The Best Amex Delta Credit Cards: Comparing the Benefits and Perks

Delta One Suite Middle Seats
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If you’re a frequent Delta Air Lines flyer, chances are you’ve considered one of their branded credit cards.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the opportunity to earn more Delta SkyMiles or get free perks such as priority boarding, or those inflight discounts on food and beverage purchases.

However, even once you’ve decided to secure a Delta-branded credit card for all those familiar reasons, you realize that American Express has more than a half dozen different Delta-branded cards from which to choose.

So how do you determine which Delta Air Lines card is right for you?

If you have all the information you need, a decision can be made quickly — and that’s just what we have in mind today. Here’s a dive into the benefits of each Delta-branded credit card to help you compare each of these cards and assist in determining which is the best for your situation.

The Best Delta-Branded Personal Credit Cards

When comparing Delta-branded credit cards, the process becomes easier when we divide the available personal credit cards into 3 categories — solid value, premium, and business.

The cards that have solid value come with flight benefits and discounts, a faster path to elite status, and double earnings on Delta purchases.

For those frequent Delta flyers who want luxury perks, Delta has a premium card that fits their travel lifestyle.

Then, for those who own a business, whether big or small, American Express offers 3 solid Delta-branded business card options.

Let’s first look at each of the core 3 personal Delta-branded cards and how they compare.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

If you’re ready for your first Delta credit card, the Delta Gold card might check all the boxes.

You’ll also be earning plenty of SkyMiles and receive flight benefits such as a free checked bag when flying with Delta and priority boarding.

Top Reasons to Get the Delta Gold Card

  • Generous welcome bonus of redeemable miles
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta and at least 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases
  • Earn $100 flight credit after spending $10,000 in a calendar year on your card
  • Free checked bag on Delta flights, priority boarding, and 20% discount on inflight purchases
  • Ability to pay for flights using miles (Pay with Miles)
  • $10 back per month at U.S. restaurants (through December 31, 2021; enroll through Amex Offers)

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

If you’re looking for a few more perks and benefits, aspire to have Delta elite status, or have use for the complimentary annual companion ticket, having the Delta Platinum card may be more your style.

Top Reasons to Get the Delta Platinum Card

  • Generous welcome bonus including Medallion Qualification Miles and bonus redeemable miles
  • Earn 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and at hotels worldwide and 2 miles per dollar at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets
  • Earn 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases
  • Free checked bag on Delta flights, priority boarding, and 20% discount on inflight purchases
  • Discounted Sky Club access for $39 per person, per visit, for the cardholder and up to 2 guests
  • Main Cabin companion ticket certificate at each card renewal
  • Ability to pay for flights using miles (Pay with Miles)
  • Spending $25,000 on the card waives MQD requirement for Medallion elite status qualification up to Platinum level; $250,000 spending waives MQD for Diamond status
  • A faster path to elite status with up to 20,000 MQM by spending on the card
  • Global Entry (once every 4 years) or TSA PreCheck (once every 4.5 years) fee reimbursement
  • $15 back per month at U.S. restaurants (through December 31, 2021; enroll through Amex Offers)

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Apply Now
(at Amex's secure site)
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary access into Delta Sky Clubs and Centurion Lounges.
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)
  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve card, click here.

Must Reads: For more info on the Delta Reserve card, see our insights on its benefits and our full review.

A true Delta loyalist may find themselves frequently waiting for their next Delta flight and may have considered, or purchased, a Delta Sky Club membership (currently priced at $545).

With the Delta Reserve card, you’ll no longer be paying for a Sky Club membership, plus, you’ll get a whole lot more value for less money. That’s because this premium Delta-branded card comes with complimentary Sky Club access, a first class companion ticket at card renewal, and even upgrade priority over other same-status members.

Top Reasons to Get the Delta Reserve Card

  • Generous welcome bonus that includes both Medallion Qualifying Miles towards elite status and bonus redeemable miles
  • Earn 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases
  • Free checked bag on Delta flights, priority boarding, and 20% discount on inflight purchases
  • Complimentary access to Centurion Lounges, up to 2 guests for $50 each per visit
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club Access for the cardholder, discounted $39 access per person, per visit, for up to 2 guests
  • 2 free one-time Sky Club guest passes annually
  • Domestic first class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin companion ticket certificate at each card renewal
  • Ability to pay for flights using miles (Pay with Miles)
  • Spending $25,000 on the card waives MQD requirement for elite status qualification up to Platinum level; $250,000 spending waives MQD for Diamond status
  • A faster path to elite status with up to 60,000 MQM by spending on the card
  • Upgrade priority
  • Global Entry (once every 4 years) or TSA PreCheck (once every 4.5 years) fee reimbursement
  • $20 back per month at U.S. restaurants (through December 31, 2021; enroll through Amex Offers)
Delta SkyClub at ATL
Receive complimentary Delta Sky Club access with the Delta Reserve card. Image Credit: Delta

Best Delta Personal Cards — Summary

All of the Delta personal cards we have mentioned offer elevated earnings of 2 to 3 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and every other purchase earns at least 1 mile per dollar. Additionally, all of the personal Delta-branded cards offer a free checked bag, priority boarding, and a 20% discount for inflight food/beverage. The cards also offer the Pay with Miles benefit that allows card members to use their miles towards the purchase of a ticket at 1 cent each in value.

Here’s what differentiates the personal Delta-branded cards beyond those core benefits.

Delta Personal Credit CardAdditional Benefits
Delta Gold Card
  • Earn $100 flight credit after spending $10,000 in a calendar year
Delta Platinum Card
  • Earn 3 miles per dollar at hotels worldwide
  • Main cabin companion ticket certificate at card renewal
  • Discounted $39 Sky Club visit per person for the member and up to 2 guests
  • Earn up to 20,000 Elite Qualification Miles by spending on the card
  • Waive the Medallion Qualification MQD revenue requirement by spending on the card
  • Global Entry (once every 4 years) or TSA PreCheck (once every 4.5 years) fee reimbursement
Delta Reserve Card
  • Centurion Lounge Access for the cardholder, up to 2 guests at $50 per person, per visit
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club and discounted access for up to 2 guests at $39 per person, per visit
  • First class, Comfort+ or Main Cabin companion certificate at card renewal
  • Earn up to 60,000 Medallion Qualification Miles by spending on the card
  • Waive the Medallion Qualification MQD requirement by spending on the card
  • Ability to gift Medallion Qualification Miles
  • Global Entry (once every 4 years) or TSA PreCheck (once every 4.5 years) fee reimbursement
  • Upgrade priority over those without the card

Bottom Line: There’s a personal Delta-branded credit card for every type of Delta flyer and all offer elevated earning on Delta purchases, general flight benefits, and the ability to pay for your flights using miles. 

The Best Delta-Branded Business Cards

American Express issues 3 Delta business credit cards that parallel the 3 personal Delta cards when it comes to most benefits, a faster path to elite status, and complimentary companion tickets.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

Top Reasons to Get the Gold Delta Business Card

  • Redeemable miles welcome bonus
  • $100 Delta Flight Credit after spending $10,000 in a calendar year
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, U.S. shipping, and U.S. advertising in select media
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide
  • Earn 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases
  • Free checked bag, priority boarding, and 20% discount on inflight purchases
  • Ability to pay for flights using miles (Pay with Miles)
  • Free employee cards
  • $10 back per month on U.S. wireless services (through December 31, 2021; enroll through Amex Offers)

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

Step it up with a larger welcome bonus, a main cabin companion ticket certificate each card anniversary, and the opportunity to earn Medallion Qualification Miles.

The Platinum Delta Business card offers the same earnings on Delta purchases, flight benefits, and discounted Sky Club access as the personal Delta Platinum card. You’ll also be able to utilize Pay with Miles and spend on the card to waive the MQD requirements for elite status qualification.

Summary of Additional Benefits of the Platinum Delta Business Card

  • Generous welcome bonus including Medallion Qualification Miles and bonus redeemable miles
  • Discounted Sky Club access at $39 per person, per visit
  • Main Cabin companion ticket certificate at each card renewal
  • A faster path to elite status with up to 20,000 MQM by spending on the card
  • Ability to waive the MQD requirements for Medallion elite status
  • Global Entry (once every 4 years) or TSA PreCheck (once every 4.5 years) fee reimbursement
  • Free employee cards

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business Credit Card

If your business involves you traveling frequently on Delta, the Delta Reserve Business card should be on your list for consideration.

Earnings on the Delta Reserve Business card for Delta purchases parallel the personal Delta Reserve card. It also has the same flight benefits and the ability to use miles via Pay with Miles for your flight purchases.

Additionally, you’ll find some of the same elevated benefits such as complimentary Centurion and Delta Sky Club access, a First Class companion ticket certificate, and MQM earning opportunities.

Summary of Additional Benefits of the Reserve Delta Business Card

  • Generous welcome bonus that includes both Medallion Qualifying Miles towards elite status and bonus redeemable miles
  • Once you have spent $150,000 in a calendar year on your card, you will earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent
  • Complimentary access to Centurion Lounges, up to 2 guests at $50 each per visit
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club Access for the cardholder, discounted $39 access for up to 2 guests
  • 2 free one-time Sky Club guest passes annually
  • Domestic first class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin companion ticket certificate at each card renewal
  • Upgrade priority over same status members who do not have the card
  • Priority airport security line
  • Ability to waive the MQD requirement for Medallion elite status
  • A faster path to elite status with up to 60,000 MQM by spending on the card
  • Global Entry (once every 4 years) or TSA PreCheck (once every 4.5 years) fee reimbursement
Delta Air Lines First Class
Delta-branded credit cards offer a unique path to Medallion elite status which, in turn, could score you an upgraded seat. Image Credit: Delta

A Faster Path to Elite Status With Delta-Branded Credit Cards

Frequent Delta flyers who wish to achieve Medallion elite status have an opportunity that is second to none among airline-branded credit cards — a faster path by spending on some Delta-branded cards.

Here’s what it takes to earn Delta Medallion elite status and how Delta-branded cards can help you get there faster.

To reach Delta Medallion elite status each year, you must fly a specified number of miles or segments, spend a specified level of dollars on Delta flights (MQD), or spend a specified level on your Delta credit card, thus waiving the MQD requirement.

Medallion Elite LevelMedallion Qualification Miles (MQM) or Segments (MQS) NeededMedallion Qualification Dollars Needed (MQD)
Silver25,000 MQM / 30 MQS$3,000 or spend $25,000 on the credit card to waive this requirement
Gold50,000 MQM / 60 MQS$6,000 or spend $25,000 on the credit card to waive this requirement
Platinum75,000 MQM / 100 MQS$9,000 or spend $25,000 on the credit card to waive this requirement
Diamond125,000 MQM / 140 MQS$15,000 or spend $250,000 on the card to waive this requirement

Spending $25,000 in a calendar year on the Delta Platinum card, Platinum Delta Business card, Delta Reserve card, or the Delta Reserve Business card will waive the Medallion Qualifying Dollar requirement for elite levels up to and including Platinum level. To waive the MQD requirement for Diamond you must spend $250,000 on a card in a calendar year.

Additionally, you can earn Medallion Qualification Miles by spending on these Delta-branded credit cards:

  • Delta Platinum card and Platinum Delta Business card — Spend $25,000 and receive 10,000 MQM towards elite status; spend a total of $50,000 in a calendar year and earn another 10,000 MQM for a total of 20,000 MQM.
  • Delta Reserve card and Delta Reserve Business card — Spend $30,000 and receive 15,000 MQM towards elite status; spend a total of $60,000 in a calendar year and earn another 15,000 MQM. An additional 15,000 MQM are earned at $90,000 and $120,000, for a total of 60,000 MQM.

Bottom Line: If Delta Medallion elite status is important to you, you can reach elite status quickly with additional MQM earned each calendar year by spending on the Delta Reserve card (20,000 MQM) or the Delta Reserve Business card (60,000 MQM).

Additional Benefits — Delta-Branded Credit Cards

All of the credit cards we’ve discussed in this article come with member benefits that may have varying limits depending on the card.

These benefits include:

  • Global Assist Hotline — Receive assistance planning for your trip or while you’re traveling for customs information, emergency transportation assistance, weather, currency conversion, or lost luggage assistance.
  • Rental Car Loss/Damage Insurance — Secondary rental car insurance covers damage, theft, and loss of use.
  • Baggage Insurance — Coverage is provided for checked or carry-on luggage that is lost, stolen, or damaged.
  • Purchase Protection — If an eligible item you purchased with your card is damaged or stolen, you’ll have coverage for 90 days.

This list is a general overview of additional benefits and is not all-encompassing. To view the actual list and descriptions of benefits/protections for each card, including the terms and conditions, you can access the benefit policy guides for all Delta-branded American Express cards here.

Everything Else You Need to Know

For those looking for a Delta SkyMiles credit card with no annual fee, American Express does issue a basic SkyMiles credit card.

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card comes with a welcome bonus and earns 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and at restaurants worldwide. All other purchases earn 1 mile per dollar.

The card does not come with any flight benefits but does allow you to pay for your flights with miles (Pay with Miles). The Delta Blue card also does not charge foreign transaction fees.

If you live outside of the U.S., particularly in either Mexico or parts of Asia, you may still be able to secure a Delta-branded credit card.

We’ve also written specifically about your options to learn more about the best credit cards for Delta flyers.

Hot Tip: Want to learn more about how credit cards can help you obtain elite status? Check out our informative article. 

Final Thoughts

Delta’s collection of branded credit cards is unique. You won’t find another group of airline-branded credit cards that allows you to earn qualifying miles (the same as flown miles) towards elite status at the rate Delta cards do.

With additional perks such as lounge access, a free checked bag, priority boarding, and the ability to earn double, even triple, SkyMiles on Delta purchases, a Delta frequent flyer can benefit greatly by having a Delta-branded credit card.

If you’re a frequent flyer and travel on a variety of airlines, spend a lot on travel in general, and value luxury travel perks, however, there are several travel rewards credit cards that should also be considered.


The information regarding the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

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


Frequently asked questions

Which Delta credit card is the best?

The best Delta-branded credit card for you will be the one that matches up with the annual fee you’re willing to pay, has benefits that you will find useful, and assists you in achieving the elite status that is important to you.

The most popular Delta-branded credit cards are the Delta Gold card and Delta Platinum card. Both cards offer a nice collection of flight benefits, earning potential, and a fast track to elite status.

How does the Delta companion ticket work?

The Delta Platinum card, Platinum Delta Business card, Delta Reserve card, and Reserve Delta Business card come with a companion ticket certificate good for buying 1 paid ticket and receiving 1 free companion ticket.

The cardholder is only responsible for the taxes/fees on the companion ticket, not to exceed $75.

Delta Platinum card and Platinum Delta Business cardmembers receive a domestic main cabin companion ticket when a main cabin ticket is purchased.

Delta Reserve card and Reserve Delta Business cardmembers receive a domestic first class cabin companion ticket or can choose a main cabin ticket.

The ticket is good for travel within the 48 consecutive states with consideration for Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Island residents to travel from the address on their SkyMiles account in those locations.

Do Delta SkyMiles expire?

No, SkyMiles never expire!

The miles you earn on your Delta credit card are deposited each month when your statement period ends into your SkyMiles frequent flyer account. Once they’re in that account, they’re safe, sound, and never expire.

Is there a Delta credit card with no annual fee?

Yes, there is a basic Delta-branded credit card that has no annual fee. The Delta Blue card offers 2 miles per dollar earnings on Delta purchases and at restaurants worldwide.

You won’t receive any flight benefits such as a free checked bag or priority boarding, however. You may want to consider the Delta Gold card that does offer flight benefits.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

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6 comments

  1. 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?

    Reply

    • 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!

      Reply

  2. Louis Frankel January 2, 2020

    Will there be a re-write for this article with the change in structure of the Delta Amex rewards for all cards in 2020?

    Reply

  3. Hello, there are some large Delta AMEX bonus offers floating around as I write this comment. I would like to refer some family members as I have all of the card flavors, but it seems that when I use the official AMEX referral page and login or provide card info, it offers a smaller bonus.
    Is there a way to refer the publicly available offers without calling AMEX, or is a phone call required (or does that even work?)
    Thanks.

    Reply

    • Hi FLN. I have experienced the same situation where I could not refer a family member for the higher welcome bonus. I am not aware of a work-around. Although I did not make the call to Amex, there is certainly no risk in doing so. Perhaps some of our readers have additional data points.

      Reply

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