The American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles Card is a good card for Delta fans who don’t want to break the bank. It has a $95 annual fee (waived the first year) and some nice benefits for Delta flyers.
Don’t confuse this card with the regular American Express Gold Card as this card is co-branded with Delta. The former card is directly from American Express and it earns more flexible Amex Membership Rewards points.
Earning is not this card’s strong suit. This mid-tier airline card earns 2x SkyMiles on all purchases made directly with Delta. Such purchases include airfare, Sky Club membership, and vacation packages. Unfortunately, this is where the bonus SkyMiles end. All other purchases earn one single SkyMile.
I would like to see Delta add at least one more bonus category to make this card more competitive. Restaurants, gas, or even grocery stores would be good picks.
This card has a two-part sign-up bonus which is surprisingly easy to obtain. You can receive a $50 statement credit after making one Delta purchase in the first 3 months. I suggest buying a Delta gift card up to $50 and pocketing the rest. You will also receive 30,000 SkyMiles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
I like this sign-up bonus because its easy to obtain and there are two parts. Two-part bonuses are becoming increasingly common with co-branded cards. But these bonuses often require thousands in minimum spend to get fewer points than both parts are worth.
The Delta Gold Card gives you a few ways to redeem your SkyMiles.
The most obvious way to redeem Delta SkyMiles is for airfare. Miles can go a long way for airfare, but you need to do some research to get maximum value. This is because Delta does not have a rewards chart posted online.
Miles + Cash is a great option if you don’t have many miles or if you’re short a few miles for a certain redemption. Many co-branded cards have this option and its nice to see Delta have it too.
Delta also offers vacation packages that can be purchases with miles. This is nice for those who don’t want to do much research and planning for their next vacation. It’s also great for last-minute trips.
You can also use SkyMiles to upgrade your seat or even get membership to the Delta SkyLounge. Gift cards and donations to charity are two other options for redemption.
As a co-branded airline card, the Delta Gold Card’s value lies in its perks. Most, if not all, of the $95 annual fee could be justified here.
Free Checked Bags
Delta lets cardmembers and up to eight other people in the same reservation check their first bags for free on any roundtrip flight. This perk can be worth around $50 per person if your bag complies. It can be very useful if you’re traveling with a family or a large group of people.
Discounted Delta SkyLounge Rates
Delta Gold (and Delta Platinum) cardmembers can pay a reduced fee of $29 to gain access to the Delta SkyLounge. All you need is your Delta Card, a ticket for the same day, and the money.
SkyLounge access is complimentary for Amex Platinum and Amex Delta Reserve cardmembers. If you have either of those cards, this perk is redundant.
Cardmembers can also board their flights early. This is awesome because you can avoid the traffic from the general public when boarding. Fewer people also makes it easier for you to find your seat and you get first choice of overhead storage bin space.
20% Discount on In-Flight Purchases
Receive 20% off in-flight purchases when you use your Delta card. This is nice for in-flight meals, entertainment, or other incidentals.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
You can save 2.7% on all your international purchases because there are no pesky forex fees.
Rules & Regulations
This card is subject to Amex’s Once Per Lifetime Rule, which states that you can only receive a sign-up bonus on any card once ever. Therefore, you should apply for this card when the sign-up bonus is as high as possible.
What if the Delta Gold Card is not right for you? Check out the following cards for other options:
American Express Blue Delta SkyMiles Card
This card is the no annual fee version of the Delta Gold Card. Both cards have similar earning structures and perks. But there are two main differences between the cards. The first is that the Blue Card has a second 2x bonus category in restaurants. The second is that the Blue Card does not have any free checked bags whereas the Gold Card does.
The Delta Blue Card has a sign-up bonus of 10,000 SkyMiles. This bonus can be earned after spending just $500 in the first 3 months. Unlike the Delta Gold Card, there are no additional statement credits in this bonus.
The Blue Card is the better card you want to earn more SkyMiles and a decent sign-up bonus. The Gold Card is better if you’re traveling often and/or with a lot of people and want free bags.
American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card
The Delta Gold Card’s “big sibling” has everything that the Gold Card and then some. Both cards have the same earning structure, but the Delta Platinum Card has more perks. The Delta Platinum Card also has a $195 annual fee which is NOT waived the first year.
This card gives you one Annual Companion Certificate each year. The certificate lets another person fly for free in any domestic flight. You will receive another certificate each time you pay the card’s annual fee.
The Delta Platinum Card also has a built in spend incentive. You will receive a bonus of 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 10,000 SkyMiles each time you spend a total of $25,000 on the card.
Like the Delta Gold Card, this card has a two-part sign-up bonus which is surprisingly easy to obtain. You will receive a $100 statement credit after making one Delta purchase in the first 3 months. You will also receive 35,000 SkyMiles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
Delta loyalists should get this card over the Gold Card because of its extensive benefits. These frequent flyers easily should be able to justify the card’s $195 annual fee.
The American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles Card is a nice card for Delta loyalists who don’t want to break the bank. Its value lies in its free checked bags perk that can be used up to nine times on a single flight. The card also has other perks that could enhance your Delta experience.
Earning is the card’s true weakness as there are no non-Delta bonus categories. The no-annual fee Delta Blue Card is a better earner. However, the Gold Card has the better sign-up bonus with a minimum spend that’s not too hard to hit.