An Easy Way to Rack Up Delta SkyMiles for Free Flights

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If you fly Delta often enough, it might make sense to get the co-branded Delta credit card — especially for your flight purchases. With the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, you can earn SkyMiles on your everyday spending, plus two miles per dollar on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.

By signing up for the card, you’ll also earn a hefty welcome bonus to get you started. Here’s what you need to know before applying:

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Highlights:

  • 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.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • New! Earn now. 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.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card: How it Works

If you’re a frequent flyer on Delta, you’re already earning miles with every flight you book. The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card lets you earn additional miles through everyday spending – and by using your card specifically for Delta purchases. With the Delta credit card, you’ll earn:

  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets
  • Earn one mile for every eligible dollar you spend on purchases.
  • Your first checked bag free on Delta flights
  • Terms Apply

If you fly Delta frequently, earning two miles per dollar spent is a great way to rack up miles quickly. Other perks such as priority boarding, free checked bags, and no annual fee the first year (See Rates & Fees) round out this card’s offerings.

It’s also important to note that Delta Air Lines lets you book reward seats with no blackout dates. In a world where frequent flyer miles are often hard to redeem, this makes Delta SkyMiles pretty valuable. Meanwhile Delta SkyMiles never expire, which means you can rack up points for years without worrying about miles lapsing or disappearing.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card: How to Use It

These tips can help you rack up Delta miles quickly without missing out on other point-earning opportunities:

  • Use your card for all Delta Air Lines purchases. Since you earn two miles per eligible dollar spent on all Delta Air Lines purchases with the Delta credit card, you should definitely plan on using your card whenever you book travel with Delta. With enough Delta spending, you may also earn one of Delta’s Medallion statuses, which range from general membership all the way up to Diamond.
  • Pair this card with another top travel card for more earning power. While it makes sense to use your Delta credit card for Delta-specific purchases, the rest of your travel spending should go on a card that earns at least two points per dollar spent on travel purchases. A good option is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get The Platinum Card® from American Express to earn more miles that transfer to Delta Air Lines. Although you’ll earn more miles by using your Delta credit card for Delta purchases, the welcome bonus and airline credit from The Platinum Card® from American Express can help you rack up more Delta SkyMiles while earning additional perks.
  • Rack up miles as long as you want. Since Delta SkyMiles never expire, you can earn or hoard miles for years without redeeming them. This is especially helpful if you’re hoping to redeem your points for an especially expensive flight or combination of flights that might take a while to earn. Just remember, you’ll need to pay the card’s annual fee each year after your first year as a cardmember.

Who This Card is Good For:

  • Someone who flies Delta Air Lines almost exclusively
  • Those who want to earn Delta Medallion status as quickly as possible
  • Those who want to earn SkyMiles instead of other point currencies

Who This Card Isn’t Good For:

  • Someone who flies multiple airlines and doesn’t care about status
  • Big spenders who would get more value out of one of the top rewards cards
  • Someone who wants flexible points that are good for multiple uses

Does the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Need a Companion?

Since the annual fee is waived the first year, it’s possible to try out the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card for 12 months without a commitment. However, it may not make sense to pay the annual fee in the long term since it would take a considerable amount of Delta spending to make up for the annual fee.

If you’re unsure how much you’ll actually spend with Delta this year, it may make sense to get a flexible rewards card instead. With The Platinum Card® from American Express, for example, you’ll earn points that can transfer to a handful of different airlines and hotel loyalty programs – including Delta. Or, if you just want to earn as many Delta SkyMiles as possible, this card makes for a good complement in your wallet.

With American Express Membership Rewards, you can transfer points to Delta Airlines at a 1,000:750 ratio. In other words, 1,000 Membership Rewards points is equal to 750 Delta SkyMiles.

Here are some details to consider before you sign up:

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Highlights:

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more when you select one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Should I Get the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card?

If you’re considering the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, you should ask yourself how often you fly with Delta Air Lines.

If you’re an avid Delta consumer, this might be the perfect card for you. But if you’re not loyal to Delta and fly other airlines often, you would probably be better off sticking to a rewards cards that lets you earn at least two points per dollar spent on all travel purchases like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.

Holly Johnson
Contributing Writer

Holly Johnson is a frugality expert and award-winning writer who is obsessed with personal finance and getting the most out of life. A lifelong resident of Indiana, she enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling the world with her husband and two children. In addition to The Simple Dollar, Holly writes for well-known publications such as U.S. News & World Report Travel, PolicyGenius, Travel Pulse, and Frugal Travel Guy. Holly also owns Club Thrifty.