Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is a must-have for frequent Delta fliers. It offers two miles per eligible dollar spent on Delta purchases as well as one mile per dollar spent on everything else. There’s no limit to how many miles you can earn and there’s no annual fee for the first year.
For the frequent traveler, this deal is hard to beat. Cardmembers also get additional perks like priority boarding and a free checked bag as well as statement credits for in-flight purchases. Through its Crossover Rewards Program, you can also earn Delta SkyMiles® when you stay at Starwood Hotels. Likewise, you’ll earn Starpoints® every time you fly with Delta. But if you don’t fly often or you prefer the flexibility of using multiple airlines, a travel rewards credit card is a better fit.
A Great Way to Save on Airfare and Earn Free Flights
The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express makes it easy to save on Delta flights, starting right away with the intro bonus. After spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of account opening, you’ll earn 30,000 bonus miles. Most people will earn this with groceries alone. After that, you’ll earn one mile per every eligible dollar spent on your everyday purchases and two miles for every eligible dollar spent on Delta flights or in-flight amenities like food and entertainment. And there’s no limit to how many miles you can earn.
You also get additional perks like priority boarding and a free checked bag. That will save you $50 per flight and if you travel often, it’s likely to save you hundreds of dollars per year. When you use this card to purchase food, beverages, or entertainment on a Delta flight, you’ll receive a 20% credit on your next statement. Not all in-flight purchases may be eligible, though.
If you frequently stay at Starwood Hotels, you can build your rewards even faster. When you sign up for the Crossover Rewards Program, you’ll earn Delta SkyMiles® every time you stay at a Starwood Hotel — as well as Starpoints® every time you fly with Delta.
- Great rewards program. Earn one mile per eligible dollar spent on everyday purchases, like gas or groceries, and two miles per every eligible dollar spent on Delta purchases. These miles can be redeemed for travel with Delta or one of its 15-plus airline partners. And the best part is: There’s no limit to how much you can earn.
- Large intro bonus. With this card, you will earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Terms Apply.
- Crossover rewards with Starwood Hotels. When you register for this program, you earn Delta SkyMiles® and Starpoints® every time you book a Delta flight or a Starwood hotel stay.
Where It Falls Flat
If you don’t always fly Delta when you travel, a general travel rewards card might be a better fit. These cards allow you to earn rewards on hotels, car rentals, and cruises as well as airfare, so it’s easier to use your miles. They also give you greater flexibility to choose your flight times than you have if you’re limited to a single airline. And for those who don’t travel much at all, a general rewards credit card is a much better deal. It will give you plenty more opportunities to take advantage of the rewards that you’ve earned.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express also has a $95 annual fee after the first year, which may discourage some potential customers. It may or may not be worth it, depending on how much you’re racking up in rewards each year. Frequent fliers will almost certainly make up for this in savings on airfare, but infrequent travelers may be able to earn similar rewards without the annual fee on a different card.
Who It’s Good For / Who Should Pass
How It Compares
- JetBlue Card (currently unavailable): The JetBlue Card has garnered a lot of attention due to its excellent rewards structure. It doesn’t offer much in terms of a signup bonus — only 10,000 miles after $1,000 is spent in the first 90 days — but it makes up for this with three miles per dollar spent on JetBlue purchases, two miles for every dollar spent on groceries and restaurants, and one mile per dollar on everything else. There are no blackout dates or foreign transaction fees and best of all: no annual fee. However, it’s missing some of the travel perks, like free checked bags, offered by the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card: This card has an incredible signup bonus — 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 within the first three months. After that, you earn two points per dollar spent on Southwest® purchases and participating car rental and hotel partners, as well as one point per dollar on everything else. Every year, you get 3,000 points as an anniversary gift. Your points don’t expire and there are no blackout dates, but it does have a $69 annual fee and it’s not waived in the first year.
- Discover it® Miles: Discover it® Miles is a travel rewards credit card that offers 1.5 miles on every purchase, and it’ll match the number of miles you earn in your first year. It’ll also reimburse you up to $30 for WiFi purchases each year as a credit on your account. You can use the miles you earn on any airline, so this is a better choice if you prefer the flexibility of choosing the best prices and times, regardless of airline.
If you regularly fly Delta, you should own this card. It offers a great signup bonus and travel perks you won’t find with most other airline cards. However, if you don’t fly exclusively with Delta, a travel rewards card is likely a better option.
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