Which Delta Credit Card is Right for You? | Thrifty Traveler
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Which Delta Credit Card is Right for You?

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Getting started with miles and points is all about picking the right card to fit your budget and travel goals, and picking among the suite of co-branded Delta credit cards from American Express is no exception. That’s especially true right now, as these cards are out with some of their highest ever welcome bonus offersbut only through November 10, 2021.

Depending on which card you grab, you can now earn up to 90,000 SkyMiles. But there’s much more to consider than just that big mileage bonus. How much can you spend responsibly to unlock that huge bonus? Do you care about accelerating your path to Delta Medallion status? What about extra perks like Delta Sky Club access? Which Delta credit card is right for you?

We’ll walk through the basics of all of the Delta credit cards to help you make a decision on the right Delta card for your wallet. 

Read More: The 13 Best Ways to Earn SkyMiles in 2021

 


 

The Basics of Delta Credit Cards

Before we dive in to compare these cards, let’s go over the ins and outs of what you get from each of them.

 

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

  • Earn 10,000 SkyMiles after spending $500 in the first three months of card membership.
  • Earn 2x SkyMiles per dollar spent on Delta purchases. 
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • No Annual Fee (see rates & fees)

 

delta blue card
 

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

 

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 on Nov. 10, 2021. 
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight – savings of at least $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.
  • Earn a $100 Delta flight credit if you spend $10,000 on the card in a calendar year.
  • Get 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). See rates & fees.

 

Delta Credit Card Offers
 

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

 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

  • Earn 90,000 SkyMiles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. This limited-time offer ends on Nov. 10, 2021.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight, savings of at least $60 on each round-trip flight, per person.
  • Priority boarding (even with a basic economy ticket)
  • Get a domestic main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon card renewal – one of this card’s best benefits!
  • Earn 2x SkyMiles per dollar spent at both restaurants and U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 3x SkyMiles per dollar spent on eligible Delta purchases, and at hotels.
  • Receive up to a $100 credit to cover the cost for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck once every four years.
  • Get 20% off in-flight purchases such as food & drinks in the form of a statement credit
  • Get into the Delta Sky Club when you’re flying Delta by paying $39 (and bring up to two guests for $39 each)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $250 annual fee. See rates & fees.

 

Delta Credit Card Offers
 

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

 

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

  • Earn 80,000 SkyMiles and 20,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months of card membership. This limited-time offer ends on Nov. 10, 2021.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight – savings of at least $60 on each round-trip flight, per person.
  • Priority boarding (even with a basic economy ticket)
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club access when you are flying Delta. You’ll also get two, one-time guest passes each year to the Delta Sky Club.
  • Complimentary access to the American Express Centurion Lounges when you are flying Delta on a ticket purchased with your Reserve card. You can also bring up to two guests in with you for a fee of $50 each.
  • Get a domestic main cabin or first-class round-trip companion certificate each year upon card renewal.
  • Earn 3x SkyMiles per dollar spent on Delta purchases.
  • Receive up to a $100 credit to cover the cost for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck once every four years.
  • Complimentary space-available upgrades, even for non-Medallion members. A great way to improve your upgrade chances.
  • Get 20% off in-flight purchases such as food & drinks in the form of a statement credit.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $550 annual fee. See rates & fees.

 

Delta Credit Card Offers
 

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

 

Get Started With Gold

We recommend the Delta Gold card for Delta flyers just getting up to speed with points & miles. The card has a $0 introductory annual fee, and then $99 each year after that.

While the no-annual-fee Blue card may seem like the better deal, there can be serious value with the Gold card that easily outweighs its nominal annual fee. That’s because this card gets you some decent perks to save money, like free baggage (for you and up to eight other passengers booked through your SkyMiles account on the same itinerary) and a $100 credit toward any Delta purchase if you spend $10,000 on the card in a calendar year. 

You can keep earning points with 2x miles for every $1 you spend on Delta purchases, at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets. 

However, if you want access to the Delta Sky Club or work towards earning status with Delta, this card won’t help you out. That’s because Gold cardholders can no longer buy single access Sky Club passes. It also no longer qualifies for a Medallion Qualifying Dollar (MQD) waiver, which makes it easier to earn Delta status by spending on your card.

But with the current offer, you can earn 70,000 SkyMiles after spending $2,000 in the first three months. That is a heck of a deal – especially considering you won’t pay an annual fee until your second year.

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

Delta Credit Card Offers
 

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

 

Pile Up Points With Platinum

Think of this card as the Gold Delta SkyMiles card on steroids. 

You’ll earn 2x SkyMiles per dollar spent at both restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, and 3x SkyMiles per dollar spent on eligible Delta purchases, and at hotels.

But the biggest differentiator between the Gold and Platinum versions of the card is the companion certificate you get every year you renew the Platinum card, starting in your second year with the card. This is good for one domestic round-trip fare in economy. While you won’t get this certificate in year one, that’s a great perk for a relatively inexpensive card.

The card will even offer up to a $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry once every four years – and since membership in either program is good for five years, you’re set. That’s another nice perk that can help offset the cost of the annual fee.

Today, it’s the only Delta card that allows you to buy single access Delta Sky Club passes for $39. This benefit used to be available for Gold cardholders but it was removed back in January 2020.

And with the current Status Boost benefit in 2021, you can earn 12,500 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) towards status after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year. That means if you spend $50,000 in a year, you’ll receive 25,000 bonus MQMs – enough to earn Delta Gold Medallion Status.

While a $250 annual fee may seem a bit steep at first blush, it’s pretty easy to squeeze more than that in savings out of the companion certificate. And with the current offer giving you the ability to earn 90,000 SkyMiles and 10,000 MQMs after spending $3,000 in the first three months, it’s even easier.

That makes Delta’s Platinum Card a solid choice for moderate Delta flyers, anyone looking to build on their SkyMiles account or achieve Delta Medallion status.
 

delta american express
 

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

 

Reserve: The Card for Big Spenders & Frequent Delta Travelers

This Delta credit card is all about gaining status on Delta. And it’s not for everyone.

It has good benefits like complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs and an annual companion certificate on any Delta flight, including first class. It also has all the usual card perks you get from other Delta products, like free baggage, priority boarding, and more.

You’ll also get complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounges when you are flying Delta on a ticket purchased with the card, plus up to two guests for a fee of $50 each. You will also get up to a $100 credit to cover the cost for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck once every four years.

But the real value of the Delta Reserve Card is in the chase for status … and you need to spend a lot of money to make that happen.

With status boost, you can get 18,750 MQMs by spending $30,000 throughout the year. That’s almost enough to automatically get Delta Silver Medallion Status without taking a single flight. You can repeat that by spending $60,000, $90,000 and $120,000 as well. That’s enough to spend your way to Gold Medallion Status without taking a single flight. 
 

delta american express 

If this is all making your head spin and you don’t understand or care about status with Delta, move along. If you don’t value status, or can’t spend that much money to unlock it, this card isn’t really worth the annual fee of $550. If lounge access is what you’re after, you’d be much better off with the non-Delta affiliated Platinum Card® from American Express. It will get you better lounge access (including Delta Sky Clubs), and all-around better benefits for a $695 annual fee (see rates & fees).

Read: Delta Reserve vs The Amex Platinum Card: Which is Right for You? 

However, if you fly enough on Delta to get value out of status, there’s no better way to get there fast than with the Delta Reserve Card.
 

delta american express
 

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

 

Bottom Line

Whether you’re just learning how points and miles work or a seasoned business traveler, American Express has a Delta credit card that can help you travel more, and more comfortably. It’s important to learn the ins and outs of each offer before applying, as each card is not for everyone.

The current offers end on Nov. 10, 2021, so don’t wait if you are interested in taking advantage.

 

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.

4 Responses

  • Every time I apply for any AMEX card, I always get a notification that I am not eligible for the welcome bonus, even though I’ve never had that card before. Anyone else?

    • Yes, it’s called pop-up jail, and it’s due to the previous Amex cards you’ve opened/closed. I’ve heard putting some spend on Amex cards can help get out of jail.

    • Hi Brett. Unfortunately, there is no such card. The Platinum will let you buy access into the lounge for $39 each time, and the Reserve (and Amex Platinum) will get you complimentary access. However, all of those cards have annual fees.

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