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Is the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Worth Getting?

Aug. 14, 2019
Travel, Travel Credit Cards
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If you’re in the market for a new Delta SkyMiles credit card, you might have heard about an increased welcome offer on the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, available through Aug. 15, 2019.

So is this card worth picking up? Let’s take a look at some of its notable perks and who might benefit from them.

» Learn more: Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express review: Loyalty gets rewarded

Welcome offer

The card’s issuer, American Express, phrases the welcome offer this way: “Earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months and a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Terms Apply.”

The spending requirement is reasonable when you break it down into roughly $334 worth of spending per month. This is especially true if you can charge all your household spending to the card, including monthly bills and insurance premiums.

With the holidays coming up, most people will have a few extra expenses. This is a good opportunity to channel all of that spending (groceries, gifts, charitable donations, etc.) to this card. If you plan on going out of town, putting prepaid travel expenses on this card is another way to help meet the minimum spending requirement.

It’s important to note that gift card and cash-equivalent purchases are excluded from earning points or meeting spending requirements to earn the welcome offer. The extent to which American Express is able to track these purchases is unknown, but it’s still something to be aware of.

» Learn more: Best airline credit cards

Category bonuses

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express earns 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases made directly with Delta. This includes flights and vacation packages booked through Delta.com, seat upgrades, in-flight purchases, and SkyClub membership or passes. All other purchases earn 1 mile per $1 spent. Terms apply.

These category bonuses are pretty standard for co-branded airline credit cards; nothing earth-shattering, but still nice to have.

Travel benefits

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express has a few useful travel perks, including:

  • A free checked bag on Delta flights, which can save up to $60 on a round-trip flight.
  • A discounted rate of $29 per person for you and up to two guests to visit the Delta Sky Club when you’re traveling on the same Delta flight.
  • 20% off any in-flight purchases as a statement credit.

Terms apply.

50% statement credit details

The most intriguing part of this offer is the 50% statement credit on your first $600 in eligible Delta purchases. Terms apply. You can earn up to $300 in statement credits by charging Delta purchases to this card within the first three months, starting from the account approval date. Statement credits will be applied within eight to 12 weeks after qualifying purchases have been made directly through Delta.

What qualifies for this statement credit? The key rule is that purchases must be made directly through Delta. Any purchase processed under a third-party merchant code will not qualify.

The terms do not specifically exclude gift card purchases from the 50% statement credit, and Delta gift cards are classified as Delta purchases by American Express. This is great news if you want to take advantage of the 50% statement credit but don’t have an immediate use for it.

Buying gift cards will allow you to max out the $600 purchase limit and book travel at a later time using the gift cards. Delta gift cards do not expire, so you don’t have to rush to use them.

» Learn more: Delta SkyMiles program: The complete guide

Is this a good offer?

If you’re looking for a big SkyMiles welcome offer, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express may not be the right option for you. Both the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express are currently featuring bigger offers and an annual companion certificate. But those cards also carry higher annual fees, which may be tough to justify if you’re on a budget or not able to take advantage of all the benefits they offer.

In terms of value, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express may be a better choice for budget travelers. We currently value Delta SkyMiles at 1.7 cents each, making the welcome offer worth about $510. The card’s 50% statement credit is worth up to $300 if you can max it out. Being able to utilize this credit toward gift cards makes it much more versatile and appealing for those who don’t have immediate travel plans on Delta.

Considering the annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $95, this card could be a terrific value for those who want the flexibility of both miles and statement credits toward paid airfare.

All information about the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express has been collected independently by NerdWallet.com. The Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express is no longer available through NerdWallet.com.

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 2019, including those best for:
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best travel credit card for you
5 things the Delta SkyMiles program gets right
Blue Delta SkyMiles review: Ideal for loyal but infrequent flyers

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