Delta and its partner airlines operate a vast network of flights, serving over 1,000 destinations across 60 countries worldwide. Notably, Delta was recognized as the top-performing U.S.-based airline for punctuality in 2022, according to a report by OAG, a travel data provider.
For frequent Delta flyers, there’s an opportunity to maximize travel rewards by opening a Delta credit card. These cards offer points on flights, dining, and other purchases, along with various travel-related benefits to enhance the overall experience.
When considering Delta credit cards, it’s essential to compare them against other options available in the market to find the best fit for individual needs. While Delta provides a range of co-branded cards, they may not always align perfectly with what someone requires.
Among Delta’s personal credit card offerings are the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. These cards vary in annual fees, from $0 to $550, and the more premium ones come with extra perks such as a free companion ticket and access to the Delta Sky Club.
To help Delta flyers make informed choices, we’ve analyzed Delta’s credit cards and compiled a list of the best Delta credit cards for 2023, based on their most valuable features and benefits.
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is a suitable option for those seeking to earn Delta SkyMiles without an annual fee. You can enjoy rewarding benefits on Delta purchases and dining at restaurants worldwide. However, it’s worth exploring other travel rewards cards to find potentially more lucrative rewards for your spending habits.
With a $0 annual fee, the card offers 2 miles per $1 on Delta purchases, restaurant dining (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.), and 1 mile per $1 on all other eligible purchases. As a welcome bonus, you can earn 10,000 miles after spending $1,000 on purchases during the first six months of card membership. Additionally, there are no foreign transaction fees, making it convenient for international travelers.
One of the notable perks of the Delta Blue Amex card is the 20% savings on in-flight Delta purchases, received as a statement credit. However, it’s important to note that it may lack some of the premium benefits available on other Delta cards.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card comes with a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, and $99 in subsequent years. While the annual fee kicks in after the first year, the card’s complimentary checked bag benefit for you and up to eight companions on your reservation can make it a worthwhile choice, especially for frequent travelers.
For rewards, you can earn 2 miles per $1 on Delta purchases, at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.), and 1 mile per $1 on other eligible purchases. The welcome bonus offers an attractive 65,000 miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership.
Similar to the Delta Blue card, the Gold Delta SkyMiles card provides a 20% savings on in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit. Additionally, you’ll enjoy priority boarding and a free checked bag when flying with Delta. By spending $10,000 on purchases within the first year, you can earn a $100 flight credit for future Delta travel. The card also offers an application fee statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (up to $100), with enrollment required for select benefits.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card comes with a higher annual fee of $250, but it also offers an array of valuable perks for cardholders. Travel enthusiasts can benefit from a free checked bag, priority boarding, and 20% savings on eligible in-flight Delta purchases through a statement credit. Additionally, you receive an annual companion certificate for a domestic round-trip flight in first class, Comfort+, or the main cabin, making it attractive for those who frequently travel with a companion.
The rewards structure for this card offers 3 miles per $1 on Delta and purchases made directly with hotels, 2 miles per $1 at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets, and 1 mile per $1 on other eligible purchases. As a welcome bonus, you can earn 85,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership.
Other benefits of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card include access to the Delta SkyClub lounge for you and two guests at a reduced fee of $39 per person. If you spend $25,000 on your card in a calendar year, you can earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles, which can bring you closer to achieving Medallion status and unlocking further travel perks.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is a premium offering with a higher annual fee of $550. However, it comes with an extensive range of exclusive perks and benefits. The card is ideal for frequent travelers seeking complimentary access to the Delta SkyClub, Escape Lounges, and the Centurion Lounge.
With the Delta Reserve card, you earn 3 miles per $1 on Delta purchases and 1 mile on all other eligible purchases. As a welcome bonus, you can earn 85,000 miles after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership.
The card offers a comprehensive set of premium benefits, including complimentary upgrades when available, priority boarding, statement credit for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck (up to $100), and a 20% savings on eligible in-flight Delta purchases through a statement credit. Cardholders also receive an annual companion certificate valid for a domestic round-trip flight in first class, Comfort+, or the main cabin, providing significant value for those who frequently travel with a companion.
Should you get a Delta credit card?
Delta Air Lines is known for its popularity among travelers, and for those who are fond of the airline, having a Delta Air Lines credit card from American Express can significantly enhance their travel experience. These cards offer various benefits, such as earning and redeeming Delta SkyMiles, priority boarding, free checked bags, and extra status miles. By choosing the right card that aligns with your travel habits and preferences, you can save a substantial amount of money each year, making it a rewarding option.
If you frequently travel with Delta, getting a Delta credit card can add even more value to your trips. The perks of these cards include free checked bags, priority boarding, and access to the Delta SkyClub lounge. Additionally, you’ll earn rewards on your purchases and enjoy a 20% savings on eligible in-flight Delta purchases like snacks and drinks. However, it’s essential to compare these benefits with other travel rewards cards to find the best option for your specific needs.
While Delta credit cards offer enticing rewards for Delta enthusiasts, some travelers might be looking for more comprehensive rewards on all their purchases. In such cases, it might be worth exploring other travel rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. These cards come with various benefits and higher reward structures, making them attractive options for those seeking broader rewards.
Ultimately, choosing a Delta credit card depends on how frequently you fly with Delta or its partner airlines. If you’re a frequent Delta traveler, the Delta Blue, Gold, Platinum, or Reserve credit card could be a valuable addition to your wallet, enhancing your travel experience and earning you rewards along the way. However, if you prefer more versatile rewards on all your purchases, it might be worth considering other travel credit cards that cater to a broader range of expenses.
Delta SkyMiles and their redemption process:
Delta SkyMiles are rewards earned by making purchases with a Delta credit card. These miles can be used to book travel on Delta Airlines or their partner airlines. To redeem SkyMiles, a minimum of 5,000 miles is required, which translates to $50 off your ticket price.
Applying for a Delta credit card:
If you want a Delta credit card, you can apply for one through the American Express website. The application will ask for personal details like your name, Social Security number, and annual income. Upon submission, American Express will conduct a hard credit inquiry, potentially affecting your credit score slightly. The approval decision is often provided within 30 seconds.
Benefits for Delta flyers with a Delta credit card:
Delta credit cardholders enjoy various travel benefits based on their specific card type. All cards offer a 20% statement credit for eligible in-flight Delta purchases. The Gold, Platinum, and Reserve cards provide free checked bags, while the Reserve card goes a step further, granting complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club lounge and more.
Maximizing the value of your Delta credit card:
To make the most of your Delta credit card, take advantage of its travel benefits and use it strategically. Many Delta cards offer higher rewards for Delta purchases and restaurant dining. Additionally, before applying for a new Delta credit card, ensure you can meet the spending requirement to earn the welcome bonus promptly, as it can significantly boost your travel rewards.