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

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American Express is out with increased bonuses on their co-branded Delta credit cards through July 2. That means you can earn up to 75,000 SkyMiles if you don’t already have either card.

But there are some key differences between the two cards. We’ll compare each Delta credit card to help you decide which one is best for you.

Before we break down the differences between these cards, let’s take a look at what each one brings to the table with these current offers.

 

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 60,000 SkyMiles after spending $2,000 in the first three months of card membership. This offer expires July 2, 2019.
  • 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 75,000 SkyMiles & 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. This offer expires July 2, 2019.
  • 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)

 

Delta Credit Card Increased offers

 

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

 

Annual Fee

One of the biggest differences between the Gold and Platinum versions of the Delta SkyMiles credit cards from American Express is the annual fee. The Platinum version has an annual fee of $195 each year and it is not waived for your first year of card membership. The Gold version has an annual fee of $95 which 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 Gold card provides a first free year and allows you to earn 60,000 SkyMiles free of charge. That makes it the clear winner in this category.

 

 

Winner: The Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express. Click Here to learn more about this card.

 

Welcome Offer Bonus

As we mentioned earlier, both versions of the card are offering an increased welcome offer bonus through July 2.

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Expres: Earn 60,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months of card membership.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express: Earn 75,000 SkyMiles & 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership.

Not only does the Platinum version of the card earn 15,000 more SkyMiles than the current offer on the Gold card, but it also earns 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) which are one of the key ingredients to building status on Delta.

If you are trying to build any level of status on Delta, the fact you can earn MQMs with the Platinum card from both the welcome offer and ongoing credit card spending makes it a better option.

But be warned: Status with Delta is hardly worth it until you are at least a Platinum Medallion. Blind loyalty can be expensive and ultimately cost you money.

 

 

Winner: The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express. Although the annual fee is more, it offers 15,000 more SkyMiles and MQMs towards building Delta status. Click Here to learn more about this 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. On your first card renewal period, you’ll get this companion certificate good for one main cabin, round-trip fare in the continental U.S. 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.

 

Look for the fare class to make sure your ticket qualifies for a free companion.

 

Utilizing this pass can be a great way to save money on airfare and it’s certainly possible to get much more value out of this pass than you would pay for the card’s annual fee ($195). And since the Gold version of the card doesn’t 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.

 

 

Winner: The Delta Platinum Card from American Express. Click Here to learn more about this card.

 

Upfront Statement Credit

As a part of the welcome offer bonus on each card, you will get a statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your card in the first three months. If you have the Gold version of the card, you will get a $50 credit, while Platinum cardholders will receive a $100 credit.

The kicker here is that there is no requirement that the purchase is a Delta flight. You can use your card to buy a drink or a meal in flight, purchase access to the Delta Sky Club, buy a gift card or one of many other ways in which you can spend money with Delta. Even making a purchase for a single drink on board your next Delta flight will trigger the full $50 or $100 credit.

This is important because it can substantially lower your cost for the first year of holding either card. Since the Gold card waives the annual fee in year one, you can actually come out ahead by taking advantage of this credit.

Since the Platinum card has an annual fee of $195 in year one which isn’t waived, taking advantage of this credit can bring your year one investment down to around $95 since you don’t receive the companion certificate until year two.

 

 

Winner: The Delta Platinum Card from American Express. With a larger credit, you can bring your year one investment down to around $95. This is a small price to pay for 15,000 additional SkyMiles, among other benefits. Click Here to learn more about this card.

 

Earning Structure

Outside of the benefits outlined above, both cards have the exact same earning and redemption structure. That means on both cards, you will earn 2x SkyMiles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, receive priority boarding and a free checked bag on your next Delta flight.

Both cards will also provide you with 20% off in-flight purchases such as food & drinks in the form of a statement credit.

Because of this, neither card holds an advantage in these departments.

Winner: Tie

 

Our Analysis

By the numbers, The Platinum version wins three categories to the Gold card’s one win. Of course, every cardholder will weigh these individual categories differently so, at the end of the day, your decision should be based on which categories you value highest.

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 as you can easily come out way ahead on your $195 annual fee payment. 

If you aren’t interested in a companion ticket or building status with Delta, earning 60,000 SkyMiles after spending $2,000 in the first three months on the Delta Gold SkyMiles card with no upfront annual fee cost is a fantastic offer. 

 

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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.

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