Which Delta SkyMiles card is best for you?

The choice depends on how frequent a Delta flyer you are and what types of benefits you value

Delta SkyMiles cards

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Delta Air Lines partners with American Express to offer a wide range of credit cards for frequent flyers who want to earn rewards. These cards let you earn miles that can be redeemed for flights and other types of awards within the Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer program, and some offer special perks such as airport lounge access and free checked bags.

Delta’s offerings include several personal credit cards, one of which has no annual fee. Business owners can also sign up for co-branded Delta cards for business, which may make it possible for them to earn miles on their business-related purchases and expenses.

Here’s a rundown of the Delta credit cards you should consider:

Delta SkyMiles credit cards

  Rewards rate Introductory bonus Annual fee

Blue Delta SkyMiles 

  • 2 miles per dollar on U.S. restaurant purchases and direct Delta purchases
  • 1 mile per dollar on other purchases
10,000 miles if you spend $500 in first 3 months $0

Gold Delta SkyMiles 

  • 2 miles per dollar on direct Delta purchases
  • 1 mile per dollar on other purchases
  • 30,000 miles if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • $50 statement credit if you make a Delta Purchase with the card in first 3 months
$95, $0 first year

Delta Reserve

  • 2 miles per dollar on direct Delta purchases
  • 1 mile per dollar on other purchases
40,000 miles and 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months  $450

Gold Delta SkyMiles Business 

  • 2 miles per dollar on direct Delta purchases
  • 1 mile per dollar on other purchases
 
  • 30,000 miles if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • $50 statement credit if you make a Delta Purchase with the card in first 3 months

 $95, $0 first year

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business 

  • 2 miles per dollar on direct Delta purchases
  • 1 mile per dollar on other purchases

 

  • 35,000 miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • $100 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase with the card in first 3 months

 

 $195

Delta Reserve for Business 

  • 2 Miles per dollar spent on direct Delta purchases
  • 1 mile on per dollar on other purchases
40,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months  $450

Entry-level card

The Blue Delta SkyMiles card from American Express is a solid option for beginners since it doesn’t charge an annual fee. You can sign up for this card and earn an initial sum of 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 on your card in your first three months.

Plus, you’ll get 2 miles per dollar on U.S. restaurant and direct Delta purchases and a 20-percent in-flight savings in the form of a statement credit when you use your card for food, beverages and audio headsets on Delta flights.

Premium credit cards

If you fly Delta or its partners often enough, you may want to consider upgrading to one of the airline’s premium travel credit cards. The Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card is a good option since it has a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year. This gives you a year to try out the card’s benefits without paying for the privilege.

Signing up for the card also makes it possible to earn 2 miles dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases. You also get a free checked bag on Delta flights for you and your travel companions along with Priority Boarding that gets you on the plane sooner.

The Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card offers the same introductory bonus and earning structure. Either option could be a smart one depending on whether you prefer a consumer credit card or one for your business.

Cards that help you earn elite status

The  Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business credit card from American Express is aimed at Frequent Delta flyers.

The card comes with a pricy annual fee of $195, which may be hard to justify if you don’t fly Delta often. In exchange, however, you get a strong introductory bonus and an initial $100 statement credit when you make a Delta purchase within three months of account opening.

More importantly for Delta flyers is the fact that you get 10,000 miles and 10,000 MQMs (Medallion Qualification Miles) if you spend $25,000 or more in a calendar year, 20,000 miles and 20,000 MQMs (total) if you spend $50,000 or more in a calendar year, and a free companion ticket. You also get a free checked bag, priority boarding and discounted entry into Delta Sky Clubs.

These benefits make getting the Platinum card a better deal if you’re a frequent Delta flyer who is seeking elite status. Still, you need to consider the fact that you’ll need to spend a lot on the card to earn the additional Medallion Qualification Miles. It’s also worth noting that, since the Platinum Delta Business card only offers 1 mile per dollar on regular purchases, it may not be best for everyday spending.

Cards for Sky Club lounge access

Other credit cards that could be ideal for frequent Delta flyers include the Delta Reserve for Business credit card and the Delta Reserve credit card. These cards come with a high annual fee of $450 but also offer automatic access to Delta Sky Clubs — a perk that normally costs $495 per year. Paying the fee for this card makes sense if you already planned to purchase a Delta Sky Club membership.

Both Delta Reserve cards also come with an annual companion certificate, free checked bags, priority boarding, a 20-percent discount on in-flight purchases and no foreign transaction fees.

They can also help you climb the ladder toward elite status with Delta faster. You earn 15,000 MQMs and 15,000 bonus miles after you spend $30,000 on purchases with your card within a calendar year. You can earn an additional 15,000 MQMs and an additional 15,000 bonus miles after you spend $60,000 on purchases with the same card in a calendar year.

If you plan to use these cards to reach elite status faster, keep in mind that you need to spend tens of thousands of dollars with them to earn the additional MQMs. Since you only earn 1 mile per dollar on regular purchases (outside of bonus miles), there is an opportunity cost to be considered here. Even with the benefits of elite status considered, you could be better off putting your spend on another travel credit card.

Which Delta credit card should I get?

The right Delta credit card for you depends on your needs. Before you decide, consider your average spending, how often you fly with Delta and whether you are comfortable paying an annual fee.

See Related: What are Delta SkyMiles worth?, Best ways to earn Delta SkyMiles, Best ways to redeem Delta SkyMiles, Delta SkyMiles partners, Delta elite status benefits, Delta Sky Club lounges, How to book a flight with Delta SkyMilesDelta Skymiles Shopping guide


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Updated: 11-14-2018