Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card Review

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Get rewarded with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

For Delta Airlines frequent fliers looking to maximize their brand loyalty rewards, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® from American Express offers cardholders a range of perks. It’s an excellent, all-around choice in the co-branded airline cards category. With a solid rewards rate for travel booked directly with Delta and new earning opportunities starting in 2020, this is an ideal credit card for the gourmand adventurer.

Perks include free checked bags, priority boarding regardless of ticket status and no annual fee during your first year. Plus, if you hit the achievable low spending target to earn the bonus offer, you’ll receive bonus miles worth hundreds of dollars you can apply to your next vacation. Travelers looking for a great card that goes beyond just travel would be remiss to ignore the Gold Delta SkyMiles card’s offerings.

What to expect from the Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express

  • APR: 17.24%-26.24%
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, $95 after.
  • Reward Rates: Earn one mile for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. Earn two miles on every eligible dollar spent directly with Delta airlines. Starting in January 2020, earn 2x miles at restaurants worldwide and 2x miles at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Intro Offer: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases within three months of account activation. Cardholders will also earn $50 in statement credit after making a purchase directly with Delta within the first three months of the account opening.

Even better

  • Free checked bag: If you check bags with Delta, this benefit saves you up to $60 on a round-trip Delta flight.
  • No annual fee during your first year: The normal $95 annual fee is waived during your first year. Note: Beginning in 2020, the annual fee increases to $99 after the free intro period.
  • Miles never expire: Cardholders won’t have to worry about using their points by a specific deadline.
  • No foreign transaction fees: If you travel internationally, you won’t have any extra costs to worry about tacked onto your bill. Similar travel cards charge 3% per transaction in foreign transaction fees.
  • Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding: Even if you have an economy ticket, you’ll still get Priority Boarding so you can get settled in your seat more quickly.
  • Payment flexibility: Choose when you want to pay your credit card bill each month.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: If you decline insurance at the rental car counter, your rental car is still protected from damage or theft.
  • Global Assist Hotline: Get 24/7 emergency assistance when you travel.
  • Effective on 1/30/2020, you can earn a $100 in statement credit after spending $10,000 during the calendar year. In addition, cardmembers will receive savings of 20% in the form of statement credit on eligible pre-purchased meals and in-flight purchases of alcohol, food and audio headsets on Delta flights.

But keep your eyes open for pitfalls

Although the Gold Delta SkyMiles card boasts worthwhile perks, it comes with some drawbacks to consider before you sign on the dotted line. Compared to Mastercard and Visa, for example, American Express cards aren’t as widely accepted. So, if you’re looking for a versatile card that can serve as your go-to card everywhere, the Gold Delta AmEx card might not work.

Another significant drawback comes into play after January 30, 2020, at which point you can no longer buy single-visit passes to Delta Sky Club lounges. If an upgraded airport experience is important for your travels, this card can’t deliver on that front. Instead, you may want to consider the Delta Reserve® Credit Card, which offers free access to the Delta Sky Club and allows you to bring up to two guests for $29 per person. Plus, you can get a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+ or Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year when you renew your card.

Another con of this card that starts in January of 2020 is the lack of Medallion Qualifying Miles. For travelers trying to level up to elite status with Delta, this card doesn’t deliver any shortcuts to get there, no matter how much you spend. Two other Delta cards Amex, however, do offer elite status qualifying miles and points. If you can’t stomach the Delta Reserve card’s $550 annual fee, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card has a $250 annual fee but still offers elite status qualifying points and that coveted companion pass.

How to maximize your Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express rewards 

You’ll get the most value out of the Gold Delta American Express card if you’re a Delta frequent flier since you can earn 2x miles for every dollar you spend with Delta. In addition, there are more than 20 airline partners you can utilize to plan your travel and make the most of your miles. And don’t forget about using your card to purchase in-flight snacks and drinks to save 20%.

But you can also maximize the 2x rewards rate if you use your card at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants worldwide. So, if you’re a foodie and Delta frequent flier, you could end up racking up an impressive amount of points redeemable for travel. Plus, with no foreign transaction fees, you can use this card abroad without worrying about extra fees.

Bottom line

If you’re looking for a solid rewards rate on a card serving up perks beyond travel, the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card by American Express might be for you. To extract the most value from the card, cardholders should aim to hit that initial spending target of $1,000 within the first three months of opening an account. The mix of rewards on everyday expenses in addition to travel makes this card hard to beat for those who qualify.