Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Is turning their passion into a money-making venture See more cards
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
If you’re a regular business traveler who likes Delta, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Credit Card may be a worthwhile option, especially if your business budget is heavy on shipping, television or online ads, and dining out with clients—all of which are rewarded with the same double miles as Delta purchases. The card carries a $99 annual fee (though it’s waived the first year), but if you fly Delta at least a couple of times a year, you’ll more than recoup that cost in waived baggage fees. Plus, if you charge at least $10,000 in a calendar year, you’ll qualify for a $100 annual credit toward a Delta flight.
On the other hand, anyone who’s not married to Delta or doesn’t fly enough to worry much about travel perks like priority boarding is likely to find better options. Other small business credit cards have more potential to earn rewards, more redemption flexibility, and bigger sign-up bonuses.
Frequent flyer perks for the entire team
Respectable, easy-to-earn welcome offer
Nothing extra for gas purchases
No airport lounge access
- Frequent flyer perks for the entire team: As a cardholder, each time you fly you’ll be able to check one bag for free (Delta otherwise charges $30 per bag, each way) and get priority boarding privileges in the main cabin. Both perks apply to as many as eight travel companions on the same reservation, so you can bring the whole team.
- Respectable, easy-to-earn welcome offer: While 40,000 miles isn’t the biggest bonus on the market, it’s not bad, and you only have to charge $2,000 in your first three months to qualify for it. That’s just $667 per month of business expenses.
- Flight credit: If you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year, you’ll earn a $100 credit toward future travel on Delta. That means as long as your monthly business budget is at least $834, you’ll recoup your annual fee. (The flight credit is only valid for Delta airfare purchased directly from Delta, not incidental fees. It expires one year from the date of issuance.)
- Nothing extra for gas purchases: This card has started paying double miles on more than just airline purchases, putting it on par with other airline cards that reward dining out and other business expenses. But gasoline purchases are notably missing from the list. This makes other cards more appealing if you drive frequently during your business travel.
- No airport lounge access: You used to be able to get into Delta Sky Club airport lounges for $29 per visit with this card, but that perk has gone away. Some travel cards with similar annual fees provide limited lounge access, like two free passes per year.
Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Credit Card Welcome Offer
You’ll earn 40,000 bonus miles if you spend $2,000 on your card within your first three months.
To offer a bit of flexibility during COVID-19, American Express is giving new cardholders who open their account before May 31, 2020 six months to earn the welcome offer instead of the typical three. If you opened your account after Dec. 1, 2019, you'll also have an extra three months to earn your bonus, if you haven't already.
Delta’s miles are worth an average 1.60 cents each when redeemed for flights, according to The Balance’s latest analysis of travel reward values, so we value this bonus at $640.
There are bigger sign-up bonuses on competing airline business cards (up to 100,000 miles in some cases), though such offers often require you to spend at least $5,000 in your first three months. At least this spending threshold should be relatively easy to hit.
Earning Miles & Rewards
For every $1 you spend on flights or other purchases with Delta, you’ll earn 2 miles—a standard rewards rate among major airline cards. As of Jan. 30, 2020, you’ll also get those double miles on your restaurant tabs, your U.S. shipping purchases, and on U.S. advertising expenses with television, radio and other select media. All other purchases will earn 1 mile per $1 spent.
You couldn’t earn double miles on non-airline purchases previously, so by offering the above categories, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business card is taking a big step toward being more competitive with other airline and general travel credit cards. That said, some of Delta’s biggest airline competitors include gasoline purchases on their lists of bonus categories. Office supply stores and transit costs also get double miles on some cards.
The best way to redeem your miles is to book flights. After all, that’s the whole point of having an airline credit card, right?
To book, go to the Delta website and check the box that says “Shop with Miles” before you search for tickets. There is no cap on the number of miles you can use, and one-way reward flights can range from under 10,000 miles (these are often limited-date SkyMiles Deals) to more than 300,000 for international flights in first class.
When looking for rewards flights, be flexible about your travel dates, if possible. For example, a first/business class ticket from Atlanta to Los Angeles could cost as much as 125,000 miles if booked one month out or 47,000 when booked two months in advance, according to The Balance’s research.
Miles can be used in other travel-related ways as well. You can:
- Pay for part of a ticket—or multiple tickets on the same itinerary—on eligible flights. When you use the Pay with Miles feature, the airfare is shown in dollars and you use your miles like cash, redeeming them in 5,000-mile increments to reduce the price by $50 per increment. (Miles redeemed will be rounded up to the nearest 5,000-mile mark.)
- Upgrade your Delta seats to business or first class
- Buy a Delta Sky Club airport lounge membership for 54,500 miles
- Fly on more than 20 partner airlines, including Air France, Virgin Atlantic, Hawaiian Airlines and Korean Air, by booking through Delta.
You may also redeem your miles to shop for merchandise, buy gift cards, get backstage VIP access at events, make donations to charity, and more. However, these kinds of options will likely provide less value than the average of 1.60 cents per mile you’ll get when booking flights, our analysis shows. Because Delta miles don’t expire, you’re better off saving them up for airfare.
To see how the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Credit 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
Besides spending at least $2,000 in the first three months to earn the welcome offer, make sure to use this card for at least $10,000 in charges each calendar year (as long as your business budget accommodates) to get the $100 flight credit. This alone will offset the cost of the annual fee.
In addition, consider adding employee cards to your account so that their purchases help you accumulate more miles and qualify for the credit more quickly.
For more information about getting the most out of your Delta frequent flyer rewards, read our complete guide to the SkyMiles program
Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Credit Card’s Excellent Perks
There are lots of benefits offered by credit cards, but The Balance editors have a narrowed-down list of those that offer exceptional value. The Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Credit Card has three such perks:
- Free checked bag: You’ll save $60 per round trip when the fee for your first checked bag is waived. Even better, the same fee is covered for as many as eight more people in your travel party.
- Priority boarding: Frequent travelers are going to like having this VIP perk, which allows them to board first and snag that coveted overhead compartment space in the main cabin. Again, this benefit applies to as many as eight people traveling with you on the same reservation.
- Insurance coverage for lost luggage: As long as you’ve used your card to pay for your trip, you’ll be covered if your baggage is lost, damaged, or stolen while traveling on an airline or other common carrier. You’ll get up to $1,250 for carry-on and up to $500 for checked baggage.
Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Credit 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
- Travel and emergency hotline
- Amex Offers (discounts on shopping, dining, travel, and more)
American Express placed second out of 11 large credit card issuers in J.D. Power’s 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction survey, rating “among the best.” Cardholders have 24/7 access to customer support and there’s a mobile app to manage their accounts.
There are also several expense management tools designed to help business owners. For instance, you can set spending limits on your employee cards and easily connect transaction data to QuickBooks. American Express also offers a free credit score and other credit monitoring tools via its free MyCredit Guide service.
The security features on this card are standard for the industry, including 24/7 fraud monitoring and zero liability for fraudulent purchases.
Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Credit Card’s Fees
Fees on this card are comparable to others in the category. Like most airline cards, this one doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee when you make purchases abroad.