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The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is a great airline credit card for someone who flies with Delta a few times per year. With benefits such as a free checked bag, a $100 flight credit and 20% back on in-flight purchases, it can quickly help you drop the cost of your flights.
As you spend on the card, you are awarded Delta SkyMiles, which can be redeemed on Delta flights — along with their SkyTeam partners which includes Air France, KLM and Korean Air, to name a few.
But is the card worth adding to your wallet? Select reviews the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card, looking at the welcome bonus, rewards program and APR, so you can decide if it’s the right card for you.
Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card review
On the American Express secure site
Earn 2X miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, 2X miles per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, 2X miles per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide and 1X mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases
Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99
15.74% to 24.74% variable
Balance transfer fee
Foreign transaction fees
With the current welcome bonus you’ll earn 40,000 Delta SkyMiles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first three months of card membership. Additionally, you will receive $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants within the first three months.
40,000 Delta Skymiles valued at a modest 1 cent per point is a respectable $400 in value. And along with the $50 restaurant credit, you will see $450 in value when you complete the spending requirements, plus there’s no annual fee during the first year ($99 after, see rates and fees). Delta miles are often worth more than 1 cent apiece, so the real value of this bonus is likely higher.
Compared to other cards with no annual fee during the first year, this offers a competitive value.
The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card comes with several great benefits for Delta flyers.
First, the card earns Delta SkyMiles on all purchases. However, there are several bonus categories to earn even more airline miles. They are:
- You’ll earn 2X points for every dollar spent on dining (includes takeout and delivery), groceries at U.S. supermarkets and purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines
- All other purchases earn 1X point for every dollar spent
Select calculated how much cash rewards the average American can earn in a year when using their Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card. We worked with the location intelligence firm Esri, who provided us with a sample annual spending budget of $22,126.
The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). Here’s what the average consumer would earn using this card:
- Groceries: 10,348 Delta SkyMiles
- Gas: 2,218 Delta SkyMiles
- Dining out: 7,350 Delta SkyMiles
- Travel: 2,244 Delta SkyMiles (assuming none is made with Delta)
- Utilities: 4,862 Delta SkyMiles
- General purchases: 3,953 Delta SkyMiles
With all spending considered, this would give a cardholder 30,975 Delta SkyMiles. Over a five year period, cardholders could earn 154,875 Delta SkyMiles. Cardholders could earn more (or less) airline miles depending on their annual spending habits.
In addition, the card has several benefits while traveling and also on the ground:
- First checked bag free when flying with Delta for you and up to eight companions on the same itinerary. On a round-trip flight, this will save you $60 per person. So this benefit can really add up if you’re traveling with a large group of family or friends.
- After you spend $10,000 in purchases on the card in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta flight credit to use toward future travel.
- 20% back on in-flight purchases
- Priority boarding
- Rental car insurance
- Purchase protection and extended warranty
- No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees)
Earning Delta SkyMiles
There are several ways to earn Delta SkyMiles, even outside of the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card.
Earning SkyMiles can be fun, as the opportunity to fly for nearly free is an exhilarating feeling. However, redeeming them for the best value possible is a bit more strategic.
Redeeming Delta SkyMiles
You can redeem Delta SkyMiles in a number of different ways, including:
- Purchase an award flight
- Upgrade your seat
- Purchase a Delta SkyClub airline lounge membership
- Book a Delta vacation package
- Purchase a magazine subscription
- Purchase a Delta Air Lines gift card for you or someone else
Each of these redemptions may be tempting, but you will get the best value saving your SkyMiles for the first option: booking an award flight.
It is important when you are redeeming for a flight to ensure you aren’t overspending your points. Generally, if you are redeeming your Delta SkyMiles for anything less than 1 cent per point, it isn’t a great redemption. For example, if you spend 20,000 Delta SkyMiles on a $200 flight purchase, that is considered a baseline redemption. If you spend 30,000 Delta SkyMiles on a $600 flight purchases, giving you 2 cents per mile in value, that is a great redemption.
There are no hard and fast rules to redeeming your SkyMiles, but it is in your best interest to use them for highest value possible. Delta often has flash sales to destinations in the U.S. and around the globe, which can increase the value of your miles.
The card has a $99 annual fee, but it has a intro $0 the first year. It does not have any foreign transaction fees.
However, the card has a high interest rate range of 15.74% to 24.74% variable APR. If you want to avoid interest in the first year, consider a credit card with a 0% introductory APR offer.
The balance transfer fee is 3%, and late payment fees can be up to $40.
See rates and fees.
The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card is a great card for someone who enjoys flying with Delta. But, is it the best Delta SkyMiles card for you? Select analyzed two other Delta SkyMiles cards to see how they match up with one another.
Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card vs. Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card is a great airline credit card for Delta flyers that fly a bit more frequently, may be getting close to earning Delta SkyMiles Medallion status and also fly with a friend or partner regularly.
This card comes with great benefits, including:
- Valuable welcome offer: Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles & 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases and up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Broad spending categories: You will earn 3X points for every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines and purchases made directly with hotels. You will earn 2X points for every dollar spent on dining and at U.S. supermarkets. All other purchases will earn 1X point for every dollar spent.
- Companion pass: When you renew your card, you will be awarded a companion pass. This is essentially a “buy-one-get-one free” round trip ticket for you and a travel buddy. It is good for a main cabin ticket on a domestic flight within the continental U.S. (not including Hawaii/Alaska).
- First checked bag is free for you and up to eight people on the same reservation
- $100 fee credit for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry.
- Discounted rate for you and two people into Delta SkyClub when you fly on Delta or one of its partners.
- Trip delay and baggage insurance
- Cell phone insurance
The benefits are much more robust, however, it comes with a $250 annual fee. (See rates and fees)
If you fly Delta on a semi-regular basis, and occasionally with a travel buddy, the Platinum card may be a better value for you.
Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card vs. Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card is a simple airline card with few frills.
You will earn 2X points for every dollar spent on dining and purchases made directly with Delta. All other purchases will earn 1X for every dollar.
The card comes with a modest welcome offer of 10,000 Delta SkyMiles after spending $500 in the first three months of card membership.
When deciding between these two cards, it comes down to how much you spend and fly with Delta. If the benefits outweigh the $99 annual fee in the second year of card membership for the Gold card, that is the better pick between the two.
Who this card is best for
The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is great for someone who flies with Delta a few times per year and spends a respectable, but not significant, amount of money.
For consumers who spend a lot, they should look into an airline or rewards card that offers larger bonuses for their spending. While there may be a higher annual fee involved, the larger amount of rewards can outweigh the fee.
Additionally, this card is for someone who isn’t looking for any luxury features, such as access to airport lounges or elite status boosts.
Lastly, this card is great for someone continuing to build their credit. While this card is best for those with good to excellent credit, having one more credit card in your portfolio adds to your available credit lines, which helps factors like your credit utilization rate.
The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is a great airline credit card for someone who flies with Delta and/or is beginning to earn Delta SkyMiles for the first time. Benefits like free checked bags can easily make the card worth holding onto for years if you’re a consistent Delta flyer. However, once you find your footing with this card, consider having multiple credit cards in your wallet.
By having multiple credit cards, you can earn heaps of travel rewards, build up your credit score, and ultimately, continue traveling for nearly free with the rewards you earn.
How much are 40,000 Delta SkyMiles worth?
40,000 Delta SkyMiles is worth roughly $400 if you redeem them for at least 1 cent per point, which is a reasonable redemption rate. However, it’s not very hard to get more value than that.
What credit score is needed for the Delta Gold Card?
For the Delta Gold card, you will need at least a good credit score.
Is the American Express Delta Gold Card metal?
No, it is not. However, the Platinum and Reserve Delta cards are metal.
To determine which credit cards offer the best value, Select analyzed 234 of the most popular credit cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.
CNBC Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company’s data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.
Esri’s data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.
Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee.
While the five-year estimates we’ve included are derived from a budget similar to the average American’s spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your shopping habits.
For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.