Amex Delta Credit Cards: Comparing the Benefits and Perks

Delta One Suite Middle Seats

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.

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles
  • Earn 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta
  • Annual Fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms Apply.
  • Detailed Review
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles
  • Earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card in your first 3 months.
  • Annual Fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Detailed Review
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Annual Fee: $195. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Detailed Review

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 sign-up bonus 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 $50 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.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is the next level of Delta card with even more benefits and perks.

Like the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, this card earns 2X miles per dollar with Delta and 1X miles per dollar on all other purchases. However, the sign-up bonus will generally earn you more SkyMiles.

In addition to more SkyMiles, this card’s sign-up bonus also includes additional Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). These MQMs will help you earn elite status with Delta much quicker.

This card also has a couple of big spend bonuses that allow cardholders to earn both SkyMiles and MQMs. With $25,000 in purchases during a calendar year, you will earn a bonus of 10,000 SkyMiles and 10,000 MQMs. An additional $25,000 (a total of $50,000) will earn you another 10,000 SkyMiles and 10,000 MQMs.

Another fun perk is the companion certificate you receive on your account anniversary for renewing your account. This certificate allows you to book an economy class ticket and bring a companion for only the cost of the taxes and fees.

There are some restrictions to the certificate that you need to know. Flights must be round-trip bookings within the continental U.S., only some fare classes are eligible (L, T, U, V, X), and your companion will not earn SkyMiles or MQMs.

Like all Delta cards, you and up to 8 companions will each receive a complimentary checked bag.

The annual fee for this card is $195.

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

Additionally, cardholders can earn even more SkyMiles and MQMs as a big spender. If you spend $30,000 in a calendar year, you’ll earn 15,000 SkyMiles plus 15,000 MQMs. If you spend another $30,000 to reach $60,000 in that same calendar year, you’ll receive another 15,000 SkyMiles and another 15,000 MQMs.

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 complimentary Delta Sky Club membership. You’ll have access to Sky Clubs even when you aren’t flying with Delta, and 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.

Like the other Delta cards, you will earn 2X miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1X miles per dollar on other purchases with this card.

The annual fee for this card is $450.

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.

However, each business card has access to benefits from Amex’s OPEN Savings partners. Whether you have a Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, a Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, or a Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card from American Express, you will have the same OPEN benefits.

With these business cards, you are eligible for a 5% discount in the form of a statement credit at several companies that partner with OPEN Savings. The partners are divided into 5 categories: shipping, transportation, technology, services, and gifts.

Here’s a breakdown of the partners and the spending limits to this benefit per card account:

OPEN Savings ParnterDiscountSpending Limit
FedEx Express and FedEx Ground5%$20,000 per calendar year
FedEx Freight5%$20,000 per calendar year
Hertz5%No limit
Hewlett-Packard (HP)5%$30,000 per calendar year
FedEx Office5%$20,000 per calendar year
1800Flowers.com5%No limit
Barnes & Noble (BN.com)5%No limit

When you use your co-branded Delta card, these discounts will be applied automatically and don’t require anything additional from you.

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.com.

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 dailymail.co.uk.

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)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
The Platinum Card® from American Express

Need Inspiration?
> 57 Best Ways To Use Amex Points
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • Up to $200 Uber Savings Annually.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Our Review
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 points.
  • 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $195
  • Our Review
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Our Review

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

Need Inspiration?
> 57 Best Ways To Use Amex Points
  • Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Our Review
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Our Review
The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Our Review

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!

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

FAQ

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.