Amex Delta Credit Cards: Comparing the Benefits and Perks

Delta One Suite Middle Seats

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American Express provides 6 co-branded cards with Delta Air Lines: 3 personal cards and 3 business cards. We’ve already compared the American Express Membership Rewards cards, but Amex also provides a great way to earn Delta SkyMiles directly.

Each of these co-branded cards provides a variety of perks and benefits. Let’s dive into what you’ll get with each of these 6 cards.

American Express Delta Credit Cards

American Express offers several Delta credit cards, each with their own particular benefits.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express - The current welcome bonus is earning 30,000 Bonus Miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months and a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Plus, with a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year (then $95), this is a solid Delta card. Click here for rates and fees of the Gold Delta.

If you’re considering one of these cards, decide which is right for you based on its benefits and your spending habits. The following reviews will lay out the details you need to know.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is the entry level Delta card. It earns 2X miles per dollar on purchases with Delta and 1X miles per dollar on all other purchases.

The welcome offer varies, but you can expect a nice boost to your SkyMiles account when you hit the minimum spending requirement.

Cardholders also receive several perks with this card. You and up to 8 companions on your reservation will receive a complimentary checked bag when flying with Delta. This can save each person $60 per round-trip booking.

Additionally, you will have priority boarding access on all of your flights with Delta, which can make it much easier to find overhead space for your carry-on bag.

You will also receive a 20% discount on in-flight purchases with Delta when you use your card.

The introductory annual fee for this card is $0 for the first year. After that, the annual fee is $95.

Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express

Delta Sky Club Lounges
With the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, you receive a complimentary Delta Sky Club membership.

If you are interested in more perks, the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express might be the card for you.

While the SkyMiles you’ll earn with the introductory bonus are often lower than that of the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, the MQMs you’ll earn are often double.

These big spend bonuses can make it much easier to reach Platinum or even Diamond Medallion elite status.

Where this card really sets itself apart is the Delta Sky Club membership. Unfortunately, now you can only access Sky Clubs even when you are flying with Delta or one of its partners. You can provide 2 discount tickets to friends per visit so they can join you at a reduced cost.

The companion certificate with this card allows you to book economy class and first class tickets for 2 people with only the taxes and fees required for the second ticket on the reservation.

The certificate is earned each account anniversary. It is only valid for round-trip flights within the continental U.S. in fare classes A and I, and the companion ticket will not earn SkyMiles or MQMs.

American Express Delta Business Credit Cards

American Express also provides business versions of each of these credit cards. The benefits and annual fees of each card match the corresponding personal version of the card.

Elite Status Qualifying Dollars Waiver

If you fly with Delta regularly and are hoping to earn elite status, the Medallion Qualifying Dollar (MQD) requirement can really cause issues for you…even if you will hit the Medallion Qualification Mile (MQM) or Medallion Qualification Segment (MQS) requirements. However, with any of the co-branded Delta cards from American Express, you can earn an MQD waiver.

Let’s take a look at the requirements of each Medallion level with Delta:

Elite Status LevelMQD RequirementMQM/MQS RequirementWaiver Eligible?
Silver$3,00025,000 MQM or 30 MQSYes
Gold$6,00050,000 MQM or 60 MQSYes
Platinum$9,00075,000 MQM or 100 MQSYes
Diamond$15,000125,000 MQM or 140 MQSYes

If you spend $25,000 with your co-branded Delta card from American Express, your MQD requirement will be waived.

Unlike United Airlines, every level of elite status is eligible for the spend waiver. However, Delta requires many more MQMs than United does for their top level of status.

This method of earning status can be very helpful, but it’s not for everyone. It still requires a significant amount of spending, which could be used to help you earn valuable transferable points such as Membership Rewards.

However, if you fly Delta for work, this could be very useful to you if your flights won’t help you reach the MQD requirement.

What Can You Do With Delta SkyMiles?

Delta One Suite
Check out Delta’s new premier Delta One suite on their new Airbus A350. Image courtesy of

Delta SkyMiles can be used to book award flights on Delta, any of their SkyTeam partners, or individual airline partners such as Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Australia. In early 2017, Delta started requiring more miles to book award flights with partners than if you booked the same route on a flight operated by Delta.

Delta removed award charts from their website a few years ago and has a tendency to devalue without notice, so you should be aware of the risks in earning tons of SkyMiles specifically. If you are only looking to earn redeemable miles, consider earning Membership Rewards, which can be transferred to Delta and many other airline partners.

If you need a big chunk of SkyMiles or could utilize some of their benefits and perks, one of the cards above might be just right for you.

Hot Tip: To get some ideas about how you can use SkyMiles, check out the best ways to redeem Delta SkyMiles.

Which Delta Card Should You Get?

If you want to keep it simple with a few perks and the ability to earn SkyMiles, start with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express or the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express.

If you’d like to bump up the perks (e.g. a companion certificate) and earn extra MQMs, check out the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express or the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express.

Finally, if you are looking for the most perks with a Delta card, then you should look at the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express or the Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express. Not only will the companion certificate allow you to book domestic first-class tickets and help you earn MQMs even faster, but you’ll receive a complimentary Delta Sky Club membership.

Etihad First Class Apartment
The Apartments on Etihad’s A380 are second to none and can be booked with Membership Rewards transfer partners. Image courtesy of

As we mentioned above, if redeemable miles are your priority, consider one of the Membership Rewards cards that can help you earn points faster and transfer to Delta at 1:1 ratio.

The Membership Rewards cards below will allow you much more flexibility, but will still provide you with an avenue to book with SkyMiles.

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months. This is our favorite card for getting into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get about $1,500+ in value from the card every year.

Plus, get up to $200 in Uber credits annually ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December) — and up to $200 in annual credit for airline incidental charges (e.g. baggage fees). For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x). There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly.

With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $2,000 in your first 3 months and a $100 airfare credit per year, for many this is an easy addition to your wallet. For rates and fees of the Gold Card, click here.

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Even though this card carries a hefty annual fee, we get ~$1,250+ in value per year by leveraging as many of the benefits/perks card.

Get access to 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide, $200 in airline fee credits for incidentals (e.g. baggage fees) and a lot more. Also, earn a welcome bonus of up to 75,000 points (terms apply). For rates and fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
American Express® Business Gold Card - probably our favorite Amex business card because we earn 4x points across the top 2 select categories that we spend the most money in each month. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. This means you'll max out at a (whopping) 600,000 points per year. After that, you earn 1x. For rates and fees of the Business Gold Card, click here.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express - This is a real simple card that earns you 2x points on business purchases up to $50,000 annually (then 1x). There's no annual fee. For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus, click here.

Final Thoughts

Delta doesn’t have a great reputation as a loyalty program among consumers who enjoy redeeming SkyMiles, but there are a number of uses for these Delta credit cards.

If you need help earning or maintaining elite status, one of the cards can definitely help. If you want free checked bags for a family vacation or you can save a lot of money thanks to a companion certificate, consider which card is right for you.

Just looking to earn tons of miles and points to travel? Use these cards to supplement what you earn with Membership Rewards as they can be earned much faster.

With the right strategy in place, you’ll be able to hit your travel goals!


Do miles earned with the Delta cards count toward elite status?

No, the miles you earn with Delta cards are redeemable miles, not Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). However, you can earn bonus MQMs if you hit the required spending thresholds with the following cards:

  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
  • Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express

All Delta cards can help you earn a waiver for the Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD) requirement.

Can you transfer Delta miles to other airlines?

No, but you can book flights on Delta’s partners using SkyMiles. As a member of SkyTeam, Delta can help you fly around the world.

Can you have more than 1 Delta co-branded credit card?

Yes, you could technically get all of them—but that wouldn’t necessarily be the best decision. Choose the card or cards that are best for your particular situation.

Spencer Howard

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience. Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class! Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal).

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. Greg H · March 7, 2018 · Reply

    Thanks for providing the link for the AMEX Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card! Just got approved and am looking forward to using the bonus miles to help fly the whole family to Florida in June.

    Two questions,
    1) Should you still get Priority Boarding (one of the card benefits) when you book rewards flights with miles?
    2) Do the taxes and fees for a reward flight count as a Delta purchase towards the $100 statement credit?

    • Thank you for the support, Greg! Yes – you’ll still get priority boarding as long as you pay for your award flight taxes & fee’s with the card. And yes, that spend counts towards the $100 statement credit!

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