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Which Delta Air Lines Credit Card is Best for You?

Which Delta Air Lines Credit Card is Best for You?

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This article was last updated Dec 04, 2018, 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.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is the second-largest carrier in the world, based on its revenue in 2017, according to Forbes magazine. As such, it’s only natural that the carrier would be a popular choice for travelers, especially for members of its SkyMiles loyalty program.

SkyMiles members can fly to 304 destinations in 52 countries. If you add the SkyTeam airline alliance members into the mix, that expands to nearly 1,100 destinations in more than 170 countries. So of course you’d want to have a credit card that helps you maximize your SkyMiles benefits.

All Delta credit cards have similar benefits, including no travel blackout dates, miles never expiring and no limits on how many you can earn. You can use miles to pay for flights and seat upgrades, plus shop for merchandise in the SkyMiles Marketplace. You can also donate, gift and transfer miles or spend them on unique SkyMiles Experiences.

We’ll show you all your Delta card options, review their pros and cons and help you choose the best one for you. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

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

  • Earn 2 miles per dollar at US restaurants.

  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.

Highlights
  • Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar at US restaurants.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Receive a 20% In-Flight 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 Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

More Info


Best for: If you want a starter credit card that comes with a few perks — at a $0 annual fee — this is the one for you.

What we like

Savings in the air. You get a 20% discount, issued as a statement credit, when using the card for select in-flight purchases.

Payment flexibility. This card allows you to either carry a balance with interest under the Pay ItSM or Plan It® functions or pay off in full every month.

Purchase perks. Cardmembers receive purchase benefits including extended warranty, return and purchase protection and access to ticket presales and cardmember-only events such as Broadway shows, concert tours and family and sporting events.

Things to watch out for

Low welcome offer. The welcome offer lets new cardmembers Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. That’s not enough miles to redeem for a roundtrip flight on Delta.

Earn fewer miles in popular categories. Earn 2 miles per dollar at US restaurants. Cardmembers earn the lowest points per $1 for spending on hotels, supermarkets and gas. And you won’t earn the higher dining points for restaurants outside the U.S.

No help for elite status. This card doesn’t come with a way for you to earn bonus miles needed to achieve and maintain SkyMiles Medallion elite status.

No airline perks. The card won’t qualify you for things such as a free checked bag or priority check-in and boarding. As of Nov. 15, 2018, you can no longer buy a day pass for SkyClub airport lounge access, although existing passes can be used until their expiration date.

International travel cost. Every time you use this card outside of the country, you’ll pay a foreign transaction fee of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Perks are meh. The card doesn’t give you free checked bags, priority boarding or travel insurance.

Check out our review of the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express here.

Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express

Best for: This card is for those who count themselves among Delta’s top flyers. You probably already have elite Medallion status and you want a card that enhances your experience in the air and on the ground.

What we like

Generous welcome offer. Earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. You can use those miles to fly from Los Angeles to London in coach class.

Keep your status. The card comes with a way to help you keep your Medallion elite status. Earn 15,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 15,000 bonus miles after spending $30,000 on the card in a calendar year. And you can earn another 15,000 MQMs and another 15,000 bonus miles after spending $60,000 on the card in a calendar year.

Relax in the lounge. Get away from the traveling masses with a free membership in the Delta Sky Club, valued at $745 a year for an executive membership or $495 a year for an individual one.

Upgraded experience. The card’s perks include a free checked bag and priority boarding on Delta flights. Cardmembers receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on pre-purchased meals and in-flight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets charged to the card.

Take a friend. You get a free domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+® or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate every year your card is renewed.

Call me. This card not only comes with American Express’ Global Assist Hotline, but it also has its own dedicated concierge service to help with tasks such as arranging details for a special event or seeking expert advice in choosing a gift.

Things to watch out for

The costs. You pay an annual fee of $450 for this card. You’re also stuck paying up to $75 in government taxes and fees on that free companion ticket, and it’ll cost you the baggage fee if your companion decides to check a bag.

Pass limits. That annual companion pass that comes with this card? You can only use it in the 48 contiguous states.

Low miles for spending. Earn 1 mile per dollar spent. There’s no opportunity to earn higher miles for spending in the top categories of non-Delta travel, dining, gas or groceries.

Skimpy benefits. For a card with a $450 annual fee, it’s surprising that it doesn’t come with travel coverage outside of baggage insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance and travel accident insurance. Cards in the luxury category usually come with amenities such as trip interruption/cancellation insurance, baggage/trip delay reimbursement and emergency evacuation and transportation help.

Status costs. While the card has a way for you to earn elite status, you have to spend nearly $100,000 to get the MQMs you need to get it.

Lounge limits. While you get free Sky Club access, you’ll have to pay $29 each for up to two guests.

The information related to 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 prior to publication.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.

  • 2X Miles on Delta Purchases*

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

Highlights
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Want even more flexibility? Pay with Miles is a Card Member feature that gives you the option to redeem miles for all or part of the price of your tickets on Delta.com.
  • Settle into your seat sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

More Info

  • Earn 30,000 miles after meeting purchase requirements*

  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta*

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

Highlights
  • Make business travel more rewarding. Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Additionally, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Settle into your seat sooner with Priority Boarding and enjoy 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit when you use your American Express Delta Card.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you spend overseas.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and limitations apply
  • See Rates & Fees

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

More Info

Best for: With such a high annual fee, you may not be ready to upgrade to the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, but still want a card that gives you extra dividends when you travel on Delta. If you own a business and travel regularly on Delta, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express can help you earn miles and maintain your livelihood. The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is an option for those who want a personal card.

What we like

Solid welcome offer. With the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Use those miles to fly coach from Baltimore to Honolulu.

With the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express , earn 30,000 Bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months. That’s just enough for a roundtrip flight between New York City and Atlanta in Delta’s Comfort+ class.

Reasonable costs. The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express starts with a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. You’ll pay a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express . Plus, you earn a $50 statement credit after making a Delta-related purchase with either new card within the first three months.

Save on airfare. Every time you use 5,000 bonus miles to book a flight on Delta.com, you’ll get $50 off your ticket under the card’s Pay with Miles feature.

A chance for elite status. 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 earn platinum, gold or silver Medallion status. The MQDs requirement for platinum, gold, or silver Medallion status for the qualification year will be waived if you spend $25,000 or more on the cards.

Easier travel. Both cards come with 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. Once you’re at the airport, both cards give you and up to two guests access to the Delta Sky Club airport lounge at a discounted rate of $29 per person.

Manage this. Use tools that come with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express to oversee your business’ spending, such as extra cards for employees; a designated account manager; the Spend ManagerSM feature that lets you upload receipts and notes on your desktop or mobile device; transfer transactions to your QuickBooks account; set account alerts; and receive online statements and a yearly spending summary.

You’re covered. The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express covers you when you need help with benefits including travel accident insurance, a baggage insurance plan, roadside assistance, car rental loss and damage insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty. Both cards give you access to the Global Assist® Hotline; however, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express also comes with Relationship Care® Service, which answers business owners’ questions or concerns about their American Express Card.

Things to watch out for

Lower miles for spending. Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express cardmembers Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases. Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express cardmembers earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.  If you’re looking for more miles per dollar spent on purchases such as hotels, gas and supermarkets, there are better options than these two cards.

Restricted Sky Club access. You can’t get in for free and you can only use the lounge on the day of travel. You’re limited to two guests, who must pay $29 to enter. And starting on Jan. 1, 2019, Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express and Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express cardholders and their guests must be traveling on a Delta-coded or Delta-operated flight to get into the Sky Club.

It costs to earn the highest elite status. There is a way to help you keep your elite Medallion status if you don’t reach your Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) threshold, based on annual spending, during a qualification year — but it will cost you. First you have to earn the required MQMs or MQSs (based on the number of flights you take). Then you must spend at least $250,000 within a qualification year on the card to get Diamond Medallion status. That’s a lot of money to shell out to keep your status with either of these cards.

Fewer perks: For a travel-branded card, it’s surprising that the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express doesn’t come with as many travel perks as its business card counterpart. It only comes with car rental loss and damage insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty.

Check out our reviews of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express .

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Best for: Delta frequent flyers who want a card to help them manage their business. It comes with a $195 annual fee. It’s less than the The Platinum Card® from American Express’s $550 annual fee, but it doesn’t come with many of the same perks offered by latter card.

What we like

Let’s fly. The card comes with a welcome offer of 35,000 Bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Use those bonus miles to bid on a behind-the-scenes dinner at an exclusive restaurant or tickets to NASCAR’s 2019 Daytona 500 on Feb. 17 through SkyMiles Experiences. The card also allows you the chance to earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase on the card within your first 3 months.

Get those MQMs. Like Delta’s Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, you have the chance to earn MQMs, based on the distance flown and your fare class. If you spend $25,000 or more per calendar year on the card, you’ll be awarded 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs. If you spend $50,000 or more, you’ll earn another 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs.

Preferred treatment. Get a free checked bag and priority boarding for you and up to nine others traveling on the same reservation. Use a 20% in-flight discount as a statement credit when using the card to pay for food, beverages and audio headsets.

Points are your business. Add employee cards for free and they all earn points. You can designate an account manager to keep track of spending, use the spend manager to upload receipts and notes via a laptop or mobile phone and connect your account to QuickBooks to handle accounting tasks.

Smoother travel. The card comes with a baggage insurance plan, travel accident insurance, roadside assistance, car rental loss and damage insurance, the Global Assist® hotline, extended warranty and purchase protection.

Things to watch out for

Again, low rewards. Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases. Miles don't expire. Similar to all the Delta-branded cards, you can earn more miles per $1 spent on things like dining and hotels with others on the market.

No free lounge access. The card doesn’t come with a Sky Club membership, but you can still get in by paying $29 a person, which allows you to bring up to two guests. And like other Delta-branded cards with lounge access, you’ll only be able to use it on the day you travel, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

Status costs. You’ll need to spend $75,000 per calendar year on the card to earn the MQMs needed that can help you earn elite Medallion status on Delta Air Lines.

The information related to the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Check out our review of the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express here.

 

Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express
Annual Fee $0 $450 $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. $195
Regular Purchase APR 17.74%-26.74% Variable 17.49% to 26.49% variable 17.74% - 26.74% Variable 17.74%-26.74% Variable 17.74% - 26.74% Variable
Rewards Earn 2 miles per dollar at US restaurants. Earn 1 mile per dollar spent Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases. 2 miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases. Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases. Miles don't expire.
Welcome Offer Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. 30,000 Bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months. 30,000 Bonus Miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. 35,000 Bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
Foreign Transaction Fee 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars. None None None None

 

The bottom line

The fact is that even with all the card options offered by Delta, there are others on the market that offer more points for spending on travel, dining, gas and groceries. But they don’t come with perks that make traveling on Delta a little easier.

Obviously, these are the cards you want if you fly a lot on Delta. They range from basic — the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express — to luxury — Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express. There are also two options if you’re running a business — the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express . Since they all pretty much offer the same miles per $1 spent, you’ll have to look at the other benefits offered by each card and see which one best fits your needs before making that final pick.

So be sure to ask yourself 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 perks like a free checked bag and priority boarding?
  • Are you willing to spend on the card to keep your elite status?
  • How helpful is the card when it comes to managing your business?
  • Is free or discounted airport lounge access a must-have perk?
  • Does the card offer enough travel and purchase protections?

Once you answer these questions, you’ll know which Delta Air Lines card is the right one for you — or perhaps you may even decide you want to look at other travel-branded credit cards that may give you more of what you want.


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