October 5, 2017
Determining which Delta Credit Card is Right for You

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Delta offers four co-branded credit cards with American Express. These range from a $0 annual fee card with limited perks all the way to a $450 annual fee card. While airline-specific credit cards usually aren’t the first card I recommend for travelers, they can unlock some very valuable perks if you fly that airline often enough. I first want to say that I’m not a fan of Delta’s SkyMiles reward program as it’s one of the least valuable frequent flyer programs out there. I wouldn’t get a Delta credit card for the miles earning potential. I’d consider it for the perks. Here’s a breakdown of the four Delta cards:


Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card



  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Earn 10,000 Bonus SkyMiles after spending $500 in first three months
  • Earn 2X miles per $1 at US restaurants & Delta purchases
  • Earn 1X mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • 20% statement credit for Delta in-flight food, beverage, and audio headsets purchases

This is understandably a no-frills card with a $0 annual fee. The 10K bonus miles are much lower than what other cards offer, and earning 2X miles per $1 isn’t appealing as there’s many cards nowadays which earn more than 2X miles per $1 on flights and restaurants. Overall, I’d pass on getting this card.


Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card



  • $0 Annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus SkyMiles after spending $1,000 in the first three months
  • Earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first three months
  • Earn 2X miles per $1 on Delta purchases
  • Earn 1X mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights
  • Priority boarding on Delta flights
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • You and two companions can access Delta Sky Clubs for $29 per person, normally $59 per person
  • 20% statement credit for Delta in-flight food, beverage, and audio headsets purchases
  • Earn a MQD waiver (up to Delta Diamond) after spending $25,000 in a calendar year. Earn a MQD waiver for Diamond status after spending $250,000 in a calendar year.

The Gold card offers a lot of significant perks for a $95 annual fee (waived the first year). This could be worth it just for the free checked bag perk alone. Delta normally charges $25 each way for checked bags. Priority boarding helps secure access to overhead bin space. This is also the cheapest card to offer a MQM waiver for flyers looking for a shortcut to Delta Medallion status.


Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card



  • $195 Annual fee
  • Earn 35,000 Bonus SkyMiles and 5,000 MQM after spending $1,000 in the first three months
  • Earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first three months
  • Annual Domestic Economy Class companion certificate
  • Earn 10,000 Bonus SkyMiles and 10,000 MQM after spending $25,000 in a calendar year
  • Earn an additional 10,000 Bonus Skymiles and 10,000 MQM after spending $50,000 in a calendar year
  • Earn 2X miles per $1 on Delta purchases
  • Earn 1X mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights
  • Priority boarding on Delta flights
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • You and two companions can access Delta Sky Clubs for $29 per person, normally $59 per person
  • 20% statement credit for Delta in-flight food, beverage, and audio headsets purchases
  • Earn a MQD waiver (up to Delta Diamond) after spending $25,000 in a calendar year. Earn a MQD waiver for Diamond status after spending $250,000 in a calendar year.

The Platinum card comes with a higher $195 annual fee but gives you several notable perks. This is a great way to earn MQM towards Medallion status if you’re a big spender. You can earn up to 20,000 MQM per year if you spend $50,000 (not including the one-time 5,000 MQM sign-up bonus). The annual domestic companion certificate can also far outweigh this card’s annual fee. You can bring a companion with you on a domestic roundtrip ticket for free, potentially saving hundreds of dollars a year with that perk alone.


Delta Reserve Credit Card



  • $450 Annual fee
  • Earn 40,000 Bonus SkyMiles and 10,000 MQM after spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club Access for cardholder and discounted access for two guests for $29 per person
  • Earn 15,000 Bonus SkyMiles and 15,000 MQM after spending $30,000 in a calendar year
  • Earn an additional 15,000 Bonus SkyMiles and 15,000 MQM after spending $60,000 in a calendar year
  • American Express Concierge Services
  • Annual Domestic First Class companion certificate
  • Earn 2X miles per $1 on Delta purchases
  • Earn 1X mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights
  • Priority boarding on Delta flights
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 20% statement credit for Delta in-flight food, beverage, and audio headsets purchases
  • Earn a MQD waiver (up to Delta Diamond) after spending $25,000 in a calendar year. Earn a MQD waiver for Diamond status after spending $250,000 in a calendar year.

For a hefty $450 annual fee, you’ll get perks like a free domestic First Class companion certificate, complimentary Sky Club access, and even more MQM earning potential for high spenders. This card can make sense if you’re a large spender or you want a cheap way to buy Sky Club membership. The free Sky Club access or the free First Class companion fare alone make up for the annual fee.

 

Featured Image Courtesy of Delta

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