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5 Things to Do After Getting the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card From American Express

Feb. 2, 2019
Loyalty Programs, Travel, Travel Credit Cards
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  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

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The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is a great choice for many travelers looking for a new rewards card, especially those who don’t want to charge too much to a card. The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card has an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $99. Terms apply.

The card’s welcome bonus is as follows: Earn 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Terms Apply. NerdWallet values Delta miles at 1.1 cents each.

And, like most airline rewards cards, you’ll earn miles for every dollar you spend, plus other perks.

Ready to sign up? Here’s what you’ll want to do as soon as you get your Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card.

» Learn More: Find the best airline credit card for you

1. Activate and sign your card

Don’t make the mistake of thinking your signature on the back of a card helps a potential fraudster or forger. On the contrary, if a thief can sign your name on the back of a card, he’ll have no problem producing an identical-looking signature of your name. And don’t wait too long to activate so you can starting earning the welcome bonus.

2. Dig those big suitcases out of the back of the closet

One of the most-loved benefits of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is the checked-bag allowance. When you travel, you and up to nine — yes, nine — travel companions on the same booking get a free checked bag each way.

Normally, a checked bag would cost you $30 each way or $60 round-trip. But if you book with this Delta card, a family of four can save $240 per round trip. If they travel together four times a year, that’s $960, making that $95 annual fee well worth it.

3. Plot your course to the minimum spend

Credit cards want you to charge a lot and carry a balance every month so they can charge fees and interest. To win at this game, you need to be careful how you spend, never purchasing more than you can pay off in a month.

This makes any credit card minimum spend a challenge — you’re racing to spend hundreds or even thousands (all too easy to do). Think of items you would have to purchase anyway and you’re prepared to pay for in full. This can include groceries and gas, as well as anticipated auto repairs like a new battery and electronics purchases you were planning to make anyway.

4. See how far your bonus miles will take you

For example, to get from Boston to Cancun mid-week in May, you’ll find seats starting at 8,000 SkyMiles each way, or 16,000 round trip. Note that, like many other airlines, Delta allows one-way redemptions. So if you’re traveling as a party of two and don’t have enough SkyMiles for two round-trip tickets, but you do have points or miles for other travel programs, you can book two outbound one-way tickets on Delta and two one-way return tickets on another airline.

5. Check out Delta transfer partners

Another way to get to your next vacation sooner is to transfer SkyMiles to or from partners. Got a separate American Express card that pays Membership Rewards points? You can convert those points to Delta SkyMiles. Do you have some Hilton Honors points, IHG Rewards points or Hertz points? You can convert them to Delta SkyMiles, as well as those of a few other partners.

These conversions usually aren’t the best deal — the number of SkyMiles you’ll end up with often aren’t as valuable as the points spent with their originating partner. But if those 20,000 Hilton points are languishing in an account you weren’t likely to build up anytime soon, it might make sense to convert them to SkyMiles.

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 2020, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Nerdwallet’s top travel credit cards
Delta SkyMiles: The complete guide
Delta eliminates single visit Sky Club lounge pass

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