Editor's note: This offer expired and is no longer available. As longtime frequent fliers bemoan changes to travel loyalty programs, airline credit card offers have only grown stronger. In some cases, it's easier to earn free travel and elite status with a credit card than by making actual trips. The Platinum Delta SkyMiles card offers plenty of opportunities to earn bonus miles, but really shines when leisure travelers take advantage of group travel perks.

Signup offers fluctuate with market conditions, based on the time of year and the heat from an airline's competitors. Delta and American Express offer tremendous value with this elite credit card, starting with a rare bonus offer that includes 15,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles. Delta's MQMs help you earn and maintain status in the SkyMiles system, leading to even more opportunities to earn miles faster.

Each dollar you spend on this card earns a SkyMile, with Delta purchases earning double miles. After hitting a $25,000 spending threshold in a calendar year, you'll get another 10,000 miles and another 10,000 MQMs. The bonus repeats again once you cross the $50,000 mark. If you can funnel your everyday purchases, reimbursable business expenses, and household bills through this card, you'll earn enough bonus miles for a free flight without even boarding a plane.

Bigger bonuses when you bring a big family
Although business travelers tend to use airline cards more often than leisure travelers, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles can save plenty of money during family vacations. You and up to nine travel companions on the same itinerary can check one bag each for free on each leg of your Delta or Delta connection flights. That perk alone can pay for this card's annual fee when a family of three makes just one round trip.

To earn even more bonus miles, consider adding two members of your family as authorized Additional Cardmembers. They'll enjoy the same perks and privileges when flying on their own, while Delta credits your SkyMiles balance with 5,000 bonus miles. Plus, the anniversary of your membership will include a companion certificate good for an extra round-trip ticket within the continental U.S. You'll just pay the taxes, usually no more than about $63.

Best airline credit card for Delta and SkyTeam loyalists
Having completed its merger with Northwest, Delta now flies to over 900 destinations around the globe. In addition, Delta's membership in the SkyTeam Global Alliance makes SkyMiles redeemable for flights on international carriers such as KLM, Korean Air, Air France, and AeroMexico.

You don't even need to reach a traditional award level to redeem free travel. Delta's revamped website lets travelers make partial payments for airfares using SkyMiles. Once you're at the airport, pay just $25 per guest for access to the nearest Delta Sky Club, where the attendants will alert you to your Priority Boarding call. In the air, use your card for discounted food, beverages, and movies.

How Platinum Delta SkyMiles compares to other airline credit cards
Delta isn't the only airline beefing up its signup offer for new customers. For instance, Chase offers significant bonus rewards for frequent transatlantic travelers with its British Airways Visa Signature Card. Domestic fliers can enjoy similar perks with a United MileagePlus Club Card, also from Chase.

If you're more likely to hunt for bargain fares on booking websites, an unaffiliated travel rewards card can save you more money over time than an affinity card.

Highlights: Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

Editor's Rating

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

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Credit Required: Excellent This card is no longer available.
Balance Transfer Intro APR

None

Balance Transfer Intro Period

None

Balance Transfer Fee

3% ($5 min. )
Purchase APR

15.24% - 19.24% Variable

Annual Fee

$150

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