Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card review

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card review

Updated: February 3, 2023

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Updated: February 3, 2023

Partner Offer: Terms Apply to the offers on this page

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Pros

  • This card’s $99 annual fee is waived the first year and easy to offset thereafter
  • Offers the best everyday rewards rates among Delta consumer cards
  • Significant travel benefits including free first checked bag and potential $100 annual Delta flight credit

Cons

  • Value of rewards is restricted by subpar redemption options and no definitive redemption value
  • Offers a healthy amount of benefits for the cost, but is outshined in this area by other Delta cards
  • Cardholders will find earning Medallion status more difficult as the card does not offer Status Boost or a Medallion Qualification Dollar Waiver

Why you might want the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

For frequent Delta flyers eager to earn a few extra SkyMiles to use toward your next flight, the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card offers the ability to rack up more rewards. Plus, you’ll enjoy luxury perks that can take some of the stress out of your vacation − like a free checked bag on Delta flights and priority boarding.

On the downside, the card does charge an annual fee of $99 ($0 intro annual fee in the first year). If you don’t fly very often, you might have difficulty earning enough rewards to offset this cost.

Introductory bonus

New cardholders can earn a limited time offer of 70,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 with their new card in the first six months. Offer ends 3/29/23. That’s a nice upgrade from the card’s previous offer of 40,000 bonus miles with the same spending requirement. Based on Bankrate’s latest airline mile valuations, we estimate Delta SkyMiles are worth around 1.3 cents apiece, giving the current bonus a potential value of approximately $910, much higher than the card’s previous estimated bonus value of $510.

Earning miles

Unlike many airline co-branded cards, the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card has a solid rewards earning scheme outside airline purchases. Cardholders earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets, and 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases. This should make it a little easier for users who don’t fly frequently to stockpile miles.

What are Delta SkyMiles worth?

On the plus side, the rewards you earn with the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card offer decent value. Bankrate estimates Delta SkyMiles are worth an average of 1.3 cents per mile — better than the base value you’ll get with many credit card rewards programs. That said, the card still ranks relatively low among airline credit cards in terms of potential rewards value per dollar spent (factoring in earning rate and average point value).

That said, SkyMiles Gold cardholders also get 15% off when using miles to book award travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app (not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees). That could bump up your rewards valu further.

Tip: If you are not dedicated to flying on Delta, general travel rewards cards like the American Express® Gold Card can bring in more rewards per dollar spent – thanks to bonus categories on everyday categories of spending categories. Plus, American Express has a partnership with Delta that makes it easy to find great deals on Delta flights through American Express Travel

Flight network

Delta has a huge flight network, with more than 14,500 daily flights in over 170 countries. This makes Delta a great airline choice for any frequent traveler. Plus, the airline is part of the far-reaching SkyTeam alliance and has 12 additional travel partners.

Redeeming miles

Once you’ve earned miles with the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card, you have various redemption options. However, you might not get the same value from your miles for each redemption. Additionally – like with many airline credit cards – there is no good cash redemption option.

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card redemption options

Redemption optionMile value (cents)
Flights1.3 (Bankrate estimated value)
Flight upgrades2.2
Miles + Cash1
Pay with miles1
Delta vacations1
Car rentals0.6
Delta Sky Club membership1.1
Merchandise0.4
Gift cards0.3-0.5
Magazines0.8
ExperiencesVaries
Charity donations1.61

Delta SkyMiles can be very valuable, but you can stretch your miles farther by redeeming them for reward flights or flight upgrades.

See Related: Best ways to redeem Delta SkyMiles

Free checked bags

Cardholders enjoy a free checked bag on Delta flights for you and up to eight companions on the same reservation. Since a checked bag typically costs $30 each way ($60 total if you fly round-trip), you only need to travel round-trip twice per year with a checked bag to make up for the Gold SkyMiles card’s $99 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the first year). The perk is incredibly valuable if you frequently travel with a large group.

Other benefits

The free checked bag perk only scratches the surface of the benefits included with the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card. The card comes with plenty of additional perks that can improve your travel and shopping experience.

  • Priority boarding – On your Delta flights, you can enjoy early boarding.
  • No foreign transaction fees – The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card won’t charge you a fee on foreign transactions.
  • Car rental insurance – For rental cars booked and paid with your SkyMiles card, you’ll receive secondary insurance coverage in case of damage or theft.
  • Extended warranty – Add one year to qualifying manufacturer’s warranties of five years or less.
  • Purchase protection – If you purchase an item with your card that is lost or damaged in the first 90 days, you can be reimbursed up to $1,000 per claim ($50,000 max per year).
  • 20% back on in-flight purchases – You’ll get 20% back in the form of a statement credit on all eligible in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets
  • Free ShopRunner membership – You can enroll in a complimentary ShopRunner membership, which offers free, two-day shipping from dozens of online merchants.
  • Delta Flight Credit – Receive a $100 flight credit after you spend $10,000 in purchases on your card in one calendar year for use toward future travel.

Remember that while the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card does not charge a foreign transaction fee, American Express cards are not accepted as widely abroad as they are in the U.S.

Customer experience

American Express, which has a top-notch customer service reputation, issues the Delta SkyMiles Gold card. In J.D. Power’s 2022 customer satisfaction survey, Amex ranked No. 1 out of 11 major card issuers. The issuer also offers a highly-rated mobile app – rating 4.2 out of 5 in the Google Play Store and 4.9 out of 5 in the Apple App Store.

Approval odds

The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card is designed for users with good to excellent credit (above 670), so you’ll want to ensure you meet those qualifications before you apply. Additionally, you won’t qualify for the introductory bonus on this card if you have opened any Delta SkyMiles cards in the past 90 days.

Why you might want a different card

While the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card offers a nice blend of value and travel benefits for the cost, there may be a better fit for you. Here are a few reasons why you may consider a different card.

Lackluster redemption options

Individuals that fly strictly with Delta won’t find this as much of a hassle, but people who aren’t loyal to a specific airline will discover that the redemption options are quite limited compared to non-branded travel cards. When paying with miles or a combination of miles and cash, you’ll only be able to book travel or upgrade seats through Delta or its SkyTeam partners. As a result, you will not be able to transfer miles to another loyalty program for more value.

Fewer luxurious perks

The Delta SkyMiles Gold does a great job of packaging everyday value for casual flyers for the $99 annual fee. However, frequent travelers may find that the card’s list of benefits falls short in some areas. For example, the card does not offer a credit for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck or a fast-track to elite Medallion status. On top of that, travelers who want lounge access and other premium perks will need to look elsewhere, like the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, albeit for a much higher annual fee.

How does the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card SkyMiles card compare to other cards?

While the card offers some valuable perks for frequent travelers, its earning rate is limited, especially considering the annual fee. For cardholders maximizing everyday earnings, you might be better off opting for one of these popular alternatives:

American Express Gold Card
American Express® Gold Card
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®*
Rewards rate

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

  • 3 miles per dollar on directly purchased Delta airfare and directly purchased hotel stays
  • 2 miles per dollar at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and U.S. supermarkets
  • 1 mile per dollar on other eligible purchases
  • Terms apply
Rewards rate

  • 2 miles per dollar on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 2 miles per dollar on gas station and restaurant purchases
  • 1 mile per dollar on other purchases
Welcome bonus

60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 6 months

Welcome bonus

Limited time offer: 90,000 miles after you spend $4,000 in first six months. Offer ends 3/29/23.

Welcome bonus

50,000 miles if you spend $2,500 in first three months

Annual fee

$250

Annual fee

$250

Annual fee

$99 (waived first 12 months)

Other things to know

  • Up to $120 in dining credits per year at participating restaurants
  • $120 in Uber Cash per year ($10 per month)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Terms apply
Other things to know

  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Annual companion certificate
  • Earn 10,000 MQMs after you spend $25,000 in purchases in a calendar year, up to two times per year
  • Priority boarding
  • Free checked bag on Delta flights for you and up to 8 companions
  • Preferred seating
  • Terms apply
Other things to know

  • Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount each year you spend $20,000 and renew your card membership
  • Free checked bag
  • Preferred boarding

American Express Gold Card

The American Express Gold Card is a top choice among foodies – thanks to a generous rewards rate on both restaurant and U.S. supermarket purchases. This makes it easy to rack up significant rewards on the purchases you make every day, rather than just when you travel. Plus, Membership Rewards can be easily redeemed for airfare on American Express Travel.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

If you are a Delta loyalist but prefer a few more perks with your credit card, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card is a more premium option. Compared to the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card, the Platinum charges a higher annual fee – but it comes with a couple of valuable extras. Most notably, cardholders receive a companion pass each year on their account anniversary, which allows them to bring a companion for just the cost of taxes and fees. Using this perk strategically can more than offset the card’s $250 annual fee.

See Related: Which Delta SkyMiles card is best for you?

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

For cardholders who enjoy flying with American Airlines, the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard offers a good rewards rate for an airline card. Rather than just earning bonus points on eligible American Airlines purchases, users can also rack up great rewards by dining out and filling up their tanks. AAdvantage Platinum Select cardholders earn 2 miles per dollar on restaurant and gas station purchases. As far as other card perks, the AAdvantage Platinum Select card offers similar perks to the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card – such as a free checked bag and preferred boarding.

Who should apply for the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card?

  • Frequent flyers who prefer traveling with Delta Air Lines.
  • Travelers who want to earn SkyMiles more quickly.
  • Frequent travelers who will take advantage of savings on checked bags on Delta flights and lounge access.

How to use the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card:

  • Use the card for all Delta, hotel, restaurant and U.S. supermarket purchases to earn bonus miles.
  • Put all major travel and shopping purchases on the card to maximize its benefits and protections.
  • Take advantage of Amex Offers, the Delta SkyMiles shopping portal and the SkyMiles Dining program to earn a few extra rewards (eligibility for these offer are limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming).
  • Check the SkyMiles deals page for discounted award tickets.

Is the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card worth it?

Suppose you fly frequently and want to earn SkyMiles a bit faster. In that case, the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card is a great tool to help you do just that, especially since the card earns bonus miles in a number of everyday categories, not just on Delta purchases. However, if you want more flexibility with how you redeem your rewards, you may be better off with a general rewards card like the American Express Gold Card.

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card, please click here.

*All information about the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.

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