AMEX Delta Skymiles Gold Card
The Delta Skymiles Gold Card is the first card in the lineup to offer great Delta benefits that align with having Delta Medallion Status. One of the best card perks is it's First Checked Bag Free benefit. This waives the $25 baggage fee for the cardholder and passengers on the same reservation. This one perk alone saved me and my family $600+, making the $95 annual fee easily worth paying.
Delta Skymiles Value
Delta Skymiles are valued at about 1.2 cents each when used to book flights with Delta Airlines, but can be worth a lot more or less depending on the date and destination. They have the best value when it comes to either international travel, long distance travel (i.e. New York to California), and when Delta has their Flash Sales every so often. Skymiles can be earned in several ways outside of flying and using credit cards by booking travel with partners, eating out, and transferring rewards earned in hotel loyalty and bank reward programs directly to your Skymiles account.
The Delta Skymiles Gold Card features one bonus category which is Delta purchases. There is no limit to how many Skymiles you can earn spending on this Delta credit card.
2x Delta Purchases
Using the Delta Skymiles Gold Card on Delta purchases will earn you 2x Skymiles per $1 spent. American Express counts eligible Delta purchases as purchases where Delta is the merchant of record, such as purchases via Delta.com, phone reservations, or ticket counters, upgrades, miles, seat selection, Delta Sky Club® membership or passes, pre-purchased meals, in-flight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets on Delta-operated flights. Do note that in-flight wireless internet access is not counted as a Delta purchases.
This is the earning rate across all seven Delta credit cards, so no card earns a higher return of 2.4% when it comes to Delta spending. What it comes down to with the AMEX Delta Cards is the perks each card is loaded with. The good thing is that the perks of Delta Cards are tied to the SkyMiles account so you don't need to use the card to get great benefits. This means you can put your Delta spend on better earning cards. I personally recommend looking at AMEX's Membership Reward Points as points earned in that program can be transferred to your Delta account at a 1:1 ratio and they have 10 credit cards you can choose from. So you can earn 3x Membership Reward Points per $1 spent on airfare using the AMEX Gold Card or up to 4.5x points per $1 spent on grocery with the Everyday Preferred Card and transfer those points 1:1 to your Delta Skymiles account. This is a lot better than earning 2x or 1x miles for using the Delta Skymiles Gold Card.
Any spending on the Delta Skymiles Gold Card outside of Delta purchases will only earn 1x Skymiles per $1 spent. This is a small return of 1.2% that can be improved upon with a 1.5% cash back card or by finding reward cards that earn higher return for non-Delta purchases such as Membership Reward Point Cards or Ultimate Rewards Point Cards.
Perks and Benefits
20% Off In-Flight Purchases
The Delta Skymiles Gold Card offers 20% Off In-Flight Purchases. This discount is applied to your statement as a credit. It applies to eligible pre-purchased meals, in-flight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages, and audio headsets on Delta-operated flights. In-flight internet purchases are not included. Several other airline cards offer money off in-flight purchases including the JetBlue Card (50% off), all 7 America Airline Credit Cards (25% off), and the United Airlines Explorer Card (25% off).
First Checked Bag Free
The main Delta Skymiles Gold card member will have their first checked bag fee waived when the Delta flight and card is tied to the member's Skymiles number. All passengers traveling in the same reservation (max of nine waivers) will also get their first checked bag for free. The Skymiles Gold card does not have to be used to purchase the airfare in order to receive this perk. This allows you to user other cards that earn a better return while still having access to great perks! The only Delta card that does not have this perk is the Delta Blue Card which is also the only Delta card that has no annual fee.
Several airlines offer free checked bags when flying their airline, but unlike the Delta credit cards, you have to actually use the card to purchase the airfare in order to partake in the perk. The United Explorer, Hawaiian Mastercard, and Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select cards are a few of many choices when it comes to the first checked bag free.
Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) Waiver
Spending $25,000 on the Delta Skymiles Gold card will waive the Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) requirement for Platinum, Gold, and Silver Medallion status. In order to reach each Medallion Status, a certain amount of yearly spend on Delta airfare (base only, taxes/fees do not count) is required on top of flying their airline. Silver requires $3,000 MQDs, Gold requires $6,000 MQDs, and Platinum requires $12,000 MQDs. Diamond Medallion status requires $15,000 MQDs, but you must spend $250,000 on the Delta Skymiles Gold Card (yes, you read that right) in order to waive the Medallion Qualification Dollar requirement for Diamond. This perk is on every Delta credit card except the Delta Skymiles Blue card.
The Delta Skymiles Gold card member and passengers traveling in the same reservation, will receive priority Zone 1 boarding. This means you will board the plane before Zone 2, 3, and higher. While there are still several groups that board before Zone 1 (first class and Delta Medallions), this perks still gives you great access to overhead bins that would normally be full by the time the later Zones board the plane. The Delta Skymiles Blue Card is the only Delta credit card that does not offer this perk. United Airlines also provides priority boarding to holders of their credit cards such as the United MileagePlus Explorer Card.
Pay With Miles
All Delta Skymiles credit card holders will be allowed to cover some or all of there flight with the Pay With Miles option when purchasing Delta Airline tickets. Miles must be redeemed in 5,000 mile increments with a minimum of 5,000 miles. When redeemed this way, 5,000 Skymiles are worth $50 off ticket purchased on the Delta site. This is a value of 1 cent per point.
Standard AMEX Benefits
The Delta Skymiles Gold Card comes with the standard AMEX benefits and perks such as, but not limited to, AMEX Offers, return protection, roadside assistance, ShopRunner membership, purchase protection, and extended warranty.
Sign Up Bonus
The standard Delta Skymiles Gold Card sign up bonus is around 30,000 Skymiles. AMEX runs several welcome promos during the year that offer as much as 60,000 Skymiles. Delta does not post an award chart, but 30k Skymiles (depending on your location) can usually get you a one-way flight or round-trip if you pick up a ticket during their frequent flash sales. The best way to determine the value you can get out of this bonus is to pull up the "Book A Trip" option on the Delta website, set it to miles, and test a few destinations. Cash wise, 30,000 Skymiles has an average value of $360.
The Delta Skymiles Gold Card also comes with a $50 statement credit on the first Delta purchase. This statement credit has been as high as $200.
Credit Card Fees
|Authorized User Fee|
|Foreign Transaction Fee|
The annual fee for the Delta Skymiles Gold Card is $0 for the first year, then $95.
Authorized User Fee
There is no fee for adding authorized users to the Delta Skymiles Gold Card. Additional card members will not receive the priority boarding or first checked bag free perk. The primary cardholder must be present to receive these perks.
Foreign Transaction Fee
The Delta Skymiles Gold Card does not have a foreign transaction fee. This means you can earn Skymiles worldwide using this card without any penalty.
Upgrade and Downgrade
Cards in the AMEX Delta family can be upgraded and downgraded assuming you're in good standing with AMEX. AMEX occasionally offers upgrade bonuses. These are usually in the form of a pop-up or added link when logging into the AMEX My Account page. Upgrades can be done on the page that lists all AMEX credit cards or it will be on the far right column (on the side of posted transactions). Pulling up a Delta card (other than the one associated with the account) on the AMEX site will usually replace the 'Apply Now' button with 'Request an Upgrade' option. Pressing on that button will get the upgrade process started. AMEX only allows sign up bonuses once per lifetime so upgrading can cause great sign up bonuses to be missed. I do not recommend upgrading unless you really, really have to or if it's presenting a good upgrade bonus.
Upgrade Delta Gold to Delta Platinum
The Delta SkyMiles Gold card can be upgraded to the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card. This is a good upgrade for anyone looking to earn up to additional 20,000 MQMs and 20,000 Miles based on high spend or for anyone looking to earn a yearly Main Cabin Companion Pass good for U.S travel (48 contiguous states). The companion pass alone is worth the fee of the card. All the perks of the Skymiles Delta Gold Card are also included in the Platinum. The sign up bonus for the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card can be as high as 70,000 Skymiles for $3k in spend which is superb sign up bonus.
Upgrade Delta Gold to Delta Reserve
If you want to take a giant leap, you can upgrade to the Delta Reserve Card. It offers upgraded versions of the perks that come with the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card. You have the chance to earn up to an additional 30,000 MQMs and 30,000 Miles based on high spend and it comes with a First Class Companion Pass good for U.S. travel (48 contiguous states). The card also provides a bump in priority for anyone in your Delta Medallion class and offers Delta SkyClub Membership. The standard sign up bonus for the Reserve Card is 30,000 Skymiles and 10,000 MQMs after your first purchase. Not as good as the Platinum version, but still very valuable.
Downgrade to Delta Blue from Delta Gold
You can downgrade from the Delta Skymiles Gold card to the Delta Skymiles Blue Card. This can be a good move for anyone that either doesn't want to pay an annual fee or don't have a need for the Free Checked Bag perk (such as users that already have Medallion Status). The Skymiles Blue Card also offers bonus Skymiles on restaurant purchases which is a category no other Delta credit card has. The standard sign up bonus for the Blue Card is 10,000 Delta Skymiles which is not a lot, but may be of some value. It would probably be easier to just downgrade to the card rather than re-apply, but that solely relies on how valuable 10,000 Skymiles are to you!
You can use this rewards calculator to calculate how many points, miles, or cash back you can earn based on your spend per category. This calculator will also give you the dollar value of the card based on rewards earned and how much each benefit is worth to you minus the fees. You can click the Compare A Card button to compare this card against another card in the same calculator.
All category spend entered in the primary card's column will carry over to all credit card pages on the site so you don't have to re-enter the same information over again.
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