Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Review

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The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is a good choice for occasional Delta flyers who wants elite-like benefits for a reasonable annual fee. 

These benefits include one free checked bag and priority boarding for you and up to eight travel companions on the same Delta reservation, in-flight savings, a discount on award flights, and much more.

Let’s dive in to see if this card is right for you. 

Free Checked Bag
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
  • bonus_miles_full
  • 2X SkyMiles on Delta Air Lines, U.S. Supermarkets, and Restaurants worldwide (including takeout & delivery in the U.S.)
  • Free First Checked Bag
  • 20% Statement Credit on Delta In-Flight Purchases
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the First Year, Then $99 Per Year (Rates and Fees)
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Welcome Bonus

The Delta Gold Amex currently offers the following welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Earning Points

The Delta Gold Amex allows cardholders to earn:

Spending on Delta includes flight reservations, seat upgrades and selection, Delta Vacation packages, Delta Sky Club memberships or passes, inflight meals and beverages, and audio headsets. However, it does not include spending on in-flight WiFi.

Annual Fee

The Delta SkyMiles Gold has $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99 (rates & fees).

This allows you to try out the card risk-free for the first year to see if you can offset the annual fee in subsequent years by taking advantage of the free checked bag, priority boarding, 20% statement credit for in-flight purchases, and travel protections.

Delta SkyMiles cardholders can earn a $100 Delta Flight credit when spending $10,000 or more in a calendar year. 
Delta SkyMiles cardholders can earn a $100 Delta Flight credit when spending $10,000 or more in a calendar year (Photo by: Miguel Angel Sanz). 

Benefits on Delta Air Lines

The Delta Gold Amex offers some nice benefits on Delta and other travel and purchase protections.

First Checked Bag Free

This Delta card gets you a first checked bag free for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on your reservation on a Delta or Delta Connection flight. 

This helps save you $30 per person one-way or $60 round-trip for a single traveler, or $240 for a family of four round-trip.

You also don’t have to pay for your flight with your Delta Amex, unlike United co-branded credit cards. All you need is your SkyMiles number your reservation.

Priority Boarding

You can enjoy Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights, which is Group 5 in the boarding process.

This allows you to board before most of the main cabin customers and secure a overhead bin for your carry-on bag.

This benefit also applies to up to eight travel companions on the same reservation.

Delta Priority Boarding

20% Back on In-Flight Purchases

You can get 20% back as a statement credit for eligible prepurchased meals and inflight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets on Delta-operated flights. However, it does not apply to Wi-Fi purchases.

15% Discount on Award Flights

This card offers a 15% off award redemptions for Delta flights.

To get the discount: 

  1. Search for Award Travel by selecting “Shop with Miles” in the search criteria on delta.com or in the Fly Delta app. Be sure to log into your SkyMiles account before searching for best results.
  2. Select an eligible flight. When you get to check out, you will see the miles savings applied for your itinerary. 
  3. Use your Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card to earn miles with your Card on any taxes and fees for your itinerary. 

Pay with Miles

Delta SkyMiles credit cards unlock the ability to ability to “Pay with Miles” allowing cardmembers to pay for flights with SkyMiles at a rate of 1.0 cents per mile (in increments of 5,000 miles per $50).

It’s not the best deal for your SkyMiles, but it does allow you to earn elite miles for those flights.

Potential $100 Delta Flight Credit

You can earn a $100 Delta Flight credit when you spend $10,000 or more in a calendar year. 

Delta A350
Photo: Delta

Travel and Purchase Protections

The Delta Gold Amex offers the following travel and purchase protections:

Secondary Rental Car Insurance*

Secondary rental car insurance covers any damage to or theft of a rental car not covered by your primary insurance when you pay for the rental using this card.

Other credit cards offer primary rental car insurance, which pays before your insurance and saves you the hassle of filing multiple insurance claims.

You still need to maintain liability car insurance to cover damage to another person or property.

Purchase Protection*

Purchase protection could save you a lot of money if you bought an eligible item that is damaged or stolen within 90-days.

For example, if you accidentally dropped your new phone or laptop and broke the screen, you could file a claim to get it replaced if the item was purchased within the last 90 days.

Extended Warranty*

Credit card extended warranty protection adds up to an additional year of coverage for eligible purchases on manufacturer’s warranties up to 5 years.

For example, if you bought a TV with a manufacturer’s warranty of three years, this card would extend the warranty for free to the fourth year.

Lost Luggage Reimbursement*

Baggage insurance covers the cost to repair or replace your luggage and the contents inside if your bag is lost or damaged during a covered trip.

You must purchase the trip with this card, and it will also cover immediate family members traveling with you.

*(Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.)

Luggage

Other Card Benefits of Amex Gold

The Delta Gold Amex also offers these other benefits:

No Foreign Transaction Fees

This card has no foreign transaction fees on purchases outside the U.S., which is helpful if you travel internationally to help you avoid paying a 3% fee on those international purchases.

Santorini Europe

Access to Amex Offers

This card has access to Amex Offers, which are deals that are linked to your card, allowing you to save money or earn extra points on shopping, dining, and travel.

For example, there could be an offer such as spending $200+ at Marriott Hotels and Resorts and receiving $50 cash back as a statement credit.

You can find all of your Amex Offers by signing into your American Express account. You will need to “Add to Card” each offer to be eligible for the special offer.

Amex Offers

Complimentary ShopRunner Membership

This card offers a complimentary membership to ShopRunner, giving you free two-day shipping and free returns at 100+ online retailers.

Eligible stores include Bloomingdales, Under Armour, American Eagle, Saks Off 5th, Cole Hann, Fanatics, Vera Bradley, Jockey, Kate Spade, NFL Shop, NBA Store, MLB Shop, and Coach. 

ShopRunner

Redeeming Miles

Delta no longer publishes an award chart for its SkyMiles program. Award flights are instead priced dynamically based on many factors, including routes, travel dates, airline partners, and how far in advance you book the flight.

It is generally very difficult for people to get outsized value when using SkyMiles for business class, like many other points programs, but here’s a few of my recommended ways to redeem SkyMiles:

  • Domestic economy flights starting as low as 4,500 SkyMiles.
  • Booking one of Delta’s occasional flash sales.
  • Flights to Canada on WestJet starting as low as 4,500 SkyMiles.
  • Virgin Atlantic to London in Upper Class for 120,000 SkyMiles each way.
  • Air France Business Class to Paris for 120,000 SkyMiles each way.
  • LATAM Economy Class from the U.S. to South America starting at 25,000 SkyMiles each way. 

Pros and Cons

Here’s a quick overview of this card’s advantages and disadvantages:

Pros

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Free first checked bag and priority boarding for you and up to eight travel companions on same reservation.
  • 15% discount on award flights.
  • 20% in-flight savings.

Cons

Alternatives to the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card

Now that you know about the pros and cons of this card and its benefits, it’s time to review the alternatives.

Or, if you are like me, who loves to maximize my rewards, here are other cards you should add to your wallet in addition to this card: 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Free Checked Bag and Annual Companion Certificate
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
  • bonus_miles_full
  • 3X SkyMiles on Delta Purchases and Hotel Stays
  • 2X SkyMiles at U.S. Supermarkets and at Restaurants worldwide (including takeout & delivery in the U.S.)
  • Free First Checked Bag
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit
  • 20% Statement Credit on Delta In-Flight Purchases
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • $250 Annual Fee (Rates & Fees)
Learn More Our Review
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The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card (review) is great for Delta loyalists, offering a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate every year upon renewing your card. 

For a $250 annual fee, getting this card unlocks valuable flying benefits, including a first checked bag free that saves you up to $60 per person on a round-trip Delta flight, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, and 20% savings on in-flight food and beverages. 

Plus, you can waive the MQD requirement toward Silver, Gold, or Platinum Medallion Status and earn 10,000 MQMs after making $25,000 in purchases to reach status faster. 

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum card earns 3X SkyMiles on Delta purchases and hotel stays.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Airport Lounge Access
The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • bonus_miles_full
  • Potentially Higher Welcome Bonus via Referral.
  • 5x Points on Flights Booked Directly With Airlines (up to $500,000 in purchases each calendar year)
  • Airport Lounge Access (Centurion, Delta Sky Club, Priority Pass, Escape, and Plaza Premium)
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • $695 Annual Fee (Rates & Fees)
Learn More Our Review
American Express is a Deals Points Advertiser; Terms Apply. Enrollment is required for some benefits.

The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) is a great premium travel rewards card for travelers who want airport lounge access, including Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Escape Lounges, Priority Pass lounges.

The American Express Platinum has a $695 annual fee, but you receive many annual statement credits when you enroll your card to offset the fee, including:

  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Card.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $200 Uber Cash Credit: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Benefit renews annually.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) and receive a statement credit that covers the full cost each month.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus at 45+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per year on your membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®.

You also earn 5x Membership Rewards points when booking flights directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year) and 5x Membership Rewards points when booking prepaid hotels with American Express Travel. 

On top of that, you automatically earn Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold statuses, which offer points bonuses, room upgrades, late check-out, and other premier benefits. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best Starter Travel Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • bonus_miles_full
  • 5x Points on Travel Booked Via Chase
  • 3x Points on Dining and Eligible Delivery Services
  • 2x Points on All Other Travel Purchases
  • 10% Anniversary Points Boost
  • Trip Delay and Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Primary Rental Car Insurance
  • $95 Annual Fee

Click Here to Learn How to Apply

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review) is one of the best rewards cards for travelers who want solid earning rates for travel and dining expenses. 

For only $95 per year, this card earns 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, 3x points on dining, online groceries, and streaming services, and 2x on all other travel purchases

Cardholders will also get a 10% anniversary points bonus, a 12-month DoorDash DashPass subscription when activated by December 31, 2024, and a $50 anniversary hotel statement credit. 

Plus, it provides extensive travel protections, including trip delay, primary rental car, baggage, and purchase protection plans. 

Is the Delta Gold Amex Worth It?

The Delta Gold Amex is the perfect card for most Delta flyers due to its benefits like free checked bags, award flight discount, and priority boarding.

If you want to add Delta SkyClub access, I recommend holding the combination of both the Delta Gold Amex and The Platinum Card® from American Express (review).

Free Checked Bag
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
  • bonus_miles_full
  • 2X SkyMiles on Delta Air Lines, U.S. Supermarkets, and Restaurants worldwide (including takeout & delivery in the U.S.)
  • Free First Checked Bag
  • 20% Statement Credit on Delta In-Flight Purchases
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the First Year, Then $99 Per Year (Rates and Fees)
Learn More
American Express is a Deals Points advertiser. Terms Apply

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

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