Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card Review [2021]: Generous Rewards For Delta Flyers

This travel card makes frequent flying with Delta Air Lines even more rewarding.
Last updated Apr 30, 2021 | By Robin Kavanagh

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It’s no secret that rewards cards can offer great benefits to those who travel often, especially when you have a preferred airline. With the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card, fans of Delta Air Lines can earn some significant perks and travel savings that might make it a smart choice to add to their wallets.

In this Gold Delta SkyMiles card review, we’ll look at what this card has to offer, who it will benefit the most, and other options worth considering before applying.

Great Welcome Offer and Continuing Rewards

Benefits

  • Earn up to 40,000 bonus miles
  • Earn up to $50 in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants in the first 3 months
  • 2X miles on purchases with Delta, at restaurants, and at U.S. supermarkets
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights
  • Annual fee is waived your first year
  • Terms apply
  • See rates and fees

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Best for frequent Delta travelers

In this Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card review:

Who should get the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card?

As its name suggests, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex Card is the best airline credit card for those who prefer to fly with Delta Air Lines often. You’ll earn 2X miles on purchases made directly with Delta, restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and 1X miles per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Frequent Delta flyers can easily earn miles with this card. For those who travel less frequently on Delta or use the card primarily for everyday purchases, a general travel or rewards card might be more beneficial.

Card basics

Card type Travel
Credit card issuer American Express
Annual fee $99 (waived first year) (See rates and fees)
Welcome bonus Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
Reward rate 2X miles on qualifying Delta purchases, at restaurants, and at U.S supermarkets; and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Foreign transaction fee None (See rates and fees)

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card benefits and perks

  • Generous welcome offer: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. With some Delta flights priced as low as 20,000 miles, this is a fantastic benefit. 
  • Bonus miles on your purchases: 2X miles on qualifying Delta purchases, at restaurants, and at U.S supermarkets; and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Twenty percent back on inflight purchases: You'll also get 20% back on inflight purchases in the form of a statement credit with this card. Qualifying inflight purchases include food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • Reasonable annual fee: The annual fee is $99 (waived first year).
  • Flight credit: Once you have put $10,000 of purchases on your card within one calendar year, you earn a $100 Delta Flight Credit. Use this credit to offset the cost of airfare on your next Delta trip.
  • Free checked bags: Cardmembers receive a free checked bag for themselves and companions booked on the same reservation. This can equate to $120 of savings on a round-trip flight for you and a travel companion.
  • Additional travel perks: Great for U.S. and international travel, this card offers car rental loss and damage insurance (secondary coverage), Main Cabin 1 priority boarding, one free checked bag on Delta flights, a global assistance hotline, and no foreign transaction fees.
  • Purchase protection: American Express offers protection for purchases made with its cards. This includes extended warranties, dispute resolution services, and accidental damage or theft protection, as well as return protection for eligible purchases.

Drawbacks to the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

  • Has annual fee: Though the $99 (waived first year) is fairly reasonable, it still exists. If you don't travel with Delta often or are looking for a credit card without an annual fee, another option may be better for your wallet.
  • Lack of flexibility with rewards: This card is best for frequent Delta flyers and those who travel with SkyTeam alliance airlines often. If you aren't a loyal Delta customer, you might get more value from a more flexible travel rewards credit card. 

Earning and redeeming Delta SkyMiles

Earning Delta miles is simple with the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card. On purchases made directly with Delta, restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, you’ll earn 2X miles for every dollar you spend. On all other eligible purchases, you’ll earn 1X mile per dollar spent. 

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your miles can add up with the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 1.2 cents per mile.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $1,065.60

Year two earnings: $486.60

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model which takes a look at points earned via spending, the welcome bonus, and the annual fee.

Note that the values above only account for general travel spending, not Delta-specific spending. However, you'll earn bonus miles with this card when you spend with Delta. And it's safe to assume that if this particular card in your wallet, you're likely using it for Delta flight purchases. If that's the case, the value you'll get in years one and two may increase significantly.

Best ways to earn

Categories Rewards rate
Purchases made directly with Delta, restaurants, U.S. supermarkets 2X
All other eligible purchases 1X

Miles can be redeemed to purchase tickets with Delta and partner companies, upgrades, preferred seating, ticket change fees, Delta Sky Club access and membership, Delta gift cards, magazines, and other items through the SkyMiles Marketplace.

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card transfer partners

Delta is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, which has over 20 airline partners. You can choose to use your miles to book award flights with the following SkyTeam partners:

  • Aeroflot
  • Aerolíneas Argentinas
  • Aeroméxico
  • Air France
  • Air Europa Alitalia
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern
  • China Southern
  • Czech Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Kenya Airways
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM
  • MEA
  • Saudia Airlines
  • TAROM
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia
  • WestJet
  • Xiamen Airlines

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card FAQs

Is the Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold worth it?

If you often fly with Delta (or its partners) and make Delta purchases, this card may well be worth adding to your wallet. Depending on your travels, the intro bonus could cover the equivalent of a free ticket, and you can earn additional miles with every purchase you make directly with Delta, which adds up quickly if you travel with Delta often.

What credit score can improve my chances of getting approved for the Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold card?

For this card, American Express looks for a good-to-excellent credit score. A score of 700 or above is considered good and 800 or above excellent, according to Experian. A good FICO score can range from 670 to 799, with anything over 800 being excellent.

What are the main differences between the Amex Gold Delta and the Amex Platinum Delta?

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express card offers several additional benefits over the Gold Delta SkyMiles card.

Despite having a higher annual fee of $250 (See rates and fees), it offers a larger welcome bonus and a free companion certificate each year you renew the card. And if earning elite status is important to you, Platinum Delta SkyMiles cardholders can earn bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after making a certain amount of eligible purchases during a calendar year.

Does the Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold card offer priority boarding or lounge access?

The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card offers several travel benefits, including priority boarding and a free first checked bag. However, the discounted access to Delta Sky Club locations is discontinued as of Jan. 30, 2020.


Other cards to consider

While the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card is one of the best credit cards for Delta frequent flyers, it’s always a good idea to consider other options before applying for a new card to decide which is the best choice for you. 

If you're looking for a more flexible option, the Chase Sapphire Preferred could be your next travel card. It has a $95 annual fee, but it offers flexible rewards and the ability to earn 80,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months (plus earn up to $50 in statement credits on grocery store purchases in the first year). Those points are worth $1,000 in travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The bonus points you earn with your Sapphire Preferred card can also be transferred to 13 airline and hotel partners. 

The American Express Gold Card is another option worth considering. It has a $250 (See rates and fees) annual fee, but it offers greater earning potential than either of the Delta credit cards, especially on everyday spending. Cardmembers also earn Amex Membership Rewards points, which are among the most flexible and valuable reward currencies. Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Amex Gold could be a great option for your next travel card if you aren't loyal to one particular airline.

Great Welcome Offer and Continuing Rewards

See how these cards compare:

Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • 80,000 point sign-up bonus
  • Up to $50 statement credit for grocery store purchases
  • 2X points on eligible dining and travel purchases
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits
American Express Gold Card
American Express Gold Card
  • 60,000 Membership Rewards point welcome offer
  • Rose gold is back! Choose your color.
  • $120 in dining credits
  • $120 in Uber Cash
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Terms apply
  • See rates and fees

Author Details

Robin Kavanagh Robin is a freelance writer who lives on the South Carolina beach. She has spent the last 20 years writing about all kinds of topics for publications such as The New York Times, Yes! Magazine, Next Tribe, Parenting, and various trade magazines. On FinanceBuzz.com, you’ll find her mostly writing about smart ways to use credit cards, navigating personal loans, how to save when traveling, and ways to improve your financial health.