Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Juan Ruiz
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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 looking 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 for you over the other.
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.
With so much information to digest, 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:
|American Express® Gold Card
|Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
|Earn 60,000 points when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
|Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
|Travel Benefits and Protections
|Shopping Benefits and Protections
|$250 (rates & fees)
|$350 (rates & fees)
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.
Both the Amex Gold card and Delta Platinum card offer the opportunity to earn a large number of rewards in the first few 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:
Amex Gold Card
This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.
The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.
With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.
There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 90,000 points with the Amex Gold card. The current public offer is 60,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)
Delta Platinum Card
Frequent Delta travelers will enjoy this card's bonus categories, benefits, and ability to reach higher levels of elite status.
If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card can be a great option for those seeking additional ways to obtain a higher level of status — or to maintain their current status — with the airline.
A key feature of this card is the ability to earn bonus Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) that are essential for earning Delta status. This could help you get closer to earning a handful of valuable benefits with the airline.
Let’s look closer at how each of the cards earns rewards and the options you’ll have at redemption time.
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:
|Amex Gold Card
|Delta Platinum Card
|3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent for flights purchased directly with airlines or via AmexTravel.com
|3x miles per dollar spent on Delta and spent directly with hotels
|2x miles per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S. and at U.S. supermarkets.
|All Other Purchases
|1x points per dollar spent
|1x miles per dollar spent
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:
|Amex Gold Card
|Delta Platinum Card
|Transfer to Travel Partners
|Transfer Membership Rewards points to 20+ American Express transfer partners
|No transfer partners. However, SkyMiles can be redeemed for award flights with SkyTeam alliance partner airlines
|Flights and Flight Upgrades
|Additional Redemption Options
|Merchandise, gift cards, statement credits, pay with points, statement credits, shop with Amazon or Ticketmaster, book eligible travel via AmexTravel.com, 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.
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 on each of our featured cards:
|Amex Gold Card
|Delta Platinum Card
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:
Here are the additional travel benefits and protections you can expect with each specific card:
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:
In addition to the above shopping benefits and protections, the Amex Gold card and Delta Platinum card offer these benefits:
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:
The Amex Gold card and the Delta Platinum card each charge an annual fee. The Amex Gold card charges an annual fee of $250 (rates & fees), while the Delta Platinum card incurs a $350 (rates & fees) annual fee.
The Amex Gold card allows for up to 5 additional users at no extra charge. After that, each additional card is $35 (rates & fees). The Delta Platinum card does not charge for authorized users (rates & 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.
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 frequent Delta flyer, however, it could 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, the Amex Gold card would be a fine choice. The card’s overall earning potential, travel redemption options, and travel and 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.
If you want to review additional travel rewards card options, our listing of some of the best cards available will be of interest.
For the car rental collision damage coverage benefit of the American Express® Gold Card and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, car rental loss and damage insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the commercial car rental company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the baggage insurance plan benefit of the American Express® Gold Card and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, baggage insurance plan coverage can be in effect for eligible persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen baggage during their travel on a common carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the entire fare for a common carrier vehicle ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an eligible account. Coverage can be provided for up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the common carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus). For New York state residents, there is a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all covered persons per covered Trip. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the purchase protection benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, purchase protection is an embedded benefit of your card membership and requires no enrollment. It can help protect covered purchases made on your eligible card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the covered purchase date. The coverage is limited up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Coverage limits apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the purchase protection benefit of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, purchase protection is an embedded benefit of your card membership and requires no enrollment. It can help protect covered purchases made on your eligible card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the covered purchase date. The coverage is limited up to $1,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Coverage limits apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the trip delay insurance coverage benefit of the American Express® Gold Card and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, up to $300 per covered trip that is delayed for more than 12 hours; and 2 claims per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company. For the extended warranty benefit of the American Express® Gold Card and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, when an American Express® card member charges a covered purchase to an eligible card, extended warranty can provide up to one extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty. Applies to warranties of five (5) years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For the cell phone protection benefit of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, coverage for a stolen or damaged eligible cellular wireless telephone is subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions, and limits of liability of this benefit. The maximum liability is $800, per claim, per eligible card account. Each claim is subject to a $50 deductible. Coverage is limited to two (2) claims per eligible card account per 12-month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions, and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/
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.
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 and 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, inflight discounts and perks, and redemption options for flights with Delta and SkyTeam alliance partners.
No, the Amex Gold card does not offer lounge access. The Amex Platinum card comes with complimentary lounge access to over 1,400 properties worldwide, including Centurion Lounges. Plus, the card offers a long list of additional premium travel benefits.
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. (Effective 1/1/24, this benefit will no longer be available, and there will be a new way to earn toward Medallion Status with the Card. Learn more at delta.com/skymilesprogramchanges.)
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.