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).
Delta SkyMiles Blue Amex Card Basics For November 2022
In this post I wanted to take a close look at the Delta Amex card that’s probably talked about least, which is the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card. This is Delta’s newest credit card, and might be tempting to many given that it has no annual fee (Rates & Fees).
Is this the right card for someone who loves to avoid annual fees, or are you missing out on too much value?
Delta Blue Amex Welcome Offer: 10K SkyMiles
The Blue Delta SkyMiles Amex has a welcome offer of 10,000 bonus SkyMiles after spending $1,000 within the first six months of your card membership.
The bonuses on all other Delta Amex cards are significantly higher, which isn’t a surprise, since cards with annual fees often have better bonuses than cards without annual fees.
The welcome offer 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 either the business or personal version of the Gold, Platinum, or Reserve.
Delta Blue Amex No Annual Fee
Let me emphasize once again that the Blue Delta Amex has no annual fee. It’s great to see a trend whereby we’re seeing more airline credit cards with no annual fees, since it’s a nice option for someone who wants a co-branded credit card, but doesn’t want to pay an annual fee.
You can also add additional users to the card at no extra cost.
Earning Miles With Blue Delta Amex Card
The Blue 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
- 1x SkyMiles on all other purchases
For a no annual fee card it’s nice to see a card offering a bonus on dining. While some bonus categories are better than none, I don’t find the bonuses to be particularly compelling, as there are still better cards out there for airfare purchases and restaurant purchases.
No Foreign Transaction Fees With Delta Blue Amex
There’s no doubt that card issuers are moving towards offering more no annual fee cards with no foreign transaction fees, though it’s still not the standard.
The Blue Delta Amex has no foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees), which is awesome, since most Amex no annual fee cards do still have these fees.
Blue Delta Amex Card Benefits & Perks
The Delta Blue Amex is a decent no annual fee card in the sense that it offers 2x miles at restaurants and has no foreign transaction fees, but how are the perks on the card? Not surprisingly, this is an area where the card lags, and where the cards with annual fees offer significantly more value.
Nonetheless, there are some perks to the card that may prove valuable to the occasional Delta flyer.
20% Delta Inflight Savings
If you have the Blue 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.
Pay With Miles
Having the Blue Delta Amex makes you eligible for the Delta Pay With Miles program. What is that? This allows those with co-branded Delta Amex cards to 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.
In other words, the 10,000 miles available as part of the welcome offer can be redeemed for a minimum of $100 worth of travel on Delta. That’s pretty good for a no annual fee card.
Access To Amex Offers
Amex Offers is a program that offers discounts for 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.
The ideal situation is to have a no annual fee card (like this one), so you can get access to these offers without paying an annual fee to get access to this.
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.
Complimentary ShopRunner Membership
For having the Delta Blue 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.
That’s pretty awesome for a no annual fee card.
Is The Blue SkyMiles Delta Amex Worth It?
Many people who like Delta as a brand may be tempted to pick up the Delta Blue Amex — it allows you to earn miles with Delta, it has no annual fee, and it offers some perks that could add value (20% off inflight purchases, Amex Offers, access to Delta Pay With Miles, etc.).
However, in general, I wouldn’t recommend outright applying for this card:
- There’s a lot more value to be had by applying for one of Delta’s cards with an annual fee, even if you want to eventually downgrade to this card
- If you’re looking for a no annual fee card, there are more well-rounded options
Let me address both of those points below.
Why You Should Apply For The Delta Gold Amex Instead
- The card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99. (Rates & Fees); so for the first year you’ll pay the same with either card
- The card has a welcome offer of 40,000 bonus SkyMiles after spending $2,000 within the first six months
- The card offers awesome perks like a first checked bag free and priority boarding
You can always get the Gold Delta Amex, and then if you don’t find it to be worth the annual fee, you can downgrade it to the Blue Delta Amex after a year. That would allow you to maintain the card account, and you wouldn’t pay the annual fee when you downgrade (and you’d still get the elevated perks and bigger bonus for the first year).
At a minimum, it really is worth trying the Delta Gold Amex to see if you like it and to take advantage of the better bonus, and then you can downgrade at a later point if you find it’s not worthwhile.
Tip: Earn Amex Points Rather Than Delta Miles
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
- The American Express® Gold Card (review) offers 4x points at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year and then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines
My Favorite No Annual Fee Card
If you’re absolutely committed to having a no annual fee card and want to maximize your return on spending, there are lots of excellent no annual fee cards to consider.
But it gets even better than that — rewards earned on this card can be converted into ThankYou points at a 1:1 ratio, assuming you have the card in conjunction with one earning ThankYou points, like the Citi Premier® Card (review).
That means the card earns two ThankYou points per dollar, and I value those points at 1.7 cents each, so that’s like a 3.4% return on everyday spending.
I appreciate that American Express and Delta offer a no annual fee option with the Delta Blue Amex. For someone absolutely committed to getting a Delta Amex Card and not paying an annual fee, this is the best/only option.
The card has no foreign transaction fees, offers 2x miles on dining, and gives you access to Pay With Miles and 20% discounts on inflight purchases.
However, for most people, I think it’s worth applying for the Delta Gold Amex. The card has a lot more perks and a much better bonus, and you can always downgrade the card to the Delta Blue Amex after at least a year.
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), and Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card (Rates & Fees).