Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Review

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The Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card is the most basic of the Delta cards offered by American Express. With no annual fee, this card is a good choice for Delta Air Lines fans who want to earn miles while keeping their out-of-pocket costs to a minimum. 

Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

overall rating
4.3
Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
  • Regular APR (%) 17.74% - 26.74% variable
  • Annual Fee No Annual Fee
  • Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per dollar at US restaurants and on eligible Delta purchases, and earn 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
  • Foreign transaction fee 2.7%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.0
for Rewards
1.9
for Credit
3.5

Earn 10,000 Bonus Miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.

Top Rated For

  • American Express Credit Cards
  • Delta Credit Cards

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Brand Loyalist Persona
    Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty
    Brand Loyalist
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Adventure Seeker Persona
    Loves to explore places and experience new things
    Adventure Seeker
  • Avatar for Jet Setter Persona
    Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free
    Jet Setter

Since other Delta cards in the American Express suite charge an annual fee, the Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card is a worthwhile alternative for Delta flyers with good to excellent credit who want to keep their costs down and don’t need a lot of travel perks. But because Delta’s miles are not worth as much as those you can earn on other major airline credit cards, if you have the option to fly those other carriers, you may be able to earn free flights faster with one of their credit cards.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Restaurant miles

Cons

  • Wimpy welcome offer

  • Miles are low-value compared to competitors

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Few travel perks

Pros Explained

  • No annual fee: The Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, which sets it apart from other Delta cards in the American Express suite and many competitors.
  • Restaurant miles: You’ll earn 2 miles for each $1 you spend on dining out at U.S. restaurants, in addition to Delta purchases. Some travel rewards cards offer bonuses on this category, but it’s not that common. This can be a great way to rack up miles if you don’t fly that frequently and tend to eat out a lot.

Cons Explained

  • Wimpy welcome offer: While the spending requirement is easy to achieve, 10,000 miles is low for a new cardmember bonus and you’ll be lucky if it’s enough for a one-way flight on Delta or one of its partners.
  • Miles are low-value compared to competitors: Research by The Balance shows that you’ll get more value from cards co-branded with United Airlines and American Airlines miles.
  • Foreign transaction fee: Competitors’ cards and other Delta Amex cards don’t charge you for making purchases abroad. At 2.7%, this card’s foreign transaction fee can effectively cancel out your rewards if you do a lot of international travel. 
  • Few travel perks: While many competing cards offer free checked bags and priority boarding, the Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card is very bare-bones. 

Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Welcome Offer

When you sign up for the Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus miles if you spend $500 on your card in the first three months. While the spending minimum makes this welcome offer very easy to get, we value the bonus at only $90 if you redeem it for Delta flights. That’s lower than the bonuses you’ll get on entry-level American and United credit cards.

Earning Points & Rewards

The Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card has a simple earning proposition. Once you sign up, you’ll earn 2 miles per $1 spent with Delta (flights or other purchases,) and at U.S. restaurants. The base rate of 1 mile per $1 spent applies to everything else you buy. There are no limits on how many miles you can earn and the miles never expire. 

Redeeming Rewards

While miles can only be earned on Delta flights, they can be redeemed with Delta and more than 15 partner airlines, including Air France, Virgin Atlantic, and Hawaiian Airlines. 

On average, we found the miles earned with this card to be worth 0.9 cents each when redeemed for flights. By comparison, miles earned on United Airlines cards and redeemed for flights are worth 1.57 cents, and those associated with American Airlines cards are worth 2.95 cents each

There are no blackout dates on Delta flights, but its partner airlines may block peak travel dates.

One drawback for Delta flights is the lack of transparency. Since Delta no longer publishes an award chart, it’s hard to know exactly how many miles you’ll need for the flight you want, and the numbers change with seemingly little rhyme or reason. Domestic flights usually start at around 20,000 miles round-trip in economy, while international round-trip fares may require 40,000 to 60,000 miles or more.

In addition to flights, these are some of the other ways you can redeem your miles:

  • Seat upgrades
  • Private jet travel with Delta jets
  • Delta vacation packages
  • Delta gift cards
  • Shopping in the Delta SkyMiles marketplace

Your miles are actually worth their most—1 cent each—when you use them to pay for a vacation package you book through Delta.

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Make sure you spend the required amount to get the welcome offer, and the sooner, the better. Miles take eight to 12 weeks to post to your account after you reach the threshold. Keep your card handy whenever you dine out to maximize your rewards earning. 

To find the best deals, check the Delta SkyMiles Deals page regularly. While the offers change all the time, you can frequently find round-trip domestic flights for as little as 11,000 miles if you are flexible on dates.

Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card’s Excellent Perks

Unlike many travel rewards cards, the Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card doesn’t offer free checked bags, priority boarding, lost luggage insurance, or many of the other perks that other airline cards have. It does, however, have one benefit we’ve deemed noteworthy:

  • Travel accident insurance: Receive up to $100,000 in coverage in the event of loss of life or accidental dismemberment. You have to charge your common carrier fare to your credit card to qualify. 

Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card’s Other Features

  • Discounts on in-flight purchases
  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Refund when merchant won’t accept returned item
  • Extended warranties
  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Roadside assistance hotline
  • Special event access 
  • Free shipping through ShopRunner membership

Customer Experience

When it comes to customer service, American Express is known for being responsive, not only over the phone and via its online chat function, but on social media as well. 

Their mobile app also seems to be a hit with cardholders, who have given it 4.9 out of 5 stars on iTunes and 4.3 out of 5 stars on Google Play. 

J.D. Power’s 2018 Credit Card Satisfaction Study ranked American Express second of 11 credit card companies after considering the opinions and feedback of over 24,000 credit card customers.  

Security Features

This card comes with standard security features—you’ll get secure password recovery and will not be held responsible for fraudulent charges. One noteworthy benefit: If your card is lost or stolen, you can usually get an instant card number while you wait for a new card in the mail.

Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card’s Fees 

This card is notable for having no annual fee, but if you plan to travel abroad, be mindful of that 2.7% charge on foreign transactions.

For Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

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Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
overall rating
4.3
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
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670 739
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  • Regular APR (%) 17.74% - 26.74% variable
  • Annual Fee No Annual Fee
  • Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per dollar at US restaurants and on eligible Delta purchases, and earn 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
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Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.