Are you a frequent Delta flyer looking to rack up some extra SkyMiles and earn rewards flights more quickly? Offering new members an introductory 30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in three months, plus two miles for every dollar spent with Delta and one mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express can certainly help to get you there. (American Express is a CardRatings advertiser).
With no annual fee for the first year ($95 after that), no foreign transaction fees, free checked bags and discounted Delta Sky Club® access, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express puts more money into your pockets, making it a smart choice for frequent travelers. It's these factors and more that make this car the 2017 Editor's Choice Award winner for Best Airline Rewards credit card.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express best features:
A signup bonus is almost always a nice perk, but when said bonus can quickly be turned into a free flight, that’s something that really gets our attention.
Depending on travel location and dates, Delta offers domestic, round-trip plane tickets for as low as 20,000 SkyMiles, meaning, if you plan it right, you can snag yourself a free ticket just for becoming a Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express cardholder. The catch? New cardholders must spend at least $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of opening the card. Plus, new members also receive a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase with the card in the first three months, helping to put a little more money back into your pocket.
Other ways the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express helps cardholders save is by providing its members with one free checked bag on round-trip flights, saving you up to $50 a flight, and by offering discounted Delta Sky Club® access; two small perks that could add up big for those who travel often.
Additionally, Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express cardholders receive priority boarding, which helps to save its members time, and we all know time is money. Plus, who likes to fight for overhead bin space?
Lastly, as travel hiccups are bound to happen, we’ve come to love the protection perks that come along with being a Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express member.With its available insurance plans, when using your card to pay for your travel expenses, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express can help to cover the cost of any eligible lost, damaged or stolen baggage, as well as help cover any expenses you may incur if your car rental is damaged or stolen. Or, if you find yourself in an unfortunate situation, such as with a broken down car or lost passport, access to the Global Assist® and roadside assistance hotlines can be a life saver.
Though a good base level credit card, some of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express perks seem a bit subpar when compared to other American Express Delta Airlines credit cards. The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings) and Delta Reserve® Credit Card, for example, both include a savings of 20 percent on in-flight purchases, which is a small but valuable incentive.
Perhaps more importantly, the card only rewards you with one mile per dollar spent on all purchases other than those with Delta. That makes this not a great card for racking up miles with everyday purchases.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express vs. JetBlue Plus Card
Similar to the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, JetBlue Plus Card will reward you with a large handful of points right from the get go – 30,000 points as a signup bonus after spending just $1,000 in the first 90 days – but the major selling point for JetBlue Plus Card is that you will earn six points for every dollar spent with JetBlue, compared to the two points you’ll earn for every dollar spent with Delta when using the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card.
Additionally, the JetBlue Plus Card offers 5,000 bonus points every year at your account anniversary, 50 percent savings on eligible in-flight purchases, and no blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights. Plus, you'll earn 2 points per dollar at restaurants and grocery stores and one point per dollar on all other purchases.
These all might seem like good perks, because they are, but the downside with the JetBlue Plus Card is that JetBlue only flies to a limited number of airports and markets, most of which are domestic destination, making the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Card from American Express the better choice of the two for frequent international travelers or those who don't live in a Jetblue served market.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Though the 50,000 points you receive for spending $4,000 in the first three months with Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are a nice perk, the spending threshold is steep -- four times higher than with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. Even with the high spending requirement, 50,000 points is a still a great bonus, and that can easily be turned into 55,000 points if you add an authorized user and make a purchase within those first three months.
Plus, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders earn two times the points on all their restaurant and travel purchases, in addition to one point on all other purchases, so the potential to earn points quickly is better with the Chase card.
Furthermore, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points can be redeemed through a number of different airlines, providing its users with more scheduling flexibility than Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express cardholders enjoy.
The difference here really comes down to the difference between a general rewards card with a travel-reward option (Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card) and an airline-miles focused card (Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express).
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express vs. Discover it® Miles
Want to turn 20,000 miles into 40,000 miles? With the Discover it® Miles credit card, you can.
Not only will Discover it® Miles earn you 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend, but for new card members, Discover will automatically match every point you’ve earned with the card at the end of your first year, allowing you to quickly multiply your gain. Plus, Discover it® Miles allows you to use these miles on any airline, any time, making it a viable option for those who aren’t loyal to just one brand.
While this perk might sound great (because it can be), it is important to do the math before making any final decisions.
Big spenders can easily benefit from this card, but if you are not looking to spend more than a few thousand dollars within the first year, you’d likely profit more from the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. If it’s points that you are after, Discover it® Miles cardholders would have to spend at least $10,000 in the first year just to reach the same number of points new Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card members can receive as an introductory bonus.
Discover it® Miles can certainly be a good option for big spenders looking for freedom in their airline choices, but for basic spenders, especially those loyal to the Delta brand, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is likely the smarter choice.
Thanks to its great sign-on bonus, no foreign transaction fees and other travel perks such as free checked baggage and priority boarding, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is great option for frequent travelers loyal to the Delta brand.