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 a good choice for Delta fans who want to earn reward miles toward flights without paying for the privilege.

Delta SkyMiles® Blue Card

overall rating
3.2
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
2.0
for Fees
1.8
for Rewards
4.8
for Credit
2.2

Current Offer:

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

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Jet Setter Persona
    Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free See more cards
    Jet Setter
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Adventure Seeker Persona
    Loves to explore places and experience new things See more cards
    Adventure Seeker
  • Avatar for Brand Loyalist Persona
    Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty See more cards
    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 as commonplace as you might think among comparable lower-tier airline cards.
  • Competitive welcome offer: This card’s offer for new cardholders is 10,000 miles after you spend $500 on your card within the first three months of account opening. While that's may not be enough miles for a roundtrip flight, it's in line with what other no-annual-fee airline credit cards are offering.
  • 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.

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 some flexibility during COVID-19, those who open this card before May 31, 2020 will have six months to earn the welcome offer instead of the typical three. If you're already a cardholder but opened your account after Dec. 1, 2019, you'll also have an extra three months to earn your bonus, if you haven't already. 

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 $160 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. 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.

Redeeming Rewards

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 1.60 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.

To see how the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card’s miles stack up, check out our in-depth analysis of what credit card points are worth.

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, 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

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 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 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.

Next Steps
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CURRENT CARD
Delta SkyMiles® Blue Card
overall rating
3.2
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 Jan. 27, 2020.

  2. J.D. Power. "2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study." Accessed: January 29, 2020.