The American Express® Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express often get confused with the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. This is understandable, thanks to the cards having similar names, but the cards are actually quite different, each having its own unique offering of earning, redemption, and benefits.
Today we’re going to focus on 2 of these popular cards, the Amex Gold card and the Delta Gold card. We’ll clarify how each of them earns rewards, what your options would be for redeeming those rewards, and some of the travel and shopping benefits you can expect to receive with either card.
Join us as we compare these 2 popular American Express-issued cards in an effort to help you determine which may be the better match for your needs.
Amex Gold Card vs. Amex Delta Gold Card — Overview
Before we dive into the details of our featured cards, let’s quickly summarize our comparison of the Amex Gold card and Delta Gold card.
Here are the core benefits of each card:
|Feature or Benefit||Amex Gold Card||Delta Gold Card|
- 4x points at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (limits apply)
- 3x points on flights purchased directly from the airline or Amex Travel
|2x miles on Delta purchases and at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets|
- Pay for flights via Amex Travel at 1 cent per point
- Transfer points to hotel and airline partners for greater potential value
- Eligible travel via Amex Travel, gift cards, merchandise, upgrade with points, pay with points, charitable donations
|Delta and SkyTeam award flights, Delta seat upgrades, Delta Vacations, gift cards, magazines, merchandise, Apple products, charitable donations|
- Up to $10 monthly dining credit at select restaurants and food delivery services
- Up to $10 monthly Uber Cash; add your card to your Uber account to receive $10 per month, up to $120 each year to use for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats
|20% rebate as a statement credit for eligible inflight purchases|
|Delta Air Lines Benefits|
- 3x points on flights purchased with Delta
- Transfer Membership Rewards points to Delta Air Lines at a 1:1 ratio, a small fee applies
- Free checked bag and priority boarding for cardholder and up to 9 traveling companions on the same reservation
- 20% rebate on qualifying inflight and pre-purchased meal purchases
- Eligible to pay for flights using Pay With Miles
- $100 Delta flight certificate after spending $10,000 in a calendar year on the card
- Secondary car rental insurance with the option to purchase Premium Protection for 1 low fee that covers the entire rental period
- Baggage insurance
- No foreign transaction fees
|Additional Travel Benefits/Protections|
- Trip delay insurance
- The Hotel Collection benefits
|Shopping Benefits/Protections||Amex Offers, purchase protection, extended warranty, complimentary ShopRunner membership|
The Value of a Welcome Bonus
A welcome bonus is an opportunity to accumulate a large number of rewards in a short period of time. You’ll earn a welcome bonus on either card after meeting minimum spending requirements within the first 3 months after being approved for the card.
Membership Rewards points and Delta SkyMiles vary in value depending on which redemption option you utilize. We value Membership Rewards at 2.2 cents each and Delta SkyMiles at 1.2 cent each. But, ultimately, the actual value you receive will depend on how you choose to redeem your rewards.
Here’s a snapshot of the current welcome bonus you can expect on each of our featured cards.
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus of up to 90,000 points with the Amex Gold card! (The current public offer is 60,000 points.)
Bottom Line: A welcome bonus allows you to earn a large number of rewards after card approval. The value of the welcome bonus will vary depending on how you ultimately redeem your rewards, however, we estimate Membership Rewards to be worth approximately 2.2 cents each and Delta SkyMiles to be worth 1.2 cent each.
Membership Rewards Points vs. Delta SkyMiles
Whether you’re looking for a domestic plane ticket to travel across the U.S. or a business class experience across the ocean, you can use points and miles to accomplish these goals. How those rewards are earned will differ depending on your card selection.
Each of our featured cards earns rewards on every purchase. The Amex Gold card earns Membership Rewards points while the Delta Gold card earns Delta SkyMiles.
Let’s look at how our featured cards differ when it comes to earning these rewards currencies:
|Bonus Earning Category||Amex Gold Card||Delta Gold Card|
|Travel||3x points on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel||2x miles on Delta purchases|
|Restaurants and U.S. Supermarkets||4x points at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 spent per year, 1x thereafter||2x miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets|
|Additional Earnings||1x point on all other eligible purchases||1x mile on all other eligible purchases|
Bottom Line: While the avid Delta flyer may value earning lots of Delta SkyMiles to use for flights and upgrades, the Amex Gold card offers higher earning potential and flexible Membership Rewards points that can offer greater potential value.
Earning a lot of rewards is great, but the real value of earning rewards surfaces at redemption time.
Here are the redemption options you’ll have with Membership Rewards compared to Delta SkyMiles:
|Redemption Options||Amex Gold Card||Delta Gold Card|
|Transfer to Travel Partners||Transfer Membership Rewards points to 20+ airline and hotel transfer partners||No transfer partners, however, miles can be used to book award flights with SkyTeam member airlines|
|Redeem for Flights||Via Amex Travel for 1 cent in value per point||With Delta and SkyTeam partners|
|Additional Redemption Options||Merchandise, gift cards, statement credits, upgrade with points, pay with points, book eligible travel via Amex Travel, charitable donations||Gift cards, magazines, Delta Vacations, Delta Experiences, and charitable donations|
Bottom Line: You’ll have several options for redeeming Membership Rewards points or Delta SkyMiles, but the best value can be realized when redeeming for flights, whether transferring Membership Rewards points to airline partners, or finding the best value for your SkyMiles with Delta or its SkyTeam partners.
Statement credits and spending offers provide direct economic value if you can use these offers.
Amex Gold Card
- Up to $120 Each Year in Dining Credits — Up to $10 each month at specific restaurants and food delivery services, including Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
- Up to $120 Each Year in Uber Cash — Add your Amex Gold card to your Uber account and receive up to $10 each month in Uber Cash, up to $120 each calendar year.
- The Hotel Collection Benefits — Book your 2-night stay or longer via Amex Travel, and receive a $100 hotel credit and an upgraded room (based on availability).
Delta Gold Card
- Rebate on Purchases — Receive a 20% rebate in the form of a statement credit for pre-purchased meals, inflight food, beverages, and audio headsets.
- $100 Flight Certificate — Spend $10,000 in a calendar year on the card and receive a $100 certificate toward a future Delta flight.
Annual Fees and Adding Authorized Users
When deciding on a new credit card, you’ll want to consider the annual fee and whether the card provides enough value to make paying that fee worthwhile. Additionally, if it’s important to have additional users on your account, you’ll want to be aware of the cost of doing so.
Here’s how our featured cards stack up when it comes to annual fees and authorized users:
The Amex Gold card charges an annual fee of $250, while the Delta Gold card charges just $99, and that fee is waived the first year.
Adding Authorized Users
The Amex Gold Card allows up to 5 additional user cards at no extra charge (see rates and fees). The Delta Gold card does not charge for additional users, and no limit is specified (see rates and fees).
Bottom Line: While the Amex Gold card has a higher annual fee, it also offers greater earning potential, statement credits, and flexible redemption options that could add significant value if you can maximize these card features.
Travel Benefits and Protections
Travel benefits and protections can save you money and provide peace of mind during your travels.
Here’s how the cards compare in this category:
The Amex Gold card does not provide any specific flight benefits.
The Delta Gold card offers Delta-associated flight benefits, including:
- Free checked bag and priority boarding for cardholder and up to 9 traveling companions on the same Delta reservation
- 20% rebate on qualifying inflight and pre-purchased meal purchases on Delta flights
- Eligible to pay for Delta flights using Pay with Miles
Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
Reserve and pay for your entire rental with either card, decline the rental agency’s CDW or LDW coverage, and receive secondary coverage for damage or theft of the rental car. Secondary coverage means that you must first file a claim with any other applicable insurance.
Fortunately, both cards offer the option to secure Amex Premium Protection for 1 price that covers the entire rental period. This coverage ranges from $12.95 to $24.95, depending on the location and coverage selected.
Trip Delay Insurance
For trip delays of more than 12 hours, the Amex Gold card provides up to $300 of coverage for additional eligible expenses, up to 2 claims per eligible card per 12-month period. The Delta Gold card does not offer trip delay insurance.
Both cards offer lost or damaged luggage insurance that provides up to $1,250 for carry-on bags and $500 for checked bags. A $10,000 limit applies to New York residents.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Thankfully, if you’re an international traveler, either of these cards is great to have in your wallet:
Shopping Benefits and Protections
Both the Amex Gold card and Delta Gold card come with benefits and protections that can save you money and provide protection for eligible items purchased with your card.
Both of our featured cards come with a valuable option for receiving discounts and additional earnings on select purchases. Amex Offers can save you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars each year. When you log in to your online card account you’ll see as many as 100 offers from which to select. Add the offer to your card, make the associated purchase, and receive a statement credit or additional earnings.
Both cards offer purchase protection for eligible items purchased with the card for up to 90 days from the date of purchase for theft, loss, or damage. The Delta Gold card offers a maximum of $1,000 per eligible item, while the Amex Gold card offers a maximum of $10,000 per eligible item. Both cards have a maximum of $50,000 per eligible card.
Both cards offer an additional 1 year of protection for eligible items purchased with your card with a manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per item, up to $50,000 in a calendar year.
You’ll receive a complimentary ShopRunner membership with either card upon registration. Membership offers free 2-day shipping, free returns, and special offers with dozens of merchants.
Bottom Line: Shopping benefits and protections that come with the Amex Gold card and Delta Gold card can save you money and provide you with elevated earning opportunities on select purchases.
While the Amex Gold card could be the winner if your spending mix includes supermarket, dining, and flight purchases, the Delta Gold card could deliver some value at a lower annual fee for the frequent Delta flyer.
If you’re willing to pay the higher fee on the Amex Gold card, however, you could receive greater earnings for certain expenditures.
If, for example, you spent $25,000 at a U.S. supermarket on the Amex Gold card, you would earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points that could be worth $2,200 (or more) in value when transferred to travel partners. When transferring points to partner Delta, you would receive 100,000 Delta SkyMiles. That same $25,000 spent at the supermarket on the Delta Gold card would earn just 50,000 SkyMiles.
You do not receive Delta flight benefits on the Amex Gold card, however.
If you’re an avid Delta flyer, you may want to explore the best Delta-branded card options available, especially if elite status, flight benefits, Delta Sky Club access, or earning a lot of Delta SkyMiles are important to you.
If you’d like to learn more about how the Amex Gold card compares with other top travel rewards cards, check out these related articles where we dive deep into specific card comparisons.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, click here.