Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Review: Rewards and Perks on Delta Flights

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express

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.

Whether you travel for work or play, you may find yourself booking the same airline again and again. And if you find an airline you enjoy flying with, we get why you may stay loyal to them.

If Delta is your airline of choice, then having a Delta credit card in your back pocket may come in handy. Airline-affiliated credit cards often make it easier to earn rewards and enjoy perks with their brand, which can make your travels more enjoyable.

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express is one credit card you may consider if you prefer to fly Delta. Here's what to keep in mind when deciding if it's the right card for you.

Quick Facts: Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

  • Rewards rate: 2x miles on Delta purchases; 2x miles at U.S. grocery stores; 2x miles at restaurants worldwide and on U.S. takeout and delivery; 1x miles on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: Earn 65,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership
  • Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $150 (rates and fees)

. . .

Overview of the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

If you're a frequent flyer who prefers booking your flights with Delta, you can reap a lot of rewards by using the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express.

Not only can you earn 2x miles on Delta purchases, but you'll also access some perks that will make your time spent flying Delta more enjoyable. From priority boarding to a free checked bag on Delta flights, using a Delta SkyMiles Gold can lead to easier travel days.

You'll also receive 20% back (as a statement credit) on in-flight food and drink purchases with Delta.

Pros

  • $0 introductory annual fee for your first year
  • Free checked bag
  • Priority boarding

Cons

  • $150 annual fee after first year
  • Limited redemption options

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

Welcome Offer

Credit card welcome offers are a great way to earn extra points, miles, or cashback. With the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card, you can earn 65,000 bonus miles if you make $3,000 in purchases using your card within the first six months. 

This is a great deal if that amount of spending aligns with your typical spending habits or if you have a big purchase planned in the coming months.

However, we don’t advise pushing yourself to spend more money than you need to just to take advantage of a welcome offer. The value of the points you earn won’t be equal to how much you need to spend to earn the bonus.

Earning Rewards

You have quite a few options for how you can earn rewards with the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express.

To earn rewards, you can make purchases in a variety of categories and, in some categories, your everyday spending can earn you just as much as Delta purchases. How you use the card impacts how many miles you earn:

  • 2x miles on restaurant purchases worldwide
  • 2x miles on groceries at U.S. supermarkets
  • 2x miles on Delta purchases made directly with Delta
  • 1x miles on all other purchases

Redeeming Rewards

One of the main downsides of the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card is your redemption options — or lack thereof. Unfortunately, when it comes time to redeem your hard-earned rewards, you are quite limited.

You can only redeem miles through direct Delta bookings. There is no option to transfer miles to another airline or to convert them into cash, statement credits, or gift cards. 

On the bright side — you can save a bit of money when redeeming miles with Delta. For every 5,000 miles you redeem when booking Delta flights through Delta.com, you can save $50. 

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card Benefits

Earning points or miles with a credit card when you make purchases is all well and good, but you only earn those rewards by spending money.

It’s equally important to pay attention to what perks and benefits you gain from a credit card without having to spend money. 

With the Delta SkyMiles Gold, you'll get:

  • Zone 5 Priority Boarding on Delta flights
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights
  • A $100 Delta Flight Credit for future travel after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Baggage insurance coverage*
  • Rental car loss and damage insurance**
  • 24/7 Global Assist Hotline***

Those are some pretty nice perks that could make the annual fee worth it — if you frequently fly with Delta.

Who Should Get the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card?

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express only makes sense if you are a frequent Delta passenger.

If this is your preferred airline and they have a lot of routes out of your local airports, it may be a no-brainer to choose a credit card that rewards you for flying with them. If you want to earn some miles for flying Delta and tap into some convenient perks like priority boarding, it may be the right card for you. 

This card is also an excellent fit for anyone who loves to dine at restaurants, order takeout, or use food delivery services. You can earn just as many miles for those purchases as you can on Delta flight bookings and in-flight purchases.

Even if you don’t like to eat out all that often, your home cooking skills stand to earn you rewards, as you also get 2x miles at U.S. supermarkets.

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

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

You should not choose the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card if you don’t fly Delta often or if you can simply find a better deal on another travel credit card. Remember — after the first year, you'll need to pay an annual fee to keep this credit card active. So you need to earn enough rewards and perks to cancel that fee out.

Other travel credit cards may charge a similar annual fee but give you more flexibility with which airlines you earn and redeem rewards with. 

You can only redeem your rewards with this card on Delta flight bookings, so loyalty is the name of the game here. Even if you are a Delta fan, you may find it hard to book all of your air travel with just this airline.

You may also be able to find much more exciting travel perks (you know we love a good airport lounge) with another travel credit card. Do some digging before making a final decision. 

Alternatives to the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

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

. . .

You have more than one Delta-affiliated credit card to choose from if you are specifically looking for a travel credit card that makes the most of your Delta bookings.

For example, with the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, you earn a similar amount of rewards as the Delta SkyMiles Gold (2x miles at restaurants worldwide and on Delta purchases), but without having to pay an annual fee (rates and fees).

The biggest difference is you won’t earn boosted rewards on grocery purchases, although you still earn 1x miles on all general spending, including groceries. 

You also won’t get priority boarding or a free checked bag, but if those perks aren’t important to you, it may be worth it to skip out on the annual fee that comes with the Delta SkyMiles Gold.

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

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

  • Rewards rate: 3x miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels; 2x miles at restaurants worldwide, and on U.S. takeout, delivery, and supermarkets; 1x miles on everything else
  • Welcome offer: Earn 85,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of card membership
  • Annual fee: $350 (rates and fees)
Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

. . .

Another option when it comes to Delta credit cards is the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card.

This credit card comes with the steepest annual fee of all the Delta SkyMiles cards we reviewed here, but it also brings you the most perks.

You earn a higher rate of rewards on Delta purchases (3x miles instead of 2x) and you earn 3x miles on hotel bookings made directly with hotels. You’ll also get 2x miles at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants worldwide. 

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum also comes with the most impressive welcome bonus. You can earn 85,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in your first six months.

Whether or not paying the increased annual fee for this credit card is worth it depends entirely on how often you fly Delta, as well as if you plan to take advantage of other cardholder benefits. For example, you will receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card.****.

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

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Rewards rate: 5x points on directly booked flights and hotels booked through American Express Travel (up to $500,000); 1x on all other spending
  • Welcome offer: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $8,000 in the first six months
  • Annual fee: $695 (rates and fees)
American Express Platinum Card

. . .

You don’t have to choose a credit card affiliated with Delta to be able to earn rewards when flying Delta.

For example, with The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can earn up to $200 in statement credit that you can apply to incidental fees charged to the card like seat selection fees and baggage fees. Even better, you can use this credit with other airlines in different calendar years. 

The Platinum Card comes with some very valuable perks — but at a price. You need to make sure the annual fee is worth it.

You can earn 5x points on eligible flight and hotel bookings booked through AmexTravel or directly with airlines, as well as 1x points on all other purchases. You'll also gain access to up to $840 worth of credits each year to apply to flights, hotels, Uber, and entertainment purchases.

So, if you plan accordingly and use all those credits, the annual fee can cancel out quickly. 

Learn more about The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Final Thoughts

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express is designed for loyal Delta customers — so if this is your preferred airline, you'll get quite a bit out of it, including priority boarding, a free checked bag, and Delta-focused redemption options.

Alternatively, if you love Delta but prefer not to pay an annual fee (or are willing to pay a higher fee for more perks), you may want to consider one of Delta's other credit card options.


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.

* 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.

** 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. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

*** 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.

**** 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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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.