Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express review

Published: September 3, 2019

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Published: September 3, 2019

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Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
3.6 rating
3.6 rating
3.6 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.1
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.3
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 if you make a Delta purchase with the card in first 3 months
  • Terms apply

Annual Bonus
None

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

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$381

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

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Miles don’t expire
  • No blackout dates
  • 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: 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

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express: More Details

For frequent Delta flyers eager to earn a few extra SkyMiles to use toward your next flight, the Gold Delta SkyMiles card from American Express 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, priority seating and discounted access to the Delta Sky Club.

On the downside, the card does charge an annual fee of $95 ($0 intro fee in first year). If you don’t fly very often, you might have a hard time earning enough in rewards to offset this cost.

Introductory bonus

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. This is a small perk, but it can help you offset some of your travel purchases.

Note, this is not highest offer the card has ever included. American Express frequently updates the introductory bonus on this card, offering twice as many miles as the current bonus. If you don’t mind a bit of a wait, you may want to hold off on applying for the card until the offer increases.

Earning miles

Unfortunately, like many airline co-branded cards, the Gold Delta SkyMiles card doesn’t have the best rewards earning scheme. Cardholders earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases. This means that users who don’t fly frequently will have a hard time accumulating a large number of miles.

In contrast, other Delta co-branded credit cards – like the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express − award bonus miles on everyday categories, such as U.S. restaurant purchases.

What are Delta SkyMiles worth?

On the plus side, the rewards you earn with the Gold Delta SkyMiles card are pretty valuable. We estimate that Delta SkyMiles are worth an average of 1.61 cents per mile – making it easy to stretch your rewards a long way.

This inflated rewards value can help make up for the Gold SkyMiles card’s lackluster rewards rate. Unfortunately, in potential rewards value per dollar spent (factoring in earning rate and average point value), the card still ranks relatively low among airline credit cards.

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. 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 Gold Delta SkyMiles card, you have a variety of redemption options. However, you might not get the same value out of your miles for each kind of redemption. Additionally – like with many airline credit cards – there is no good cash redemption option.

Gold Delta SkyMiles card redemption options

Redemption option Mile 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 donations 1.61

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

One of the perks Gold Delta SkyMiles cardholders enjoy is 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 twice per year to make up for the Gold SkyMiles card’s $95 annual fee (waived first year). If you frequently travel with a large group, the perk is incredibly valuable.

Delta Sky Club access

While the Gold Delta SkyMiles card does not grant cardholders free lounge access, users can enjoy entrance to Delta Sky Club lounges for a reduced fee. As a cardholder, you can purchase entrance for yourself and two guests for just $29.

This is a plush benefit for travelers who want to inject a bit of luxury into their vacation. By purchasing entrance to the lounge, you can enjoy benefits like free food and beverages, Wi-Fi and a more comfortable seating area – saving you stress and money on your trip.

Other benefits

The free checked bag perk and reduced-price Sky Club access just scratch the surface of the benefits included with the Gold Delta SkyMiles 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.
  • Roadside assistance – If you need a tow, locksmith or tire change in a pinch, you’ll have access to a 24/7 roadside assistance line.
  • No foreign transaction fees – The Gold Delta SkyMiles card won’t charge you a fee on foreign transactions.
  • Travel accident insurance – In the case of injury when traveling by common carrier, you can be reimbursed for the fare charged to your card.
  • 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 two years to qualifying manufacturer’s warranties of five years or less.
  • Purchase protection – If you purchase an item with your card and it is lost or damaged in the first 120 days, you can be reimbursed up to $1,000 per claim ($50,000 max per year).
  • Return protection – If you try to return a qualifying item purchased with your card in the first 90 days and the merchant won’t take it back, you can be reimbursed up to $300 per item ($1,000 max per year).
  • Free ShopRunner membership – You can enroll in a complimentary ShopRunner membership, which offers free, two-day shipping from dozens of online merchants.

Keep in mind that while the Gold Delta SkyMiles 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

The Gold Delta SkyMiles card is issued by American Express, which has a top-notch customer service reputation. In J.D. Power’s 2019 customer satisfaction survey, Amex ranked second out of 11 major card issuers. The issuer also offers a highly-rated mobile app – 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 Gold Delta SkyMiles 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 had any Delta SkyMiles card in the last 90 days.

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

While the Gold Delta SkyMiles offers some valuable perks for frequent travelers, it’s earning rate is limited – especially when you consider the annual fee. For cardholders looking to maximize every day earning, 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
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express 

(This offer is no longer available.)

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard 

(This offer is no longer available.)

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
Rewards rate

  • 2 miles per dollar on directly purchased Delta airfare
  • 1 mile per dollar on other purchases
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

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

Welcome bonus

  • 50,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months
  • Receive 50% back in the form of statement credits on purchases made directly with Delta with your Card within the first 3 months, up to $500 back
  • Terms apply
Welcome bonus

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

Annual fee

$250

Annual fee

$195

Annual fee

$99 (waived first 12 months)

Other things to know

  • $100 airline fee credit for incidental purchases
  • Up to $120 in dining credits per year at participating restaurants
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Terms apply
Other things to know

  • Annual companion certificate
  • Priority boarding
  • Free checked bag 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. Cardholders also receive a $100 credit each year to use toward incidental purchases (like baggage fees and in-flight purchases) with a selected airline.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles 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 Gold Delta SkyMiles card, the Platinum charges a higher annual fee – but it comes with a couple 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. If you use this perk strategically, it can more than offset the card’s $195 annual fee. (This offer is no longer available.)

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

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select card

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 American Airlines purchases, users can also rack up great rewards by dining out and filling up their tank. AAdvantage Platinum Select cardholders earn 2 miles per dollar on both restaurant and gas station purchases. As far as other card perks, the AAdvantage Platinum Select card offers similar perks to the Gold Delta SkyMiles – such as a free checked bag and preferred boarding. (This offer is no longer available.)

Who should apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles 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 and lounge access.

How to use the Gold Delta SkyMiles card:

  • Use the card for all Delta purchases to earn bonus miles.
  • If you’re looking to purchase airfare with Delta, you may want to time that with your opening of this card to take cover your purchase with statement credits.
  • 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.
  • Check the SkyMiles deals page for discounted award tickets.

Is the Gold Delta SkyMiles card worth it?

If you fly frequently and want to earn SkyMiles a bit faster, the Gold Delta SkyMiles card is a great tool to help you do just that. However, since the card doesn’t earn bonus miles on categories other than Delta purchases, its earning potential is limited. Cardholders who travel less frequently or prefer to earn rewards on everyday purchases might be better off opting for a general rewards card like the American Express Gold Card.

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

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