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Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card review: Earn miles on broad categories with no annual fee the first year

The Amex Delta Gold Card rewards has a number of benefits that are great for Delta flyers.

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Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is a great airline card for someone who flies with Delta a few times per year. With benefits such as the first checked bag free and a $200 Delta Flight Credit to use toward future travel, after you spend $10,000 in purchases in a year, can easily make the card worth holding onto for years if you're a consistent Delta flyer, and it can quickly help you drop the cost of your flights.

As you spend on the card, you are awarded Delta SkyMiles, which can be redeemed on Delta flights — along with their SkyTeam partners which includes Air France, KLM and Korean Air, to name a few.

But is the card worth adding to your wallet? Select reviews the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card, looking at the welcome bonus offer, rewards program and APR, so you can decide if it's the right card for you.

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card review

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and 1X Mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • Annual fee

    $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $150

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    20.99% - 29.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fees

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

Welcome bonus

With the current welcome bonus you'll earn 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

If you value Delta SkyMiles at a modest 1 cent per point, the bonus is worth $400 in value. Plus, there's no annual fee during the first year ($150 after, see rates and fees). Delta SkyMiles® are often worth more than 1 cent apiece, so the real value of this bonus is likely higher.

Compared to other cards with no annual fee during the first year, this offers a competitive value.

Benefits and perks

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card comes with several great benefits for Delta flyers.

First, the card earns Delta SkyMiles on all purchases. However, there are several bonus categories to earn even more airline miles. They are:

  • You'll earn 2X miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets
  • All other purchases earn 1X mile on all other eligible purchases

In addition, the card has several benefits while traveling and also on the ground:

  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights. On a round-trip flight, this will save you $60 per person. So this benefit can really add up if you're traveling with a large group of family or friends.
  • Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • $200 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a year, you can receive a $200 Delta Flight Credit to use toward future travel.
  • Take up to $50 off the cost of your ticket for every 5,000 miles you redeem with Pay with Miles when you book on delta.com.
  • 20% back on eligible in-flight purchases
  • With Send & Split®, you can send money and split purchases with any other Venmo or PayPal user, directly from the Amex App. Enroll today.
  • Priority boarding
  • Rental car insurance*
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty*
  • No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees)

* Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

How to earn and redeem Delta SkyMiles

Earning Delta SkyMiles

There are several ways to earn Delta SkyMiles, even outside of the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card.

Earning SkyMiles can be fun, as the opportunity to fly for nearly free is an exhilarating feeling. However, redeeming them for the best value possible is a bit more strategic.

Redeeming Delta SkyMiles

You can redeem Delta SkyMiles in a number of different ways, including:

  • Purchase an award flight
  • Upgrade your seat
  • Purchase a Delta SkyClub airline lounge membership
  • Book a Delta vacation package
  • Purchase a magazine subscription
  • Purchase a Delta Air Lines gift card for you or someone else

Each of these redemptions may be tempting, but you will get the best value saving your SkyMiles for the first option: booking an award flight.

It is important when you are redeeming for a flight to ensure you aren't overspending your points. Generally, if you are redeeming your Delta SkyMiles for anything less than 1 cent per point, it isn't a great redemption. For example, if you spend 20,000 Delta SkyMiles on a $200 flight purchase, that is considered a baseline redemption. If you spend 30,000 Delta SkyMiles on a $600 flight purchases, giving you 2 cents per mile in value, that is a great redemption.

There are no hard and fast rules to redeeming your SkyMiles, but it is in your best interest to use them for highest value possible. Delta often has flash sales to destinations in the U.S. and around the globe, which can increase the value of your miles.

Rates and fees

The card has a *$150 annual fee, but it has a intro $0 the first year. It does not have any *foreign transaction fees.

However, the card has a high interest rate range of *20.99% - 29.99% variable APR for purchases. If you want to avoid interest in the first year, consider a credit card with a 0% introductory APR offer.

The late payment fees can be up to $40.

*See rates and fees.

Card comparison

The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card is a great card for someone who enjoys flying with Delta. But, is it the best Delta SkyMiles card for you? Select analyzed two other Delta SkyMiles cards to see how they match up with one another.

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card vs. Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card is a great airline card for Delta flyers that fly a bit more frequently, may be getting close to earning Delta SkyMiles Medallion status and also fly with a friend or partner regularly.

This card comes with great benefits, including:

  • Valuable welcome offer: Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Broad spending categories: You can earn 3X points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines and purchases made directly with hotels. You can earn 2X points for every dollar spent on dining and at U.S. supermarkets. All other purchases can earn 1X point for every dollar spent.
  • Companion Certificate*: When you renew your card, you will be awarded a companion certificate. This is essentially a "buy-one-get-one free" round-trip ticket for you and a travel buddy. It is good for a main cabin ticket on domestic, Caribbean, or Central American roundtrip flights to select destinations each year after renewal of your Card.
  • First checked bag is $0 for you and up to eight people on the same reservation
  • Statement Credit for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry: Receive $100 back for Global Entry or up to $85 back for TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Official Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Cell phone insurance

The benefits are much more robust, however, it comes with a $350 annual fee. (See rates and fees)

If you fly Delta on a semi-regular basis, and occasionally with a travel buddy, the Platinum card may be a better value for you.

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card vs. Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card is a simple airline card with few frills.

You will earn 2X points for every dollar spent on restaurants worldwide and purchases made directly with Delta. All other purchases will earn 1X for every dollar.

The card comes with a modest welcome offer: Earn 10,000 Delta SkyMiles after spending $1,000 in the first six months of card membership.

When deciding between these two cards, it comes down to how much you spend and fly with Delta. If the benefits outweigh the $99 annual fee in the second year of card membership for the Gold card, that is the better pick between the two.

Who this card is best for

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is great for someone who flies with Delta a few times per year and spends a respectable, but not significant, amount of money.

For consumers who spend a lot, they should look into an airline or rewards card that offers larger bonuses for their spending. While there may be a higher annual fee involved, the larger amount of rewards can outweigh the fee.

Additionally, this card is for someone who isn't looking for any luxury features, such as access to airport lounges or elite status boosts.

Lastly, this card is great for someone continuing to build their credit. While this card is best for those with good to excellent credit, having one more credit card in your portfolio adds to your available credit lines, which helps factors like your credit utilization rate.

Bottom line

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is a great airline card for someone who flies with Delta and/or is beginning to earn Delta SkyMiles for the first time. Benefits like the first checked bag free and a $200 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a year, you can receive a $200 Delta Flight Credit to use toward future travel can easily make the card worth holding onto for years if you're a consistent Delta flyer. However, once you find your footing with this card, consider having multiple credit cards in your wallet.

By having multiple credit cards, you can earn heaps of travel rewards, build up your credit score, and ultimately, continue traveling for nearly free with the rewards you earn.

FAQs

How much are 40,000 Delta SkyMiles worth?

If you redeem Delta SkyMiles for at least 1 cent per point, which is a reasonable redemption rate, 40,000 Delta SkyMiles is worth roughly $400. However, it's not very hard to get more value than that.

What credit score is needed for the Delta Gold Card?

For the Delta Gold card, you will need at least a good credit score.

Is the American Express Delta Gold Card metal?

No, it is not. However, the Platinum and Reserve Delta cards are metal.

*The Companion Ticket requires payment of the government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.

For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, click here.

For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, click here.

For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.

For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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