The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is the entry-level option among their co-branded Delta cards.
American Express also offers the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card and the Delta Reserve® Credit Card, both of which come with a few increased benefits and significantly higher annual fees.
If Delta is your primary airline, the benefits of having a free checked bag and priority boarding alone make carrying at least 1 of the American Express Delta cards worth it. Unless you need the extra help to qualify for elite status with Delta, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is likely your best option, so for now, that’s the card we will concentrate on.
Let’s take a detailed look at the benefits that come along with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. That way, you can decide if it’s the right card for you.
Table of contents
- Key Card Benefits
- Travel Benefits
- Shopping and Entertainment Benefits
- Final Thoughts
Table of Contents
- Key Card Benefits
- Travel Benefits
- Shopping and Entertainment Benefits
- Final Thoughts
Key Card Benefits
Not surprisingly, the main benefits of this card are centered around Delta Air Lines. Other standard credit card benefits are there too, and the waived annual fee for the first year is a nice touch.
No First Year Annual Fee
There is a $0 annual fee for the first year of card membership. The annual fee in subsequent years is $95.
Earn Delta SkyMiles
This card earns miles in the Delta SkyMiles Program. SkyMiles can be redeemed for flights on Delta or more than 15 of their airline partners around the world. Delta is a member of the SkyTeam Alliance and partners with all other member airlines.
You will earn 2 miles per dollar spent when using your card on purchases made directly with Delta. This includes flights and vacation packages booked at delta.com, Sky Club memberships and passes, seat upgrades, and any in-flight purchases of headsets, drinks, or food.
For all other purchases with your card, you will earn 1 mile per dollar. There is no limit to how many miles you can earn.
Medallion Qualification Dollar Waiver
If a cardmember fails to meet the Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) threshold for a Qualification Year, they can still qualify for Medallion status if they’ve earned the required Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) — and made at least $25,000 in eligible purchases on the card within that qualification year.
Beginning January 1, 2018, the Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) Waiver for earning Diamond Medallion Status is changing. The required eligible spend will be $250,000 for Diamond Medallion Status only. The required eligible spend for Platinum, Gold, or Silver Medallion Status will remain set at $25,000.
You will never be held responsible for fraudulent charges on your card. If you notice a charge that you didn’t make or authorize, call the number on the back of the card and they will take care of it for you. American Express will remove the charge, and there will never be any deductible for you.
At the end of the year, you can log in to your account to get a year-end summary. This summary includes all of your charges throughout the year organized by type of expense. This allows you to analyze your spending, which helps with budgeting and organization of your finances.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express has a variety of benefits that will make your travel easier, more comfortable, and more pleasant overall. From checking bags to renting cars, this card makes sure your trip will go smoothly from start to finish.
Free Checked Bag
Your first checked bag is free when traveling on Delta-marketed and Delta-operated flights, as long as your SkyMiles number is on both the reservation and your credit card. To qualify, the bag must not be oversized or overweight, and you must check in with Delta.
Assuming you would normally have to pay to check a bag, this benefit will save you $30 on every qualifying flight while you are a cardmember.
Hot Tip: The first checked bag free benefit applies to up to 9 people flying on the same reservation, as long as the reservation is booked by the primary cardholder. That means you can save up to $540 per round-trip when you travel with a large group!
Cardmembers will receive Zone 1 priority boarding on flights operated by Delta and Delta Connection. To receive this benefit, the reservation must include the primary cardmember’s SkyMiles number. Priority boarding is not available on Delta Shuttle flights.
Like the checked baggage waiver, this benefit applies to up to 9 people on the same reservation as the cardholder. This means that as long as you’re booked on the same reservation, your whole party should be able to board together.
Priority boarding can be an important benefit if you’re traveling with bags that need to fit in the overhead compartments. With passengers trying to avoid paying to check bags, the overhead compartments often get full before everyone has boarded. Boarding first means there will definitely be space for your bag.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
American Express will not charge any foreign transaction fees on purchases you make while traveling outside of the United States.
This does not apply to fees charged by ATM’s or foreign merchants.
Hot Tip: To avoid extra fees, always choose to pay in the local currency. Do not let the store convert the purchase to U.S. dollars.
Discounted Delta Sky Club Access
Gold cardmembers and up to 2 guests can enter a Delta Sky Club for a discounted rate of $29 per person. This benefit is now only available to cardmembers who have a same-day ticketed flight Delta or one of its partners. Payment for entry has to be done in person with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express.
The Delta Sky Club can be a great place to relax before a flight or on a long layover. Seating is more comfortable, there are complimentary snacks, and you have a place to freshen up before flying. Depending on the location and size of the Club, it may be well worth the $29 entry fee to avoid sitting in the uncomfortable rows of chairs in the gate areas.
By using your card for in-flight purchases, you can save 20%. Savings come in the form of a statement credit on your card, and they will appear 6-8 weeks after you make the purchase.
The 20% savings applies to pre-purchased meals and in-flight purchases of food, drinks, and audio headsets. Savings only apply on Delta-operated flights and do not apply for any other in-flight purchases than those listed. Wireless internet and charitable donations are specifically excluded.
Car Rental Coverage
When you rent an eligible car and pay for the entire rental with your card, you will have insurance coverage if the vehicle is lost or stolen. For this benefit to apply, you must decline the collision damage waiver at the counter when picking up the rental. Insurance coverage is secondary to your primary auto insurance.
Certain high-end vehicles, off-road vehicles, limousines, and antique cars are not covered by this insurance. Coverage also does not apply to auto rentals in Australia, Italy, and New Zealand.
Hot Tip: This insurance coverage is secondary coverage. That means if you have a loss, your primary personal insurance will pay out first. Insurance from the card will only pay out for the portion of the loss not covered by your primary insurance. If you are looking for primary insurance coverage, there are other cards you should use for your car rental charges instead.
Global Assist Hotline
If you are traveling more than 100 miles from your home, the cardholder will have 24/7 access to global emergency coordination and assistance services. These can include medical or legal referrals, cash wire assistance, passport replacement, missing luggage, and more.
This hotline will help you set up any of the services listed above, but it is important to note that the cardholder will be responsible for any third party costs charged by the actual service providers. Setting up the services is covered for free; actually using the services is not.
Shopping and Entertainment Benefits
Aside from travel, shopping and entertainment are among the largest categories of spending for most credit cards. When making a purchase, it is important to know what consumer protections your credit card will offer in case you have a problem down the line.
When it comes to entertainment access, American Express is one of the best credit card issuers. Each card has its own set of benefits, but if you want to get those hard to find tickets, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express might the right card for you.
Free ShopRunner Membership
By signing up with your eligible American Express card, cardholders can receive a free ShopRunner membership. This membership is available at no cost as long as you keep the associated American Express card open.
ShopRunner provides free 2-day shipping on millions of products from hundreds of online stores. This benefit only applies to select items at certain stores; it does not necessarily apply to every item a store sells. To activate the free shipping, you must sign in to ShopRunner during checkout.
In addition, ShopRunner provides free return shipping for orders from several online stores. For eligible items, you will be provided with a paid return shipping label.
When using your card to make a purchase, the warranty of the item purchased will be automatically matched and extended by up to 1 year. To be eligible for this extended warranty, the product must have come with an original United States manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less.
The coverage has a limit of $10,000 per item and $50,000 per calendar year, and it is limited to the purchase price put on your card.
Hot Tip: When making a major purchase, especially of appliances or electronics, it is in your best interest to choose a credit card that will offer an extended warranty. That way, if you have a problem with the product just after the warranty runs out, you will still be covered by your credit card.
For smaller purchases made in the United States and U.S. Territories, return protection can provide a refund if the store will not take the item back as a return. To qualify, the item must have been purchased with your card, and you must be trying to return it within 90 days of purchase. This benefit has a limit of $300 per item and $1,000 per calendar year.
In the case of accidental damage or theft, purchase protection can refund eligible purchases charged to your card. The benefit has a limit of $1,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per calendar year.
Lost items, consumable/perishable items, vehicles (and their part and accessories), and normal wear and tear are specifically excluded from this coverage. It is also important to note that this coverage is secondary. If you have renters or homeowners insurance that will cover your loss, that policy would pay out before this coverage takes effect.
Whether your interest is sporting events, concerts, or Broadway shows, American Express can help you get the tickets you want.
In select cities, American Express cardmembers have access to exclusive presales for a wide variety of events. With many concerts and shows selling out within minutes, access to the presale might make the difference between enjoying the event in-person and sitting at home on your couch wishing you were there.
During the presales, tickets must be purchased with your card, not all seats will be available, and there will be some blackout dates. Similar to purchasing through a general public sale, tickets sales will be final, with no refunds or exchanges being offered.
American Express is the only bank that issues Delta co-branded credit cards, and the benefits of free checked bags, priority boarding, and a 20% inflight discount make holding one of their cards worth it (even if you only fly with Delta a few times a year).
The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is a great option if you want added perks when flying with Delta but don’t need extra help qualifying for elite status. This could either be because you will not qualify even with help from a credit card, or you will easily qualify even without help from a credit card.
In either of these cases, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is likely the most favorable of the 3 American Express Delta cards for you. No annual fee the first year makes trying the card out an easy decision. After you take advantage of the benefits when flying with Delta a few times throughout the year, you will be happy to pay the low $95 annual fee for the next year too.