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At the same time that Chase is releasing a new no annual fee United credit card, American Express is releasing a new no annual fee Delta credit card called the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card. Here’s a look at what the card comes with.
- No annual fee
- 10,000 SkyMiles sign-up bonus after $500 spend in the first three months
- 2X miles on restaurant purchases
- 2X miles on Delta purchases
- 1X miles on all other purchases
- 20% in-flight savings on dining, drinks, and headsets
No free bags or boarding perks
Noticeably absent are the free bag privileges and priority boarding perks found on cards like the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. This is no surprise, however, as you wouldn’t expect to find those perks on a no-annual fee credit card.
The sign-up bonus of 10,000 Delta SkyMiles is very low, especially given the value of Delta Skymiles. I personally would not want to waste a hard pull on such a low bonus. Instead, I would wait for the big 60,000 miles offer for the Gold Delta SkyMiles card to come back out and jump on that. 10,000 Delta SkyMiles just doesn’t do you much good and it’s always possible that this bonus will increase in the future, so getting it now could exclude you from more valuable future earnings.
Bonus category spend
It is very interesting that this card offers 2X on dining while other more premium Delta cards do not offer this bonus spending category. For some people who would like to earn Delta mile via dining spending, this could be a decent option for them. But for me personally, I’m going to stick to earning 3X on dining on my Chase Sapphire Reserve.
New application restrictions
Interestingly, this card comes with new restrictions. The new terms and conditions state:
- Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product or the Delta SkyMiles® Options Credit Card.
- Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who currently have or have had one of the following products in the last 90 days: Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, or Delta Reserve® Credit Card.
So to apply for this new credit card, you’ll need to cancel all of your other Delta cards and then wait 90 days from that period. I haven’t seen American Express implement a rule like this before, so this could be telling of what Amex has planned for the future.
Medallion Qualification Dollar Waiver
Effective January 1, 2018, the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card will no longer be eligible for the Medallion Qualification Dollar Waiver. However, if you have another Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card with the Medallion Qualification Dollar Waiver benefit in addition to your Delta Blue SkyMiles Credit Card, Eligible Purchases made on the Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card will continue to count towards the MQD Waiver.
- Effective until December 31, 2017: If the Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) threshold is not met for a Qualification Year, you can still qualify for Medallion status if you have earned the required Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) and make at least $25,000 in Eligible Purchases within that Qualification Year on your Eligible Card.
Overall, I’m not overly impressed with this credit card. The most exciting aspect of the card to me is that you should be able to downgrade your Gold or Platinum Delta cards to the Blue version and avoid paying an annual fee. Keep in mind that Amex limits you to 5 total credit cards so this downgrade could also be taking up a valuable slot, so it might not even be worth it for some.
If you’re very averse to annual fees on credit cards but you will want to earn SkyMiles you might be attracted to this card. But even then, I’d still wait for the Gold 60K offer to come around and jump on that since the annual fee is waived the first year and you can always downgrade later.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.