Is the Gold Delta SkyMiles AmEx Worth Its Annual Fee?

Meg Lee
By Meg Lee 
Edited by Mary M. Flory

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Is the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card worth its annual fee? Let’s dig deep to find out.

How much is the annual fee?

The annual fee on the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is currently $0 intro for the first year, then $150. Comparable cards from some other airlines have annual fees in the $100 range.

Do you plan to fly with checked bags?

One of the top perks of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is free checked bags; without this fee waived, you could expect to pay $30 for your first bag and $40 for each additional bag per Delta’s baggage fees. Terms apply.

This benefit extends not only to the primary cardholder, but also up to eight other travelers on the same reservation — meaning you can enjoy up to a $540 value per round-trip flight. Those savings really add up quickly.

If you fly three round-trip flights with Delta annually and check a bag each time, you’ll be in the green.

Earn up to 120,000 bonus points with our favorite American Express cards
Check out our nerdy picks for the best American Express credit cards and find the right card for you.

Will you meet minimum spending requirement?

What should you do after you after getting the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card? Start spending (smartly).

The welcome offer for this is worth pursuing to maximize your cardholder benefits: Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Additional card perks

20% off in-flight purchases

Use your Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card on certain inflight purchases and qualify for a 20% credit on your AmEx statement after the transaction posts to your account. Terms apply. Typical eligible items include food, beverage and audio headsets; Wi-Fi access is not included.

'Pay With Miles' benefit

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card holders have the benefit of purchasing Delta flights with their Delta miles. Terms apply. This is different from redeeming miles for an award ticket in that you don’t have to worry about award availability or mileage costs — you’ll simply reduce the cash price of your ticket by about $50 for every 5,000 miles. As a bonus, your Delta miles don’t expire and there are no blackout dates when using them this way. And the portion you pay in cash will still earn Delta miles.

Terms apply.

TakeOff 15

When booking award travel with Delta, cardholders get 15% off the number of points required to book the award fare. Terms apply.

$200 flight credit eligibility

If the purchases on your Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card total $10,000 or more in a calendar year, you'll receive a $200 credit that can be used toward a Delta flight purchase. Terms apply.

'Plan It'

Depending on your creditworthiness, cardholders can create up to 10 active payment plans (for a fee) on qualifying purchases of $100 or more. Terms apply. While you will get dinged with a fixed monthly finance charge, this optional benefit can make affording all of your travel whims more of a possibility. Terms apply.

How to earn miles on the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Maximize your points earnings by using your Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card to earn 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S. and at U.S. supermarkets, and on Delta purchases.

All other eligible purchases will earn you 1 Delta mile per dollar spent. Terms apply.

NerdWallet values Delta miles at 1.2 cents each.

The bottom line

Even if you only plan to fly with Delta a couple of times annually, the perks of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card can easily outweigh the cost. Frequent travelers can take advantage of the free checked bags. You’ll also acquire Delta miles more quickly, which you can cash out by purchasing Delta flights, as well as gift cards, merchandise, cruises, car rentals and hotel rooms (although typically for a lower return per mile).

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 2024, including those best for:

Cards for Delta from our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.


Intro offer


Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

See more cards for delta
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