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If you already have elite status on Delta Air Lines, it only makes sense to consider getting a credit card that helps you maintain it, keeps your business affairs in order and offers perks in the air and on the ground that makes travel easier. The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express could be that card.
You can use the miles you earn on the card to travel the world, thanks to the extensive route network of Delta and its SkyTeam alliance of global carriers. Because it’s an airline-branded card, you get the expected perks like early boarding, discount on Sky Club airport lounge access, a free checked bag and in-flight discounts.
Like any premium American Express card worth its salt, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express also comes with extensive travel and purchase benefits, along with access to 24/7 assistance and help with business-related issues.
Ultimately, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express ’s rewards are OK, but you can do better in travel, dining, gas, and groceries with other cards. And one important benefit is missing with this card — a mechanism that allows you to earn bonus miles to help you achieve and maintain Medallion status on Delta.
This card could be a good option, thanks to all its travel-related perks, if you fly Delta Air Lines regularly. If not, you may want to consider a travel-branded card that offers more points per $1 spent in top spending categories and gives you more flexibility in how you spend them.
Where the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express stands out in its category
The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express is all about attracting and servicing business customers who choose Delta as their airline of choice. The welcome offer for new cardmembers is 30,000 Bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months. That’s almost enough for a round-trip flight between Washington, D.C., and Oakland, Calif., in coach class. You also earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta-related purchase with your new card within your first three months.
The Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) — based on the distance you fly and the fare class of your ticket — you earn with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express above your Medallion threshold level will be rolled over to 2019 and will count toward your 2020 status qualification. The MQMs you earn in 2018 will count toward your status in 2019.
If you don’t meet your Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) threshold — based on how much you spend on Delta and its partner airlines — during a qualification year (between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31), you can still qualify for Platinum, Gold or Silver Medallion statuses. If you earn the required MQMs or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) — based on the number of flights you take — and use the card to spend at least $25,000 on eligible purchases within a qualification year, you’ll get your status.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express comes with the expected travel-related perks, including a free checked bag and priority boarding for the cardmember and up to nine companions on the same reservation, along with a 20% discount on in-flight spending when you use the card. Once you’re at the airport, the card gives you and up to two guests access to the Delta Sky Club airport lounge at a discounted rate of $29 per person.
Your miles can be used to book flights around the world on Delta and its airline partners in and outside of the SkyTeam global alliance, with no blackout dates on Delta. They can also be used for seat upgrades.
If you don’t want to redeem your miles for travel, you can spend them in the Delta SkyMiles® Marketplace, the card’s version of American Express Membership Rewards®. You can choose from products, gift cards and travel in a variety of mile redemption ranges. You can also buy, gift, donate or transfer your miles.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express comes with expense management tools that help cardmembers keep spending and access under control. They include:
- Giving cards to employees and earning miles on them.
- Designating an account manager to oversee spending on the card.
- Using the Spend ManagerSM feature that allows you to add receipts and notes to transactions via desktop or on your mobile device.
- Labeling and transferring transaction data from your online statement directly into your QuickBooks account.
- Setting account alerts to help you avoid late payments, notify you of irregular activity and monitor employee card spending.
- Getting online statements and a yearly summary of your spending on the card.
Where the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express falls short in its category
You must be devoted to Delta Air Lines because you can’t transfer the miles you earn with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express to other airline or hotel loyalty programs. There are other cards that offer better rewards in the travel, dining, gas and grocery categories.
There isn’t a mechanism to earn bonus MQMs with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express if you don’t hit your MQD threshold during a qualification year. If you’ve earned the required MQMs or MQSs and you spend at least $250,000 in eligible purchases within a qualification year on the card, you can get Diamond Medallion status — but that’s a big spend.
You don’t get free access to Delta Sky Club lounges, although you do get a discount. And starting on Jan. 1, 2019, gold and platinum Delta SkyMiles® credit card members and guests must travel on a Delta-coded or Delta-operated flight in order to get into the Sky Club. You will also lose access to Delta airline partners’ lounges.
The 20% in-flight discount for card spending can’t be used to pay for Wi-Fi access. If you’re a fan of American Express Membership Rewards®, you don’t have access to it with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express . Instead, you’re shuttled over to the Delta SkyMiles® Marketplace to spend your miles.
Additional card benefits
- Travel accident insurance that provides up to $100,000 in accidental death and dismemberment coverage while traveling.
- A baggage insurance plan that covers eligibly lost, damaged, or stolen baggage when you buy your plane, train, ship or bus ticket on your card. You’ll get coverage for up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage.
- A roadside assistance hotline in case of an emergency while on the road.
- Car rental loss and damage insurance that covers you if your eligible car is damaged or stolen when you use your card to reserve and pay for it, and declines the collision damage waiver at the rental car counter.
- Access to the Global Assist Hotline that offers 24/7 help with medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services, including medical and legal referrals, assistance with cash wires, passport replacement, missing luggage and more when you travel more than 100 miles from home.
- Get around-the-clock customer support from Relationship Care, where specially trained professionals provide business support.
- An extended warranty that adds an extra year on eligible goods.
- Purchase protection that covers things you buy with the card from accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days.
- Terms and limitations apply.
Compare with the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
If you’re not a Delta frequent flyer or you just want more options when using points accumulated on a credit card, you may want to consider another option, like the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, for your business needs.
New cardmembers Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That adds up to $1,000 toward travel rewards when you redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. The sign-up bonus is more generous than the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express ’s welcome offer, but you also have to spend more to get it.
You Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn. Again, this is better than what’s offered by the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express because you get more points in more popular spending categories. You also get more points in categories that are important to businesses, including shipping, internet, cable, and phone services.
You can earn 20,000 bonus points for each business owner you invite who gets the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, up to 100,000 points a year.
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card allows you to issue cards to employees and accumulate points under those accounts. You can also set individual spending limits for each card.
As you start earning points on the card, you can take advantage of a pretty good benefit — the ability to leverage them for travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® website. You get 25% more value for your points when you redeem them for travel on the site.
If you have a carrier aside from Delta that you fly on regularly or a hotel chain you like, you can transfer your points 1:1 toward major airline and hotel loyalty programs. They include Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, Flying Blue/Air France and KLM, Iberia Plus, JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United Airlines MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and World of Hyatt.
You can also redeem your points for cash, gift cards, travel, and products or services. There are no blackout dates or travel restrictions if you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® website, and your points don’t expire as long as your account remains open.
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card comes with the usual travel and purchase protections you’d expect, including trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, roadside dispatch, auto rental collision damage waiver, concierge service, cell phone protection, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection.
If you transfer points to airline or hotel loyalty programs, you may be charged a fee, depending on the program. Once points are transferred, they can’t be refunded and the transaction can’t be canceled.
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card also doesn’t come with benefits like priority boarding, a free checked bag, in-flight discounts and airport lounge access like the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express .
If you and your business are tied closely to Delta and like the extra perks the card has that make travel easier, then the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express may be your best bet. But if you don’t want to be tied to one airline and you want points per $1 spent that are a bit more generous, then the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card may be a better fit.
See how the two cards compare:
|Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express||Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card|
|Annual Fee||$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95||$95|
|Regular Purchase APR||17.99% - 26.99% Variable||18.24% - 23.24% Variable|
|Rewards||Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.||Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn.|
|Welcome Offer/Sign-Up Bonus||30,000 Bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months.||Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||None||$0|
Delta SkyMiles cheat sheet for using your miles.