Best Credit Cards For Delta SkyMiles

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile at a Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. We choose our OMAAT Picks based on the combination of benefits the card provides, and the ability to earn outsized rewards. Thanks for your support!

Updated: Today

Delta Air Lines offers the best overall domestic experience of the “Big Three” US carriers, primarily by being just a little bit better than United or American at all the basic functions of operating an airline. Delta has invested in comfortable new aircraft, refurbished their existing fleet with spiffy new interiors and in-flight entertainment, and is putting customers first by allowing them to pause their Medallion status during big life events, and trialing free Wi-Fi. Delta is becoming the leader in domestic travel, so it makes sense that you’d want to find the best credit card for earning Delta miles and other benefits.

Best Delta Credit Card Offers of May 2020

Delta credit cards are issued exclusively by American Express, and there are seven different credit cards for consumers to choose from. That means there are a variety of Delta SkyMiles credit card offers out there, which is complicated by the fact that there are both personal and business versions.

Each of these cards has a separate welcome bonus, but you can typically expect to earn tens of thousands of bonus SkyMiles when you’re approved for a Delta credit card and meet the minimum spending requirements. These offers do change frequently, but OMAAT keeps this page updated as the deals and offers fluctuate. In general, the premium cards (with higher annual fees) offer more introductory miles and better ongoing benefits, but they can all be good options depending on your circumstances. Here are the best Delta credit card offers available today:

40,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 MQMs

Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Annual Fee: $550
The card details for the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Why we like this card

Read our Review

Current Offer
Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs

Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card

Complimentary Access To Centurion Lounges when flying Delta
Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Annual Fee: $550
The card details for the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Why we like this card

When flying Delta, this card gives you Delta Sky Club® access and allows you to earn bonus MQMs.

Current Offer
Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

40,000 Bonus Miles

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Annual Fee: $250
The card details for the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Why we like this card

Read our Review

Current Offer
Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.

Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 5,000 MQMs

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card

Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Annual Fee: $250
The card details for the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
on American Express' secure site
Why we like this card

Current Offer
Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.

on American Express' secure site
Earn 10,000 Bonus SkyMiles

Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card

Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Annual Fee: $0
The card details for the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Why we like this card

While it might not be the best option for the savvy traveler, it’s nice to see an airline with a no annual fee credit card. People often want to have a card from a brand they like, and lots of people like Delta. For a no annual fee card, the card is more generous than I was expecting.

Read our Review

Current Offer
Earn 10,000 bonus SkyMiles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership

Earn 35,000 Bonus SkyMiles

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Annual Fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $99
The card details for the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Why we like this card

Read our Review

Current Offer
Earn 35,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.

Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles

Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card

Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Annual Fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $99
The card details for the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
on American Express' secure site
Why we like this card

Current Offer
Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.

on American Express' secure site

How To Earn The Most Delta SkyMiles

Ironically, while the Delta SkyMiles credit cards offer great benefits when you’re flying Delta, they typically aren’t the best cards for actually earning the most SkyMiles!

That’s because Delta is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, and you can move points you earn with Amex Rewards to Delta at a 1:1 ratio. This is awesome for people who want to maximize the miles they earn, as the Membership Rewards cards typically have better returns on spend than the Delta cards. 

For example, the Delta credit cards offer 2x miles for Delta purchases, but most only offer 1x on all other spend. If you have purchases beyond Delta tickets (and let’s face it, most of us do), then you can probably earn more miles with a different card. Depending on which Membership Rewards card you choose, you could earn up to:

  • 5X Membership Rewards® on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com
  • 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants
  • 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets
  • 4X Membership Rewards® for selected small business expenses
  • 2X points at U.S. gas stations
  • 2X Membership Rewards® points on everything for the first $50,000 you spend in a year

No one card offers all of these earnings rates, but the variety means it’s easy to choose a card that will allow you to earn the most miles on the purchases you’re already making. Again, these points can all be transferred directly to your SkyMiles account.

So for those wondering how to earn Delta SkyMiles quickly, you’ll want to check out these cards and their earning structures:

Earn up to 85,000 Membership Rewards® points

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Annual Fee: $595
The card details for the Business Platinum Card have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Why we like this card

While the annual fee is high the card comes with lots of benefits that help negate the annual fee, and this is a great welcome bonus on this card.

Read our Review

Current Offer
Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 35,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases on the Business Platinum Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.

Card Details
5X Membership Rewards on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com (Hotels must be booked and paid in advance to be able to use the benefit).

Get 50% more points on each large business eligible purchase of $5,000 or more, up to 1 million additional points per calendar year.

Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points

American Express Business Gold Card

Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Annual Fee: $295
The card details for the Business Gold Card have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Why we like this card

Earning 4X Membership Rewards® for small business expenses is an awesome return, and we especially like that it automatically applies to the categories you use most in a billing cycle, rather than having to choose just one or two each year.

Read our Review

Current Offer
Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.

Card Details
Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points in your top 2 monthly spend categories -- 4X points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each year.

Earn 20,000 Membership Rewards® points

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7%
Annual Fee: $95
The card details for the Amex EveryDay Preferred have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Why we like this card

If you make frequent transactions in a month the Amex EveryDay cards are a great option. In addition to accruing points in bonus categories, these cards offer an additional incentive based on how many times the card is used in a month. This can be quite lucrative, especially as these cards accrue Membership Rewards points. Membership Rewards points can be transferred to airline partners for the best value, or used to pay for all or part of your flight, prepaid hotel, vacation or cruise through amextravel.com.

Current Offer
Earn 20,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Card Details
3x points at US Supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases; 2x points at US gas stations; 1x points on other purchases. Use your Card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 50% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.

Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7%
Annual Fee: $0
The card details for the Amex EveryDay Card have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Why we like this card

If you make frequent transactions in a month the Amex EveryDay cards are a great option. In addition to accruing points in bonus categories, these cards offer an additional incentive based on how many times the card is used in a month. This can be quite lucrative, especially as these cards accrue Membership Rewards points. Membership Rewards points can be transferred to airline partners for the best value, or used to pay for all or part of your flight, prepaid hotel, vacation or cruise through amextravel.com.

Current Offer
Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Card Details
2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases. Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.

Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards points

Business Green Rewards Card

Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $95
The card details for the Business Green Rewards Card have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Why we like this card

Read our Review

Current Offer
Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards you they spend $3,000 on qualifying purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Card Details
2 Membership Rewards for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases at amextravel.com.

Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Benefits

While there may be better ways to earn SkyMiles, the Delta credit cards offer some benefits you won’t want to miss, even if you only fly Delta once or twice a year:

  1. Free checked bags on Delta — The Delta Gold, Platinum, and Reserve cards (regardless of whether you have the personal or business version) all let you check your first bag for free. In fact, not only is your first bag checked for free, the baggage fees for nine other passengers on your same reservation are waived as well!
  2. Earn up to 3x SkyMiles on Delta purchases — All of the Delta credit cards (even the no-fee Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card) earn more than 1 mile per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta.
  3. In-Flight Savings — Each of the Delta SkyMiles credit cards can save you money on your in-flight purchases. Simply use your card for eligible purchases when flying Delta (this includes stuff like meals, drinks, and headseats, but excludes wifi), and you’ll receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit. Plus, since these count as Delta purchases, you’re earning up to 3x Miles!
  4. Earn elite status — If you play your cards (hah!) right, it’s even possible to earn Medallion status through your credit card spending alone. You’ll need the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express CardDelta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card to take advantage of this unique perk.
  5. Companion tickets — As long as you have one of the above four cards, you’ll receive a companion certificate each year on your Delta credit card anniversary. These can be used to bring a travel companion with you for roundtrip travel within the 48 contiguous United States, and you’ll only pay the taxes and fees! Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card cardholders can book into the Main Cabin, while the certificates that come with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card can be used for Main Cabin, Comfort+, or First Class.
  6. Delta Sky Club Access — There are several great cards that give you airport lounge access, including SkyClub access, but if you only want to get into the Delta lounges, or need to earn MQMs, your best Delta credit card options are the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card. Both allow you to enter a Delta Sky Club® at no cost, or you can bring up to two guests for $39 each. Meanwhile, if you have the Platinum Delta cards, you and up to two guests can access the Sky Club when flying Delta at a per-visit rate of $39 per person.
  7. Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) Waiver — If you’re aiming for elite status with Delta, it’s no longer sufficient to just fly the requisite number of miles. You also have to spend a certain amount on Delta or partners in order to meet the Medallion Qualifying Dollar (MQD) requirement. Fortunately, the Delta SkyMiles credit cards offer a benefit that can help you get there; by spending $25,000 in a year on any of the Platinum, or Reserve cards, you’ll receive an MQD waiver for Delta Silver, Gold, or Platinum Medallion status. You can technically spend $250,000 in a calendar year to receive a waiver for Diamond status, but we wouldn’t really recommend it.
  8. No foreign transaction fees — We’d recommend other cards for international travelbut if you happen to use your Delta Blue, Gold, Platinum, or Reserve card overseas, you won’t pay an extra fee.
  9. Pay with Miles — This certainly wouldn’t be our first choice for redeeming SkyMiles, as we’d much rather redeem them at the saver level for travel on partner airlines, but those with one of Delta’s co-branded credit cards have the option to redeem SkyMiles for a penny apiece towards the cost of airfare. This can actually be a decent deal in some circumstances!
  10. Get bumped up the upgrade list — There are a few factors that influence your spot on the upgrade list, and having a SkyMiles credit card is one of them. Just being a cardholder of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card can move you to a higher upgrade priority. If you hold either of the Platinum Delta cards and have met the spending for your MQD waiver, that can give you a boost as well.

So which is the best credit card for Delta flyers?

Best Overall (Plus best for elite status)
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express CardApply Now
Best Overall Business
(Plus best for elite status)
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express CardApply Now
Best for First Class (flights and upgrades)
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express CardApply Now
Best for Road Warriors
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express CardApply Now
Best for Lounge Access
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressApply Now
Best Business Lounge Access
The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressApply Now
Best for Free Checked Bags
(Ideal for occasional travelers)
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express CardApply Now
Best Business Card for Free Checked Bags
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express CardApply Now
Best for No Annual Fee
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express CardApply Now

It really depends on your situation, but the good news is that Delta flyers don’t actually have to choose one card for all time! American Express limits you to receiving the welcome bonus once per lifetime on a particular card, but there’s no reason why you can’t apply for different Delta credit cards over time. If you have one of the Gold Delta American Express cards, for example, you could apply for one of the Platinum versions to take advantage of the companion ticket. Or, if your flying patterns change, it might make sense to apply for either the personal or business Delta Reserve cards to earn extra MQMs.

Either way, we’d recommend applying for your new Delta SkyMiles credit card “from scratch” if you’re eligible, rather than calling to ask for a product change. When you upgrade or downgrade your card, you miss out on any bonus miles being offered as part of the welcome offer.

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Comments
  1. Hi if you get the plat card and buy a delta gift certificate will they reimburse you the $100 with a a $100 GC purchase? And if not is there a way around this? Also applies for delta gold but for $50. Thx Al

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