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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?

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

 

The Basics of Delta’s Co-Branded Credit Cards

 

Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express: 
  • 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.
  • Earn 1 SkyMile per dollar on all other purchases
  • Enjoy 20% off in-flight purchases such as food & drinks in the form of a statement credit
  • No annual fee

 

 

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

 

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express: 
  • Earn 30,000 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 a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first three months.
  • Earn 2 SkyMiles per dollar on eligible Delta purchases and 1 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)

 

How Delta SkyMiles Work

 

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

 

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 35,000 SkyMiles & 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) 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)
  • Receive a domestic main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon card renewal.
  • Earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first three months.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar on eligible Delta purchases and 1 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
  • $195 annual fee (not waived for the first year of card membership)

 

How Delta SkyMiles

 

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

 

Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 40,000 SkyMiles & 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership.
  • Receive a domestic first-class, Comfort+, or main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon card renewal.
  • 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 access to the Delta Sky Club when traveling on a Delta flight. Bring up to 2 guests for $29 each.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar on eligible Delta purchases and 1 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
  • $450 annual fee (not waived for the first year of card membership)

 

 

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

 

Each of these cards also has a business version with near-identical terms and benefits (outside of the current welcome offer bonuses). Because the business and personal cards are considered separate products, you are eligible to earn the welcome offer on both for each card!

Thrifty Tip: You don’t need to run a large company to qualify for a business credit card. Something as simple as reselling items on eBay or Craigslist will do. Getting a mix of personal and business cards is a great way to double-up on mileage bonuses.

 

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. The card gets you some decent perks to save money, like free baggage 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.

 

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 35,000 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 in which you renew the Platinum card. This is good for one domestic round-trip fare in economy. That’s a great perk for a relatively inexpensive rewards card.

While the $195 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 Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

 

 

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 40,000 SkyMiles after spending $3,000 within three months. 

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 (plus another 15,000 SkyMiles) 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 as well. That is almost 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 $450If 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 Reserve Credit Card from American Express

 

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.

 

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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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