When you fly on Delta Air Lines, it makes sense to have one of the airline’s co-branded credit cards. American Express now offers four personal and three business credit cards for Delta, so how do you know which one is right for you? In this article, we’ll compare the personal cards and help pick one that fits the way you travel.
Delta Air Lines Credit Card Options
American Express offers four different consumer credit card options for Delta Air Lines. Each card has specific benefits and earning power to go along with its annual fee. With annual fees ranging from $0 to $550, there is an option for every travel budget.
- Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
Comparing Delta’s Consumer Credit Cards
When comparing the American Express Delta personal credit cards, the biggest differences are the signup bonus, earning power, benefits, and annual fees. As you review the chart below, think about what features are most important to you.
|Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card||Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card||Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card||Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card|
|Welcome Bonus||10,000 miles||35,000 miles||40,000 miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs)||40,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs)|
|Minimum Spend Within 3 Months||$500||$1,000||$2,000||$3,000|
|Annual Fee||$0||$99, waived the first year||$250||$550|
|Earning Power||● 2x on Delta|
● 2x at U.S. restaurants
|● 2x on Delta|
● 2x on dining
● 2x at U.S. supermarkets
|● 3x on Delta|
● 3x on hotel direct purchases
● 2x on dining
● 2x at U.S. supermarkets
|● 3x on Delta|
|Global Entry or TSA Precheck Reimbursement||None||None||Up to $100||Up to $100|
|MQMs earned per year||None||None||Up to 20,000||Up to 60,000|
|Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) Waiver||None||None||Yes||Yes|
Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card is designed for travelers that are searching for a travel credit card with no annual fee. With no annual fee, you’ll receive fewer benefits than you would with the other Delta credit cards. This travel credit card is ideal if you want to earn Delta miles, but don’t want to pay for the benefits of priority boarding or free checked bags.
New cardholders earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 Delta SkyMiles after spending $500 within three months of opening the account. Purchases earn 2x miles per dollar at Delta and restaurants, while all other charges earn one mile per dollar. There are no foreign transaction fees and in-flight purchases receive a 20% statement credit.
Miles earned can be redeemed for flights, vacations, and more. You can also redeem 5,000 miles for $50 towards the cash purchase of a flight. However, we don’t recommend this because you’ll only received one cent per mile in value.
Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card is the best card for travelers who fly Delta but aren’t concerned about earning elite status. Cardholders receive free checked bags for up to nine people traveling on the same itinerary. With checked bag fees of $30 per person each way, these savings can really add up. A family of four can save $240 on a round-trip flight.
While flying on Delta, you’ll also receive priority boarding in the Main Cabin 1 group. In-flight purchases receive a 20% statement credit. Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees on international purchases.
New applicants will receive 35,000 Delta SkyMiles as a welcome bonus with this card when they make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months. Cardholders also earn 2x miles per dollar spent on purchases with Delta and at restaurants and U.S. grocery stores. All other purchases earn one mile per dollar.
The annual fee of $99 is waived the first year, so you can try out this card’s benefits before having to pay a fee. Each year that you spend $10,000, you’ll receive a $100 Delta flight credit towards a future flight purchase. When you earn this benefit, your net cost for the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card is effectively zero.
Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
If Delta Medallion elite status is your goal, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card can give you a boost. Big spenders can earn up to 20,000 MQMs each year based on their spending. You’ll earn 10,000 MQMs after spending $25,000 plus another 10,000 MQMs after spending a total of $50,000 each calendar year. Cardholders also receive an MQD waiver making it even easier to attain elite status.
Your spending can also earn up to 3x miles per dollar spent. Delta purchases and spending directly with hotels earns 3x miles per dollar, while dining and U.S. supermarket purchases earn 2x miles per dollar. Plus, you’ll earn one Delta mile per dollar everywhere else.
The welcome bonus gives new applicants 40,000 Delta SkyMiles and 5,000 MQMs. Simply use the card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first three months to earn the bonuses.
Cardholders receive one free checked bag per person for up to nine people traveling on the same itinerary. Plus, those same passengers will receive priority boarding in the Main Cabin 1 group. Delta SkyClub airport lounge access is $39 for cardholders. When you make an in-flight purchase, you’ll receive a 20% statement credit.
The Delta Platinum card also receives a domestic Main Cabin companion certificate each year when you renew the card. When you redeem this benefit, you’ll pay no more than $75 in taxes and fees.
The annual fee for this card is $250 per year. It includes up to $100 reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fees. This benefit is good every four years for Global Entry or every 4.5 years for TSA Precheck. Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees on international purchases.
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
The premium Delta SkyMiles Reserve credit card is packed full of benefits for frequent travelers. Not only can you earn valuable MQMs toward elite status, but you also receive complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs and Centurion Lounges. You’ll also receive two one-time guest passes to the Delta SkyClub each year so you can bring friends or family with you at no cost.
Delta Medallion elite members love this card because of how many MQMs you can earn with it. Status Boost gets you closer to status by earning up to 60,000 MQMs based on your spending. You’ll earn 15,000 MQMs for every $30,000 you spend on the card, up to four times each year.
New cardholders can earn even more MQMs as part of the welcome bonus. When you spend at least $3,000 in the first three months, you’ll receive 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs. Cardholders also receive an MQD waiver when qualifying for elite status.
Medallion members with the Delta Reserve card receive upgrade priority. Non-Medallion members also receive complimentary upgrades when available.
The Delta Reserve card earns 3x miles on Delta purchases and one mile per dollar on everything else. It includes a complimentary first checked bag and priority boarding for up to nine people traveling on the same itinerary. You’ll receive 20% back on in-flight purchases and up to $100 reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. The card also does not charge any foreign transaction fees.
An annual Delta companion certificate is good for domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin. When you redeem this benefit, you’ll pay a maximum of $75 in taxes and fees.
There is a $550 annual fee for the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card. However, when you compare that to a Delta SkyClub membership (starting at $545), the price is very reasonable considering all of the other benefits you receive.
Delta Business Credit Cards
Delta Air Lines and American Express have also teamed up to provide three credit card options for small business owners. These three cards offer similar benefits and fees to their personal counterparts. If you want to learn more about these small business credit cards from Delta, click on them for more info.
- Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card
The Bottom Line
The “perfect” Delta Air Lines credit card is different for each person. Which card you should pick depends on how frequently you travel, what benefits are important to you, and what your budget is for the annual fee.
For most travelers, the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card is the right choice. However, frequent travelers may choose to upgrade to the Delta Platinum or Reserve cards to boost their elite status and gain additional benefits in exchange for a higher annual fee.
Which card do you have and what’s your favorite benefit? Share with us in the comments below!