Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card Review
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- New card members can earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months.
- Frequent flyers can accumulate miles fast with two miles per $1 on any direct Delta purchases as well as a number of other popular business spending categories on top of one mile per $1 on other purchases.
- Check your first bag for free on any Delta and Delta Connection® flights.
- While there are no foreign transaction fees with this card, you do have an annual fee after the first year and this card does tie you to Delta.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card Essentials
Don't yet have an airline that you call home? The Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card makes a compelling case for business travelers to give their loyalty to the nearly 100-year-old airline. In exchange for an attractive welcome offer and perks like priority boarding, Delta checks off many of the boxes on most business travelers' must-have lists. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express' best features:
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99 See Rates and Fees.
- No foreign transaction fees. See Rates and Fees.
- Earn a welcome bonus of 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months. Additionally, you'll receive $100 off a Delta flight after you spend $10,000 on your card in a calendar year.
- Earn two miles for every $1 on Delta purchases, on eligible U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, on every $1 spent on eligible U.S. shipping purchases and on eligible dining at restaurants; earn one mile on all other purchases.
- Get main cabin 1 priority boarding on Delta flights.
- Use miles toward Delta flights or with more than 15 of its airline partners. Terms apply.
- Card benefits include purchase protection and car rental insurance. Terms apply
- Access to American Express Open benefits, including ReceiptMatchSM, account alerts and Open Forum®, which offers tools, advice and other resources for business professionals.
- Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
- Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
- Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
- Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
- Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
- No foreign transaction fees
What Our Editors Like Most About the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
Delta flies to 900 destinations around the world -- a business traveler's dream. For members of this group who haven't yet leveraged a loyalty credit card to enhance their travel experience, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card offers several perks and benefits to incentivize them.
First, there is a welcome offer of 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months. Most business travelers can meet this threshold easily and in return earn enough miles for multiple domestic round-trip flights (one-way award tickets start at just 10,000 miles) or to partially offset the cost of a Delta Comfort™ or first-class ticket.
The card comes with no annual fee for the first year and no foreign transaction fees, saving business travelers who fly internationally up to 3% on every purchase. Aside from those fees, the most attractive perks also help travelers avoid the typical grievances most people now have with airlines – checked baggage fees, expensive in-flight purchases and all the nickel-and-diming that further inflates ticket costs.
Checked baggage is $25 a bag on Delta, but with the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, your first bag flies free. You earn two miles for every dollar on Delta purchases, on eligible U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, on every dollar spent on eligible U.S. shipping purchases, on every eligible dollar spent on dining at restaurants and one mile for every dollar on everything else. Miles don't expire, so you can redeem them anytime and take advantage of priority boarding, another card benefit.
The best way to maximize your rewards is to achieve SkyMiles Medallion® Status. There are four Medallion status tiers, ranging from silver to diamond, with qualification miles ranging from 25,000 to 125,000. Annual spending on Delta flights also factors into the tiers, but Delta waives this requirement – called Medallion Qualification Dollars – for card members who spend at least $25,000 with the airline within a calendar year. Unfortunately, tickets paid for in miles don't count toward earning miles for Medallion status, so business travelers can't use their welcome offer to achieve this perk faster. However, if you achieve Medallion status, you can expect to earn a mileage bonus of anywhere from two additional miles per dollar (silver status) up to six additional miles per dollar (diamond status). That means Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card card members who also are in the frequent flyer program earn a minimum of four miles per dollar on every Delta purchase. Terms apply.
Potential Downsides of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
Some travel rewards cards, like the JetBlue Plus Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, offer a redemption bonus when you redeem miles through their portals or online travels centers. Delta doesn't offer this bonus.
Another significant drawback is the annual fee – $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99. With a value of a little more than 1 cent per mile for most flights, you'd need to earn at least 9,900 miles a year or spend a little over $400 a month on Delta purchases to offset this fee -- a target that should be easy for business travelers to hit.
How the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card Compares to Other Cards Business Cards
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card vs. Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
You can think of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card as the fancier sibling of the Gold version we've been discussing. The Platinum welcome bonus allows you to earn 45,000 bonus miles and 5,000 MQMs after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months in addition to a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the same time frame. This card, however, also comes at a higher cost: the annual fee is $250. Even with the higher annual fee, regular Delta business travelers could very likely realize the extra savings this card could mean. See Rates and Fees.
It's easy to see how a big business spender and traveler could certainly make the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card card work for them. Cardholders earn three miles for every $1 spent directly with Delta as well as on purchases made directly with hotels. You also earn 1.5 miles per $1 for all your purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 50,000 additional miles per year) and one mile per $1 on your other purchases. Figure in the 20% off eligible in-flight purchases in addition to the free checked bag, priority boarding and other perks offered by the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, and you might find this is a better choice for you and your business needs.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card vs. United MileagePlus® Explorer Card
The tiered rewards structure also is similar, as both the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card and Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card offer two miles per dollar on their respective airlines and one mile per dollar on all other purchases. However, the two miles per dollar with United is just for ticket purchases. Delta offers two miles per dollar on all airline-related purchases, including in-flight purchases and Delta vacation packages.
Both cards offer free checked baggage for one piece of luggage, no foreign transaction fees, and rental car and travel insurance. However, United offers lost luggage reimbursement for up to $3,000 per passenger and 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $25,000 on your card each calendar year. Aside from these two features, the differences between the two cards are negligible.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card vs. Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business credit card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings) offers a significant amount of flexibility for business travelers who aren't committed to a particular airline for their travels. The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business credit card's annual fee is $0 intro for first year; $95 after that. The welcome offer is generous: Earn 50,000 miles – worth $500 in travel – after spending $4,500 in the first three months. You can also receive up to a $100 credit for one Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee.
With the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business credit card, you'll earn a flat two miles for every $1 you spend and five miles per $1 spent on hotel and car rental bookings through the Capital One portal, so there's a good opportunity to rack up some miles toward upcoming trips. Furthermore, you aren't tied to a particular airline with the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business; in fact, there are no blackout dates or restrictions on when and how you can redeem your miles.
Still, because this is a general travel rewards card, you do miss out on a few airline-specific perks that you get with the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, such as a free checked bag on flights.
Who Should Get This Card?
If you already fly with Delta, why not be rewarded for your loyalty? Any business professional who travels frequently with the airline can earn free flights and save a ton of money alone on checked baggage fees – at least $25 per trip. Delta flies to over 900 locations worldwide, so the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card could help you stock up enough rewards for that dream vacation.
To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured in this post, please visit the following links: Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card (See Rates and Fees); Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card (See Rates and Fees)