Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express review

Published: August 26, 2019

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Published: August 26, 2019

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Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
3.5 rating
3.5 rating
3.5 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.2
Rewards Flexibility: 4.4
Features: 1.0
Customer Experience 4.6

In a Nutshell:

You can earn miles at a fairly high rate with this no-annual-fee airline card, but you can find several flexible travel cards — and even a few cash back cards — that offer more flexible and more valuable rewards.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 2:1 Eligible Delta purchases
  • 2:1 U.S. restaurants
  • 1:1 other purchases

Introductory Bonus
10,000 miles if you spend $500 in first 3 months

Annual Fee
$0 (See rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($15,900 spend)
$356

APR
17.74-26.74% (variable) (See rates and fees)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Miles don’t expire
  • No blackout dates
  • No limits to how many miles you can earn
  • One-way flights allowed
  • Miles + cash option available for some rewards flights
  • Large number of airline partners

Cons

  • $25 fee for phone bookings, $35 for Ticket Office bookings (See rates and fees)
  • Stopovers not permitted
  • Fuel surcharges on some partners and on Delta one-way flights from Europe

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: 20% discount on in-flight Delta purchases, car rental insurance, free roadside assistance, event presales, lowest hotel rate guarantee, return protection, purchase protection, extended warranty

Blue Delta SkyMiles card from American Express Review: More Details

If you are a frequent flyer of Delta Air Lines hoping for a way to rack up a few extra miles, look no further than the Blue Delta SkyMiles card from American Express. The card charges no annual fee and allows you to earn a few extra miles on purchases you make every day.

Unfortunately, the Blue Delta SkyMiles card doesn’t come with as many additional perks as Delta cards that do charge an annual fee – like the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express . But, while the Blue Delta SkyMiles doesn’t offer a free checked bag or priority seating, you’ll still be able to get to your next reward flight a bit faster.

Introductory bonus

The welcome offer on the Blue Delta SkyMiles card is far from exciting. The card offers a meager 10,000 miles to cardholders who spend $500 in the first three months. If you are hoping to fund a reward trip on your introductory bonus, this probably won’t be quite enough to get you there. Even with SkyMiles being slightly more valuable (we value each mile at 1.61 cents), the bonus is only worth around $161 toward reward flights.

Earning miles

For an airline card, racking up miles with the Blue Delta SkyMiles card is relatively simple. You’ll earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases as well as restaurant purchases and 1 mile per dollar on everything else. Since many airline cards only award bonus miles on purchases with the airline, the restaurant category on the Blue Delta SkyMiles really sets it apart.

In fact, the earning rate on the Blue Delta SkyMiles card can actually outpace the Gold Delta SkyMiles card. The Gold card only awards bonus miles on Delta purchases, making it harder to earn a significant amount if you only fly occasionally. Plus, the Gold card charges an annual fee ($95, $0 first year) so you’ll have to earn more to offset that cost.

Despite a fairly good earning rate for an airline card, the Blue Delta SkyMiles is not the most rewarding travel card on the market. Here’s how it stacks up against some of our most popular alternatives. (Note: To calculate the average rewards rate, we took average consumer spending as defined by Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine both category and overall spend.)

If racking up the most possible points or miles is your goal, you might be better off opting for a general travel card – like the American Express® Gold Card – and using your points toward Delta flights.

What are SkyMiles worth?

Another major plus for this card is the value of its rewards. Delta SkyMiles are some of the most valuable rewards currency available. We estimate that the average SkyMile is worth about 1.61 cents. This makes it easy to stretch your rewards a long way.

Flight network

If you are still deciding which airline loyalty program to start racking up miles with, Delta is one of the best options available. It is part of the SkyTeam alliance and has several additional airline partners. You shouldn’t have difficultly finding a flight to your destination, as the coverage with Delta is excellent – encompassing more than 800 destinations in more than 170 countries.

See Related: Delta SkyMiles partners

Redeeming miles

The Blue Delta SkyMiles card makes it easy to earn miles, but redeeming them might be a bit more difficult. Like with many airline cards, there is not a statement credit or cash back option. However, Delta does offer a few different ways to use your SkyMiles. Just keep in mind that non-flight redemptions probably won’t eke as much value out of your rewards.

Delta SkyMiles redemption options

Redemption option Point value (cents)
Flights 1.61
Flight upgrades 2.2
Miles + Cash 1
Pay with miles 1
Delta vacations 1
Car rentals 0.6
Delta Sky Club Membership 1.1
Merchandise 0.4
Gift cards 0.3-0.5
Magazines 0.8
Experiences Varies
Charity donation 1.61

If you choose to use your miles to book a flight for the best value, you won’t be subject to any blackout dates. Delta is also very flexible on making changes to award tickets. You can make changes to your origin, destination, routing, date or time up to 72 hours in advance of your flight for no fee.

Unfortunately, Delta reward flights aren’t priced on a fixed chart, so the price in SkyMiles can vary drastically during peak times. In addition, you might be charged a surcharge on international trips.

See Related: How to book a flight with Delta SkyMiles

Other Blue Delta SkyMiles card benefits

The Blue Delta SkyMiles card doesn’t offer many additional airline perks – like a free checked bag or priority boarding. However, you will still enjoy a few extra benefits that can save you some money while you travel.

  • 20 percent in-flight purchase discount – If you use your card to make any in-flight food or beverage purchases, you’ll receive 20 percent back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Car rental insurance – For rental cars paid for with your Blue SkyMiles card, you can receive secondary coverage in the case of damage or theft.
  • Extended warranty – This perk extends the manufacturer’s warranty on qualifying purchases up to two extra years.
  • Return protection – If you make a qualifying purchase on the Blue SkyMiles card and the merchant won’t take it back in the first 90 days, you can be refunded up to $300 per item ($1,000 max per year).
  • Purchase protection – The Blue SkyMiles card also covers eligible purchases against accidental damage or theft for the first 120 days.
  • ShopRunner – With ShopRunner, you can receive free two-day shipping at more than 100 online retailers.

If you use the Blue Delta SkyMiles card for major purchases, these protections and insurances can help save you money while you shop or travel.

Customer experience

The Blue Delta SkyMiles card is issued by American Express, which has a top-tier customer service reputation. In J.D. Power’s 2019 customer satisfaction survey, the issuer scored 838, ranking second out of 11 major issuers. The American Express app also rates well among users, rating 4.3 out of 5 in the Google Play Store and 4.9 out of 5 in the Apple App Store.

Approval odds

The Blue Delta SkyMiles card is designed for users with excellent credit (above 740), so you’ll want to ensure you meet those requirements before you apply. Additionally, you won’t qualify for the introductory offer on this card if you have had any Delta SkyMiles card in the last 90 days.

How does the Blue Delta SkyMiles card compare to other cards?

While the Blue Delta SkyMiles card has a decent earning rate and doesn’t charge an annual fee, it might not be the best option for every kind of traveler. Here are a few alternatives to consider:


Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

American Express® Gold Card

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
Rewards rate

  • 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases
  • 1 mile per dollar on general purchases
Rewards rate

  • 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide
  • 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per year)
  • 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
  • Terms apply
Rewards rate

  • 10 miles per dollar on hotels booked and paid through hotels.com/venture
  • 1.25 miles per dollar on other purchases
Welcome bonus

  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months
  • $50 statement credit after you make a Delta  purchase in your first 3 months
Welcome bonus

35,000 points if you spend $2,000 in first 3 months

Welcome bonus

20,000 miles if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months

Annual fee

$95, $0 first year

Annual fee

$250

Annual fee

$0

Other things to know

  • Free checked bag for you and up to 8 companions
  • Priority boarding
  • Discounted Delta Sky Club access
Other things to know

  • $100 airline fee credit for incidentals
  • Up to $120 dining credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
Other things to know

  • Transfer miles to 14 travel partners
  • No foreign transaction fees

Gold Delta SkyMiles card

While it is true that the earning rate on the Gold Delta SkyMiles card is not quite as good on the Blue SkyMiles Card, it potentially holds more value for frequent flyers. If you travel often, you can boost your earning on Delta purchases. Plus, you’ll receive priority boarding and a free checked bag for you and up to eight companions on the same reservation. Even if you regularly travel alone, this perk can save you $60 on every round-trip flight you take. For frequent travelers, this can more than offset the card’s annual fee.

In addition, the introductory offer on the Gold SkyMiles card can take you a lot further than the Blue SkyMiles card.

American Express Gold card

If you are the kind of traveler who prefers not to be limited to particular airlines, you might be better off opting for a card like the American Express Gold card. You can use your points on a wide variety of travel purchases, and since American Express has a close relationship with Delta Air Lines, you can often book Delta flights at a great price. Plus, the Gold card has one of the best rewards rates available for foodies, offering 4 points per dollar on restaurant purchases and U.S. supermarket purchases (supermarket purchases capped at $25,000 per year). You’ll also earn 3 points per dollar on directly purchased airfare or flights booked through amextravel.com and 1 point per dollar on other purchases.

While it is easy to see the value for frequent travelers in this card, it comes at a steep price. The annual fee is a high $250. If you take advantage of the card’s generous travel and dining credits, you can offset a big portion of this cost – but it can still be a downside for more moderate spenders.

Capital One VentureOne card

For cardholders who have their heart set on a no-annual-fee travel card, the Capital One VentureOne card is also a great alternative. Its regular rewards rate might not seem quite as impressive as the Blue Delta SkyMiles card, but users who spend a lot on hotel stays can boost their earning by booking through the Hotels.com Venture portal. Stays booked this way earn a whopping 10 miles per dollar, while all other purchases bring in 1.25 miles per dollar. The VentureOne card also comes with a generous sign-up bonus for a card with no annual fee – worth around $200 when used for travel purchases.

Who should apply for the Blue Delta SkyMiles card?

  • Frequent flyers of Delta Air Lines who want to earn extra SkyMiles without paying an annual fee.
  • Occasional Delta travelers who aren’t worried about free checked bags or priority boarding.
  • Cardholders who want to earn airline miles on restaurant purchases.

How to use the Blue Delta SkyMiles card:

  • Use the card for all restaurant and Delta purchases to earn bonus miles.
  • Spend at least $500 in the first three months to earn the introductory bonus.
  • Take advantage of Amex Offers, the Delta SkyMiles shopping portal and SkyMiles Dining program to rack up extra miles.
  • Check the SkyMiles Deals page for discounted award tickets.

Is the Blue Delta SkyMiles card worth it?

If you are a Delta Air Lines loyalist, but only travel a few times a year, the Blue Delta SkyMiles card is a great way to earn a few extra points on restaurant purchases to save money on your next flight. However, frequent flyers who can take advantage of savings on checked baggage or priority boarding might be better off opting for the Gold Delta SkyMiles card. You’ll have to pay an annual fee, but you’ll enjoy a few extra travel perks.

For rates and fees of the Blue Delta SkyMiles card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles card, please click here.

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