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Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express – Review

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express – Review

Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is a popular travel rewards credit card with a $95 annual fee and a solid Delta airline rewards program that favors regular Delta flyers who earn rewards fast enough to neutralize the annual fee. All Delta purchases, including airfare and incidentals, earn an unlimited 2 SkyMiles rewards points per $1 spent. All other purchases earn an unlimited one SkyMile per $1 spent. You can redeem accumulated SkyMiles for Delta airfare, select merchandise available at the SkyMiles Marketplace, and other goodies.

Gold Delta SkyMiles’s direct competitors include general purpose annual fee travel credit cards such as Capital One Venture Rewards, Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®, and Chase Sapphire Preferred. It also competes with annual fee airline-, hotel-, and vendor-specific cards such as Chase United MileagePlus Explorer, Expedia+ Voyager, Citi/AAdvantage World MasterCard, and Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature, among others.

You earn 30,000 Delta SkyMiles when you spend at least $1,000 within 3 months of account opening. That’s reliably worth $225 in Delta airfare, and often more (depending on point-to-dollar conversion rates, which can range up to $0.02 per SkyMile).

Also, if you purchase a Delta flight with your card within 3 months of account opening, you get a $50 statement credit. All told, the combined welcome offer for this card is worth at least $275.

You earn 2 SkyMiles per $1 spent on Delta airfare, in-flight purchases, lounge passes, and other incidentals, with no caps or restrictions. All other purchases earn 1 SkyMile per $1 spent, again with no restrictions.

Accumulated SkyMiles can be redeemed for Delta airfare, starting at 10,000 miles for domestic economy one-ways and 12,500 miles for more flexible travel dates. Certain travel dates and times may require more miles, depending on season and demand. For instance, it’s likely to cost more to fly to a popular vacation destination on a peak-season Friday than an off-season Tuesday.

Airfare redemption point values generally range from $0.005 to $0.02, but can be higher or lower than that range. SkyMiles can also be redeemed in the online SkyMiles MarketPlace for merchandise, gift cards, and experiences (such as performances), typically at conversion rates far below $0.01 per mile. Minimum mileage requirements for merchandise redemptions start around 2,000 and rise from there.

The Gold Delta SkyMiles card comes with a slew of Delta-specific travel benefits:

The Gold Delta SkyMiles card comes with other travel benefits not specific to Delta:

The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year, and there is no foreign transaction fee. Balance transfers and cash advances both cost the greater of $5 or 3%, while late and returned payments both cost up to $38.

Gold Delta SkyMiles has some useful shopping benefits:

This card requires excellent credit

Thanks to the SkyMiles MarketPlace, Delta and American Express can honestly claim that their customers can redeem accumulated SkyMiles for much more than Delta airfare. Plenty of other airlines and airline rewards card issuers offer equivalent deals on merchandise and experiences too. However, the devil is in the details – or, rather, the pricing. The SkyMiles MarketPlace dramatically inflates its merchandise’s point costs, charging double or triple what you’d expect to pay at Amazon or in a brick-and-mortar retail store.

Fortunately, Gold Delta SkyMiles’ airfare redemption rates meet or exceed standards set by the competition. If you’re looking for solid deals on Delta airfare, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is your card. If you want to use your earned rewards to buy things you can use on the ground, look elsewhere.

Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is ideal for frequent Delta flyers who earn rewards quickly enough to offset the $95 annual fee and enjoy practical travel benefits, such as priority boarding, free checked bags, and airport lounge access. Due to poor non-Delta rewards and limited earning power outside the Delta universe, it’s not great for infrequent Delta flyers and those looking for a general-spending credit card.

A nice welcome offer, favorable airfare redemption rates, discounted airport lounge access, and in-flight discounts are key perks. The annual fee, slow earning power on non-Delta purchases, poor redemption values for everything other than airfare, and no automatic loyalty status qualification all hurt. Overall, this card is very good for regular Delta fliers and mediocre for everyone else.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Categories: American Express, Credit and Debt, Credit Cards, Lifestyle, Reviews, Travel

Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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