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Delta Debuts a Starter Card for Infrequent Travelers

Oct. 31, 2019
Airline Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Promos
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  • Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express

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Delta Air Lines and American Express have launched a credit card designed for “new or casual” travelers, with bonus rewards on restaurant purchases and a $0 annual fee.

The new Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express earns 2 miles per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants, 2 miles per dollar on purchases made directly with Delta and 1 mile per dollar on all other spending. New cardholders can earn a modest bonus: Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. Cardholders also receive a 20% in-flight savings in the form of a statement credit after using your card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages and audio headsets.

It’s the only Delta credit card with a $0 annual fee. By contrast, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express charges $0 intro for the first year, then $95. On the top-of-the-line Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, the annual fee is $450 ($550 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020) Unlike those cards, however, the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card charges a foreign transaction fee, making it a poor companion for overseas travel.

Delta’s new card fits into a trend among airlines of courting newer and infrequent travelers with no-fee cards. United Airlines just introduced a no-fee card that sidesteps the often-confusing terms of frequent flyer programs. American Airlines has been touting its own starter card.

“We purposefully built this card with the new or casual traveler in mind,” Delta executive Sandeep Dube said in a news release announcing the card. Dube said Delta’s research found that restaurant rewards are especially appealing to such consumers, which is why the new card offers 2X rewards on dining out.

Like the other no-fee airline cards, the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express does not offer free checked bags or priority boarding, which are common benefits on major carriers’ annual-fee cards. Free bags can can quickly make up for the cost of the fee on those cards.

Delta is celebrating the launch of the card with a contest dubbed “Taste for Travel with #DeltaAmexBlue.” Members of the airline’s SkyMiles frequent flyer program can enter for the chance to win a trip for four to Nashville, Tennessee, filled with dining experiences. To enter, you have to post a photo and caption on Instagram or Twitter saying why you deserve to win, and include the tags #DeltaAmexBlue and #Contest. Entries will be accepted from Sept. 7 through Oct. 12.

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