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.
Small, but easy-to-earn welcome offer
Access Delta’s Pay with Miles feature
No boost to elite status
No Delta Sky Club access
- Small, but easy-to-earn welcome offer: This is a pretty meager welcome offer relative to competing cards, but the reasonable $1,000 spending requirement should be easy to meet, considering you'll have several months to do so. More about this below.
- 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.
- 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 credit card doesn’t offer any Sky Club access as a cardholder perk.
Delta SkyMiles Gold Card Welcome Offer
New cardholders can earn 35,000 miles by spending $1,000 within three months of opening an account.
To offer a bit of flexibility during COVID-19, new cardholders who open this card before May 31, 2020 will have six months to earn the welcome offer instead of the typical three. If you are 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.
According to our valuations, Delta SkyMiles are worth about 1.60 cents each. This makes the welcome bonus on this card worth approximately $560, although your return will ultimately depend on the itinerary you redeem for.
Earning Points & Rewards
The Delta SkyMiles Gold Credit 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.
One frustrating aspect of the Delta SkyMiles program is that it does not provide a standard award chart. Unfortunately, this means you may not know how many miles you’ll need for an award flight until you’re ready to trade in your miles. Plus, redemption amounts can be all over the place, so there’s no real way to estimate ahead of time.
Generally speaking, you can normally find round-trip domestic flights starting at 30,000 miles, and international round-trip flights starting at around 60,000 miles. However, you may also find flight awards for fewer miles or considerably more miles depending on your destination and travel dates.
Flights in premium cabins like Delta One can be exorbitantly expensive, often requiring several hundred thousand miles for a single award seat.
On the upside, 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 (you'll still have to book through Delta, though).
Besides flights, you’ll also be able to redeem your miles for:
- Seat upgrades
- Delta Sky Club membership
- Delta vacation packages
- Delta SkyMiles experiences
- Delta gift cards
- Shopping in the Delta SkyMiles marketplace
- Magazine subscriptions
However you decide to spend your miles, you’ll do it through Delta’s website.
To learn more using Delta credit card rewards, see our complete SkyMiles program guide.
To see how the Delta SkyMiles Gold 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
Obviously, 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. If you use your card to pay for a purchase with Delta within three months of account opening, you’ll secure a $50 statement credit. That’s basically a $50 discount off the flight of your choice.
It also goes without saying that you should grab the welcome offer since the spending threshold is very reasonable.
To really stretch your miles, get in the habit of visiting the Delta SkyMiles Deals page, which is a listing of all of Delta’s award sales. The list changes frequently, but not on a regular schedule. Also try to be as flexible with your travel dates as you can since the cost of a flight can vary dramatically from one day to the next.
Another tip: 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.
If you spend $10,000 in a calendar year on the card, you'll get a $100 "Flight Credit," which you can use toward a Delta flight booked through Delta.
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.
- Insurance coverage for lost or damaged luggage: You’re covered for the cost to replace lost luggage on a trip paid for with the card for up to $500 for checked bags and $1,250 for carry-on.
Delta SkyMiles Gold 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 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 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study ranked American Express 2nd of 11 credit card companies. This study considered feedback from over 28,000 credit card customers nationwide.
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’s 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.