Early on Wednesday, Delta & American Express confirmed rumors that have been floating around about a new, co-branded no annual fee credit card. The card is branded as the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card, and it is available today.
The new credit card will join American Express & Delta's existing lineup of co-branded cards (Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card, and the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card), however, the new card will be the first to not carry an annual fee.
What Benefits does the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card Offer?
- 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on the Card within the first three months
- No annual fee
- 2 miles per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants
- 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta
- 1 mile per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases
- 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on all eligible in-flight purchases when flying with Delta
- No foreign transaction fees
What Benefits will the Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Not Offer?
- The card will not offer free checked bags, which in my opinion is one of the best benefits of the other co-branded Delta and American Express card products. In fact, if you take two trips a year and check 1 bag round trip, you will have spent $100 on baggage fees. The annual fee for the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card is only $99.
- The card will also not offer priority boarding (Zone 1) as is offered with the other co-branded Delta and American Express card products.
It is clear that American Express & Delta are trying to capture new market share for those that fear an annual fee. For being a no annual fee card, I don't think this is a terrible offer, and I am sure they will do well in their target market. However, I think there are better options out there.
If your primary goal in a credit card is to not have an annual fee while earning valuable points and miles, you can do better than the Blue Delta SkyMiles card. For example, the Amex EveryDay Credit Card which also has no annual fe, earns 2X points at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases) and earns 20% more points on purchases when you use your card 20 or more times in a billing period. Membership Rewards points transfer 1:1 to Delta Airlines, among many other transfer partners, offering a lot of flexibility in how you use your points.
If you are intrigued by this card because you often fly Delta, I would argue that you will find more value in the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card for the free checked bags, priority boarding, and no foreign transaction fees. The card is currently offering 35,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in your first 3 months of card membership and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first free months (this even works on in-flight beverages). Further, The $99 fee on this card is waived for the first year which should allow you to get plenty of value in the first year.
It will be interesting to see how this card does for American Express and Delta. They are betting on new and casual travelers without much knowledge of the credit card points and miles landscape being drawn to this product. There are much better options for people in this market, like the Amex EveryDay Credit Card and Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards mentioned above. If you would like to apply for a card, make sure to visit our Top Credit Cards section.