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Which Delta Air Lines Credit Card is Best for You?

Which Delta Air Lines Credit Card is Best for You?

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Jun 04, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines was the world’s largest airline in 2019 as measured by revenue, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As such, it’s only natural that the carrier would be a popular choice for travelers, especially for members of its SkyMiles loyalty program.

If you’re a frequent Delta passenger, you might be tempted by one of the eight U.S. credit cards co-branded by Delta and American Express, which allow cardholders to earn miles and enjoy travel benefits such as free checked bags. We narrowed our selection to highlight five of these cards — four consumer cards and one small business card — and evaluate which might best suit your needs.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Comparing Delta Air Lines credit cards

 Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express CardDelta SkyMiles® Blue American Express CardDelta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express CardDelta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express CardDelta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
Best forTravelers who want good value for a reasonable annual fee.Occasional travelers who want a no-annual-fee card.Travelers who spend a lot on hotel stays and want higher-level benefits.Delta loyalists who want premium benefits such as lounge access.Business owners who want a card to help manage expenses and earn Delta miles.
Welcome offerEarn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020.Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020.40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months.
RewardsEarn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and at restaurants, now worldwide. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.NEW! Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.Earn 2 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta, eligible U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, eligible U.S. shipping purchases, and every eligible dollar spent on dining at restaurants. Earn 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
Annual fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99..$0$250$550$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
Foreign transaction feeNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Regular purchase APR25.24% variable15.74%-24.74% variable15.74%-24.74% variable15.74%-24.74% variable15.74% - 24.74% variable

Best overall Delta Air Lines card: Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Apply Now

on American Express's secure site

Terms and Conditions apply

Rates & Fees

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020.

  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.

  • Check your 1st bag free on every Delta flight*

Highlights
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • NEW! Earn now. Travel when you're ready. After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to inspire your next travel.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta Flights.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

More Info

For a reasonable annual fee, it’s hard to beat the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card. Cardholders pay a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99. Check your first bag for free on Delta flights when you pay with this card, and when you make more than $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year on the card, get a $100 Delta flight credit.

The rewards rate is satisfactory for consumers who dine out frequently and spend a lot at U.S. supermarkets, and the welcome offer is fairly generous for a relatively low-spend requirement:

  • Rewards: Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Welcome offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020.

More card benefits:

  • Your first checked bag is free. Friends and family on the same reservation also get their first checked bag free. There’s a maximum of nine free bags per reservation.
  • 20% back on in-flight purchases. When you make eligible Delta in-flight purchases such as food, beverages and audio headsets, get 20% back via statement credit.
  • Priority boarding. This applies to a maximum of nine passengers per reservation.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance. This is secondary coverage, meaning your personal liability coverage pays first for any damages.
  • Global Assist Hotline. When traveling more than 100 miles from home, you may be able to use this benefit to connect with providers of legal and medical services and more. Note that cardholders are responsible for any costs charged by third-party providers.
  • Protect what you buy. This card includes purchase and extended warranty protections.

What to watch out for:

  • Lack of travel protections. For a travel card with an annual fee, it’s unfortunate this card doesn’t offer benefits such as lost luggage insurance and trip delay insurance.
  • No airport lounge access. Travelers looking to enjoy the amenities of airport lounges will need to look at more expensive cards, such as the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card.
  • Low rewards rate. If you’re simply looking to maximize what you earn on restaurant and supermarket purchases, a card such as the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card or the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (both no-annual-fee cards) can reward you more.

To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card please click here.

To see rates & fees for Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express please click here.

Read our review of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card.

Best for no annual fee: Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

Apply Now

on American Express's secure site

Terms and Conditions apply

Rates & Fees

  • Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and at restaurants, now worldwide. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.

  • NEW! No foreign transaction fees.

Highlights
  • Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • NEW! Earn 2X Miles per dollar at restaurants, now worldwide.
  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • NEW! No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

More Info

For travelers who only fly with Delta occasionally, the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is a strong starter card with a $0 annual fee. Cardholders can earn the following rewards and welcome offer:

  • Rewards: Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and at restaurants, now worldwide. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Welcome offer: Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

While the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card doesn’t offer a lot of the benefits of the more premium Delta cards — such as a free checked bag or a companion certificate — it’s a fine choice for consumers who dine out frequently and want a basic airline card with no annual fee.

More card benefits:

  • 20% back on in-flight purchases. Get a statement credit back for 20% when you make an eligible Delta in-flight purchase such as food, beverages and audio headsets.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance. This benefit provides secondary coverage.
  • Global Assist Hotline. Use this hotline when traveling more than 100 miles from home to connect with assistance such as medical and legal services. Be aware that the cardholder is responsible for any charges from third-party service providers.
  • Protect what you buy. The card offers purchase and extended warranty protections.

What to watch out for:

  • Low rewards rate. There are cards that offer more than 2X per $1 spent on dining.
  • Small welcome offer. While the welcome offer should be relatively easy to earn with a low-spend requirement, it’s also a fairly paltry bonus compared to many other cards.
  • No lounge access and limited benefits. Don’t expect to get into the Delta Sky Club with this card, and you won’t get a free checked bag or priority boarding either.

To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card please click here.

Read our review of the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card.

Best for earning miles: Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

If you travel so frequently that hotels are your home away from home, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card provides an opportunity to turn those stays into rewards. It offers the following:

  • Rewards: NEW! Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020.

Take note that the welcome offer includes MQMs, which can help you earn Medallion Status with Delta. Medallion Status comes in four levels, and offers benefits such as unlimited complimentary upgrades and waived fees (including baggage fees).

Also, cardholders will receive a companion certificate each year upon account renewal. The companion certificate can be used for a round-trip ticket for your flying companion to any of the 48 contiguous states. You will have to pay taxes and fees, which should not exceed $75.

Read: How to use the Delta companion certificate

More card benefits:

  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. Pay the application fee for Global Entry or TSA Precheck and receive a statement credit of up to $100 or $85, respectively.
  • Upgraded experience. Like the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, this card offers your first checked bag free, priority boarding and a 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases.
  • Discounted lounge access. Get into Delta Sky Club lounges at a discounted rate of $39 per person per visit (applicable to you and up to two guests).
  • Travel protections. This card offers a baggage insurance plan and trip delay insurance.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance. Get secondary coverage on a rental vehicle.
  • Global Assist Hotline. Get help connecting to providers of legal services, medical services and more when traveling more than 100 miles from home. Know that you’re responsible for any charges from a third-party service provider.
  • Earn more MQMs. After spending $25,000 in a year, get 15,000 MQMs via Status Boost. (This helps reach the next Medallion Status tier.) Earn this up to two times a year.

What to watch out for:

  • Annual fee. With an annual fee of $250, this card isn’t cheap. It might be worthwhile for Delta loyalists, but there are travel cards with cheaper annual fees — such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card ($95) and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card ($95).
  • Limits on the companion certificate. The companion certificate only covers round-trip flights to the 48 contiguous states, so don’t plan on taking a friend or significant other on a trip to Alaska or Hawaii.

To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card please click here.

Read our review of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card.

Best for premium travel benefits: Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Apply Now

on American Express's secure site

Terms and Conditions apply

Rates & Fees

  • 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

  • NEW! Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.

  • Enjoy your first checked bag free and Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights.

Highlights
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • NEW! With Status Boost™, earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to four times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • NEW! Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free and Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights.
  • NEW! Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Complimentary access into the Delta SkyClubs® for you when travelling on a Delta flight.
  • NEW! Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $550  annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

More Info

For travelers looking for premium benefits, such as airport lounge access, and are willing to pay a $550 annual fee, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is where it’s at. When flying Delta, you’ll get complimentary Delta Sky Club access, plus two Delta Sky Club one-time guest passes each year. And like the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, this card offers a companion certificate annually.

You’ll also get complimentary access to The Centurion Lounge when booking with this card.

For rewards and the welcome offer, you can earn the following:

  • Rewards: Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Welcome offer: 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

More card benefits:

  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. Get a statement credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or $85 for TSA Precheck when you pay the application fee with this card.
  • Upgraded experience. Like the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, this card can make your flight a breeze with a free checked bag, priority boarding and a 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases (in the form of a statement credit).
  • Travel protections. Take comfort in knowing that you’ve got trip delay and trip cancellation coverage on this card, as well as a baggage insurance plan.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance. This card provides secondary coverage.
  • Premium Global Assist Hotline. Get help connecting with medical and legal services and more, when traveling more than 100 miles from home. This hotline is a step up from the regular Global Assist Hotline offered by the other cards in this article.
  • Shopping benefits. Get return protection, purchase protection and an extended warranty on purchases made with the card.
  • Ways to up your Medallion Status. This card allows you to earn 15,000 MQMs after spending $25,000 on your card in a calendar year with the Status Boost feature. You can earn this up to four times a year. Plus, there’s a Medallion Qualification Dollar Waiver, earned after a cardholder spends $25,000 on the card in the course of a year.

What to watch out for:

  • The cost. With a $550 annual fee, this card is for serious Delta flyers only.
  • Charge for bringing guests to a lounge. You do get a discount for paying with this card, but be aware that when bringing friends (capped at two people) or immediate family into a Delta Sky Club lounge, you’ll pay $39 per person.
  • Limits on the companion certificate. As mentioned with the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, the companion certificate is only valid for flights to the 48 contiguous states, so Alaska and Hawaii are off limits.

To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card please click here.

Read our review of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card.

Best for small business owners: Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

Apply Now

on American Express's secure site

Terms and Conditions apply

Rates & Fees

  • Earn Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months.

  • Earn 2 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta, eligible U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, eligible U.S. shipping purchases, and every eligible dollar spent on dining at restaurants. Earn 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.

  • Priority Boarding and 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases*

Highlights
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months. Offer ends 10/28/20.
  • Additionally, take $100 off your next Delta flight – after you spend $10,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you will earn a $100 Delta Flight Credit to use toward future travel.
  • Earn 2 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta, on every dollar spent on eligible U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, on every dollar spent on eligible U.S. shipping purchases, on every eligible dollar spent on dining at restaurants. Earn 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Check or stow your bag with ease: First Checked Bag Free + Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel overseas.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms and limitations apply
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

More Info

If you’re a business owner whose work puts you frequently on Delta flights, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card can help you manage expenses while earning miles and enjoying travel benefits.

Rewards can be earned in categories designed for small businesses, and the welcome offer is pretty solid:

  • Rewards: Earn 2 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta, eligible U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, eligible U.S. shipping purchases, and every eligible dollar spent on dining at restaurants. Earn 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months.

Plus, earn a $100 Delta Flight Credit when you spend $10,000 on this card in a calendar year.

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99. Delta also offers the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card ($250 annual fee) and the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card ($550 annual fee) for travelers looking for higher-level benefits, such as airport lounge access, companion certificates, concierge service and upgrade priority..

More card benefits:

  • Baggage insurance plan. This benefit may cover lost, damaged or stolen baggage.
  • No fee for employee cards. There’s no additional fee for employee cards, and you can set spending limits on employee cards as well.
  • Upgraded experience. You’ll get the first checked bag free, priority boarding and a 20% discount on eligible in-flight purchases (in the form of a statement credit).
  • Protections on what you buy. Enjoy purchase protection and extended warranty.

What to watch out for:

  • Spending categories. If your business doesn’t require you to spend a lot on advertising and shipping — or if you don’t dine on business occasions frequently — a card that rewards different categories could be a better choice.

To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card please click here.

To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card please click here.

To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card please click here.

Read our review of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card.

Which Delta Air Lines credit card is right for you?

When considering a Delta Air Lines credit card, it can be helpful to ask these questions:

  • Do you want to pay an annual fee?
  • Does the card offer enough miles per $1 spent in the categories most important to you?
  • How important is it to have benefits like a free checked bag and priority boarding?
  • Are you willing to spend on the card to keep your elite status?
  • Is free or discounted access to an airport lounge a must-have benefit?
  • Does the card offer enough travel and purchase protections?
  • How helpful is the card when it comes to managing your business?

However, if your loyalty isn’t with one particular airline, a more flexible travel card might suit you better than a Delta credit card. Our list of best travel credit cards may offer a better match.


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