Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card Review

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The Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card is the most basic of the Delta Air Lines cards offered by the airline. With no annual fee, this card is for Delta fans who want to earn reward miles toward flights without paying for the privilege.

Delta SkyMiles® Blue Card

Overall Rating
3.4
Delta SkyMiles® Blue Card
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 (%) 15.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per dollar at restaurants and on eligible Delta purchases, and earn 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.7
for Fees
3.5
for Rewards
3.1
for Credit
3.7
Current Offer

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

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

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    Brand Loyalist

The Delta SkyMiles Blue Card, the only Delta card from American Express with no annual fee, is best for Delta fans willing to forgo travel perks to keep their costs to a minimum. Higher-tiered Delta cards have better welcome offers and more ongoing benefits, but this card is a reasonable choice if you have good credit and just want more ways to earn frequent flyer miles.

Pros
  • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees

  • Competitive welcome offer

  • Pay with Miles can reduce airfare

Cons
  • Few travel perks

Pros Explained

  • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees: This is the only Delta credit card that lets you earn miles toward upcoming travel without having to pay an annual fee. You’ll also avoid paying foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad, a benefit that’s not universal among comparable lower-tier airline cards.
  • Competitive welcome offer: This card’s offer to new cardholders is 10,000 miles after you spend $500 on your card within the first three months. While that is often enough for a one-way domestic flight, it's in line with what other no-annual-fee airline credit cards are offering. 
  • Pay with Miles can reduce airfare: This card is eligible for Delta’s Pay with Miles feature, which lets you redeem as few as 5,000 miles to cover part of the cost of an eligible flight. (Every 5,000 miles shaves $50 off your airfare.) This feature takes the guesswork out of redemption values and makes it easier for occasional travelers to use miles.

Cons Explained

  • Few travel perks: If you want benefits like free checked bags or priority boarding, you’ll need to get one of the Delta credit cards with an annual fee. 

Delta SkyMiles Blue Card Welcome Offer

The Delta SkyMiles Blue Card starts you off with 10,000 miles if you spend just $500 on your card within three months of account opening.

To offer a bit of flexibility during the pandemic, you may have more time to earn your new cardholder bonus, if you haven’t already earned it. For more information, see “Credit Card Deals Help You Earn and Use Travel Benefits During COVID-19”. 

While this offer aligns with other no-annual-fee airline card bonuses, it's still a small sum of miles that may not get you very far when you can travel again. Based on average per-mile valuations by The Balance, 10,000 miles is worth just $154 if you redeem them for reward flights. Or if you use the Pay with Miles feature, just $100. 

Earning Points & Rewards

When you use the Delta SkyMiles Blue Card, you’ll earn 2 miles per $1 you spend with Delta and at restaurants worldwide. Double miles on flights is pretty typical for a no-annual-fee airline card, and the option to earn miles on dining out expenses is a nice addition to this card. You’ll earn 1 mile per $1 on everything else you buy. 

It’s not easy to earn rewards on travel right now, so this card is offering extra points/miles on something many people are spending money on right now: groceries. See this article for more information about the limited-time offer. 

There’s no limit to how many miles you can earn, and the miles never expire.

There are many other ways to earn SkyMiles, too. To maximize your earnings with this card, read our guide to the Delta SkyMiles rewards program.

Redeeming Rewards

Once you start stacking up miles in the Delta SkyMiles program, you can redeem them for flights through Delta, which includes more than 20 partner airlines, such as Air France, Virgin Atlantic, and Hawaiian Airlines. There are no blackout dates on Delta flights, but its partner airlines may block peak travel dates. 

Delta miles are worth an average 1.54 cents each when used for Delta flights, our research found. Given that the benchmark for rewards is typically at least 1 cent, that’s a respectable value, though competitors including American Airlines and United Airlines have miles worth more than 2 cents each, according to our calculations.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to know exactly how many miles you’ll need for a flight since Delta no longer publishes an award chart. To give you an idea of how far SkyMiles may go, The Balance research found that on average, 50,000 miles can get you a couple of one-way, economy Delta flights in the U.S., or one international ticket. Economy flights typically cost fewer miles compared to premium, first-class tickets. Keep in mind there are always deals to be found for different seat classes and routes.

In addition to flights, you can redeem miles in a few other ways:

  • Seat upgrades
  • Delta Sky Club entry
  • Delta vacation packages
  • Delta SkyMiles experiences
  • Delta gift cards
  • Shopping in the Delta SkyMiles marketplace
  • Magazine subscriptions

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Make sure you spend the required amount to get the welcome offer, and remember that you have more time to do so right now. Also make sure you use your card for all your regular purchases, but especially on Delta purchases and dining, since you’ll earn double the miles.

To stretch your miles as far as possible, watch the Delta SkyMiles Deals webpage—which is where Delta posts its current award “sales.” These deals change all the time, so you’ll have to check in often. 

Also consider using the Pay with Miles feature. It may net you a lower rate of return, but it can be a good option if you don’t have enough miles to cover a flight outright. Each 5,000 miles you cash in, you’ll get a $50 discount off your airfare. 

Because you must always redeem in 5,000-mile increments, make sure to round down, rather than up, to avoid wasting miles. For example, rather than using 25,000 miles to cover a $237 flight, use 20,000 miles and pay the remaining $37 on your credit card.

Delta SkyMiles Blue Card’s Other Features

  • Discounts on in-flight purchases
  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Extended warranties
  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases

Customer Experience

American Express is known for being responsive, not only over the phone and via its online chat function but on social media. This card issuer also has its own mobile app that lets you monitor your purchases, pay your bill, and more. In addition, Delta SkyMiles has a mobile app that lets you track your miles earned, search for award flights, and manage your Delta reservations all in one place. 

J.D. Power’s 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study ranked American Express 2nd out of 11 (or “better than most”) national credit card companies after considering the opinions and feedback of over 28,000 customers nationwide.

Security Features

This card comes with standard security features including $0 fraud liability, secure password recovery, and automatic time-outs when using your online account. You may also be asked to provide your billing zip code or credit card security code to verify your identity when you make a purchase. 

Delta SkyMiles Blue Card’s Fees 

The fees associated with this card are pretty typical for the industry. International travelers should note there’s no foreign transaction fees when you use this credit card for purchases outside the U.S. 

Next Steps
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CURRENT CARD
Delta SkyMiles® Blue Card
overall rating
3.4
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 (%) 15.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per dollar at restaurants and on eligible Delta purchases, and earn 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
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.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Delta. "Important Information Regarding Rates, Fees, and Other Cost Information." Accessed June 16, 2020.

  2. J.D. Power. "2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study." Accessed June 16, 2020.