Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express review

Published: April 4, 2019

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Published: April 4, 2019

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Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
3.6 rating
3.6 rating
3.6 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.1
Rewards Flexibility: 4.4
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 4.6

In a Nutshell:

Gold Delta Skymiles points are worth more than the average credit card rewards point, making this airline card’s rewards program an attractive choice for cardholders who want to quickly earn a free flight on a major carrier.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 2:1 Delta purchases
  • 1:1 general spending
  • Terms apply

Introductory Bonus

  • 30,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your card in first 3 months
  • Terms apply

Annual Bonus

Annual Fee
$95, $0 first year (See rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)

17.99-26.99% (variable) (See rates and fees)

Rewards Redemption

  • Miles don’t expire
  • No blackout dates
  • One-way flights allowed
  • Miles + cash option available for some rewards flights
  • Large number of airline partners


  • $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: Free checked bag, priority seating, discounted Delta Sky Club access, no foreign transaction fee (See rates and fees), baggage insurance, purchase protection, ticket presales and VIP events, car purchase discounts, discounts on travel packages, return protection, ShopRunner free shipping service

With an above-average introductory bonus, credit statement, annual fee waiver for the first year, and other nice benefits, the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card won’t be a dead weight in your wallet. The card is a highly esteemed product that will help you enhance your ground and on-board experience and earn a few extra miles beyond flying.

Even if you don’t fly Delta often, you can use Delta miles to book an award seat on one of Delta’s 31 SkyTeam alliance and individual partner airlines. It should be noted, however, that some card benefits – such as free checked bags – only apply to Delta flights.

Note that in most cases, you won’t get a introductory bonus if you have or have had the same American Express charge or credit card before. Always check the terms and conditions before applying.

$95 annual fee waived for the first year

The card does come with a high annual fee. However, if you are not sure that the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card is going to meet your needs, you don’t have to spend a penny out of your pocket. The fee is waived for the first year. So if you aren’t happy, just cancel the card before the next year’s fee hits, and you’re in the clear.

Earn 30,000 bonus miles

New Gold Delta SkyMiles cardholders will earn 30,000 bonus miles if they spend $1,000 in the first three months of card membership, which we estimate to be worth almost $500 in airfare. Additionally, cardholders will earn a $50 statement credit after making their first Delta purchase in the first three months.

Below-average earning scheme

Unfortunately, the card comes with a bare bones earning scheme that limits the number of miles you can earn by making purchases with the card. You get 2 miles per dollar on most Delta purchases and only 1 mile on all other purchases. Many cards offer higher rewards rate on general purchases, or offer double miles on special categories of purchases, such as gas and groceries. If you don’t fly Delta often, a general rewards card may be a better fit. “These cards allow you to earn rewards on hotels, car rentals, and cruises as well as airfare, so it’s easier to use your miles,” says Kailey Fralick at The Simple Dollar.

Large network of partner airlines

You can redeem Delta miles on Delta and other partner airlines. That means you can fly almost anywhere in the world on an award ticket. Note, however, that while Delta doesn’t add so-called “carrier-imposed surcharges” to its own flights (except for flights originating in Europe), it does add surcharges to some partner airlines. Since there is usually more than one way to get to your destination, you will be able to see the difference in cash outlay between airlines when you redeem miles.

Good airline perks

The Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card offers some great perks for flying Delta Air Lines. One of the most noteworthy of these is the generous free checked bag policy. You and up to eight companions can each check your first bag free of charge on Delta or Delta Connection flight segments. This is one of the most generous baggage policies for an airline co-branded card.

You also get priority boarding, which means you can board the plane right after premium class and elite passengers. This benefit gives you preferential access to the overhead bin compartments if you fly with carry-on bags. Also, the card offers a 20 percent discount on food, movies and other in-flight purchases.

No foreign-transaction fee

You can freely use your Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card to pay abroad without having to pay the 2 to 3 percent foreign-transaction fee that many cards charge (See rates and fees). However, American Express doesn’t have as strong an international presence as Visa and MasterCard, so you may have some difficulty finding foreign vendors that will accept your card.

Why get the Gold Delta SkyMiles card?

  • You frequently fly Delta Air Lines and want to maximize your miles-earning opportunities.
  • You want to take advantage of the introductory bonus.
  • You fly with a large group and want to save some serious money with free checked bags.
  • You are interested in miscellaneous American Express benefits.

How to use the Gold Delta SkyMiles card:

  • Make sure to spend $1,000 on the card within three months to earn the full bonus.
  • Always pay for your eligible Delta purchases with the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card.
  • When you look for an award flight, always pay attention to the cash portions of your ticket to avoid or minimize fuel surcharges imposed by some Delta partner airlines.

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

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