How to Maximize the AmEx Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

Use this card to earn Delta SkyMiles when paying for flights or dining, and lean on the card's travel protections.
Bethany WalshMar 16, 2021

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Considering its vast availability across the U.S., Delta isn’t a bad choice for airline loyalty. This accessibility makes collecting Delta SkyMiles, its loyalty program currency, useful for most travelers. The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card can make flying Delta even better: It's a no-annual fee-card that offers 20% back on eligible Delta in-flight purchases and bonus earnings on select spending categories. Terms apply.

Although the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card lacks certain benefits that come with other co-branded airline cards, such as free checked bags and priority boarding access, you can still get a lot of value out of the card (and earn extra SkyMiles along the way). Here’s how.

Ways to maximize the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

Earn the welcome bonus

Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Terms Apply.

While 10,000 SkyMiles might not sound like a significant amount, it’s actually enough for many round-trip flights within the U.S. You can find even non-sale flights that cost only 9,000 miles (excluding $12 in taxes) on the Delta website.

Use it for Delta purchases and dining

Cardholders earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta; these purchases can get you to status on Delta twice as fast. Terms apply.

Likewise, restaurants, takeout and delivery qualify for 2 miles earned per dollar spent. This makes the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card a strong contender for payment the next time you dine out. Terms apply.

Lean on travel protections

The next time you rent a car, decline the collision damage waiver and use the card to pay for your rental in full. You'll be automatically covered for damage to or theft of a rental vehicle in a covered territory.

Further, whenever you travel 100+ miles from home, you may be eligible for 24/7 emergency assistance and coordination services. This perk includes access to medical, legal and passport referrals; emergency cash wires; and missing luggage assistance with the Global Assist Hotline — a nice perk for any tough situation. Terms apply.

Take it with you abroad

You won’t face foreign transaction fees when you use this card for purchases outside of the U.S. Other cards often charge up to 3% in foreign transaction fees, so this benefit can help you save when you travel internationally. Terms apply.

Get a complimentary ShopRunner membership

ShopRunner offers members online shopping benefits like unlimited free two-day shipping and free return shipping at over 100 stores. Many cards offer ShopRunner as a benefit, but if you don’t have it already and you shop online, it’s a valuable perk. Terms apply.

You must activate your membership via one of your cards and set up an account. Then, you'll be able to start using free expedited shipping. Terms apply.

Track and register for AmEx Offers

AmEx Offers are money-saving travel offers available to all AmEx cardholders for purchases at specific travel providers or retailers. These offers are unique to the cardholder, but aren't automatic.

To activate your offers, you’ll need to log into your American Express account and check the "AmEx Offers" tab to see what offers are available for you. Then, enroll in the offers that appeal to you. Terms apply.

The bottom line

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is an entry-level product with no annual fee that offers the ability to earn SkyMiles and a modest welcome offer. While it lacks certain benefits offered by many airline cards that do have a fee, it’s a good option for people who fly Delta semi-regularly and can take advantage of its built-in travel protections. Terms apply.

If you can stomach an annual fee, consider the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card. Though this card charges $0 intro for the first year, then $99, it gives you access to better perks, like your first checked bag free on Delta flights. It also entices with a more desirable welcome offer. Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership. Terms Apply.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:

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