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

And because Delta has a variety of card options, it’s time for an important question: Which Delta credit card is right for you? That’s because, through Oct. 30, 2020, you can earn up to 75,000 Delta SkyMiles after spending up to $5,000 in the first three months of card membership.

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 within three months of card membership.
  • Earn 2 SkyMiles miles per dollar at U.S. restaurants and purchases made directly with Delta. Starting Jan. 30, 2020, you will earn 2x at restaurants worldwide.
  • Earn 1 SkyMile per dollar on all other purchases
  • Starting Jan. 30, 2020, the card will provide access to Delta’s Pay with Miles feature, one of our favorite ways to use SkyMiles.
  • Enjoy 20% off in-flight purchases such as food & drinks in the form of a statement credit
  • The card will be waiving foreign transaction fees starting Jan. 30, 2020.
  • No annual fee

 

 

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

 

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card
  • Earn 60,000 SkyMiles after spending $2,000 in the first three months of card membership. This limited-time offer ends on Oct. 30, 2020. 
  • Receive a $50 statement credit after using the card on a Delta purchase 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)
  • Starting Jan. 30, you will earn 2x SkyMiles per dollar spent at both restaurants and U.S. supermarkets
  • Starting Jan. 30, you will 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 $95 per year). The card’s $95 annual fee will be increased to $99 upon renewal or new account opening on or after Jan. 30, 2020.

 

How Delta SkyMiles Work

 

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

 

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
  • Earn 75,000 SkyMiles & 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. This limited-time offer ends on Oct. 30, 2020. 
  • Receive a $100 statement credit after using the card on a Delta purchase 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 (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.
  • Starting Jan. 30, you will earn 2x SkyMiles per dollar spent at both restaurants and U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 2x SkyMiles per dollar spent on eligible Delta purchases. Starting on Jan. 30, you will earn 3x SkyMiles per dollar spent on Delta purchases.
  • Starting Jan. 30, you will earn 3x SkyMiles per dollar spent at hotels.
  • Starting Jan. 30, you will 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
  • $195 annual fee (not waived for the first year of card membership). The card’s $195 annual fee will be increased to $250 upon renewal or new account opening on or after Jan. 30, 2020.

 

Delta Credit Card Increased offers

 

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

 

Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
  • Earn 75,000 SkyMiles & 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $5,000 in the first three months of card membership. This limited-time offer ends on Oct. 30, 2020. 
  • 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. Starting January 30, 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 2x SkyMiles per dollar spent on eligible Delta purchases. Starting on Jan. 30, 2020, you will earn 3x SkyMiles per dollar spent on Delta purchases.
  • Starting Jan. 30, you will receive up to a $100 credit to cover the cost for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck once every four years.
  • Starting Jan. 30, the card will provide 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 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
  • $450 annual fee (not waived for the first year of card membership). The card’s $450 annual fee will be increased to $550 upon renewal or new account opening on or after Jan. 30, 2020.

 

 

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 $95 annual fee is easy to stomach and is even waived in the first year you have the card (starting Jan. 30, 2020, the annual fee will be increased to $99).

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 $50 credit toward any Delta purchase within the first three months of card membership.

You can keep earning points with 2x miles for every $1 you spend on Delta purchases and starting on January 30, 2020, you will even get 2x miles for every $1 you spend 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 after Jan. 30, 2020. 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.

 

How Delta SkyMiles Work

 

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

 

Pile Up Points With Platinum

Think of this card as the Gold Delta SkyMiles card on steroids. You’ll get 75,000 SkyMiles with the current welcome offer after spending $3,000 in three months. You will also get 5,000 MQMs, the main ingredient for building status on Delta.

The card also offers a $100 credit for any Delta purchase made within the first three months of card membership. This can be used for Sky Club access, or even to buy a drink on a flight. A purchase of any amount will trigger the credit.

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.

And starting after January 30, 2020, the card will even offer up to a $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry once every 4 years. A nice perk that can help offset the cost of the annual fee.

While the $195 (increasing to $250 starting on Jan. 30, 2020) 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.

 

How Delta SkyMiles

 

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

 

 

Reserve: The Card for Big Spenders & Frequent Delta Travelers

This is Delta’s premier card, and it’s 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 75,000 SkyMiles after spending $5,000 within three months. 

And starting on January 30, 2020, 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 that will also be added to 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.

After getting 10,000 MQMs from hitting the minimum spend requirement, you can get another 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. 

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 $450 (increasing to $550 on Jan. 30, 2020)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.

 

 

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, Delta has an American Express 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.

These limited-time welcome bonus offers are good through Oct. 30, 2020, so don’t wait to take advantage. 

 

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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.

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.

2 Responses

  1. Nadeem R Jaffer says:

    So, I signed up for the Amex Delta Gold in 2017 and received my 60K bonus points. After a year of keeping the card, I felt I wasn’t getting much value and downgraded to the Delta Blue to save on the annual fee while still keeping some of the benefits. I was recently targeted by AMEX to upgrade my Amex Delta Blue Card to the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card, and in doing so, can earn 15,000 bonus points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months (a fairly low and reasonable commitment). However, I was intending on applying for the Platinum Delta Sky miles card on its own when the bonus offer comes back (they’re usually offered once or twice a year).

    My question: Does Amex limit the bonus offers on their Delta Skymiles C/C. If I took advantage of the 60K bonus points on the Gold card, how long would I have to wait before applying for the Platinum to take advantage of that signup bonus. Are any of the cards sign-up bonuses a life-time bonus? What would stop me from upgrading my Blue into the Platinum, spending the $1000 and getting the 15,000 bonus miles, only to downgrade back to the Blue and pay a pro-rated annual fee?

    • Nick Serati says:

      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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