The best Delta SkyMiles credit card for you depends on how you’ll use it. Delta offers four travel and three business cards, all of which earn Delta SkyMiles and come with unique benefits and perks.
If you’re a frequent flyer on Delta, it’s time to consider whether a Delta credit card will improve your travel experience. Most top travel credit cards offer rewards when you spend money on flights, hotels and restaurants, and adding a solid airline credit card to your wallet can help you save money on checked bags, take advantage of perks like priority boarding, earn elite status with your favorite airline and more.
What is the best Delta SkyMiles credit card? It depends on what you want from your card. Delta offers four travel credit cards and three business credit cards, all of which earn Delta SkyMiles and come with unique benefits and perks.
Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card: Best Delta credit card with no annual fee
Best features: If you want a Delta credit card that lets you earn SkyMiles without paying an annual fee, you need to consider the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card. This no-annual-fee credit card offers 2X miles on restaurants worldwide and on eligible Delta purchases, 1X miles on all other purchases and the opportunity to earn 10,000 bonus miles when you make $1,000 in purchases in the first six months.
Biggest drawbacks: The Delta SkyMiles Blue card gives you a 20% discount on Delta in-flight purchases, but otherwise doesn’t offer much in the way of travel perks.
Alternatives: If you’re looking to try out a travel card without paying an annual fee, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card (highlighted below) has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year of card ownership ($99 thereafter). This could be a good option for people who want to try a Delta SkyMiles card and see if they like it.
Bottom line: If you’re only in the game to earn Delta SkyMiles and don’t need extra benefits, the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express card is a great no-annual-fee choice.
Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card: Best entry-level Delta card
Best features: Are you looking for an entry-level travel card that lets you earn Delta SkyMiles while also giving you travel perks like priority boarding and free checked bags? Consider the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card. In exchange for a $99 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the first year), you’ll get your first checked bag free, priority boarding and a 20% statement credit on in-flight purchases. Plus, cardholders who spend more than $10,000 in a calendar year will receive a $100 Delta flight credit.
The Delta Gold card offers 2X miles on purchases at restaurants worldwide, U.S. supermarkets and Delta purchases, and 1X miles on all general purchases. You can also earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in purchases in your first six months.
Biggest drawbacks: Not all cardholders will make enough purchases to earn the $100 Delta flight credit – but even if you aren’t able to take advantage of this perk, you may still be able to cover the cost of the Gold card with free checked bags and in-flight discounts.
Alternatives: If you’re trying to decide between the Blue Delta and Gold Delta card, ask yourself whether you’ll be able to use enough of the Gold card’s benefits to cover the cost of its $99 annual fee.
Bottom line: The Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex is an excellent travel card for people who want to improve their Delta travel experience while saving money and earning SkyMiles.
Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card: Best Delta credit card for frequent travelers
Best features: If you’re a frequent flier who wants to maximize your credit card rewards, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card delivers. You’ll get to take advantage of great SkyMile-earning opportunities, including 3X miles on Delta airfare and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X miles on U.S. supermarket and restaurant purchases and 1X miles on everything else. Plus, you can earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after making $3,000 in purchases in your first six months.
If you’re working toward Delta Medallion status, you can earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after making $25,000 in purchases in a calendar year – and you can repeat this process twice per year.
Add in free checked bags, priority boarding, 20% statement credits on in-flight purchases, a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee credit, Delta Sky Club lounge access for just $39 per person and an annual companion certificate, and you’re looking at even more ongoing benefits.
Biggest drawbacks: The Delta SkyMiles Platinum card offers more perks than the Delta SkyMiles Gold card, but it also costs more. You’ll pay a $250 annual fee in exchange for your travel benefits.
Alternatives: While some frequent travelers will get the full value out of their Delta SkyMiles Platinum card, others may end up paying a high annual fee for features they rarely use. If you already have TSA PreCheck, rarely visit airport lounges and aren’t likely to spend enough money to earn the card’s welcome bonus, you might want to apply for the Delta SkyMiles Gold card instead.
Bottom line: The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express card is a good option for people who travel often enough to maximize the card’s benefits and rewards.
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card: Best credit card for Delta status
Best features: If you want a Delta credit card that can help you earn Medallion Qualification Miles and gain Delta Medallion status levels, check out the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. The Delta Reserve Card is a premium travel card that is only available to people with excellent credit – and it comes with a $550 annual fee. That said, this luxury credit card offers one of the best ways to earn Delta elite status as quickly as possible.
In addition to the 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) you can earn after making $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months, the Delta Reserve also gives you the opportunity to earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after spending $30,000 in a calendar year – and you can repeat this earning opportunity up to four times per year. Plus, Delta will waive the Medallion Qualification Dollar requirement towards Platinum, Gold or Silver Medallion status after you make at least $25,000 in purchases in that calendar year with an eligible Delta card.
You’ll also be able to take advantage of some of Delta’s best travel benefits, including a first checked bag free, priority boarding, a 20% statement credit on in-flight purchases, a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry statement credit, priority boarding, access to complimentary upgrades, free access to Delta Sky Club lounges and Centurion Lounges and an annual companion certificate.
Biggest drawbacks: The Reserve card only offers 3X miles on eligible Delta purchases and 1X miles on general purchases, in contrast to the Platinum card’s more generous rewards structure.
Alternatives: If you don’t anticipate putting $30,000 on your Delta Reserve Card in a calendar year, you might be better off with the Delta Platinum – especially as you have the potential to earn more SkyMiles per purchase with the Platinum Card than with the Reserve.
Bottom line: If you are hoping to use your Delta SkyMiles card to earn elite status with Delta and enjoy elite travel benefits, the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card might be right for you.
Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card: Best Delta points credit card for small business owners
Best features: If you’re looking to earn Delta SkyMiles without committing to a high annual fee, start with the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card. You’ll pay a $99 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the first year) and earn 2X miles on direct Delta purchases; 2X miles on U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, U.S. shipping purchases and at restaurants; then 1X miles on everything else – making it one of the best credit cards for online advertising with search engines and social media.
You’ll also earn a welcome bonus worth 50,000 miles when you spend $2,000 in the first three months, and you can take advantage of travel perks like free checked bags and priority boarding. Plus, you’ll earn a $100 Delta flight credit if you put $10,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year.
Biggest drawbacks: Choosing a business travel card can be difficult, which is why it’s important to know what you want to get out of one before you apply. While the Delta Gold Business card is a good starter card, some small business owners might be better off with a card that offers bigger rewards in exchange for bigger purchases.
Alternatives: If you plan on putting large business purchases on your Delta credit card, you might want to consider the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card (discussed below), instead. It charges a higher annual fee but offers significantly more bang for your buck.
Bottom line: The Delta Gold Business is one of the best Delta cards for small business owners, especially if you’re new to business travel cards. If you decide you want even more out of your Delta card, you can always upgrade.
Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card: Best Delta business credit card for big purchases
Best features: If you’re currently putting a lot of money into your business and its growth, you need a credit card that rewards those big purchases – and the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card might have exactly the rewards you need. It offers 3X miles on direct Delta purchases and on purchases made directly with hotels, 1.5X miles on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 50,000 additional miles per year) and 1X miles on everything else.
This makes the Delta Platinum Business card the best Delta business card for big purchases – and that’s before you add in 60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) you can earn if you spend $3,000 in the first three months. You can also earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after putting $25,000 on your card in a calendar year, an opportunity you can take advantage of twice per year.
Plus, you’ll get travel perks like free checked bags, a fee credit for your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application and an annual companion pass – all of which can help you save money as your business continues to grow (and offset the $250 annual fee).
Drawbacks: If you don’t regularly make business purchases larger than $5,000 and don’t plan on putting at least $25,000 on your card in a calendar year, you’ll miss out on some of the best rewards this card has to offer.
Alternatives: If you’re considering the Platinum Business Amex for its miles potential, ask yourself whether your business is likely to earn more miles with it or with the Gold Business card. If you’re considering the Platinum Business for its travel perks, ask yourself whether the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card might offer even more.
Bottom line: Small business owners know the importance of investing in their businesses, and the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business is a good way to turn your business purchases into rewards.
Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card: Best Delta credit card for frequent business travelers
Best features: If your company requires a lot of business travel, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card can help make those trips more comfortable. This premium travel credit card comes with a $550 annual fee, and it gives you relaxing, business-friendly travel benefits that include complimentary Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge access.
The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business also offers plenty of opportunities to earn miles. You’ll receive 3X miles on eligible Delta purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases – and if you spend more than $150,000 on non-Delta purchases in a calendar year, that base mile rate bumps up to 1.5X miles for the rest of the year. Plus, new cardholders can earn a welcome bonus worth 60,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
Biggest drawbacks: While some small business owners won’t blink at the card’s $550 annual fee – especially if your business requires a lot of travel and would have a lot of opportunity to take advantage of the its benefits – other small business owners might decide that the card is too expensive for their budgets.
Alternatives: The Delta Reserve Business Card’s rewards earning potential is roughly equivalent to the Delta Platinum, especially if your business regularly makes purchases over $5,000.
Bottom line: Don’t apply for the Reserve Business card because you want to maximize your SkyMiles – apply because you want to maximize your business travel perks.
How to choose the best Delta SkyMiles credit card
Which Delta credit card is best for you depends on what you want from your card. Whether you want the best credit card for Delta miles, for Delta status or for business, there’s at least one option that should have everything you’re looking for. So, take the time you need to evaluate our list of the best Delta credit cards and choose the one that’s best for you.
You’ll also want to learn as much as possible about Delta’s SkyMiles program – and we’ve got a Delta SkyMiles guide to help you get started. Remember, the best way to get the most out of your Delta SkyMiles credit card is to use it, whether you’re booking your next Delta flight or checking into a hotel after you reach your destination. The best Delta credit cards make travel both more affordable and more fun, so choose an option that fits your travel needs and start planning your next trip right away.