the best option for most travelers: The Delta Gold vs Platinum SkyMiles cards.

But even between these two cards, there are some key differences and factors for each traveler to consider. The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card might be a slamdunk for you while the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card just doesn’t make sense – or vice versa.

Thrifty Tip: Already had the SkyMiles Gold Card? You’re still eligible to earn the bonus on the Platinum SkyMiles card, or vice versa!

It’s time to put these cards head to head. We’ll help you decide which one is best for you. But before we break down the differences between these cards, let’s take a look at what each one brings to the table.
 


 

Current Offers on the Delta Gold vs Platinum Cards

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

  • Earn 70,000 SkyMiles after spending $2,000 in the first three months of card membership. This limited-time offer ends April 28, 2021.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight – savings of up to $60 on each round-trip flight per person.
  • Priority Boarding (even with a basic economy ticket)
  • Earn 2x SkyMiles per dollar spent at both restaurants and U.S. supermarkets
  • Earn 2x SkyMiles per dollar on eligible Delta purchases and 1x mile for all other spending. Though you can get an Amex offer to earn 5x miles per dollar.
  • Earn a $100 Delta flight credit if you spend $10,000 on the card in a calendar year.
  • Enjoy 20% off in-flight purchases such as food & drinks in the form of a statement credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year (then $99 per year).

 

Delta gold vs platinum
 

Click Here to learn more about the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card.

 

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

 

Delta gold vs platinum
 

Click Here to learn more about the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card.

 

Annual Fee

One of the biggest differences between the Gold and Platinum versions of the Delta SkyMiles credit cards from American Express comes down to the upfront cost. That alone can be a make-or-break for many travelers weighing the Delta Gold vs Platinum SkyMiles cards.

The Platinum version has an annual fee of $250 each year and it is not waived for your first year of card membership.

The Gold version, meanwhile, has an annual fee of just $99. And that is waived for your first year of card membership.

Just what you get in exchange for that annual fee differs – we’ll take a look at that shortly. However, the Delta SkyMiles Gold card is free for the first year. And it allows you to earn 70,000 SkyMiles free of charge after spending $2,000 in the first three months.

Regardless of any other benefits, that makes it the clear winner in this category.

Read more: The Best for Delta Fans: A Full Review of the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card.
 

Delta gold vs platinum
 

Winner: The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

 

Welcome Bonuses on Delta Gold vs Platinum Cards

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card: Earn 70,000 SkyMiles after spending $2,000 in the first three months of card membership. This offer ends April 28. 

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card: Earn 90,000 SkyMiles after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. This offer ends April 28.

In a vacuum, the welcome offer bonus on the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card is stronger. Of course, there are other things to consider, but earning 90,000 SkyMiles from one welcome offer bonus is a big deal.

But the Delta SkyMiles Gold card allows you to earn 70,000 SkyMiles without paying a first-year annual fee. And that is nothing to sneeze at.
 

Delta gold vs platinum
 

Winner: The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

Although the annual fee is more and not waived for the first year, you will simply earn more SkyMiles with the current offer on the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card.

 

Companion Pass

Perhaps the biggest and most important difference between the Gold and Platinum versions of the Delta SkyMiles cards is the annual companion certificate issued to Platinum Delta SkyMiles cardholders.

You’ll get the pass after you’ve held the card for a year, so you can’t use it immediately. After your first card renewal, you’ll get this companion certificate good for one main cabin, round-trip fare in the continental U.S. – sorry, buy one get one (BOGO) flights to Hawaii or Alaska are out. Simply pay for your ticket and you can bring your companion at no additional cost.

But there is an important restriction to keep in mind when using this great perk. The companion certificate only works for fare classes L, U, T, X, and V in the main cabin. That means basic economy fares are off-limits, as are some of the cheapest-priced economy fares.
 

delta gold vs platinum companion ticket
Look for the fare class to make sure your ticket qualifies for a free companion.

Still, utilizing this pass can be a great way to save money on airfare. And it should be fairly easy to get much more out of this perk than the card’s $250 annual fee. And since the Gold version of the card does not offer a companion certificate, it makes the Platinum card the clear winner in this category.

Thrifty Tip: Make sure to read our full guide to using the Delta companion certificate.
 

Delta gold vs platinum
 

Winner: The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

 

Earning More SkyMiles

Once you’ve earned the big welcome offer bonus, these two cards still earn SkyMiles differently.

The Gold Delta SkyMiles card earns 2x SkyMiles per dollar at restaurants, including delivery and takeout, U.S. supermarkets, and on purchases with Delta.

Just like the Gold Card, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card will earn 2x SkyMiles on both restaurants and U.S. supermarkets like the Gold card. But it also earns 3x SkyMiles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and at hotels – giving it a slight edge in this category.

Both cards will also provide you with 20% off in-flight purchases such as food & drinks in the form of a statement credit. However, these in-flight discounts will not be offered on wifi service.
 

Delta gold vs platinum
 

Winner: The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

 

Other Benefits

Last year, Delta and American Express made some big changes to all of the co-branded Delta cards. This included a new look and a lot of new benefits.

One great perk is that Platinum cardholders can get into Delta Sky Clubs by paying $39 per person (so long as you’re flying Delta that day). Those day passes are no longer available to Gold cardholders.

Both cards still get you – and up to eight others booked on your reservation – a free checked bag on every Delta-operated flight. Considering checking a bag costs at least $30 each way, those savings can add up fast. Best of all, you don’t need to pay for your flight with your Delta card to get that benefit.

But on the Delta Platinum SkyMiles card, the biggest new benefit is a $100 application credit every four years to cover the cost of either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Membership in both programs is good for five years.

Yet one benefit I love even more is on the Delta SkyMiles Gold card. If you spend $10,000 in a calendar year, you’ll get a $100 Delta flight credit to use towards future travel. This is available in year one (when you won’t have an annual fee), and every year thereafter. This allows you to easily offset the cost of your $99 annual fee.
 

Delta gold vs platinum
 

Winner: The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card from American Express

While the Platinum Card offers more benefits, the Gold card offers an easy way to offset your $99 annual fee cost each and every year.

 

Our Analysis

By the numbers, The Platinum version wins three categories to the Gold card’s two wins. But every cardholder can – and should – weigh these individual categories differently.

At the end of the day, your decision should be based on which categories you value highest.
 

delta credit card comparison 

For example, if you think you can easily take advantage of the companion certificate offered by the Platinum version each year after the first year, that should be your choice. While the $250 annual fee may scare many off, the companion certificate you get starting in year two can easily wipe it out. Benefits like these are why we always encourage travelers to do the math before ruling out cards with a higher annual fee. 

But if your main objective is earning miles and getting free baggage at a low cost, you should skip the Platinum and go straight for the Delta Gold SkyMiles card.

Read: The 7 Best Delta Credit Cards for Travelers in 2021

 

Bottom Line

For the majority of Delta flyers, the Platinum or Gold SkyMiles cards are your best bet. Which one is the right pick is ultimately up to you and your travel goals. But at the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with either one.

And critically, American Express allows you to eventually get both of them and earn the bonus on each.

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

1 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *