Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express review: Are the rewards and perks worth it?

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In a Nutshell

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express features underwhelming rewards and few perks. Chances are it won’t be worth the ongoing annual fee.

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This offer is no longer available on our site: Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Pros Cons
Annual fee waived the first year After first year, annual fee likely not worth it
Low welcome-bonus spending requirement Welcome bonus not especially impressive
Priority boarding and free checked bag could make your trip more comfortable No complimentary airline status or companion fare
No foreign transaction fees

 

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5 things to know about the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

1. Its rewards are underwhelming

The welcome bonus from the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is decent, but nothing to get excited about. You’ll earn 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 on purchases during the first 3 months following account opening. If you make a Delta purchase in those same three months, you’ll also earn a $50 statement credit.

Credit Karma’s point valuations estimate Delta SkyMiles® at 1.32 cents each, which makes the welcome bonus worth about $396 if you don’t make any Delta purchases. That’s a good value for the spending required, but not the best bonus you’ll see from a Delta credit card.

The rewards you earn for everyday spending aren’t much better. You’ll get two miles for every $1 you spend on Delta flights and purchases, but only one mile per $1 on all other purchases.

Compare that to a travel card like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, which offers two miles per $1 on all eligible purchases and offers a better sign-up bonus — 50,000 miles after you spend at least $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

2. What perks does this card get you?

If you’re a frequent flyer, you’ll appreciate that the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express includes airport benefits like priority boarding and a free checked bag for you and up to eight guests traveling on the same reservation. Delta typically charges $30 to check the first bag under 50 pounds.

These perks can make your trip more comfortable, but not everyone will get the same value from them. Ultimately, it depends on how you like to travel.

3. It might not be worth the annual fee

The annual fee for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is $0 intro, $95 after first year. And while that’s not a huge annual fee for a travel credit card, it might look like quite a lot depending on how you spend. For example, a family that typically checks bags on their trips could save enough from the free checked bag perk to cover the annual fee within a few trips.

On the other hand, someone who uses the card primarily to earn and redeem Delta SkyMiles might find they need to spend quite a bit of money to earn rewards flights to cover the annual fee.

4. It’s not the most convenient card to take overseas

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express charges no foreign transaction fees. If you travel internationally on a regular basis, this feature could help you save money.

But you can only take advantage if you’re able to use the card in the first place. While availability may differ from location to location, it’s generally thought that American Express credit cards aren’t accepted as widely internationally as cards issued by Visa and Mastercard. So it’s probably worth doing some research on your destination before you bring this card, unless you have another card in your wallet that also doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. 

5. It allows some to book a flight the same day they’re approved

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express allows certain eligible customers to begin using their credit card as soon as they’re approved — even before the physical card arrives in the mail — with an instant card number.

This benefit could come in handy if you plan to use your new Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express to purchase airfare on Delta and are concerned that ticket prices might go up while you wait for your card to arrive. That’ll earn you the $50 statement credit from the welcome bonus, too.

To be eligible for an instant card number though, American Express must be able to verify your identity on the spot.

What perks are missing?

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is missing a handful of perks that you might be able to find from other travel cards.

  • No complimentary lounge access — You’ll be charged a “discounted rate” of $29 to enter a Delta Sky Club lounge. By contrast, the United℠ Explorer Card
    features two United Club passes each year after your account anniversary.
  • Limited in-flight discounts — The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express offers 20% off in-flight food and beverage purchases on Delta flights, but the discount doesn’t extend to onboard Wi-Fi purchases.
  • No companion fare — Some airline credit cards offer a discounted (or complimentary) companion fare with the sign-up bonus, or even as an annual bonus. But this card has no such offer. 

Is this card worth it?

You might have a hard time justifying the recurring annual fee for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express.

Priority boarding and a free checked bag are nice perks, but not everyone will get great value from these benefits. And more-frequent flyers might be better off with one of Delta’s more feature-rich cards that offer better perks and more opportunities to earn miles.

If you aren’t loyal to Delta and would appreciate more flexibility when you travel, you might want to consider a more generic travel card that rewards you no matter which airline you fly.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express vs. Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: Which is right for you?

Not sure this card is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you don’t like the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, check out a few other travel cards that might have flown under your radar.