Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free See more cards
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Loves to explore places and experience new things See more cards
Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty See more cards
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 bigger 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.
No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
Competitive welcome offer
Pay with Miles can reduce airfare
Few travel perks
- 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 as commonplace as you might think among comparable lower-tier airline cards.
- Competitive welcome offer: This card’s offer to new cardholders (through April 1, 2020) is 15,000 miles after you spend $1,000 on your card within the first three months of account opening. While that is usually not enough for a one-way domestic flight, it bests bonuses offered by other no-annual-fee airline credit cards.
- Pay with Miles can reduce airfare: As of Jan. 30, 2020, 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.
- 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 15,000 miles if you spend $1,000 on your card within three months of account opening. That’s a bit better than other basic airline cards, but nonetheless, it won’t get you very far. Based on average per-mile valuations by The Balance, 15,000 miles is worth just $240 if you redeem them for reward flights. Or if you use the Pay with Miles feature, just $150. That said, you may be able to find a round-trip flight for 15,000 miles (or less) via Delta's SkyMiles deals page.
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. You’ll earn 1 mile per $1 on everything else you buy.
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.
Once you start stacking up miles in the Delta SkyMiles program, you can redeem them for flights with Delta and more than 20 partner airlines, including Air France, Virgin Atlantic, and Hawaiian Airlines. There are no blackout dates on Delta flights, but its partner airlines may block peak travel dates.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to know how many miles you’ll need for a flight since Delta no longer publishes an award chart. Not only that, but flights can be all over the place in terms of how many miles you’ll need.
You can frequently find domestic flights for 30,000 miles or less round-trip in economy, and you may even find international itineraries for as little as 60,000 miles round-trip in economy. However, that’s never guaranteed. And international itineraries in the Delta One cabin can easily set you back hundreds of thousands of miles.
In addition to flights, you can redeem your 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
Delta miles are worth an average 1.6 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.
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. 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, check 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
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 national credit card companies after considering the opinions and feedback of over 28,000 customers nationwide.
This card comes with standard security features including secure password recovery, automatic time-outs, and a personal security key. 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. As of Jan. 30, 2020, you won’t pay any foreign transaction fees when you use your credit card for purchases made overseas.