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

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 patterns. The suite of Delta co-branded credit cards from American Express is no exception.

And because Delta has a variety of card options with both a new look and new benefits, it’s time for an important question: 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.

 

The Basics of Delta’s Co-Branded Credit Cards

 

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.

 


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

 

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

  • Earn 35,000 SkyMiles after spending $1,000 in the first three months of card membership.
  • 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 a $100 Delta flight credit if you spend $10,000 on the card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 2x SkyMiles per dollar on eligible Delta purchases and 1x mile for all other spending.
  • 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 Credit Card Offers
Click Here to learn more about the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card. 

 

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

  • Earn 40,000 SkyMiles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $2,000 in the first three months of card membership.
  • Earn an additional 10,000 SkyMiles after your first cardmember anniversary.
  • New! With Status Boost(TM), earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight – savings of up to $60 on each round-trip flight per person (even with a basic economy ticket).
  • Priority Boarding (even with a basic economy ticket)
  • Receive a domestic main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon card renewal.
  • 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.
  • Enjoy 20% off in-flight purchases such as food & drinks in the form of a statement credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $250 annual fee (not waived for the first year of card membership).

 

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

 

Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

  • Earn up to 40,000 bonus SkyMiles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 20,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of Card Membership.
  • New! With Status Boost(TM), earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to four times per year.
  • 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)
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club Access. You will receive two, one-time guest passes each year to the Delta Sky Club.
  • Receive 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 access to the American Express Centurion Lounges when you are flying Delta on a ticket that was purchased with the card. You can also bring up to two guests in with you for a fee of $50 each.
  • Complimentary space-available upgrades, even for non-Medallion members.
  • Enjoy 20% off in-flight purchases such as food & drinks in the form of a statement credit.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $550 annual fee (not waived for the first year of card membership).

 

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

 

Get Started With Gold

We recommend this card for Delta flyers just getting up to speed with points & miles. Its $99 annual fee is easy to stomach and is even waived in the first year you have the card.

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) and a $100 credit toward any Delta purchase after spending $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 an MQD waiver towards earning status with Delta, this card won’t help you out. That’s because Gold cardholders will no longer be able to buy single access Sky Club passes and you won’t be able to earn the MQD waiver from any amount of spending.

If neither of these things is important to you, the Gold card would make a solid choice.

 

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 get 80,000 SkyMiles with the current welcome offer after spending $3,000 in three months. You will also get 10,000 additional SkyMiles after your first cardmember anniversary. 

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.

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 your second year with the card. This is good for one domestic round-trip fare in economy. That’s a great perk for a relatively inexpensive rewards card.

The card will even offer up to a $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry once every 4 years and membership in either program is good for 5 years. A nice perk that can help offset the cost of the annual fee.

And it is now the only Delta card that allows you to buy single access Sky Club passes for $39. This benefit used to be available for Gold cardholders but it was removed on January 30, 2020.

And with the new Status Boost benefit, you can earn 10,000 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 20,000 bonus MQMs.

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. 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. But it’s not for everyone.

It has good benefits like 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. And you can earn 80,000 SkyMiles after spending $5,000 within three months. 

You will get complimentary access to the American Express Centurion Lounges when you are flying Delta on a ticket that was purchased with the card. You can also bring up to two guests in with you 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; a benefit also on the Platinum version.

However, 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 15,000 MQMs by spending $30,000 throughout the year. That’s almost enough to automatically get Delta Silver Medallion Status without taking a single flight. This will be replicated for 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 American Express Platinum card.

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.

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

  • Hey Nadeem. Great question. There isn’t a black and white restriction on when you can apply for another card after taking advantage of one offer. However, I generally recommend waiting for 60-90 between applications for the best chances of approval. As you mentioned, I wouldn’t take the upgrade offer to the Platinum but would wait until the bonus comes back to apply outright. If you don’t do this, you won’t be eligible to earn the full bonus on the Platinum card because you have or have had the card. All of Amex’s welcome offer bonuses are once per lifetime so it is important to apply when the offers are at their best rates.

    I would be patient, I think the increased offer will be back soon.

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