Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card Benefits & Review (June 2023)
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The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is one of four co-branded credit cards from Delta Air Lines. Its most valuable benefits include free checked bags, a $100 Delta flight credit, and the ability to get flight discounts when redeeming miles.
This review can help you determine if your travel frequency fits this card.
Who is the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card For?
This card is best for occasional flyers that use Delta several times per year but not frequently enough to earn Medallion status. See our Delta SkyMiles Loyalty Program guide for additional information.
This card can also be your best option as its annual fee is $0 for the first year and then $99.
This low annual fee can be easy to offset with the free checked bag benefits. In addition, you can get additional value from this card if you make at least $10,000 per year to get a $100 flight statement credit or redeem 5,000 SkyMiles for a $50 flight rebate.
As there are four Delta SkyMiles credit cards, this card has the second-lowest annual fee. However, you might consider a pricier card if you want additional perks like fast-track Medallion status or Sky Club lounge access.
|Benefits at a Glance|
|– Annual Fee: $0 for the first 12 months, then $99|
– Current Bonus: 40,000 SkyMiles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months plus up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first 3 months
– Up to 2x SkyMiles on qualifying purchases
– First Checked Bag Free on Delta-operated flights
– $100 Delta Flight Credit after spending $10,000 in a calendar year
– $50 off your flight price for every 5,000 miles you redeem
– 20% Back on in-flight purchases
– Secondary Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
– Purchase Protection benefits
– No Foreign Transaction Fee
– APR: 15.74% to 24.74% variable APR
– Good or Excellent Credit Score Required (670+)
Featured Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Benefits
These are the best benefits of having this card.
$0 Introductory Annual Fee
Your annual fee is $0 for the first 12 months and then $99. The introductory annual fee waiver is relatively uncommon.
40,000 Bonus SkyMiles Welcome Offer + $50 Restaurant Credit
You can earn a signup bonus of 40,000 SkyMiles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. You can also earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first 3 months.
Earn Up To 2x SkyMiles
You can earn up to 2 SkyMiles per $1 on these purchases:
- Delta Air Lines purchases
- U.S. supermarkets
- Restaurants worldwide (including delivery and takeout)
All non-bonus purchases can earn 1x SkyMiles.
Earning bonus miles on grocery purchases can be an effortless way to maximize one of your biggest monthly expenses when you’re not traveling.
$100 Delta Flight Credit
After making at least $10,000 in purchases during a calendar year, you will receive a $100 credit to apply on a future Delta flight purchase.
$50 Pay with Miles Award Rebate
When using the Pay with Miles payment feature, you receive a $50 flight discount for every $5,000 you redeem.
This perk is exclusive to co-brand Delta SkyMiles American Express cardholders. It reduces your cash expenses if you use cash and SkyMiles to book a flight.
First Checked Bag Free
The primary cardholder and up to eight travel companions can get their first checked bag free on Delta-operated flights.
As the first checked bag costs $30 each way, this is a $60 round-trip savings. Therefore, two solo roundtrips can easily offset the annual fee.
See our Delta Air Lines baggage fees guide for more information.
20% In-Flight Discount
You will receive a 20% statement credit for food, beverage, and audio headsets on Delta-operated flights.
Other Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Features
These additional benefits can also be helpful when you need them.
Basic cardmembers are eligible for Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding. Up to eight additional companions can also board earlier on the same itinerary.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
You won’t pay a foreign transaction fee when traveling outside the United States.
Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
Most United States and international car rentals are eligible for secondary collision damage waiver when you decline the rental agency’s policy. Read more about rental car insurance from American Express.
Global Assist Hotline
When traveling at least 100 miles from home, the American Express Global Assist Hotline can help you procure 24/7 emergency assistance. Some of the services include medical or legal referrals, emergency cash wires, and missing luggage assistance.
The third-party service providers may charge a fee but it’s free to call the hotline.
Baggage Insurance Plan
For each covered person, checked bags are eligible for $500 in coverage and carry-on bags can receive up to $1,250.
New York State residents have an aggregate limit of $10,000 per trip for all covered persons.
Purchases with an original manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less can receive up to one additional year in coverage.
Qualifying items are eligible for up to $1,000 in purchase protection for accidental damage or theft. The annual coverage limit is $50,000.
You can enroll in ShopRunner for free to get complimentary shipping and returns at participating merchants.
While this card earns SkyMiles on every purchase, you can activate Amex Offers to save money at participating online and local stores and restaurants. You will receive a cash statement credit for the reward amount for qualifying purchases.
Redeeming Delta SkyMiles
Each month, your purchase rewards deposit into your Delta SkyMiles account. From here, you can redeem them for travel and other non-Delta awards.
Delta-operated award flights can be the most valuable redemption option. In addition to award flights consistently having the highest redemption value, the Pay with Points feature can help you get more mileage. Every 5,000 points produce a $50 flight rebate.
Each mile is worth approximately 1.2 cents for domestic flights.
As the airline doesn’t publish an award chart and bases the number of miles on the current cash value for the ticket, your points can be worth a lot less or as much as 3 cents. The most valuable redemption value can be international flights in business or first class.
You can also explore flights with the SkyTeam alliance members to potentially find some deals too.
Upgrades and Sky Club Membership
You can also use your miles for seat upgrades, premium drinks, Delta Air Lines gift cards, and Sky Club lounge access.
It’s also possible to book hotels and car rentals with your miles. You might also be able to bid on experiences for unique celebrity meet-and-greets and other VIP experiences.
Magazine subscriptions can be an easy way to use up a small balance of miles or an affordable gift. However, this reward can have one of the lowest redemption values.
Below is a summary of the fees you might pay:
- Annual Fee: $0 for the first 12 months and then $99
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 0%
- Purchase APR: 15.74% to 24.74% variable APR
- Pay It Plan It Fee: Up to 1.33%
- Late Payment: Up to $40
Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Compared to Similar Cards
Here are some of the other cards you might consider to enjoy air travel benefits with Delta Air Lines.
Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card:
The next step up from the Delta Gold SkyMiles Card is the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card. Choose this card if you want additional Delta and air travel benefits.
Some of the extra perks include:
- Annual Domestic Main Cabin Round-Trip Companion Ticket each card renewal
- Up to 3x on card purchases
- Earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $25,000 in a calendar year (up to twice per year)
- Discounted Delta Sky Club rates ($39 per person per visit)
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- Trip delay insurance
The annual fee is $250.
Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card:
The Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card doesn’t charge an annual fee. Unfortunately, you won’t get the $100 Delta Flight credit or free checked bags.
As a positive aside, you can earn up to 2x SkyMiles on purchases, get a $50 credit with Pay with Miles redemptions. There isn’t a foreign transaction fee either.
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card:
Consider the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card if you want airport lounge access. However, you must also be comfortable with a $550 annual fee.
Featured benefits include:
- Complimentary Delta Sky Club access
- Complimentary Centurion Lounge access
- Annual companion certificate (domestic first class, Delta Comfort+, or main cabin)
- Earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $30,000 (up to 4 times per year)
- Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) Waiver after $25,000 in annual purchases
- Earn up to 3x SkyMiles on purchases
American Express Gold Card:
The American Express Gold Card balances travel and dining rewards. You might like this card if you want to earn Membership Rewards that you can transfer to Delta at a 1:1 ratio but want the flexibility of redeeming your miles for other airlines too.
Some of the best benefits include:
- 4x at restaurants
- 4x at U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 then 1x)
- 3x on flights that you book directly from the airline or on Amex Travel
- Up to $120 in Uber Cash per year
- Up to $120 in annual dining credits
The annual fee is $250.
The Platinum Card® from American Express:
The Platinum Card® from American Express can be a frequent flyer’s dream card as you can enjoy annual airline fee credits and complimentary airport lounge access.
Your purchases earn Membership Rewards that you can transfer at a 1:1 ratio to Delta and other airlines.
A brief summary of the most valuable travel benefits include:
- Earn up to 5x Membership Rewards on purchases
- Annual $200 airline incidental fee credit
- Up to $200 in Uber Cash per year for rides and eats
- Airport lounge access (Centurion, Delta Sky Club, Priority Pass Select, and others)
- CLEAR application fee credit
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
The annual fee is $695 for the primary card.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t offer Delta-specific perks like the American Express cards. Delta isn’t a 1:1 Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner.
However, this card can be a better fit if you want the flexibility of using your points for more travel providers. This card also offers one of the highest redemption values on award travel bookings (1.25 cents) which is competitive with most SkyMiles award flight redemptions.
Card benefits include:
- Earn up to 5x on purchases
- 25% travel redemption bonus
- 1:1 point transfers
- Annual $50 hotel statement credit
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
The annual fee is $95.
The annual fee is $0 for the first 12 months and then $99 with your first card anniversary.
No, the foreign transaction fee is 0%.
Delta Air Lines, restaurant, and U.S. supermarket purchases earn 2x SkyMiles. All remaining purchases earn 1 SkyMile per $1.
After making at least $10,000 in card purchases per calendar year, you receive a $100 credit to discount the next Delta flight itinerary you pay for with cash.
The Pay with Miles perk is exclusive to co-brand Delta SkyMiles American Express members. You receive a $50 cash discount for every 5,000 SkyMiles you redeem for an award flight.
The first checked bag is free for the primary cardmember and up to eight travel companions on the same itinerary for Delta-operated flights. Authorized users cannot use this benefit unless they are traveling with the primary cardholder.
Food, beverage, and audio headset purchases on Delta flights receive a 20% cash statement credit when you pay with co-brand Delta SkyMiles credit card.
No, you will pay full price for Delta Sky Club visits. You can enjoy discounted or complimentary access with the Platinum or Reserve Delta SkyMiles credit cards.
No, all SkyMiles credit cards are plastic.
New applicants can earn 40,000 bonus SkyMiles after making $1,000 in purchases during the first 3 months. You can also earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first 3 months.
You can qualify for this bonus if you currently have another Delta SkyMiles credit card. However, you can only earn the signup bonus once for the Gold Card once.
You will need a minimum credit score in the high 600s to have the best approval odds for this card. It can be easier to qualify for this card compared to other travel credit cards not connected to a specific airline or hotel loyalty program.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
You should consider applying for the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card when you want a reasonable $99 annual fee ($0 for the first 12 months), flight booking discounts, and free checked bags.
This card isn’t your best option if you’re trying to earn Medallion status or want Delta Sky Club access.
As Delta serves many destinations in the United States and overseas, it can be easy to redeem your SkyMiles and additional benefits by flying Delta a couple of times each year.
However, a flexible travel credit card can be better if you want the ability to redeem your miles for other airlines and travel rewards.
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