BEST OF

Best Delta Air Lines Credit Cards of December 2022

Take a look at our top picks, then let us walk you through making the decision.

Nov 10, 2022

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Delta Air Lines has a credit card for nearly every category of Delta flyer — from a $0-annual-fee option for occasional travelers to a $550-a-year card with airport lounge access, generous checked-bag benefits and an annual companion certificate that's good even in first class.

In general, the higher the annual fee, the more benefits and perks you'll get from your Delta Air Lines credit card. Below, you'll find our picks for different types of travel, followed by a guide to choosing the right Delta credit card for you.

NerdWallet's Best Delta Air Lines Credit Cards of December 2022

Best Delta Air Lines Credit Cards From Our Partners

Our pick for

Most Delta flyers

Apply now

on American Express' website

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express' website

Annual fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $99

Rewards rate

1x-2x

Miles

Intro offer

40,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

Even if you travel only a couple of times a year, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card can more than pay for itself with a strong welcome offer, a generous checked-bag benefit and bonus rewards on everyday spending.

Pros

  • You earn 2 miles per dollar spent not just on Delta purchases, but also at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets; other spending earns 1 mile per dollar. The first checked bag is free for you and up to eight others on your reservation, you get priority boarding and you get a $100 Delta credit — good for future travel — when you put $10,000 on the card in a calendar year. The new cardholder offer starts you off right, too. Terms apply.

Cons

  • Unlike Delta's higher-priced offerings, this card doesn't come with any kind of lounge access, nor does it offer a companion certificate or provide a potential boost toward elite status.

Read full review
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.

  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.

  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.

  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.

  • $100 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, receive a Credit to use toward future travel.

  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Elevated benefits

Apply now

on American Express' website

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

4.8

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express' website

Annual fee

$250

Rewards rate

1x-3x

Miles

Intro offer

50,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

You'll pay more for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card than for the airline's basic card, but you'll also get so much more.

Pros

  • You earn 3 miles per dollar spent with Delta and on eligible hotel purchases; 2 miles per dollar at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets; and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases. There's a strong welcome offer, a free checked bag for you and up to eight others on your reservation, priority boarding, a fee credit for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and an opportunity to earn points toward elite status. Its most valuable perk, though, is the companion certificate each year you renew. Terms apply.

Cons

  • The companion certificate is good only for domestic travel in the main cabin. This card can get you into Delta's airport lounges, but not for free: It gives you the opportunity to purchase day passes for $39 apiece. For a companion certificate good in any class, or unlimited lounge access, you'll have to get Delta's top-of-the-line card.

Read full review
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.

  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.

  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.

  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.

  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.

  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.

  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.

  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.

  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.

  • $250 Annual Fee.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

No annual fee

Apply now

on American Express' website

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express' website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1x-2x

Miles

Intro offer

10,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card could be a good fit for someone who doesn't travel that often and just wants to earn miles at a steady clip between occasional trips.

Pros

  • The primary selling point on this card is the $0 annual fee. You'll earn 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, as well as at restaurants, and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases. There's a modest bonus offer, as well. Terms apply.

Cons

  • You won't get a free checked bag or priority boarding — signature perks of other airline cards that can more than make up for an annual fee. If you don't fly very often anyway, it might not be worth it to commit to a single airline; a general-purpose travel card with flexible rewards points might be a better fit.

Read full review
  • Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.

  • No Annual Fee.

  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.

  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, and 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.

  • Pay with Miles: 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.

  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Lounge access

Apply now

on American Express' website

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express' website

Annual fee

$550

Rewards rate

1x-3x

Miles

Intro offer

50,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

If you spend a lot of time on Delta flights — or in airports waiting to board Delta flights — the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card could be well worth its sizable annual fee.

Pros

  • This card gets you into Delta Sky Clubs as well as American Express Centurion Lounges. Each year you renew, you get a companion certificate good for any class of travel, including first class. There's a great welcome offer, a checked bag benefit, priority boarding, a fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, a way to earn credit toward elite status and more. As for rewards, you earn 3 miles per dollar spent with Delta and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases. Terms apply.

Cons

  • Although the perks can easily cover the cost for frequent flyers, the $550 annual fee can be tough to swallow. Spending rewards are relatively weak compared with some lower-cost Delta cards.

Read full review
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.

  • Earn up to 60,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) With Status Boost® per year. You can earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to four times per year getting you closer to Medallion® Status.

  • Receive a domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+® or domestic Main Cabin round trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.

  • Complimentary access into the Delta Sky Club® for you when travelling on a Delta flight.

  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card.

  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.

  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.

  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.

  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.

  • $550 annual fee.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Business travelers

Apply now

on American Express' website

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

4.9

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express' website

Annual fee

$550

Rewards rate

1x-3x

Miles

Intro offer

60,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

If your business has you on the road a lot, you'll appreciate the airport lounge access on the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card. The annual companion certificate — which is good even in first class — and the checked-bag benefit add considerable value, too.

Pros

  • The card gets you into Delta's Sky Clubs (an annual membership costs $545), and you can also use it to access the American Express Centurion Lounge or Escape Lounge — The Centurion Studio Partner — when flying Delta. Every year, you get a companion certificate, which lets you bring someone with you on a domestic flight — regardless of what fare class your ticket is. Rewards: 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases (rising to 1.5 miles per dollar after you spend $150,000 in a calendar year). There's a super bonus offer, too. Terms apply.

Cons

  • All the perks come at a cost, and a high one: The annual fee is $550. However, that fee can be a deductible business expense, and if you use this card as intended, you'll get your money's worth.

Read full review
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

  • With complimentary access into Delta Sky Club®, you can relax before your Delta flight, or find downtime between connections. You’ll also receive two Delta Sky Club One-Time Guest Passes each year so you can share the experience with others when you’re traveling together.

  • When you purchase a Delta flight with your Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card, you will receive complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge or Escape Lounge – The Centurion® Studio Partner.

  • After you spend $150,000 on your Card in a calendar year, you earn 1.5 miles per dollar (that’s an extra half mile per dollar) on eligible purchases the rest of the year. If your purchase qualifies for a category that has a higher mileage accelerator, only the higher accelerator will apply (ex. you would earn 3X miles on purchases made directly with Delta instead of 1.5X).

  • Plus enjoy 3X miles per dollar on all eligible Delta purchases.

  • With Status Boost®, earn 15,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to 4x per year getting you closer to Medallion Status.

  • Terms and limitations apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Flexibility + luxury

Apply now

on American Express' website

The Platinum Card® from American Express

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express' website

Annual fee

$695

Rewards rate

1x-5x

Points

Intro offer

80,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

If you prefer Delta but like to keep your options open, consider The Platinum Card® from American Express as an alternative to Delta's Reserve card. The points you earn can be transferred to Delta, or you can use them to book other travel. The card gets you into more airport lounges, too. It's not cheap, though.

Pros

  • Start with a rich welcome offer, then earn 5 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines, as well as on flights and prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. (Other travel purchases earn 2x points; everything else earns 1x.) You can transfer points to Delta or more than a dozen other partners, or use them to book other travel. The card gets you into more than 1,400 airport lounges worldwide, including AmEx's own lounges and Delta's Sky Clubs when flying Delta. You're eligible for hundreds of dollars a year worth of travel and shopping credits (including $200 a year for incidental fees on an airline you choose). There's cell phone protection, concierge service and more. Terms apply.

Cons

  • The $695 annual fee is one of the highest around, even if you get a lot for it. Since it's not a branded Delta card, you won't get free checked bags (although you could use your airline fee credit for bag fees).

Read full review
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.

  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.

  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.

  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.

  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.

  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.

  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.

  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.

  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.

  • $695 annual fee.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT DELTA AIR LINES CREDIT CARD FOR YOU

By Gregory Karp and Sara Rathner, NerdWallet

Delta Air Lines flyers have four consumer credit cards to choose from, which can accommodate newbies, leisure flyers and seasoned road warriors alike.

Delta cards aren’t your only choice for earning rewards toward flights, of course. General-purpose travel credit cards also have an allure.

But if you’re considering Delta-branded cards, which have some specific benefits, choosing the right one comes down to the perks you want and the annual fee you’re willing to pay.

The basics at a glance

Examining basic card features side by side helps when choosing.

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

ANNUAL FEE

$0.

$0 intro for the first year, then $99.

$250.

$550.

WELCOME OFFER

Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months. Terms Apply.

Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months. Terms Apply.

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months. Terms Apply.

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months. Terms Apply.

SPENDING REWARDS

• 2x on Delta purchases. • 2x at restaurants. • 1x on other purchases.

• 2x on Delta purchases. • 2x at restaurants. • 2x at U.S. supermarkets. • 1x on other purchases.

• 3x on Delta purchases. • 3x on eligible hotel purchases. • 2x at restaurants. • 2x at U.S. supermarkets. • 1x on other purchases.

• 3x on Delta purchases. • 1x on other purchases.

CHECKED BAG BENEFIT / PRIORITY BOARDING

None

• First checked bag free for you and up to 8 other people on your reservation. • Priority boarding.

AIRPORT LOUNGE ACCESS

None.

None.

Discounted.

Yes.

COMPANION CERTIFICATE

None.

None.

Good for domestic main cabin only.

Good for domestic first class, Delta Comfort+ or main cabin.

Terms apply (see rates and fees).

Terms apply (see rates and fees).

Terms apply (see rates and fees).

Terms apply (see rates and fees).

Delta and American Express also offer business-specific versions of the Gold, Platinum and Reserve cards, with fees and benefits similar to the consumer cards. Learn more about those cards here:

What’s different?

Annual fee

Like most mega-airline credit card lineups, Delta’s offerings go from low annual fee — in this case $0 — to a luxury card, in this case with airport lounge access, for $550. Terms apply.

The more you pay, the more rewards and perks you get. The key is evaluating whether you’ll use those extras and whether they’re worth paying the higher annual fee.

Checked bags and early boarding

Checked-bag-fee waivers can be a huge money saver when a single checked bag can cost $60 round trip. And Delta cards that offer it are generous, with the cardholder and up to eight others on the travel itinerary qualifying for a free first checked bag. Early boarding is also a perk many travelers enjoy. Terms apply.

The biggest difference here is that the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card offers no free checked bags or early boarding. The other cards do.

Companion certificate

The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card come with annual companion certificates — rare and valuable perks that cover the cost of a round-trip domestic ticket for someone flying with you once each year. That alone could make up for the annual fee. The certificate with the Reserve card even applies in first class. Terms apply.

Rewards

While all of these cards offer bonus rewards for Delta purchases, the three least expensive cards all offer additional bonus categories as well. Terms apply.

Delta Sky Clubs access

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card comes with full access to the Delta-branded airport lounges and American Express Centurion lounges. You’ll also get two one-time guest passes to Delta Sky Clubs annually. The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card comes with discounted daily access — $39 per day, as of this writing. The two lowest-tier cards come with no lounge benefit. Terms apply.

What’s the same?

Rewards currency

All cards issue rewards and bonuses in Delta SkyMiles.

20% in-flight savings

All cards offer the same 20% statement credit for such in-flight purchases as food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets on Delta-operated flights. In-flight wireless internet access is excluded. Terms apply.

American Express

All cards come from the same issuer. American Express is widely accepted in the U.S., but you may run into vendors abroad that won’t accept it.

No foreign transaction fees

As you would expect for cards aimed at travelers, none of these cards put a surcharge on purchases outside the U.S.

Other choices

An airline card is not your only choice. General travel credit cards offer rewards that can be used on a variety of travel spending, not just a single airline. Redeeming rewards for credit against a Delta Air Lines purchase or other travel spending essentially “erases” it from your balance. That makes these cards a good choice for people who spread their business around.

Also note that some credit card rewards can be converted into Delta SkyMiles. Examples are Membership Rewards from American Express and points from loyalty programs of such hotels as Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton, IHG and Radisson.

How to decide

All but the most casual flyers might rule out the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card. It’s so short on perks, including no free checked bags, it might not be worth bothering with unless you really want SkyMiles and insist on an annual fee of $0. A simpler cash-back card might yield more value.

Maybe the closest call for most Delta flyers is between the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. If you’ll use the companion pass, step up to the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card.

Airport lounge membership and a first-class domestic companion pass are differentiators for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card.

Ultimately, choosing the right card means picking your perks and deciding whether the annual fee — or lack of one — is right for you.

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, see this page.

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, see this page.

Last updated on November 10, 2022

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best credit cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen as among the "best" in multiple categories. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.