Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
The Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold is an entry-level airline credit card designed for those interested in Delta Air Lines and its partners. It may not have the best benefits in the world but there are some good perks that come with this card and sometimes you can catch terrific welcome bonuses.
In this review article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold and I’ll share how I’ve used it in the past for some pretty unforgettable travels.
Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold overview
- 2X on Delta
- 2X on restaurants
- 2X on US supermarkets
- First Checked Bag Free
- Priority Boarding
- $100 flight credit
- No foreign transaction fees
- $99 annual fee that is often waived the first year.
The Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold welcome bonus changes all the time.
I’ve seen the bonus range from around 30,000 miles all the way up to close to 75,000 miles (sometimes these bonuses may also come with an additional statement credit so be on the lookout for those). So this is the type of travel rewards credit card that you want to try to jump on at the most opportune time.
If it were me applying, I would strive to get at least 60,000 miles with the welcome bonus. That is what I have gotten in the past and I was able to put those miles towards a redemption that got me from Los Angeles to London in business class for only around five dollars in fees on partner Virgin Atlantic.
Tip: If you are wondering what type of redemptions you can get with your Delta Sky Miles, I recommend that you read up on our best uses of Delta Sky Miles.
- 2X on Delta
- 2X on restaurants
- 2X on US supermarkets
2X on Delta
Earning two times the points on Delta is pretty standard for a co-branded airline credit card. Of course, if you wanted to increase your earnings on Delta purchases, you could look into getting the Delta SkyMiles Platinum. That card earns an impressive 3X on every Delta purchase.
But if you are truly trying to maximize the amount of points earned on airfare, it’s hard to not go with the American Express Platinum Card because that card earns 5X on airfare. The added bonus of going with that card is that you will be earning valuable Membership Rewards which can be transferred out to various travel partners.
2X on restaurants
Earning two times the points at restaurants is okay but I choose to rack up many more points on my dining purchases by using the American Express Gold Card which earns 4X Membership Rewards on every purchase.
4X is really the minimum amount of bonus points I would accept for dining now that so many cards offer a strong rewards on dining purchases.
2X on US supermarkets
Getting 2X at US supermarkets is once again okay but you can do much better with the American Express Gold Card which earns 4X Membership Rewards on every purchase up to $25K every year.
So overall the bonus earning potential with this card is pretty mediocre. You should definitely consider other cards for these bonus categories which can rack up Delta miles much quicker.
Tip: Check out the free app WalletFlo so that you can optimize your credit card spend by seeing the best card to use! You can also track credits, annual fees, and get notifications when you’re eligible for the best cards!
First Checked Bag Free
With the Delta SkyMiles Gold card you will get your first checked bag for free for yourself and also for passengers traveling on the same reservation. There is a maximum of nine waivers per reservation.
Baggage fees for Delta will usually cost $30 for your first checked bag so this can amount to pretty solid savings if you fly a lot. Keep in mind that this benefit is only for the primary cardmember and not authorized users.
Related: Checked Baggage Ultimate Guide
With the Delta SkyMiles Gold card, you will receive Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights. This benefit is limited to the basic cardmember and not authorized users. However, you can get this benefit for other travelers on the same reservation (up to nine passengers per reservation).
Here’s a look at all of the Delta boarding groups in the order in which they board:
- Delta One
- Delta Premium Select or First Class
- Delta Comfort+
- Sky Priority
- Main cabin one
- Main cabin two
- Main cabin three
- Basic Economy
You can find out more about the Delta boarding process here.
$100 flight credit
When you make $10,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, you’ll receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit.
You’ll be able to use this credit on Delta marketed flights and also toward the Delta airfare portion of a Delta Vacations package. The credit cannot be used for fees like baggage fees, change fees, unaccompanied minor fees, etc. Keep in mind that you will have one year to use this credit before it expires.
The Credit will be issued as a Delta eCredit, which will be available in My Profile on delta.com under Certificates, eCredits, and Vouchers. You are allowed to combine this with up to two other Delta eCredits. While the credit is available to the primary cardmember, authorized users’ spend can count towards the purchase requirement.
My biggest issue with this benefit is that you have to spend $10,000 in order to get a $100 benefit so this is basically giving you a 1% return. That’s not terribly impressive in my opinion.
If you were to put $15,000 worth spend on a card like the Hilton Surpass, you could get a free night to use at Hilton properties which could be worth close to $1,000. So be sure to consider alternatives for your bonus spend rewards.
You can get a 20% discount in the form of a statement credit on eligible pre-purchased meals, and in-flight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets, on Delta-operated flights. Just note that in-flight Wi-Fi does not trigger the credit.
Benefits and protections
Baggage Insurance Plan
Most states will provide you with coverage depending on the type of baggage that you have. For carry-ons you can get up to $1,250 worth of coverage and for checked bags you can get coverage up to $500 subject to terms and conditions.
Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
Rental car coverage will be secondary with this card. Secondary coverage is pretty standard for a co-branded airline credit card but there are some cards issued by Chase that offer primary coverage. For example, the Chase Sapphirre Preferred will get you primary rental car coverage and its annual fee is only $95.
American Express will extend your warranty one additional year on warranties up to five years.
You’ll get purchase protection on purchases up to $1,000. This is not very competitive purchase protection as other cards will cover you up to $10,000 per purchase.
Overall, these travel protections and purchase protections are not the most competitive. I would definitely consider going for other premium cards that offer better quality protections if things like trip cancellation and baggage delay protection are important to you.
Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold FAQ
Does the Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold offer lounge access?
Do you get free checked baggage with the Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold?
Yes, you will get one free checked bag for yourself and for up to nine individuals on your itinerary.
Do you get priority boarding with the Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold?
Yes, you will be able to board with main cabin group one.
Is the annual fee waived for the Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold?
The annual fee is often waived the first year and after that the annual fee is $99 per year.
Is the Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold a credit card or a charge card?
The Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold is a credit card.
Can you downgrade the Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold?
Yes, you can look into downgrading your card to the no annual fee Amex Delta SkyMiles Blue.
Do you earn MQMs with the bonus?
No, you will not earn MQMs. However, the Delta Platinum card often offers something like 5,000 MQMs after spending $2,000 in the first three months.
The Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold is a pretty basic co-branded airline credit card. It really stands out when it has a high welcome bonus of 60,000 miles or more and it can be a great way to quickly accumulate Delta miles. It doesn’t offer a whole lot in the benefits department but if you are interested in Delta benefits you might look at the Delta Platinum card or the Delta Reserve.
UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
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. Since 2014, 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.