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 Gold Credit Card is best for someone who wants basic frequent flyer perks with Delta and the ability to earn Delta SkyMiles from common credit card purchases. This card offers 2 miles per $1 spent on two popular spending categories—restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, which can really add up. Purchases with Delta also earn 2 miles per $1, which means every dollar spent brings you a mile closer to a Delta award flight, seat upgrade, or another reward.
Access Delta’s Pay with Miles feature
Yearly $100 credit
No boost to elite status
No Delta Sky Club access
- Access Delta’s Pay with Miles feature: If you can’t find an award ticket for the Delta flight you want, this program can be a big help. Use 5,000 miles to buy a $50 discount off any Delta flight—or use more miles to buy a bigger discount. You can redeem for any amount in increments of 5,000 miles.
- Yearly $100 credit: Based on average spending data, most families and couples will be able to hit the $10,000 spending threshold to earn the $100 credit. American Airlines’ competing card offers a similar benefit but requires you to spend twice as much to get it.
- No boost to elite status: Delta credit cards with higher annual fees offer Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) good toward elite status as part of their welcome offers, which can be used to reach elite status sooner. However, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card doesn’t offer any MQMs, which means you’ll have to earn elite status through flying instead of credit card spending.
- No Delta Sky Club access: Other co-branded Delta credit cards with higher annual fees offer entry into Delta Sky Clubs, either as a complimentary perk or at an exclusive per-visit rate. Unfortunately, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card doesn’t offer any Sky Club access as a cardholder perk.
Delta SkyMiles Gold Card Bonus for New Cardholders
If you can spend $1,000 in the first three months you own the card, you can earn a 35,000-mile bonus. According to our valuations, Delta SkyMiles are worth 1.54 cents each. This makes the welcome bonus on this card worth approximately $539, although your return will ultimately depend on the itinerary you redeem for.
This is a poor welcome offer compared to other airline cards with similar annual fees. Cards from United and American Airlines offer bonuses worth more than $1,000.
Earning Points & Rewards
The Delta SkyMiles Gold Card returns 2 miles per $1 spent on Delta purchases, and the same 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets. Like most other airline credit cards, this card affords you a regular earning rate of 1 mile per $1 spent on other purchases.
Note that you’ll get a $100 flight discount after you spend $10,000 on your credit card within a calendar year. This flight credit can be used toward any flight marketed on Delta.com, or through Delta reservations. You can also use it toward the flight component of a trip booked through Delta vacations.
Delta SkyMiles never expire, so you can save them up for pricier award flights.
The most valuable way to redeem your miles (1.54 cents per mile) is to use them for award seats on Delta flights, which can start at 10,000 miles per round-trip. The redemption value for awards seat is among the best for domestic airlines rewards cards, besting Southwest and JetBlue, according to our research.
You can redeem Delta SkyMiles for flights with Delta Air Lines or with more than 20 airline partners, including Air France, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic.
Besides flights, you’ll also be able to redeem your miles for:
- Seat upgrades during or after booking
- Delta Sky Club membership
- Seat upgrades
- Premium in-flight drinks
- Ticket-change fees
In general, it’s best to choose the redemption option that gives you at least 1 cent per mile, as that’s the standard value for the rewards industry.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
To get the most out of the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card, you should use it on all your regular spending, but particularly on Delta purchases, restaurants, and U.S. grocery store spending.
Also, make sure you hit the $1,000 spending requirement to earn the 35,000-mile bonus.
When you book a Delta flight, use your card to do it so you can enjoy complimentary perks like priority boarding and a free checked bag for up to nine people on your reservation.
Delta’s Pay with Miles program can help you score discounts on flights if you can’t find the award availability you want. The catch is, you have to redeem your miles in increments of 5,000 (worth $50 or 1 cent per mile), so be careful how you redeem them. For example, if you use Pay with Miles for a flight that retails for $315, you’d have to cash in 35,000 miles to cover the cost, wasting $35 worth of miles. Instead, you could cash in 30,000 miles for a $300 discount and pay for the rest on your credit card.
Delta SkyMiles Gold Card’s Excellent Perks
The Delta SkyMiles Gold Card has a handful of perks deemed excellent by the editors of The Balance. These include:
- Free checked bag: This card offers a free checked bag on Delta and Delta-operated flights for the primary cardholder and up to eight companions on the same itinerary.
- Priority boarding: The primary cardholder and up to eight companions on the same itinerary will also receive Main Cabin 1 priority boarding on Delta and Delta-operated itineraries.
Delta SkyMiles Gold Card’s Other Benefits
- Discounts on in-flight purchases
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Extended warranties
- Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
American Express boasts its own mobile app that lets you track your spending, pay your bill, and more using your mobile device. If you’re a frequent Delta flyer, you can also download Delta’s app in order to manage your rewards, search for award flights, and access a mobile boarding pass when you fly.
J.D. Power’s 2020 Credit Card Satisfaction Study ranked American Express first among 11 credit card issuers for customer service.
The Delta SkyMiles Gold Card from American Express offers industry-standard card and identity theft protections, including zero liability for fraudulent purchases.
Delta SkyMiles Gold Card Fees
Fees charged by this card are standard for a card of its type. Consistent with its status as an airline travel rewards card, you won’t have to pay foreign transaction fees when you use this card for purchases made overseas.