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Best Delta credit card? It might not be a Delta branded card…

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This article was last updated May 06, 2015, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

delta

The information related to The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express and the Delta Reserve® Credit Card
from American Express has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

If you’re looking for a credit card to earn SkyMiles®, you’re probably familiar with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express.

What you might not know is that there are over 15 cards that can earn Delta SkyMiles either directly, or by earning points you can transfer into your SkyMiles account at any time.

And some of them don’t say Delta on them.

We think you should focus on two cards in particular that can cost less, earn you more miles, and offer more flexibility than the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express.

They are the ‘Everyday’ credit cards from American Express.

Both earn points you can transfer directly into your Delta SkyMiles accounts 1:1, instantly with no limits any time. And you can transfer the points you earn to many other airlines besides Delta for flexibility.

amexeverydaycard
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express: This card has a $0 annual fee and can earn you 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), 1x points on other purchases. If you use this card for at least 20 purchases of any size in a billing cycle, you’ll get a 20% bonus on all your points earned, getting you 1.2 points per dollar spent.

It earns full American Express Membership Rewards® points that you can transfer into your Delta SkyMiles account anytime, and better yet it gives you the option to move your points into several other airline programs including JetBlue, British Airways, and Air France.

And if you don’t want to fuss with airline miles, you can also use your points to book flights via the American Express travel website, flying on just about any airline.

The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express: This is a super charged card for earning points. You get a 50% bonus on the points you earn each month you use the card for at least 30 purchases of any size. That means you can earn an effective 1.5 points per dollar on just about everything, 3x on gas, and 4.5x on grocery spending. There is a limit of $6,000 in grocery spending counting toward the bonus each year.

There’s a $95 annual fee, but it’s hard to find a more powerful card for earning SkyMiles.

You can read more about the Amex EveryDay cards here.

How to decide which card is best for Delta miles?

If you’re still undecided the easiest way to figure out which card is right for you is to use our CardFinder tool for cards that earn Delta SkyMiles. You can enter your spending habits and it will rank the cards based on their value to you, factoring annual fees.

But if tools aren’t your thing, think about your answers to these questions.

  • Is maximizing the number of SkyMiles you earn your priority? We recommend The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, which can earn 1.5 points per dollar on all spending and up to 4.5x on groceries and 3x on gas when you meet monthly billing statement spending requirements. Click here to read more about why.
  • Do you value checked bag or priority boarding benefits? If you are not a Delta elite flyer and check bags on 2 or more round trips per year, then it is essentially free to carry the basic Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, even if you never use it for everyday spending. It offers a first bag free for you and up to 8 people in your reservation ($50 value per person roundtrip).
  • If you want to maximize the SkyMiles you earn, get the Starwood or Premier Rewards Gold  as an additional card to use for your everyday spending.
  • Is unlimited Delta SkyClub access essential? If so, you have two options. Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express or The Platinum Card® from American Express. If you don’t care about elite qualifying MQMs, then go for The Platinum Card® from American Express. This is not the Platinum SkyMiles card. It’s the high end charge card from American Express that offers unlimited lounge access to Delta SkyClubs. It also offers a $200 annual credit toward airline fees, including on Delta, and a host of other benefits. Many people carry it just for the benefits and don’t use it much for spending — it’s that valuable.
  • Do you want to earn Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs)? If you do, there are just two choices: the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and Delta Reserve. You’ll need to spend $20,000 – $30,000 per year on the cards to earn elite miles each year, so these will probably serve as your cards for everyday spending.

But if you’re set on a Delta branded credit card, here’s a comparison…

Transfer FromTransfer ToExchange RatioMinimum Points to Exchange
AeroplanAmtrak0.5715,000
AeroplanFrontier0.415,000
AeroplanHainan0.615,000
AeroplanHawaiian0.6715,000
AeroplanIcelandair0.4815,000
AeroplanJetBlue0.3415,000
AmtrakAeroplan0.431,000
AmtrakDelta0.31,000
AmtrakFrontier0.351,000
AmtrakHainan0.531,000
AmtrakHawaiian0.591,000
AmtrakIcelandair0.431,000
AmtrakJetBlue0.31,000
FrontierAeroplan0.21,100
FrontierAmtrak0.231,100
FrontierHainan0.251,100
FrontierHawaiian0.281,100
FrontierIcelandair0.21,100
FrontierJetBlue0.141,100
HainanAeroplan0.43,000
HainanAmtrak0.473,000
HainanFrontier0.333,000
HainanHawaiian0.553,000
HainanIcelandair0.43,000
HainanJetBlue0.283,000
HawaiianAeroplan0.175,000
HawaiianAmtrak0.25,000
HawaiianFrontier0.145,000
HawaiianHainan0.215,000
HawaiianIcelandair0.175,000
HawaiianJetBlue0.125,000
IcelandairAeroplan0.261,000
IcelandairAmtrak0.31,000
IcelandairFrontier0.211,000
IcelandairHainan0.321,000
IcelandairHawaiian0.361,000
IcelandairJetBlue0.181,000
JetBlueAeroplan0.431,000
JetBlueAmtrak0.51,000
JetBlueFrontier0.351,000
JetBlueHainan0.531,000
JetBlueHawaiian0.591,000
JetBlueIcelandair0.431,000

(some of the offers on this page have expired)

(Terms and restrictions apply)

With the minimum annual fee on a Delta Air Lines branded credit card at $95, why would you limit yourself to a Delta-only credit card?

Two reasons: baggage fees and elite qualifying miles.

All Delta branded credit cards offer a free checked bag for your and up to 8 people in your reservation (savings of $25 per bag each way each person). They also offer priority boarding, and the two premium cards let you earn elite qualifying miles.

So if you travel enough to make the bag fee waiver save you more than the annual fee on the card (about 2 roundtrips a year for one person) then you should consider the Delta branded cards.

However for day to day spending you may still want to consider the $0annual fee The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express. You’ll get more flexibility to use your points and can earn faster thanks to the bonus on everyday spending.


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