Which American Express Delta credit card is best?

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In a Nutshell

If you frequently fly Delta Air Lines, it’ll be helpful to know which is the best American Express Delta card for you. From annual fees to travel perks, we’ve rounded up what you need to know about each of the American Express Delta cards, so you can find the best card for your travel needs.
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These offers are no longer available on our site: Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Compare American Express Delta cards

  Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Annual fee $0 $0 intro, $99 after first year $250 $550
First checked bag free   Yes Yes Yes
Priority boarding   Yes Yes Yes
Annual companion certificate     Yes, main cabin Yes, first class
Complimentary upgrades       Yes, subject to availability
Complimentary Delta Sky Club access       Yes

There are four personal Delta SkyMiles credit cards.

These Delta-branded cards are best suited for frequent flyers who are loyal to Delta Air Lines. Let’s take a closer look and see if one may be right for you.

  1. Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
  2. Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
  3. Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
  4. Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card


What you need to know about each Delta SkyMiles card

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is a rare airline credit card that charges no annual fee.

You’ll earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 on eligible purchases during the first 3 months from account opening.

On top of that, you’ll get …

  • 2 miles for every $1 spent on Delta purchases
  • 2 miles per $1 at restaurants
  • 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases

Plus, when you fly Delta, you’ll get 20% back (as a statement credit) on in-flight purchases for things like food and drinks.

Read more about the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card comes with priority boarding — and your first checked bag is free.

You’ll also earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases during the first 3 months from account opening.

On top of that, you’ll get …

  • 2 miles per $1 spent on Delta purchases
  • 2 miles per $1 at restaurants
  • 2 miles per $1 at U.S. supermarkets
  • 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases

The card has an annual fee of $0 intro, $99 after first year. But you’ll also receive a $100 credit after $10,000 in purchases each year to use for a Delta flight, so this could help offset the annual fee.

Check out our review of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card to learn more.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card could make your trip more interesting.

Each year you’ll receive a companion certificate, which allows you to bring along a friend or family member on a round-trip domestic flight for no more than $80 in taxes and fees.

You’ll earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. You’ll also earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after spending $25,000 on eligible purchases up to two times a year.

On top of that, you’ll get …

  • 3 miles per $1 spent on Delta purchases
  • 3 miles per $1 on purchases made directly from hotels
  • 2 miles per $1 at restaurants
  • 2 miles per $1 at U.S. supermarkets
  • 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases

Just keep in mind there’s a $250 annual fee.

Take a look at our review of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card to learn more.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express CardDelta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card could make your flight more comfortable.

When available, you’ll be eligible for complimentary seat upgrades. You’ll also have complimentary access to popular lounges, where you can relax before your flight. And you can use your companion certificate to fly first class.

You’ll also earn 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases during your first three months. And, you can get 15,000 MQMs after spending $30,000 on eligible purchases up to four times a year.

On top of that, you’ll get …

  • 3 miles per $1 spent on Delta purchases
  • 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases

So it’s no surprise that the rewards and perks outweigh the $550 annual fee for frequent Delta flyers.

See why in our review of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card.

How to pick the best American Express Delta card for you

Finding the best American Express Delta card depends on what you’re looking for in a credit card.

You can start by figuring out what features are most important to you: The annual fee? Free checked bags? A companion certificate? Once you have an idea about your priorities, you can pick the American Express Delta card that best matches your needs.

  • If you want to earn Delta SkyMiles for your everyday purchases but don’t want to pay an annual fee, the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is your only option.
  • If you’re not opposed to paying a reasonable annual fee, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card makes up for it when you fly with free checked bags and priority boarding.
  • If you like to travel with family and friends, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card could be worthwhile with its annual companion certificate.
  • If you’d rather pamper yourself, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card rewards you with luxuries like lounge access and complimentary seat upgrades.

Not sure any of these Delta SkyMiles cards are right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re not tied to Delta, you might be interested in one of these other, more versatile travel cards.


About the author: Tim Devaney is a personal finance writer and credit card expert at Credit Karma. He’s a longtime journalist who prides himself on being a good storyteller who can explain complex information in an easily digestible wa… Read more.