Amex Gold Card vs. Delta Gold Card [Detailed Comparison]

Family Vacation Selfie

We may be compensated when you click on links from one or more of our advertising partners. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone. Terms apply to offers below. See our Advertiser Disclosure for more details.

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.

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 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.

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 at 1 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.

Earning Potential

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 CategoryAmex Gold CardDelta Gold Card
Travel3x points on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel2x miles on Delta purchases
Restaurants and U.S. Supermarkets4x points at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 spent per year, 1x thereafter2x miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets
Additional Earnings1x point on all other eligible purchases1x 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. 

Redemption Options

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 OptionsAmex Gold CardDelta Gold Card
Transfer to Travel PartnersTransfer Membership Rewards points to 20+ airline and hotel transfer partnersNo transfer partners, however, miles can be used to book award flights with SkyTeam member airlines
Redeem for FlightsVia Amex Travel for 1 cent in value per pointWith Delta and SkyTeam partners
Additional Redemption OptionsMerchandise, gift cards, statement credits, upgrade with points, pay with points, book eligible travel via Amex Travel, charitable donationsGift 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.

Additional Benefits

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 Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, Boxed, GrubHub, and Seamless. Enrollment is 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:

Annual Fees

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

Enterprise rental car pickup
Both of our featured cards offer valuable travel benefits and protections. Image Credit: Enterprise

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:

Flight Benefits

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.

Baggage 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

Amex Offers
Amex Offers can save you money and help you earn rewards faster. Image Credit: American Express

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.

Amex Offers

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.

Purchase Protection

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.

Extended Warranty

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.

ShopRunner Membership

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. 

Amex Gold Card vs. Amex Delta Gold Card — Summary

We’ve covered a lot of information on our featured cards. It’s time to summarize our comparison of the Amex Gold card and Delta Gold card.

Here are the core benefits of each card.

Feature or BenefitAmex Gold CardDelta Gold Card
Earnings
  • 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (limits apply)
  • 3 points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly from the airline or Amex Travel
2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets
Redemption Options
  • 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
Statement Credits
  • 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
  • Earn 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent directly 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
Travel Benefits/Protections
  • 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
N/A
Shopping Benefits/ProtectionsAmex Offers, purchase protection, extended warranty, complimentary ShopRunner membership

Final Thoughts

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.


Frequently asked questions

Is the Amex Gold card worth it?

If you like to travel and you spend a lot at U.S. supermarkets and on dining out, the card could be more than worth it.

The card functions well as an everyday spending card yet it offers earnings on select travel and presents high-value redemption opportunities.

Does the Amex Gold card have lounge access?

The Amex Gold card does not offer airport lounge access. If worldwide lounge access is important to you, you’ll want to consider the Amex Platinum card, which offers worldwide access to more than 1,300 lounges, including the prestigious Centurion Lounges.

Is a Delta credit card worth it?

If you fly Delta, even a few times a year, a Delta-branded credit card is worth it. The savings of having a free checked bag for you and your traveling companions alone could offset any annual fee.

Priority boarding, discounts on inflight purchases, earning miles for free flights, and Amex offers can offer additional value for the Delta Air Lines flyer.

Can I transfer Delta SkyMiles to other airlines?

While you cannot transfer Delta SkyMiles to other airlines, you can use your SkyMiles to book award flights with SkyTeam Alliance airline partners.

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.

Urgent Report:

How to Beat the Crowds & Lock In Affordable Travel While You Still Can...

With lockdowns ending, the demand for travel is surging to record levels - and so are prices.

We’ll show you the strategies and tools to unlock huge savings, but that window is closing fast - so you need to get on this right now.

Download our last-chance playbook here:

We respect your privacy. Please view our privacy policy here.

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.

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written by experts who know these products inside out, and what we recommend is what we would (or already) use ourselves. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. Click here to see a list of advertisers that we work with.