Gold Vs. Platinum Delta Amex: Which Is Best?

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Update: These offers for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express have expired. Learn more about the current offers here.


Through April 3, 2019, there are some great welcome bonuses on Delta’s co-branded American Express cards.

Details of Delta Amex Card increased bonuses

The details of the increased bonuses are as follows:

  • The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card is offering a welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 within the first three months; earn a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase with your card within the first three months
  • The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card is offering a welcome bonus of 75,000 bonus miles plus 5,000 bonus MQMs after spending $3,000 within the first three months; earn a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase with your card within the first three months
  • The Delta Reserve® Credit Card is offering a welcome bonus of 75,000 bonus miles plus 5,000 bonus MQMs after spending $5,000 within the first three months

These are among the best offers we’ve ever seen on the cards, and you’re eligible for the bonuses on each of these cards, as they’re all considered separate products.

Earn a lot of Delta SkyMiles with these offers

Comparing the offers on the Gold & Platinum

The two most popular offers here are on the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card. So which of these cards should you consider? Let’s compare them on a few fronts.

You’re eligible for the bonuses on both cards

These two cards are considered separate products, and each have a “once in a lifetime” rule. That means you’re eligible for the bonuses on both of these cards. If you’ve had the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card you’re eligible for the welcome bonus on the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card, and vice versa.

Furthermore, it’s worth being aware of the following general restrictions on Amex cards:

  • You can generally have at most five Amex credit cards at any given point; it doesn’t matter whether they’re personal or business, and this limit doesn’t include charge cards
  • You can generally be approved for at most two American Express credit cards in 90 days, though there are some inconsistencies when it comes to that

What this means is that potentially you could still be approved for both of these cards before the promotion ends.

Comparing welcome bonus value

The Gold Delta SkyMiles Card offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 within the first three months, plus a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within the same time period. The card has a $95 annual fee (Rates & Fees), waived for the first 12 months.

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card offers a welcome bonus of 75,000 bonus miles plus 5,000 bonus MQMs after spending $3,000 within the first three months, plus a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within the same time period. The card has a $195 annual fee (Rates & Fees).

Personally I value SkyMiles at 1.2 cents each, so to me:

  • The Gold welcome bonus is worth $770 (60,000 miles x 1.2 cents each, plus a $50 statement credit, since everyone should get full value out of that)
  • The Platinum welcome bonus is worth $805 (75,000 miles x 1.2 cents each, plus a $100 statement credit, minus a $195 annual fee)

The Platinum welcome bonus is worth a bit more if you value miles similarly than I do, and that doesn’t even factor the 5,000 MQMs that are part of the welcome bonus. The reason I’m not valuing those is because to someone not going for status with Delta, those are worth zero, while for someone going for status with Delta, those are worth quite a bit. So it’s tough to establish a fair value for those, in my opinion.


Redeem your SkyMiles for Delta’s A350 business class

Comparing benefits

When it comes to perks, these cards have some overlapping benefits. Both cards offer a first checked bag free, 20% inflight savings on food and beverage purchases, $29 per person visits to Delta SkyClubs, the ability to redeem SkyMiles for one cent each towards the cost of Delta flights, and more.

However, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card offers some additional benefits, including:

  • Main Cabin 1 priority boarding
  • A domestic main cabin roundtrip companion certificate upon card renewal every year
  • Delta Miles Boost, where you can earn 10,000 bonus miles and MQMs after spending $25,000 on the card in a calendar year, and a further 10,000 bonus miles and MQMs after spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year


Both cards offer $29 per person visits to Delta SkyClubs

Bottom line

All of the current increased bonuses we’re seeing on co-branded Delta cards are among the best we’ve seen on these cards. In particular, most consumers will be interested in the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card or Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card.

Within the first year, personally I think the Platinum version of the card works out a bit better based on the value you’re getting. The 15,000 additional miles and additional $50 credit justify the incremental $195 annual fee, and that doesn’t even account for the 5,000 MQMs.

Beyond the first year, which card is best depends on what benefits you most want. If you’re looking for a first checked bag free and other basic benefits, the Gold version can be worthwhile. If you’re looking for a companion ticket, the ability to earn MQMs through spend, and more, then the Platinum version is worthwhile.

Personally I plan to pick up the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card before the current promotion ends.

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees).

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Longer term Delta fliers should have the AMEX Delta Platinum at a minimum. Between the companion pass and the annual MQM boost, you get the annual fee value back pretty easily. Also, for every $25,000 in spend, you get 35,000 SkyMiles. I know SkyMiles aren’t the most loved currency, but at a minimum that is 1.4 points per cent for unbonused spend, and that calculation doesn’t take the 10,000 MQM boost into account. I have considered the Delta Reserve – even though I could probably use the first class companion ticket and make the $30,000 spend, it overlaps too much with the regular Amex Platinum for me.

  2. The right answer to the questio is: Neither one, Delta redemption points are astronomical, so be as far away as possible from Delta SkyMiles.

  3. neither or platinum. no reason for holding the gold long term ( open it once for the bonus is ok) . If you are a frequent Delta flyer, then platinum ‘s extra benefit have some value for you; if you are infrequent flyer like me, you cannot justify the annual fee on gold.

    For gold, you basically paying free checked bag for $95 while the opportunity cost of that is close to 0. You always can pack smartly without a checked bag and it also save time in and out airport.

    For platinum, the companion pass is a burden to use but as long as you have 1 legitimate use per year for more than $195 , you got your money back. It is just that simple.

  4. @Lucky, The gold also gets main cabin 1 boarding. The only real added benefit long term is the companion pass unless you spend a lot.

  5. @Lucky: I was surprised to see the strong language on the application page regarding bonus eligibility. They specifically mention “gaming” the system as a reason for denying the bonus. Please see the relevant part below. I do not remember seeing this strong language before:

    “Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.
    If we in our sole discretion determine that you have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with the welcome offer in any way or that you intend to do so (for example, if you applied for one or more cards to obtain a welcome offer(s) that we did not intend for you; if you cancel or downgrade your account within 12 months after acquiring it; or if you cancel or return purchases you made to meet the Threshold Amount), we may not credit the welcome offer to, we may freeze the welcome offer credited to, or we may take away the welcome offer from your account.”

  6. Lu:
    The companion pass is a burden to use?

    I’ve found it pretty straightforward
    Just this week used the companion pass for MSP-CLT round trip. got a $375 ticket for about $25 in taxes
    Even better… then able to upgrade to First for $100 each way (per ticket)

    We have the platinum but put no spend on it. None.
    Not even Delta tickets
    Delta only gives 2 miles/$ when everyone else gives 3-5 miles/$.
    I guess they do it because they can

    But we use it for Companion pass (which pays annual fee) and Main Cabin 1 boarding.
    Once in a while we use it for SkyClub access.

    But Delta often charges up to 300-500k miles RT to Europe in J from MSP. They wanted 700-900k to Australia
    So the points are useless

  7. I guess your $0.012 per mile is a theoretical value. Or maybe for domestic coach. I’ve never been able to use Delta for any premium cabin outside the lower 48 so not a valuable card for me.

  8. Neither. Getting Delta points are a waste. They are devaluing faster than most loyalty points and it is expensive in terms of points and the taxes and fees, often times to redeem.

  9. Although not identical, is the Delta Amex Platinum card redundant if you already have the Amex Platinum card? This question is important to me considering the then additional $195 annual fee on top of the unbranded’s $550 fee.

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