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

Delta passenger enjoys Spotify

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American Express does a superb job of offering a variety of rewards-earning cards that can fit nearly every consumer’s lifestyle and spending mix. Today we’re going to look at just 2 of these popular cards that, while different in many ways, also share some common attributes.

The American Express® Gold Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card can provide value for the frequent traveler, but one card may be a better fit over the other for your specific situation.

Whether you’re a Delta frequent flyer looking for a card to compliment your airline loyalty program or a traveler who flies a variety of airlines (including Delta), today’s comparison highlights how each card earns rewards, your options at redemption time, and the benefits you can expect to receive.

Hang with us as we look at how each card can add great value for the right cardholder.

The Value of a Welcome Bonus

Both the Amex Gold card and Delta Platinum card offer the opportunity to earn a large number of rewards in the first 3 months after card approval when meeting minimum spending requirements.

The value of these welcome bonuses can vary depending on your chosen redemption option, but because of flexibility, we value Membership Rewards earned on the Amex Gold card to be more valuable than SkyMiles earned on the Delta Platinum card.

We’ll talk shortly about how both rewards currencies can be redeemed for plenty of travel options, but first, here’s a snapshot of current welcome bonuses you can expect to receive on our featured cards:

Bottom Line: Both of our featured cards come with generous welcome bonuses that can be earned in the first 3 months after card approval. While Membership Rewards are generally more valuable than SkyMiles, the actual value of your welcome bonus will depend on how you redeem your rewards. 

Membership Rewards Points vs. Delta SkyMiles

Delta One Passenger Sleeping
Both of our featured cards offer rewards that can help you achieve your travel goals. Image Credit: Delta Air Lines

The Amex Gold card earns Membership Rewards points while the Delta Platinum card earns Delta SkyMiles. Redemption options also differ.

Let’s look closer at how each of the cards earns rewards and the options you’ll have at redemption time.

Earning

While you’ll earn rewards on every purchase you make with either card, specific bonus categories can accelerate your earnings.

Here’s how the cards compare when earning rewards in bonus category spending and on all other purchases:

Earning CategoryAmex Gold CardDelta Platinum Card
Travel3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent for flights purchased directly with airlines or via Amex Travel3x miles per dollar spent on Delta and spent directly with hotels
Restaurants/U.S. Supermarkets4x points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide

4x points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 in purchases each calendar year

2x miles per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
All Other Purchases1x point per dollar spent1x mile per dollar spent

Bottom Line: The Amex Gold card offers strong earnings on flights, at restaurants, and at U.S. supermarkets, while the Delta Platinum card’s strongest earnings are on Delta flights and hotels. 

Redeeming

The Amex Gold card earns flexible Membership Rewards points that can be transferred to travel partners for excellent potential value. The Delta frequent flyer, however, will find plenty of useful travel redemption options for SkyMiles earned on the Delta Platinum card.

Here are the options for redeeming those hard-earned points and miles:

Redemption OptionAmex Gold CardDelta Platinum Card
Transfer to Travel Partners
Flights and Flight Upgrades
  • Redeem for flights via Amex Travel at 1 cent in value per point
  • Use Membership Rewards to request a flight upgrade with your preselected airline
  • Redeem miles for Delta Air Lines flights
  • Upgrade Delta flights with miles
  • Use the Pay with Miles benefit to pay for all or a portion of your eligible flight with miles
Additional Redemption Options
  • Merchandise, gift cards, statement credits, pay with points, statement credits, shop with Amazon or Ticketmaster, book eligible travel via Amex Travel, charitable donations
  • Delta Vacations, Sky Club membership, premium Sky Club drinks, magazines, gift cards, charitable donations

All redemption options are not created equal. To learn more about how to receive good value for your points and miles, you’ll enjoy our articles on the best ways to redeem your Membership Rewards points and some of the best redemption options for your Delta SkyMiles.

Bottom Line: The best redemption option for Membership Rewards points may be realized by transferring points to airline partners to purchase award flights. Delta SkyMiles are not as flexible, but good value can still be found when redeeming miles for Delta and SkyTeam member award flights. 

Delta Air Lines Benefits

Delta One Suites A350-900 Sitting Photo
That sweet feeling you get when you’ve used points or miles to upgrade your flight experience. Image Credit: Stephen Au

While you’d expect the airline-branded Delta Platinum card to offer Delta benefits, the Amex Gold card also offers benefits a Delta loyalist can appreciate.

Here are some of the Delta-specific benefits you can expect to receive on each of our featured cards:

Amex Gold CardDelta Platinum Card
  • Transfer Membership Rewards points to Delta 1:1 ratio
  • Upgrade Delta flights with points (must preselect Delta as a preferred airline)
  • Purchase Delta flights with points via Amex Travel and earn SkyMiles when flying
  • Free checked bag and priority boarding for cardholder and up to 8 companions traveling on the same reservation
  • Complimentary domestic companion flight certificate; cardholder pays taxes, not to exceed $75
  • Discounted Delta Sky Club access ($39 vs $59) per person, up to 2 guests
  • 20% statement credit for qualifying inflight purchases
  • Spend $25,000 on the card in a calendar year to waive Medallion Qualifying Dollar requirements for elite status
  • Spend $25,000 on the card in a calendar year to earn 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles toward elite status, maximum twice per year

Bottom Line: If you’re a current Delta Medallion elite member and already receive some of the benefits offered by the Delta Platinum card, you may want to consider the Amex Gold card with elevated earnings on select everyday purchases, plus plenty of ways to redeem points for Delta flights and upgrades.

Travel Benefits and Protections

Travel benefits and protections are complimentary perks that come with the Amex Gold card and Delta Platinum card.

Here are some of the most useful you’ll find on both cards:

  • Secondary Car Rental Insurance — Pay for the entire car rental with your card, decline the agency’s CDW/LDW coverage and receive coverage for damage and theft for your rental car. Secondary coverage means you must first file a claim with other applicable insurance before card coverage applies. Cardholders also have the option to purchase Premium Protection for 1 low fee ($12.95 to $24.95) that covers the entire rental period. Terms apply.
  • Trip Delay Insurance — When a trip is delayed 12 hours or more, you could receive up to $300 per covered trip with a maximum of 2 claims per 12 consecutive months.
  • Baggage Insurance — Receive up to $1,250 per person, per covered trip, for carry-on baggage that becomes damaged, lost, or stolen. Checked baggage has a limit of $500 per person, per covered trip. Coverage is secondary to any other coverage, including that which is offered by the airline.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees — Both of our featured cards travel well with no fees on foreign purchases.

Additional Travel Benefits and Protections

Here are the additional travel benefits and protections you can expect with each specific card:

Amex Gold Card

  • Benefits at The Hotel Collection— Enjoy elite-style benefits such as upgraded rooms, when available, and a $100 onsite hotel credit at affiliated properties when you book a 2-night or more prepaid stay via Amex Travel.

Delta Platinum Card

  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit — Receive a statement credit of up to $100 for either fee, every 4 years for Global Entry or 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck.
  • CLEAR Benefits — Zip through TSA with CLEAR for a discounted membership fee of $109 versus the normal $179 annual fee.

Bottom Line: Both of our featured cards come with core travel benefits and protections including car rental insurance, trip delay, baggage insurance, and no foreign transaction fees. The Delta Platinum card offers additional travel benefits, including Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement and discounted CLEAR membership. 

Shopping Benefits and Protections

Both the Amex Gold Card and Delta Platinum card come with shopping benefits that can save you money and make it possible for you to earn greater rewards on select purchases.

Additionally, you’ll find coverage that can offer protection if you experience a covered loss on eligible items purchased with your card.

Here are some of the key shopping benefits and protections that come with both cards:

  • Amex Offers — Access your online card account and view up to 100 Amex Offers that can save you money or help you earn additional points/miles. Add the offers you wish to use to your card and make the associated purchase to receive the bonus savings or earnings.
  • ShopRunner Membership — Receive free 2-day shipping and discounts at over 100 retailers with this complimentary membership.
  • Purchase Protection — Purchase an eligible item with your card and receive coverage for damage or theft for up to 90 days from the purchase date. Coverage limits are $1,000 per claim, a maximum of $50,000 per card account.
  • Extended Warranty — For eligible items purchased with your card, the manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less will be extended for 1 year.
  • Amex Auto Purchasing Program — Enjoy preferred pricing at select dealerships, $2,000 in post-purchase benefits, and the ability to charge a minimum of $2,000 of the purchase price to your card.

Additional Shopping Benefits and Protections

In addition to the above shopping benefits and protections, the Amex Gold card and Delta Platinum card offer these additional benefits:

Amex Gold Card

  • Monthly Dining Credit — Receive up to $10 each month, up to $120 each year, for purchases made at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Cheesecake Factory, Grubhub, Seamless, Boxed, and participating Shake Shacks.
  • Uber Cash — Add your Amex Gold card to your Uber account and receive up to $10 each month, up to $120 each year, in Uber Cash. Uber Cash can be used for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats.

Delta Platinum Card

  • Cell Phone Protection — Pay your monthly cell phone bill with your card and receive up to $800 per claim if your phone is damaged or stolen. There is a $50 deductible per claim and a limit of 2 claims per 12-month period.

Annual Fees and Adding Authorized Users

Additional fees can play a role in whether a card will provide you with bottom-line economic value.

Here’s how the fees charged annually and for adding authorized users on the Amex Gold card and Delta Platinum card compare:

Annual Fees

The Amex Gold card and the Delta Platinum card each charge an annual fee of $250. See rates and fees for the Amex Gold card here, and rates and fees for the Delta Platinum card here.

Adding Authorized Users

The Amex Gold card allows for up to 5 additional users at no extra charge. After that, each additional card is $35 (see rates and fees). The Delta Platinum card does not charge for authorized users (see rates and fees).

Hot Tip: Watch for promotional emails or log in to your online card account to see if you have bonus offers for adding authorized users. Note that minimum spending requirements may apply, but these offers can provide significant additional points or miles to your account when adding additional users. 

Amex Gold Card vs. Delta Platinum Card — Summary

After covering so much information, it can be helpful to provide a side-by-side comparison to help you sort out the long list of card attributes.

Here’s how the Amex Gold card and Delta Platinum card compare in each category:

Benefit Amex Gold CardDelta Platinum Card
Earning
  • Unlimited 4x points at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 in purchases each calendar year
  • 3x points on flights purchased directly from the airline and via Amex Travel
  • 1x points on all other purchases
  • 3x miles at Delta and directly at hotels
  • 2x miles at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (maximum of $25,000 in purchases each year)
  • 1x mile on all other purchases
Redemption Options
  • Transfer Membership Rewards points to airline and hotel partners
  • Redeem points for flights via Amex Travel for 1 cent in value per point
  • Upgrade preselected airline flights with points
  • Merchandise, gift cards, statement credits, pay with points, statement credits, shop with Amazon or Ticketmaster, book eligible travel via Amex Travel, charitable donations
  • Redeem miles for Delta Air Line flights or SkyTeam partner airline flights
  • Upgrade Delta flights with miles
  • Use miles with Pay with Miles to pay for all or a portion of eligible flights
  • Delta Vacations, Sky Club membership, premium Sky Club drinks, magazines, gift cards, charitable donations
Delta Benefits
  • Transfer points to Delta and purchase award tickets
  • Upgrade Delta flights with points
  • Purchase flights via Amex Travel and earn Delta SkyMiles when flying
  • Free checked bag and priority boarding for cardholder and up to 8 traveling companions
  • Domestic companion flight certificate each year
  • Discounted Sky Club passes
  • 20% statement credit for eligible inflight purchases
  • Faster path to elite status by spending on the card
Travel Benefits and Protections
  • The Hotel Collection on-site benefits for 2-night or greater stay
  • Secondary car rental insurance with the option to purchase Premium Protection for a low fee that covers the entire rental period
  • Trip delay reimbursement, up to $300 per trip for delays of 12 hours or more
  • Baggage insurance, up to $1,250 per person, per covered trip
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Discounted CLEAR membership at $109 versus. $179
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement
  • Secondary car rental insurance with the option to purchase Premium Protection at a low price that covers the entire rental period
  • Trip delay reimbursement, up to $300 per trip for delays of 12 hours or more
  • Baggage insurance, up to $1,250 per person, per covered trip
  • No foreign transaction fees

 

Shopping Benefits and Protections
  • Up to $10 in dining credits each month, up to $120 each year for specific restaurants and food delivery purchases
  • Up to $10 each month in Uber Cash, up to $120 each year
  • Amex Offers, purchase protection, extended warranty, Amex Auto Purchasing Program, ShopRummer membership

 

  • Amex Offers, purchase protection, extended warranty, Amex Auto Purchasing Program, ShopRummer membership, cell phone protection

This list is just a sampling of the core benefits that come with our featured cards. You’ll want to consult the Guide to Benefits for each card for detailed descriptions and additional terms and conditions.

Some benefits require registration, adding your eligible card as a default payment, or there may be minimum spending requirements. Please review these requirements prior to executing any of the mentioned offers.

Hot Tip: Check out more of our detailed comparisons with a head-to-head look at The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. the Delta Platinum Card and the Amex Gold Card vs. the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card.

Final Thoughts

There are so many great rewards-earning card options available that it can be tough to narrow your selection to just 2.

If you’re a Delta flyer, however, it does make sense to have a Delta-branded card to earn more on Delta purchases and receive Delta-centric benefits. You can review all the best cards for Delta flyers in our article that digs deeper and compares Delta-branded card benefits.

The Amex Gold card could serve as a great card to supplement the Delta Platinum card with its stellar earnings on flights, U.S. supermarket purchases, and at restaurants worldwide. The card functions perfectly as an everyday spending card with travel earnings and benefits frequent travelers can utilize.

If you tend to fly a variety of airlines, eat out often, and spend a lot at the supermarket, however, the Amex Gold card would be a fine choice. The card’s overall earning potential, travel redemption options, and travel/shopping benefits deliver a lot of value for this consumer profile.

Whichever card you choose, you’ll want the card that matches and rewards your spending mix, has an annual fee you’re comfortable paying, and provides benefits that offer definable value to you personally.

If you want to review additional travel rewards card options, our listing of some of the best cards available will be of interest.


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


Frequently asked questions

Which is better, the Amex Gold card or the Delta Platinum card?

If you are a Delta loyalist and find value in having a free checked bag, priority boarding, accelerated earnings on Delta purchases, and a faster path to elite status, the Delta Platinum card could be a good match.

If you fly a variety of airlines and value the ability to redeem points for travel with any airline, the Amex Gold card offers better earning potential and more flexible redemption options than the Delta Platinum card.

The better card for you will be the one that rewards your specific spending and has redemption options that align with your travel goals.

Is the Delta Platinum card the same as the Amex Platinum card?

No. While both cards are issued by American Express, the Amex Platinum card is a premium travel rewards card that comes with a long list of premier travel benefits such as worldwide lounge access, statement credits for specific purchases, hotel elite status, and several travel/shopping benefits and protections.

Additionally, points earned on the card can be transferred to other travel partners.

The Delta Platinum card is designed for Delta frequent flyers who want Delta-related benefits such as accelerated earning on Delta purchases, in-flight discounts and perks, and redemption options for flights with Delta and SkyTeam alliance partners.

Does the Amex Gold card come with lounge access?

No, the Amex Gold card does not offer lounge access. The Amex Platinum card comes with complimentary lounge access to over 1,300 properties worldwide, including Centurion Lounges. Plus, the card offers a long list of additional premium travel benefits.

Does the Delta Platinum card come with Delta elite status?

No. While the Delta Platinum card does come with elite-style perks such as a free checked bag and priority main cabin boarding for the cardholder and up to 8 traveling companions, the card does not offer Delta Medallion elite status.

The card does, however, offer the ability to earn Medallion Elite Qualifying Miles (MQM) that count toward elite status for spending on the card. Plus, spending on the card also offers an opportunity to waive Medallion Qualifying Dollar requirements (MQD) for elite status levels up to Delta Platinum Medallion.

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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