Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
The Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card is a great option for Delta frequent flyers that don’t travel enough to obtain elite status.That’s because cardholders get a free checked bag, priority boarding and in-flight discounts, which can save hundreds of dollars per year. The card also allows you to earn SkyMiles without flying, which can get you free flights fast.
When you sign up for the Gold Delta card, you’ll also receive a bonus of 30,000 miles. That’s enough for a round-trip flight within the U.S. or a one-way to Europe. This is a great deal, particularly since the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.
The earning potential of this card maybe it’s weakest attribute. Delta purchases earn a solid two miles per dollar spent, but all other purchases earn only one mile per dollar. It may not be the most rewarding card in terms of everyday earning, but for Delta customers the Gold SkyMiles card can be a worthwhile addition for the benefits alone.
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 Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card offers and the value of the AMEX SkyMiles® miles you earn.
When you sign up for the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, you can earn 30,000 Delta miles if you spend $1,000 within the first three months of being a card member. Additionally, if you buy a flight on Delta within the same time period, you will receive a $50 statement credit.
Another benefit of having this card is a reduced rate for Delta SkyClub lounge access. When you visit a Delta lounge, you and two traveling companions can get in for just $29 per person. That’s about $20 cheaper than full-priced entry.
What You Get
- Earn 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- Get a $50 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase within 3 months
- Earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after you make an additional $1,000 in purchases within your first 6 months
One of the great things about Delta miles is that they do not expire. You have no requirement to redeem miles, earn miles or fly within a specific time period in order to keep your miles.
What is the value of the SkyMiles® Miles?
You’ll get the best value for you Delta SkyMiles by using them for award flights.Unfortunately Delta no longer publishes an award chart, which can make it difficult to find the best redemptions. The cost of an award flight is also determined by its fare class. Always look for saver level tickets first, as they’ll be the cheapest and offer the greatest value for you miles.
There are some great deals to be had with Delta SkyMiles, including domestic economy flights on Delta for as low as 5,000 miles each way, one-way flights to Europe in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class or Air France Business Class for 85,000 miles, and one-way to Asia in China Eastern Business Class for 95,000 miles. It can be worth the time to find the best redemptions using Delta’s online booking tools.
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
While Delta’s award pricing is still zone-based, the airline doesn’t publish an award chart. So some guesswork is involved when trying to determine the lowest possible cost for a ticket on a certain route. Nevertheless, there are some sweet spots that offer good value for Delta miles.
Don’t forget that Delta is the charter member of the SkyTeam Alliance. That means you can book award flights on 20 partner airlines using Delta SkyMiles. Some of them offer great redemptions, too. Use Delta’s website to search for availability.
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 has over 20 hotel and lodging partners, including Airbnb, Starwood, Hilton and more. These partners also offer the ability to earn additional Delta miles when you stay with them.
Car Rental9 partners9 part.
Delta partners with most of the big car rental companies, including Alamo, Hertz and National. It has a total of 9 rental partners.
Gift Cards34 partners34 part.
Beyond your travel-related partners, Delta also offers gift cards from a wide variety of businesses, including Starbucks, Amazon, Target and more.
When you make purchases with your Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card, you will earn 1 mile per dollar spent for most purchases. Delta purchases earn 2 miles per dollar. Unfortunately, this card does not have the ability to earn bonus miles for other categories, which is why it isn’t a great card for everyday spend.
- Delta Air Lines purchases
- All Other Purchases
Free Checked Bag
Delta Gold card holders will receive one free checked bag for themselves and anyone else traveling on the same reservation. That can save you up to $50 per person on round-trip flights.
Get into the Delta Sky Club for only $29 per person with the ability to bring in up to two guests for the same cost. Valid only when flying with Delta.
Card members will receive Zone 1 boarding for themselves and companions traveling on the same itinerary.
Save 20 percent on food, beverages and audio headsets.
Foreign Transaction Fee
No foreign transaction fees charged on purchases made abroad.
Earn Elite Status Fast
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express does not offer the ability to earn additional Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). However, it does offer a Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) waiver if you spend at least $25,000 on your card within a calendar year. Normally to earn status there is a requirement to earn certain number of MQMs or fly a certain number of segments, as well as spending enough MQDs. With the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card, you have the ability to waive the MQD requirement with high spending.
- Receive a Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) waiver when you spend at least $25,000 within a calendar year
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
The Delta card’s $95 annual fee is waived for the first year, so your cost for having the card is automatically covered. After the first year, you’ll have to rely on the miles you earn to cover the fee. If you estimate the value of Delta miles at 1 cents each, you would need to earn at least 6,334 Delta miles per year to break even. If all of your purchases were made in everyday spending categories, that would equate to spending $6,334 on your Gold SkyMiles card, or just $528 a month.
Don’t forget that the 30,000 miles sign-up bonus is worth about $450 in Delta flights. You can get even more value than that if you’re careful choosing your redemptions. That’ll cover the annual fee for four years.
As mentioned before, this card’s free checked bag benefit can also be quite valuable. Every time you check a bag on a one-way Delta flight, the cost is $25. If you take two round-trip Delta flights per year and check a bag in both directions, your bag fees would be $100. If this sounds like you, then the card pays for itself in bag fees alone.
- Annual Fee
- $0 first year, $95 after that
- Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- Late Payment Fee
- Up to $38
See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:
We strongly recommend to spend not less than $2,112 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
Even though the Gold SkyMiles credit card isn’t the best option for everyday spending, it still has a lot of great benefits, including free checked bags on Delta flights and a 30,000 miles sign-up bonus. Here are the top five Delta Gold benefits:
- Great Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 30,000 miles after spending just 1,000 in 4 months. That’s enough for a free round-trip flight within the U.S.
- Free Checked Bags: Get your first checked bag free on every Delta flight for yourself and companions traveling on the same itinerary. Savings can be up to $50 roundtrip per person. That can add up quickly!
- Priority Boarding: Get Zone 1 boarding when you are flying Delta. You won’t have to worry about finding space for your carry-on!
- Reduced Fee for Delta Sky Club Access: You and up to two guests can access a Delta Sky Club Lounge for just $29 per person.
- MQD Waiver: When you spend at least $25,000 on your Gold Delta SkyMiles card in a year, you don’t have to meet the MQD requirement in order to earn elite status with Delta.
Should You Get the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card?
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card makes the most sense for people who often fly on Delta, but don’t have elite status. Cardholders get a free checked bag, priority boarding and discounted lounge access. Those are some nice perks that are typically reserved for elite status holders. The annual anniversary bonus makes this card relatively cheap to have. For anyone that flies at least 2 to 3 times a year on JetBlue, the free checked bag benefit alone can pay for the card.
The free checked bag benefit can be particularly valuable. You and anyone on your itinerary get one free checked bag each. That’ll save you $25 per bag for each flight, so it’s easy to quickly recoup the $95 annual fee.
On top of that, you’ll get a 30,000 miles sign-up bonus. You can find one-way domestic award flights on Delta for as little as 5,000 miles, so you could get as many as three round-trip flights with just the sign- up bonus. Keep in mind that many domestic redemptions, particularly for longer flights and more popular routes, will cost around 15,000 miles each way.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the Gold SkyMiles card is that it’s not great for everyday earning. That’s because the card earns just 1 mile per dollar for most purchases. Delta purchases earn 1 miles per dollar, though. If you spend a lot on Delta flights, you’ll earn a lot of miles fast, but there are more rewarding cards available for everyday purchases.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
- Currently the sign up bonus for the Amex Gold Delta card is 30,000 Delta miles, but different offers have been available for this card in the past. Depending on what you plan to do with the card and the bonus miles, it might be worth waiting to see if the sign-up bonus increases again.
- The annual fee for the Gold Delta SkyMiles card is $95 , but it;s waived for the first year of card membership. That gives you a risk-free chance to try the card out. You might find that it’s worth keeping for the benefits, such as free checked bags and priority boarding, and the ability to earn Delta miles without flying.
- Yes, you can upgrade a Delta SkyMiles Gold card to a Delta SkyMiles Platinum card. Keep in mind that you might not be eligible for a second sign-up bonus, or Amex may offer you a different bonus or promotion when upgrading. However, you will get all of the benefits of the platinum card, such as a companion certificate, the ability to earn Medallion Qualification Miles that count toward elite status, and the opportunity to earn an annual bonus if you reach certain spending limits.
- No, the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card is completely different from Gold Medallion status. Gold Medallion is an elite status level in Delta’s frequent flyer program. In order to earn status, you need to fly at least 25,000 miles per year, among other requirements.
- If you already a Chase customer and have an online banking account with them, there is another way to check if you are approved. Log in to your Chase account and see if there is a new account added to your online profile.
Compare SkyMiles® Cards
Other SkyMiles® cards
In addition to the Gold SkyMiles credit card, Delta offers the Platinum card, the Reserve card and the Gold Business card. If you fly on Delta, there’s a card to fit your needs.
|Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card||Delta Reserve Credit Card||Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card|
|Sign-up bonus||30,000 miles||30,000 miles||40,000 miles||35,000 miles|
|Annual Fee||$0 first year, then $95||$0 first year, $95 after that||$450||$195|
|APR On Purchases||16.49% to 20.49% Variable±||16.99% to 25.99% Variable±||16.99% to 25.99% Variable±||16.99% to 25.99% Variable±|
|Second Year Value||$360||$360||$360||$360|
The Gold and Gold Business cards are essentially the same. The main difference is that one is a personal credit card and therefore has slightly better consumer protections, while the other is a business credit card.
The Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card and Delta Reserve credit card are both more premium credit cards with bigger annual fees and better benefits. The Platinum card comes with an annual economy class companion certificate and the ability to earn 10,000 MQMs after spending $25,000, and higher annual fee of $450 The Delta Reserve card gives you the ability to earn 15,000 MQMs after spending $30,000, an annual first class companion certificate and free lounge access The Platinum card costs $195 a year, and the reserve is $450.
If you fly a lot and like to use airport lounges, the reserve card might be worth the extra cost. But if you just need a few more miles to reach elite status, the Platinum card is a cheaper option. For the rest of us, the Gold card will get you some free flights plus some nice benefits on Delta flights.
Compare Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card to Other Cards
There are a few other cards that are worth considering if you’re thinking about applying for the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card. We're going to take a closer look at the Citi / AAdvantage Gold World Elite MasterCard, Hawaiian Airlines Business MasterCard and JetBlue Plus card. These are the low annual fee cards offered by their respective airlines. Their sign-up bonuses are all around 30,000 points or miles. Remember, the points or miles earned with these cards can only be redeemed through the co-branded airline's frequent flyer program and cannot be transferred to other partners.
The main differences between these cards are the type of miles and their relative usefulness. The Hawaiian Airlines Business MasterCard has a sign-up bonus of 35,000 Hawaiian Airlines miles. These miles are going to offer the least flexibility when redeeming due to the carrier’s limited number of partners and its focus on routes around the Hawaiian Islands. If you live in Hawaii, this card is likely a great option for you, but for the rest of us it’ll have limited applications.
The JetBlue Plus card has a sign-up bonus of 30,000 TrueBlue points. JetBlue doesn't offer a fixed award chart, but instead the number of miles required to fly is dependent on the current cash price of the ticket. This means that the maximum value you can get from your miles is lower, but also that the average value you can get is pretty good without having to do a lot of research. This card is going to offer you the simplest redemptions.
The Citi / AAdvantage Gold World MasterCard is most similar to the Gold Delta SkyMiles card. The main difference is that all of the benefits and mileage earning is targeted toward American Airlines. You'll earn American Airlines miles and get a free checked bag and priority boarding with American Airlines instead of Delta. If you fly American Airlines more often, it's probably a better option than the Delta card. If you fly both frequently, it could make sense to get both.
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 Gold 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 the Amex 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:
- The length of your warranty will be matched for up to 1 additional year when you use the SkyMiles card for eligible purchases that come with an original U.S. manufacturer's warranty of 5 years or less. coverage is for up to $10,000 per item and $50,000 per calendar year.
- Purchase Protection:
- Theft and accidental damage are covered for purhases made with the card for up to 90 days and $1,000. There’s a $50,000 cap per calendar year.
- Return Protection:
- If you try to return an item within 90 days and the merchant won't take it back, Amex Return Protection has you covered. Good for $300 per item and $1,000 per calendar 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
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express comes with Chip + Signature technology and consumers are never liable for unauthorized purchases.
- Account alerts:
- Set up alerts to be notified when large transactions occur, if there’s an unauthorized withdrawal and when your bill’s due.
- Amex Mobile App:
- Track your account with the American Express Mobile app.
- EMV Chip Technology:
- Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip enabled terminals.
- Fraud Protection:
- You’ll never be responsible for a fraudulent charge. Just call the number on the back of the card to report suspicious activities.
American Express offers mobile banking through their convenient iPhone and Android apps. Additionally, you can use your Gold Delta SkyMiles card with Apple Pay and Android Pay.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
The Gold Delta SkyMiles card from American Express offers some additional travel-related benefits for cardholders, including a roadside assistance hotline, auto rental insurance and travel accident insurance.
American Express Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- Coverage for theft and collision for most rentals in the U.S. and abroad. Coverage is secondary to your personal insurance.
- Roadside Dispatch:
- With the Gold Delta SkyMiles card, you have free access to a roadside assistance hotline. Note that any services rendered will have an additional fee that the cardholder is responsible for.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- Receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage when you pay for your travel with the Gold SkyMiles card.
- Global Assist Hotline:
- Get 24/7 access to medical, legal, financial and other emergency services. Cardholders are responsible for all costs charged by third-party providers.