Choosing a travel rewards credit card can be complicated. The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is a travel rewards card offered by American Express with decent perks for frequent Delta travelers. This card would suit a non-business traveler who usually flies Delta—or can change their booking habits and become loyal to Delta.
The card’s rates are competitive with the rest, although the APR is a bit higher than some others. Additionally, the annual fee is lower than those of many airline credit cards. The benefits of this particular card could make it a useful travel companion for people looking to bump up their stock of SkyMiles that will never expire.
The Essentials of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® from American Express
- APR: 17.49% to 26.49%
- Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $95
- Primary Feature: Earn 1 mile for every $1 spent on everyday purchases
What’s Interesting about Gold Delta SkyMiles®
The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express has a lot of great rewards to offer its cardholders. The biggest one is a free first checked bag for all travelers (up to 8 people) on the reservation. Delta charges $30 for a first checked bag, so a solo traveler could save $60 round-trip if they plan to check their bag. The savings could be substantial for a group trip.
Additionally, American Express will not charge its members foreign transaction fees. This feature is useful for globetrotters looking to save cash when they use their card overseas. These small fees can add up over time, so it’s nice that American Express doesn’t charge them.
The card is also an easy way to rack up SkyMiles. When you use your Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card on Delta purchases, you’ll receive 2 miles per $1 spent. On all other purchases, you’ll receive 1 mile per $1 spent. You can redeem these miles for reward travel or upgrades on Delta and 30 of its partner airlines. This card doesn’t have the best mileage rewards on the market, but it’s not bad for those who stick to Delta. Additionally, the company is bumping up its rewards program at the end of January 2020 and increasing its rewards for supermarket and restaurant purchases from 1 mile per $1 spent to 2 miles per $1 spent.
Things to Consider
American Express isn’t accepted in as many places globally as other card networks like Visa and MasterCard might be. Lower usability could cause headaches for a frequent world traveler.
Furthermore, changes are on the horizon for the rewards package offered by this card (but they aren’t all bad). For the time being, cardholders can access the Delta SkyClubs for a discounted rate of $29 per person. Also, if you’re seeking to become an elite Delta member, the card allows you to waive the company’s Medallion Qualification Dollar amount (basically, the minimum you’re required to spend with Delta to become a “medallion” member) if you put enough money on your card. However, both of these programs are set to end in January 2020.
On the plus side, the card’s upgrades in offering more miles for every dollar spent on groceries and meals out will make it more competitive with mileage earnings from other providers.
How to Get the Most from this Card
To get the biggest bang for your buck with this card, apply before the 60,000 bonus miles offer ends on October 30, 2019. If the deal has already ended, however, there are still many ways to benefit from using this card. Its rates of 17.49% to 26.49% are competitive with other similar rewards cards, although they stand a bit higher than others.
If you use the card on daily purchases, you’ll earn Delta SkyMiles. Plus, you’ll begin accruing twice as many on specific purchases starting the end of January 2020. For frequent Delta travelers, the SkyMiles could prove useful in booking rewards travel or in upgrading their tickets. If you take advantage of the no-fee first year, 20% off in-flight purchases and the free first checked bag, you’ll be on your way to saving money on your travels.
Other Card Options That Might Interest You
Not sure whether to hop on board the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card train quite yet? Take a look at these two possible alternatives: the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Those who missed the 60,000 bonus miles offer from this card might consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. They provide 60,000 bonus miles to cardholders who spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. The annual fee is also $95, and the APR is competitive at 17.99% to 24.99%.
For anyone looking to earn even more points with more flexible redemption options than the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, you might check out the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Credit Card. You can earn 3 times the points for purchases such as flights, eating out, transit, and hotels. For all other purchases, you’ll earn 1 times the points, which you can redeem on travel, cash redemption, gift cards, and more. Plus, there’s no annual fee, and the introductory APR of 0% lasts for the first year. Then the APR is lower than the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card at 15.74% to 27.74%.
The Final Word
Who might get the most out of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card? A casual traveler who uses Delta for his or her flights would be a suitable candidate for this card. You can earn miles from your everyday spending to go toward rewards travel. However, the rewards package is changing in January 2020, and many of the current perks, such as access to airport lounges, are disappearing. The changes will also bring more mileage earning potential, so it’s important to weigh what’s essential for you in a travel credit card.