Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Review

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The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, issued by American Express, has a lackluster rewards rate, but the welcome bonus and travel perks may make it worthwhile for Delta Air Lines fans.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

overall rating
3.1
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit 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 (%) 17.49% - 26.49% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn one mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.6
for Fees
3.5
for Rewards
4.0
for Credit
4.0

Earn 60,000 miles after you make $2,000 in purchases on your new card within your first 3 months. Earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.Offer Expires 10/30/2019.

Top Rated For

  • Best Delta Credit Cards

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
    Jet Setter
  • Avatar for Brand Loyalist Persona
    Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty
    Brand Loyalist
  • Avatar for Adventure Seeker Persona
    Loves to explore places and experience new things
    Adventure Seeker
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker

The Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card is best for Delta Air Lines fans with great credit who take a few big trips a year and want travel perks like free checked baggage. The rewards earning rate is lackluster and the miles are not worth a lot, but if you fly often with Delta, this may be a good option.

Pros

  • Competitive welcome offer value

  • Free checked bags for up to nine people

Cons

  • Rewards miles are worth less than competitors’ miles

  • Low rewards-earning rate on regular spending

  • Unpredictable redemption rates

Pros Explained

  • Competitive welcome offer value: Because Delta miles tend to have a lower redemption value than other airline rewards, it takes more miles to make up for the value difference. However, this card's welcome offer holds it's own compared to offers from similar cards. The spending requirement is reasonable, too.
  • Free checked bag for up to nine people: A free checked bag is a common perk for airline cards with an annual fee, but the Delta Gold SkyMiles Credit Card allows as many as eight people traveling with the primary cardholder to avoid the $30 fee for their first piece of checked luggage on Delta flights.  

Cons Explained

  • Rewards miles are worth less than competitors’ miles: According to research by The Balance, it will take you more points, on average, to get a free flight from Delta using this credit card than it would take you to earn free flights on American or United using their counterpart credit cards. 
  • Low rewards-earning rate on regular spending: While competing airline cards let you earn bonus miles on everyday purchases such as groceries, the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card only lets you earn bonus miles on Delta purchases. 
  • Unpredictable redemption rates: Delta doesn’t have an award chart, so you won’t know ahead of time how many miles you’ll need for the flights you want. This can make it hard to plan. 

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Welcome Offer

The Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card offers 60,000 bonus miles if you charge at least $2,000 on your card within three months of opening your account. We value this welcome offer at $600 if you use your miles to pay for vacation packages through Delta—$540 if you use them for Delta flights. That's in line with offers from other comparable airline cards right now. Plus, you'll also earn a $50 statement credit after making a purchase directly with Delta with this card within the first 3 months.

To earn this solid welcome offer, you need to spend $667 each month, which also makes it attainable for many budgets.

Earning Points & Rewards

The Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card doesn’t reward spending the way some airline cards do, making it harder to rack up miles quickly. You’ll earn 2 miles per $1 spent on Delta purchases, and just the baseline rate of 1 mile per $1 spent on everything else.

Similar airline cards, by contrast, award 2 miles per $1 spent on airline purchases, but also groceries, dining out, hotels, or gas. On the plus side, there are no limits on the number of miles you can earn and the miles never expire.

Redeeming Rewards

The main reason to get the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card is to earn free flights, and that’s how you’ll get nearly the most value from the miles you earn. You can use miles to book flights directly with Delta Air Lines or with more than 20 partner airlines such as Air France, Virgin Atlantic, and Korean Air. Delta flights come with no blackout dates, although Delta partners may blackout award availability at any time. 

The Balance editors found the miles on this card to only be worth an average of 0.9 cents apiece when redeemed for flights. Other airline cards’ miles are worth a lot more, but if you want or need to fly Delta often, those cards may not be an option.

Also note that Skymiles values will vary, depending on the flight, and without an award chart, it may be difficult to plan ahead.

Take a round-trip economy flight from Indianapolis to Paris. That trip was recently going for $615 in cash or 38,000 miles. But a round-trip economy flight from New York City to Tokyo that’s similarly priced at $693 required more than 70,000 miles. 

Miles earned on the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card can be used for partial payment on Delta flights, too. Cardholders can reduce the cost of their ticket by up to $50 for every 5,000 miles.

Besides flights, you’ll also be able to redeem your miles for: 

  • Seat upgrades or Delta Sky Club entry
  • Delta vacation packages or SkyMiles experiences
  • Delta gift cards
  • Jet travel with Delta private jets
  • Shopping in the SkyMiles marketplace

You’ll actually eke out a little more value from your miles by using them to pay for a Delta vacation package (airfare, hotel, and/or rental car). In that case, your miles are worth 1 cent each.

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Spend at least $2,000 within three months to earn the 60,000 bonus miles. It will take eight to 12 weeks after you qualify for the 60,000 miles to post to your account, so the sooner you spend, the faster you can redeem your rewards

When using your miles, be sure to check out Delta’s SkyMiles Deals, which frequently include round-trip domestic flights starting at 11,000 miles. These deals are usually only good for a short window of time, but they can be lucrative if they fit with your travel plans. 

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card’s Excellent Perks

There are are some benefits that we think go beyond the standard perks offered by many credit cards. This card’s free-checked-bags benefit falls into that category. So do these others: 

  • Discounted airport lounge access: You can visit Delta Sky Clubs for a reduced rate of $29 per person, but only until Jan. 30, 2020 when American Express removes the perk from this card.
  • Priority boarding: By getting on your plane early, you may find more room in overhead bins for your carry-on. 
  • Travel accident insurance: Receive up to $100,000 in the event of loss of life or accidental dismemberment on a trip paid for with your card. 
  • An advantage in earning elite status: If your goal is reaching elite Medallion flying status with Delta, this card can help you get there faster. If you spend at least $25,000 on your card within a calendar year, you may be able to earn elite status even if you haven’t met the required spending minimums on flights. 

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card’s Other Features 

  • Insurance for rental cars (secondary to your own policy)
  • Extended warranties
  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Purchase return protection
  • Discounts on in-flight purchases
  • Free shipping through ShopRunner for online shopping purchases

Customer Experience

American Express, which ranked second in J.D. Power’s 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study, is known for being responsive via its social media accounts, and many cardholders love its online chat feature since it lets them resolve problems without calling in.

Security Features

The security features of the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card are pretty standard for the industry. One nice benefit: If your card is lost or stolen, you’ll receive an instant card number that lets you make purchases while you wait for your replacement card. Cardholders can also opt through the American Express app to receive text messages or push notifications when there is suspicious activity.

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card’s Fees 

Fees on the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card are in line with other travel credit cards. It’s also worth noting that there are no foreign transaction fees. However, the annual fee will be slightly higher next year ($99 up from $95) when American Express makes program changes effective Jan. 30, 2020. If you want a year of this card annual fee-free, now is the time to apply.

For Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

Compare This Card

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CURRENT CARD
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
overall rating
3.1
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 (%) 17.49% - 26.49% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn one mile for every eligible dollar spent on 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.