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 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.
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 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.
- 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.
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
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.
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.