American Express and Delta have had a close relationship for many years, and as part of that, they issue seven co-branded Delta Amex cards, including the Blue, Gold, Platinum, and Reserve cards (with the exception of the Blue product, all the others have both a personal and business version).
There’s a lot to know about these cards, especially as big changes were made to all Delta Amex cards in early 2020.
Gold Delta Amex Card Basics For January 2021
In this post, I wanted to take a look at the popular Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card. This card has a reasonable annual fee and is ideal for someone looking for basic benefits that come in handy when flying Delta. If you’re a Medallion elite flyer on Delta then another card might be a better option (more on that below).
Delta Gold Amex 35,000-Mile Welcome Bonus
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Amex is offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
Redeem your SkyMiles for China Airlines’ excellent business class
The welcome bonus on the card is “once in a lifetime,” so it’s not available to you if you currently have the card, or if you’ve had the card in the past. However, note that you can get each “flavor” of the Delta Amex card, so you are eligible for this card if you’ve had the Platinum or Reserve, or if you’ve had any of the business versions of the card.
Annual Fee (Waived The First Year)
The Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express Card has a $99 annual fee, though with the current offer it’s waived for the first 12 months (Rates & Fees). This is a great opportunity to essentially try the card before you have to “buy” it. You can add additional users to the card at no extra cost.
Earning Miles With Gold Delta Amex Card
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card offers:
- 2x SkyMiles for purchases directly with Delta, including for flights, Delta SkyClub memberships, seat upgrades, and more
- 2x SkyMiles at restaurants globally
- 2x SkyMiles at U.S. supermarkets
- 1x SkyMiles on all other purchases
You can now earn bonus points on dining purchases with the card
While it’s nice that the card has some bonus categories, I don’t find the bonuses to be particularly compelling. There are still better cards out there for airfare purchases, restaurant purchases, and grocery store purchases.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
If you are going to put spending on the card, the good news is that there are no foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees) with the Gold Delta Amex, so you can use the card abroad without potentially paying those high fees.
Gold Delta Amex Card Benefits & Perks
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card has a nice welcome bonus, though this isn’t a card I would use for everyday spending, as there are much better cards out there.
The real reason you’ll want to keep this card long-term is because of the perks and benefits that it offers, which are great for the casual Delta flyer. Let’s take a closer look at those.
First Checked Bag Free
Just for having the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card, you get a first checked bag free, which would otherwise cost $30 one-way per person:
- This benefit is limited to the primary cardmember and anyone traveling on the same reservation with them (up to nine people)
- You don’t have to pay for your flight with your Delta Amex, though you do need to have your SkyMiles number in the reservation
- Only valid for travel on Delta and Delta Connection
This is a great value, given that you’ll usually pay $60 per person roundtrip for a checked bag. If you’re traveling with someone then you’re looking at $120 roundtrip in savings, which more than covers the annual fee on the card.
Save on checked bag fees with the Delta Gold Amex
Delta Priority Boarding
For having the card you receive Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights, which helps you to board early and make sure you can find space for your carry-ons.
This is also valid for anyone traveling on the same reservation with the primary cardmember, for up to nine people.
Get priority boarding with the Delta Gold Amex
20% Delta Inflight Savings
If you have the Gold Delta Amex then you can save 20% in the form of a statement credit for eligible pre-purchased meals, and in-flight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages, and audio headsets, on Delta flights. Allow 8-12 weeks for the statement credit to post.
Save on inflight purchases with the card
$100 Delta Flight Credit
The Delta Gold Amex offers a $100 Delta flight credit when you spend $10,000 on purchases on the card in a calendar year. That’s the equivalent of an incremental 1% return on spending. It’s probably not a reason to shift much spending to the card for most people, as there are better cards for everyday spending.
Spending money on this card could earn you a Delta flight credit
Pay With Miles
Delta has a Pay With Miles feature, where if you have a Delta co-branded credit card you can redeem miles for one cent each towards a Delta flight purchase (in increments of 5,000 miles per $50). That’s not the best deal in the world, though this is a feature that’s exclusively available to those with an eligible card.
Some people find this to be useful since they can redeem their miles towards flights, and then they still earn elite miles for taking those flights.
That means the up to 70,000 SkyMiles offered as part of the welcome bonus could be redeemed for up to $700 worth of travel on Delta! That’s awesome, especially for a card with the annual fee waived the first year.
Pay With Points is a feature that many SkyMiles members value
One of the great features of Amex cards is access to Amex Offers, which offers savings or bonus points on purchases with all kinds of retailers. There’s huge value to be had in getting as many Amex cards as possible, so that you can get these offers on multiple cards.
Amex Offers could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can access these offers by logging into your account and scrolling down to the bottom of your account summary page.
For having the Delta Gold Amex you get a ShopRunner membership, which gets you free two-day shipping on eligible items at a network of 100+ online stores. You just have to enroll in your complimentary membership and can then start taking advantage of it.
Purchase Protection & Extended Warranty
There are some other benefits to spending money on the card that are worth being familiar with. The card offers:
- Purchase protection, so you’re covered for up to 90 days from the date of purchase when you charge your eligible purchased item to your card
- Extended warranty, so you can get an extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty, on warranties of five years or less
In both cases, you’ll want to check your cardmember agreement for all of the terms.
What Was Taken Away From Delta Gold Amex In 2020
As mentioned above, some changes were made to the Delta Gold Amex as of early 2020. I’ve reflected the positive changes to the card above, though note that the following are no longer benefits of the card:
- The card no longer offers a Medallion Qualifying Dollar (MQD) waiver; in the past, if you spent $25,000 on the card you could get a waiver of the spending requirement for status
- The card no longer offers discounted Delta SkyClub access, unlike in the past, when you could buy access for $29 per person
The card no longer offers discounted Delta SkyClub access
Is The Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express Worth It?
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card isn’t a card I’d be using for my everyday spending, since there are many more rewarding cards for that.
- This card has a nice welcome bonus with the annual fee waived the first year
- This card can be worth holding onto for the first checked bag free, priority boarding, inflight savings, access to Pay With Miles, Amex Offers, and more
In other words, for someone who flies Delta occasionally, I think this is the best card to get, and the benefits can more than offset the annual fee.
Bigger picture, is the card worth it, though? Here are a few more things to consider.
Looking For A Business Credit Card?
If this card sounds interesting to you but you want a business card instead, consider the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card. Just about all of the benefits of the card are the same. The only significant difference is that the business card earns 2x SkyMiles on U.S. shipping and on U.S. advertising, rather than 2x SkyMiles at U.S. supermarkets.
What About Delta’s No Annual Fee Card?
- The card earns 2x SkyMiles on Delta purchases and at restaurants worldwide
- The card offers 20% back on inflight purchases
- The card has no foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees)
- The card gives you access to Delta’s Pay With Miles feature
Beyond that, though, there are limited perks. If you’d get value out of a first checked bag free or priority boarding, then you’re much better off getting one of Delta’s cards with an annual fee.
Quick Showdown: Delta Gold Amex Vs. Delta Platinum Amex
If you’re considering the Gold Delta SkyMiles Amex, it’s possible you may also be looking at the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card (review). Which card makes the most sense? In broad terms, the way I view it:
- The Gold Card is good for the occasional Delta flyer who isn’t going for elite status, and who values basic perks like free checked bags, priority boarding, etc.
- The Platinum Card is good for the more frequent Delta flyer, especially someone who is going for status
Here are some of the main differences between the Platinum in comparison to the Gold:
- The Platinum has a better welcome bonus, 40,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- The card has a $250 annual fee (Rates & Fees)
- The card offers an annual companion certificate (upon account renewal) for a main cabin domestic roundtrip flight
- This card can help you earn status, as you can earn Medallion Qualifying Miles for putting spending on the card ($25,000 of spending will earn you 10,000 MQMs, and another $25,000 of spending will earn you another 10,000 MQMs)
- The card offers discounted Delta SkyClub access at the rate of $39 per visit
Buy discounted Delta SkyClub access with the Delta Platinum
Consider Earning Amex Membership Rewards Points
If you are looking to earn Delta SkyMiles through credit card spending then consider using a card earning Amex Membership Rewards points. That’s because these points can be transferred to Delta SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio, and you can in many cases earn points at a much faster rate.
- The American Express® Green Card (review) offers 3x points on dining and travel, and up to $200 in annual credits (between CLEAR and LoungeBuddy)
- The American Express® Gold Card (review) offers 4x points at restaurants and at US supermarkets (on up to $25K per year), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines, plus up to $220 in credits annually (between airline fees and dining)
Delta Amex Gold Card Summary
At the moment the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card has an increased welcome bonus with the annual fee waived the first year, and that’s a great reason to consider this card.
On top of that, the card can be worth holding onto for the benefits that it offers, like a free checked bag, priority boarding, inflight savings, and more.
For the more frequent Delta flyer, consider the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card (Rates & Fees), Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card (Rates & Fees), and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card (Rates & Fees).