Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
American Express recently introduced its newest co-branded Delta Air Lines card — the Blue Delta SkyMiles credit card. What makes this airline card interesting is that it charges no annual fees and earns double miles on dining, which is a new bonus spending category that other Delta cards do not feature.
At just 10,000 miles, the card’s sign-up bonus is on the low end, but it’s understandable given that the card costs nothing to keep. The minimum spending requirement is also low to make it easy to earn the welcome offer. You have to spend just $500 in three months.
Unfortunately, this card doesn’t offer free checked bags or priority boarding like the other Delta cards, but it does include a 20 percent discount on in-flight purchases. Let’s take a closer look at this card and its benefits and help you decide whether you want to apply for it.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card offers and the value of the AMEX SkyMiles® miles you earn.
This Delta American Express card offers new cardholders 10,000 miles as a welcome bonus. All you have to do to earn the bonus miles is spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of card membership, which is easy to achieve by simply paying your recurring bills with the card. Although 10,000 miles is not much, it can be enough for a short-haul one-way ticket on select dates, including flights between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, for example.
Additionally, the card offers a 20-percent discount on in-flight purchases, such as meals, drinks and entertainment. The discount applies in the form of a statement credit after the purchase is posted.
What You Get
- 10,000 miles after spending $500 within the first 3 months
- 20% in-flight discount
- 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants and with Delta
Delta miles never expire, even if there’s no flight activity or credit card activity. This makes the miles safe from disappearing from your account. However, if you hoard miles, there’s still a devaluation risk that you need to consider.
What is the value of the SkyMiles® Miles?
The Blue Delta SkyMiles credit card earns miles that can be redeemed for flights operated by Delta and the carrier’s partners. Unfortunately, the airline no longer publishes award charts and applies dynamic pricing to many flights. In other words, expensive high-demand flights also cost a large number of miles.
Additionally, the program has devalued certain awards with zero notice to program members. For that reason it can be difficult to extract a lot of value from Delta miles. We value these miles at just one cent each. However, if you live in a Delta hub, it’s possible to achieve better redemption values on certain routes.
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket (minus taxes and fees charged for an award ticket) by the number of miles the award flight costs. This is a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the flight in both cash and miles fluctuates by season and availability.
How we calculate CPM:
The Best Ways to Redeem Delta Miles
There are quite a few options when it comes to redeeming Delta miles, such as Sky Club lounge membership, premium drinks inside the lounge and flight upgrades, but the best way to redeem them is toward flights, of course. The key to a successful redemption is finding awards at the lowest level possible. Unfortunately, because Delta doesn’t publish award charts, the task has become more difficult.
Unless you remember how many miles each award to each region actually requires at the lowest redemption level, there’s no way of knowing whether you’re overpaying. However, the SkyMiles program still sticks to its unpublished charts. At the lowest redemption level, for example, flights between to the United States and the Caribbean cost 35,000 miles, flights to Hawaii are 45,000 miles and flights to Europe are 60,000 miles.
Los Angeles–AustinEconomy classMiles price23,000miles+$47.4 feeDollars price$299
Honolulu–Los AngelesEconomy classMiles price45,000miles+$46.62 feeDollars price$771
Daytona Beach–AtlantaEconomy classMiles price19,000miles+$43.06 feeDollars price$238
Atlanta–ReykjavikEconomy classMiles price112,500miles+$59.76 feeDollars price$1,047.26
Houston–NassauEconomy classMiles price35,000miles+$107.16 feeDollars price$535
San Francisco–TokyoEconomy classMiles price70,000miles+$50.66 feeDollars price$1,550.16
Los Angeles–NashvilleBusiness classMiles price90,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$1,134
Fort Lauderdale–BostonBusiness classMiles price50,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$688
Washington–ChicagoBusiness classMiles price25,000miles+$5.6 feeDollars price$695
New York–ParisBusiness classMiles price312,500miles+$128.16 feeDollars price$7,279.13
New York–Tel AvivBusiness classMiles price302,500miles+$770.38 feeDollars price$4,550.68
Philadelphia–MadridBusiness classMiles price207,500miles+$102.16 feeDollars price$5,647.66
Other ways you can redeem miles
Hotel Stays22 partners22 part.
Delta partners with multiple hotels and even Airbnb to offer bonus miles for booking stays via Delta’s website.
Car Rental9 partners9 part.
When booking your flight, you’ll often find discounts on car rentals as well as options to earn bonus miles for each rental.
Gift Cards34 partners34 part.
An option to redeem SkyMiles for merchant gift cards at a variety of merchants is available, but these redemptions do not provide the best value.
The Blue Delta SkyMiles card earns two miles per dollar spent directly with Delta Air Lines and at U.S. restaurants. Not even co-branded Delta cards that charge annual fees earn bonus points on anything other than Delta purchases, so this card offers a new way of earning bonus miles. All other purchases earn one mile per dollar. There’s no limit to the number of miles you can earn through card spending, and the miles do not expire, as mentioned earlier.
- Delta purchases
- All Other Purchases
The Blue Delta SkyMiles credit card offers 20 percent off in-flight purchases, including meals, drinks and movies. The discount applies in the form of a statement credit after the purchase is posted.
Foreign Transaction Fee
You’ll be charged 2.7 percent of each foreign transaction after conversion to U.S. dollars.
Earn Elite Status Fast
At the moment, the Blue Delta SkyMiles card is offering a Medallion Qualification Dollar waiver to customers who make at least $25,000 in purchases before the calendar year is over. However, effective Jan. 1, 2018, the waiver will no longer apply. Other Delta co-branded cards, such as the Gold and Platinum SkyMiles cards, will continue to offer the Medallion Qualification Dollar waiver to cardholders.
- Receive a Medallion Qualification Dollar waiver after spending $25,000 in a year
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
This specific Delta credit card doesn’t charge annual fees, so you don’t have to look for reasons to justify the cost of keeping the card. All the miles you earn are essentially free.
- Annual Fee
- Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars
- Late Payment Fee
- Up to $38
Blue Delta SkyMiles credit card is a no-fee card. You do not have to earn a certain amount of rewards in order to cover the cost since it’s free. It’s still good to know roughly how much you’ll be earning, though. We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the Blue Delta SkyMiles credit card
Just because a card charges no annual fees, it doesn’t mean that it comes with no benefits. Below are some of this Delta American Express card’s best perks.
- No Annual Fee: The card charges no annual fees, even after the introductory year, and earning Delta SkyMiles is absolutely free.
- Sign-Up Bonus: Although 10,000 miles is not a lot, the bonus is decent for a no-fee card. It’s worth about $150 in airfare.
- Multiple Bonus Categories: Typically, airline cards offer bonus points only for airfare purchased directly from the carrier, but this card offers double points at U.S. restaurants as well, giving you more chances to earn miles quicker.
- In-Flight Savings: Again, 20 percent off is not a huge discount, but every penny helps when you’re traveling on a budget. For every $10 spent in the air, you will receive $2 back.
- Miles Don’t Expire: The miles earned with your SkyMiles card do not expire, so you can accumulate them as slowly or as quickly as you are comfortable with, and they’ll stay in your account.
Should You Get the Blue Delta SkyMiles Card?
If you live near a Delta Air hub, casually fly with the carrier and are looking for a way to earn some miles without paying credit card fees, the Blue SkyMiles card offers one way of doing just that. The 10,000 miles welcome bonus is enough for a short one-way flight on some routes.
You will not be able to check bags for free or receive Zone 1 boarding with this card, but you will be able to earn double miles on Delta tickets and on dining at U.S. restaurants. Few airline cards on the market offer bonus miles on dining and having the option on a no-fee card is especially unique.
This new Delta credit card offering is great for travelers and frequent diners who will be able to accumulate miles quickly by simply using this card to pay for their meals. With no annual fee, it’s also a good, risk-free option for those who are occasional Delta flyers.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
- You probably know that American Express welcome offers are once per lifetime. In other words, having received a bonus on a certain card in the past prevents you from receiving another bonus on the same card again.The Blue, the Gold, the Platinum and the Reserve Amex Delta cards are considered different products, which means you should qualify for the bonus points on the Blue card even if you’ve held other cards before. However, the terms state that applicants who currently hold or have held any of the Delta cards in the past 90 days cannot receive the bonus. Additionally, customers who have held the Delta SkyMiles Options credit card are not eligible for the offer, either.
- Yes, this might be one way to get your hands on this card. With the introduction of the Blue Delta SkyMiles credit card, Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card and Delta Reserve Credit Card cardholders who no longer fly Delta as much as they used to now have the option to downgrade their existing American Express Delta card to the no-fee card without losing all their previous credit history.Product changing to a card with no fees was not possible before because co-branded cards cannot be switched to other brand cards or charge cards. Unfortunately, you will forego the sign-up bonus by changing one card to another.
- Depending on the card issuer and the card network, foreign transaction (FX) fees can vary between 1 percent and 3 percent per transaction. Unfortunately, this Amex Delta SkyMiles card charges a fee of 2.7 percent for each purchase made outside of the United States.It might not sound like much, but it adds up to quite a bit if you prefer using credit cards to cash when traveling abroad. Foreign transaction fees might not be a huge deal for those cardholders who don’t travel internationally, but if you are one of them, I recommend swiping other credit cards that waive FX fees abroad.
As mentioned above, Amex offers a few other co-branded Delta SkyMiles credit cards, including the Delta Reserve and the Platinum Delta cards. Let’s look at the main benefits of those cards.
Other Delta SkyMiles cards
The Delta Reserve card’s sign-up bonus of 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 might seem low, but the card offers other significant benefits, such as free checked bags, Delta Sky Club access and a Delta companion certificate. The companion certificate lets you buy a companion’s domestic flight for just the cost of taxes.
The card also charges a $450 annual fee starting the first year, and it is designed for frequent Delta travelers who can extract the most value out of the card’s many perks.
Compared to the Delta Reserve card, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card charges a lower annual fee of $195 and offers the same companion certificate. The card offers 5,000 MQMs and 35,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first three months of holding the card.
Additionally, the card offers a $100 statement credit to be used toward any Delta purchase in the first three months of account opening. This card works best for someone who flies frequently and values airline status.
Compare Blue Delta SkyMiles Amex Credit Card to Other Cards
There are a wide variety of co-branded airline cards on the market. Let’s take a closer look at a few of them.
The Allegiant World Elite MasterCard from Bank of America offers card members 15,000 bonus points after they spend $1,000 or more on the card within the first 90 days of account opening. The card earns three points per dollar spent on Allegiant purchases, including air, hotel, car rental and attractions, and two points per dollar spent on dining, which are decent earning rates. The annual fee is $59.
The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard offers new customers a sign-up bonus of 60,000 miles after making the first purchase and charges a $95 annual fee. The card earns two miles on eligible American Airlines purchases and offers a 10 percent rebate on redeemed miles (up to 10,000 miles per calendar year). It’s a great card for a frequent American Airlines traveler.
The Skypass Visa Signature card is Korean Air’s co-branded credit card. Card members earn double miles by spending directly with Korean Air, but every dollar spent on other purchases earns one mile. The card is a decent option for those travelers who frequently fly with Korean Air, but casual flyers would be better off with another card.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Blue Delta SkyMiles credit card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this American Express card.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- 16.99% to 25.99% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 25 days
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- Get up to one additional year of protection on purchases made with your card. Coverage is limited to a maximum of $10,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per year.
- Purchase Protection:
- If your purchase is damaged or stolen, you may recieve up to $1,000 per item and $50,000 per year.
- Return Protection:
- You may be refunded the cost of an item if the merchant does not accept a return with 90 days. Coverage is limited to $300 per item and $1,000 per year.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 26.49% Variable±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
American Express provides cardholders with all the security features an Amex card member might expect. The Blue Delta SkyMiles card comes with a chip technology, account alerts, a mobile app and access to a FICO score to help protect customers against unauthorized transactions and identity theft.
- Account alerts:
- Set up alerts to be notified when large transactions occur, if there’s an unauthorized withdrawal and when your bill’s due.
- EMV Chip Technology:
- Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip-enabled terminals.
- Credit Score Reports:
- Monitor your credit history for unusual activity, including recently opened accounts and inquiries made on your history.
Amex cards are compatible with NFC (near-field communication) payment options, such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. The feature is easy to set up, safe to use and is convenient as more and more stores allow customers to pay via mobile wallet apps. It’s possible to use mobile wallet in stores and online at participating merchants.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
American Express Travel Benefits
- Roadside Assistance:
- Premium roadside assistance covers cardholders up to four times per year when they're in their car and need towing (up to 10 miles), winching, lockout service, battery jump, flat tire change or fuel delivery (up to 2 gallons). Coverage is available in the United States, District of Columbia, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- The benefit covers unexpected events, bodily injuries and loss of life when using a common carrier to travel. To be covered, card members must purchase the entire fare with the Blue Delta SkyMiles Card. The plan pays up to $50,000 for loss of one hand or one foot or sight in one eye and up to $100,000 for loss of both hands, feet, eyes or life.