Delta SkyMiles Gold Credit Card Review

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The Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express is best for frequent Delta flyers who have excellent credit and want travel perks like priority boarding and free checked bags for a lower annual fee. You won’t get any help toward reaching elite status, but if you fly with Delta relatively often, this card may still be a good fit for your wallet.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Card

Overall Rating
3.3
Delta SkyMiles® Gold 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 for the first year, then $99
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets. Travel when you're ready. After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to inspire your next travel. Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta Flights. Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.7
for Fees
2.9
for Rewards
3.2
for Credit
3.7
Current Offer

Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 10/28/2020

Top Rated For

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

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    Brand Loyalist

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.

Pros
  • Access Delta’s Pay with Miles feature

  • Yearly $100 credit

Cons
  • No boost to elite status

  • No Delta Sky Club access

Pros Explained

  • 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. 

Cons Explained

  • 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.

If you want a credit card that can help you reach elite status faster or access complimentary or discounted Delta Sky Club entrance, you’ll need to consider other co-branded Delta credit cards with higher annual fees—Platinum or Reserve

Delta SkyMiles Gold Card Bonus for New Cardholders


If you can spend $2,000 in the first three months you own the card, you can earn a 50,000 mile bonus. According to our valuations, Delta SkyMiles are worth 1.54 cents each. This makes the welcome bonus on this card worth approximately $770, 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 Delta 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. 

Redeeming Rewards

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 $2,000 spending requirement to earn the 50,000-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

Customer Experience

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. 

Security Features

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.  

Next Steps
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CURRENT CARD
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Card
overall rating
3.3
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 for the first year, then $99
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets. Travel when you're ready. After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to inspire your next travel. Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta Flights. Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
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. American Airlines. "Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard." Accessed Sept. 18, 2020.

  2. American Express. "Terms, Conditions, and Disclosures." Accessed Sept. 18, 2020.

  3. Delta Airlines. "Delta Award Travel: Book With Miles." Sept. 18, 2020.

  4. Delta Airlines. "How to Pay With SkyMiles." Accessed Sept. 18, 2020.

  5. J.D. Power. "2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study." Accessed Sept. 18, 2020.