Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card Review: Travel Rewards with No Annual Fee

Jacqueline DeMarco

Writer

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Air travel can be pretty stressful, which is why if you find yourself having a great experience with one particular airline, you might feel pretty loyal to it. If you frequently book with Delta, opening a Delta-affiliated credit card can give you the chance to earn miles and save on future flights. 

With the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, you can earn rewards when you book Delta flights and on everyday purchases without paying an annual fee. This means that as long as you pay off your balance in full each month, you can enjoy all the benefits of this card free of charge. 

Quick Facts: Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

  • Rewards rate: 2x miles on dining and Delta purchases; 1x mile on all other eligible purchases
  • Welcome offer: Earn 10,000 Bonus Miles after spending $1,000 in the first six months
  • Annual fee: $0 (rates and fees)

. . .

Overview of the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card

If you travel frequently and want to earn miles by booking flights with Delta — but don’t want to pay a pricey annual fee — you may find the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card checks off all your credit card requirements.

Not only is there no annual fee, but you also don’t have to pay any foreign transaction fees on purchases you make while traveling internationally. 

With this card, you can earn 2x miles on Delta purchases and receive 20% back (in the form of a statement credit) on in-flight purchases of food and beverages. Once you earn enough miles, you can take up to $50 off the cost of your flight for every 5,000 miles you redeem with Pay with Miles when you book on delta.com.

The Delta SkyMiles Blue lacks some of the flashier perks that other airline rewards cards offer, like free lounge access, priority boarding, and free checked bags. However, many credit cards that come with perks like that also tend to come with expensive annual fees — so you may not mind skipping some of those extras to save hundreds of dollars a year.

Pros

  • Miles don’t expire
  • Discount on in-flight purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No cap on reward-earning potential

Cons

  • No 0% intro APR
  • Unimpressive welcome offer
  • No airline perks 

Get started with the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card.

Welcome Offer 

With the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card, you can earn 10,000 bonus miles if you make $1,000 worth of purchases using the card within the first six months of having it.

This is a somewhat underwhelming welcome offer, but with such a low spending requirement, it’s easy to qualify for and is a nice perk to keep in mind. 

Earning Rewards

Using a credit card to earn rewards is a great way to get more bang for your buck when making purchases. For loyal Delta flyers, the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card offers a chance to earn rewards on everyday purchases and on Delta bookings. 

The rewards breakdown works as follows:

  • 2x miles at restaurants worldwide and on takeout or delivery at U.S. restaurants
  • 2x miles on Delta purchases made directly with the airline
  • 1x mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases

As you can see, you need to be a loyal Delta customer (or enjoy dining out) in order to earn the most miles with this card.

Redeeming Rewards

You have a handful of options available to you when it comes to how you redeem the rewards earned with the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card, but your rewards stretch furthest with Delta bookings.

When you redeem 5,000 miles with the Pay with Miles feature on flight bookings, you can take up to $50 off the cost of your flight.

You can also redeem rewards for things like gift cards, magazine subscriptions, seat upgrades, and a Delta Sky Club membership. 

Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card Benefits

The Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card doesn’t offer the most exciting suite of benefits — the credit cards with the best perks tend to also come with annual fees — but you do have some solid perks available to you:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 20% back on in-flight food and beverage purchases (as a statement credit)
  • 24/7 access to the Global Assist® Hotline when you travel more than 100 miles from home*
  • Free ShopRunner membership which gives you free two-day shipping and free return shipping on eligible items at 100+ online stores (enrollment required)
  • Exclusive access to ticket presales and card member-only events with American Express® Experiences 
  • Purchase protection for accidental damage and theft**
  • Extended warranty protection**

Get started with the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card.

Who Should Get the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card?

Applying for the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card only makes sense if you fly Delta often. For example, if you fly the same route for business once a month and know that you can book with Delta for that flight, you will start to rack up a lot of miles just from your normal spending habits.

Take a look at the flight options for your local airports. If Delta flies in and out of your preferred airport often to a variety of destinations, you may be able to be loyal to this airline and save on future flights.

Who Shouldn’t Get the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card?

There are plenty of no-annual-fee credit cards on the market that better reward everyday spending, so if you don’t book flights with Delta regularly, then you won’t get much use out of this credit card.

If you tend to book the cheapest flight available and not play favorites with a particular airline, you will want to look for a general travel credit card that allows you to earn miles and redeem them with a variety of airlines. 

Alternatives to Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card vs. Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

If the idea of earning Delta miles appeals to you, you can take things up a notch with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. You will have to pay a steep $650 annual fee (rates and fees) but will gain access to much more lucrative benefits than you would with the Delta SkyMiles Blue. 

With the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card, you can get free access to the Delta Sky Club (must be flying same day with Delta and there is a max of 10 visits per year). Lounge access can make long travel days a lot more enjoyable, so if you are a frequent flier, you might really value this perk.

You will also enjoy a fee credit for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application***, a companion ticket for a domestic round-trip flight each year (taxes and fees apply) when you renew your card, and 15% off when using miles to book travel on Delta flights through delta.com. 

When it comes to earning rewards, you will earn 3x miles on Delta purchases instead of 2x miles. You can crunch the numbers to see if this boost in rewards will help you cancel out the cost of that expensive annual fee. 

Learn more about the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card.

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card vs. Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express

If you want better Delta rewards than the SkyMiles Blue can offer but also don’t want to pay a sky-high annual fee, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express is worth considering.

This card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $150 (rates and fees). What do you get for that fee? To start, you can check your first bag for free and enjoy priority boarding on Delta flights, plus 20% savings on in-flight purchases.

You also have the opportunity to earn a $200 flight credit for future travel when you spend $10,000 or more in a calendar year. 

The rewards rate for both cards is the same aside from being able to earn 2x miles at U.S. supermarkets instead of 1x miles, so do some math to see if you will earn enough extra rewards on groceries to help you cover the cost of the annual fee after the first year.  

Learn more about the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express.

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card vs. Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Amex EveryDay Card

Even if you like Delta, it may not be possible to book every trip with this airline. If you want more flexibility from your credit card, the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card may be more suitable.

This credit card isn’t exclusively affiliated with Delta, but it does allow you to earn points you can transfer to your Delta account. Like the Delta SkyMiles Blue, you don’t have to pay an annual fee. 

You will earn 2x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per purchase, then 1x) and on eligible travel through AmexTravel.com. All other purchases earn 1x points.

A unique feature of this card is that when you use it to make 20 or more purchases in a billing period, you will earn 20% extra points on those purchases. 

All information about the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected independently by Erika.com. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Final Thoughts

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is, not surprisingly, best suited to loyal Delta customers. You'll earn the most miles and get the best redemption value when you make Delta purchases — so if you tend to book with a variety of airlines, you may want to shop around.

That said, there's no annual fee, so it's an affordable card to keep in your wallet for when you do book Delta.

Get started with the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card.


Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

*You can rely on Global Assist Hotline 24 hours a day / 7 days a week for medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home. Third-party service costs may be your responsibility. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Card Members are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

**Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

***Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your American Express Card. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.

Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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I'm an award-winning lawyer and personal finance expert featured in Inc. Magazine, CNBC, the Today Show, Business Insider and more. My mission is to make personal finance accessible for everyone. As the largest financial influencer in the world, I'm connected to a community of over 20 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I'm also the host of the podcast Erika Taught Me. You might recognize me from my viral tagline, "I read the fine print so you don't have to!"

I'm a graduate of Georgetown Law, where I founded the Georgetown Law Entrepreneurship Club, and the University of Notre Dame. I discovered my passion for personal finance after realizing I was drowning in over $200,000 of student debt and needed to take action-ultimately paying off my student loans in under 2 years. I then spent years as a corporate lawyer representing Fortune 500 companies, but I quit because I realized I wanted to have an impact; I wanted to help real people and teach them that you can create a financial future for yourself.

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Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.