Editorial Review

Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Review: Decent Perks, Mundane Rewards

This card offers benefits that can make up for its annual fee, but its rewards structure is underwhelming and not customized for small-business owners.

Gregory KarpNovember 7, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

3.7

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: If you’re a Delta flyer, you could save money with this card, even after the annual fee. But also look at general travel cards, especially if you don't fly solely with Delta.

American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card

on American Express's website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Regular APR

17.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick FactsView rates and fees

Annual Fee
$0 intro for the first year, then $95
Annual Fee
$0 intro for the first year, then $95
Intro APR
N/A

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons
  • Has annual fee

Alternate Pick: Fancy option

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Luxury travel, with points that transfer to Delta

This card earns 5 points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through the American Express Travel website; 1.5 points per dollar on individual purchases of $5,000 or more; and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. Terms apply. Annual fee: $595.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $95

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

17.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

18.74% Variable APR

Regular APR

12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 9 billing cycles

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Full Review

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express can be an asset to business owners who are also loyal Delta flyers, with perks that help offset its annual fee.

Spending rewards are lackluster, but the card is practical. It helps with common business-travel hassles while flying Delta — especially dealing with luggage, whether you check your bag or carry on.

If you don’t need a business credit card, the personal version of a similar Delta Air Lines card may also work for you.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express: Basics and benefits

Nerd tip: Delta and American Express have announced major changes to their lineup of co-branded credit cards, to take effect January 30, 2020. Read about the changes here.

To view rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, please visit this page.

Card type: Small business and airline.

Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $95. (After January 30, 2020: $99.)

Welcome bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Additionally, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Terms Apply.

Rewards:

  • 2 miles per dollar spent directly with Delta. (After January 30, 2020, this card will also earn 2 miles per dollar at restaurants, on U.S. shipping purchases and on U.S. advertising in select media.)

  • 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Delta SkyMiles are worth an average of 1.4 cents each for domestic travel and 2.7 cents each for international flights, according to NerdWallet valuations.

Foreign transaction fee: None.

APR: The ongoing APR is 17.24% - 26.24% Variable APR.

Other benefits:

  • First checked bag free for you and up to eight others on your reservation.

  • Priority boarding for you and up to eight others on your reservation.

  • After January 30, 2020: $100 Delta flight credit for future travel after spending $10,000 a year on the card.

  • Terms apply.

Highlights of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Free checked bags

The checked-bag benefit is especially generous with this card. You’ll get a first checked bag free for you and up to eight others on your reservation. Terms apply. You might rarely have that many traveling companions, but fully used, that’s a savings of up to $540 on a round-trip flight ($30 per person each way). You would break even on the annual fee with just a few traveling partners, assuming you would have otherwise paid to check bags.

Priority boarding

If you don’t typically check bags, then priority boarding that comes with the card will get you on the plane earlier — in this case, Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding. Terms apply. That means you’re more likely to find overhead bin space for your roll-aboard. Some flyers like to board earlier to get settled in their seat before the cabin fills. Either way, priority boarding can be a welcome perk.

Welcome bonus

New-cardholder bonuses can change periodically, but the card typically gives you enough miles to snag a domestic award flight, assuming you can meet the required spending. The current bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Additionally, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Terms Apply.

Note that if you've had this American Express credit card in the past, you’re unlikely to qualify for the bonus. And you might be rejected for the bonus because of other account history with American Express.

Other perks

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express is decidedly unflashy, but it comes with a few other notable perks:

  • In-flight discount. Get 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on such purchases as food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets onboard. Note that in-flight wireless Internet access does not count.

  • Airport lounge discount (for now). Get into Delta Sky Clubs for a per-visit rate of $29 per person. Delta no longer sells single-visit passes to regular flyers, but for reference, they used to cost $59 per person. (After January 30, 2020, holders of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express will no longer be able to purchase lounge passes.)

  • No foreign transaction fees. Good travel cards generally don’t charge this fee — 3% is common — for making purchases abroad. This Delta card doesn’t, either. However, this card operates on the American Express network, which isn’t as widely accepted abroad as, say, Visa and Mastercard.

  • Terms apply.

Drawbacks of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Annual fee

The annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95, is typical for this type of business airline card. Terms apply. But be sure you can extract more value from the card than you’re paying to hold it.

Bonus rewards, for the time being

If your goal is to earn flights or upgrades to a premium cabin for business trips, additional miles from credit card purchases are one way to accomplish that. But Delta has fallen behind its main competitors in expanding the types of spending that earn double miles.

With this card you earn 2 miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases. Terms apply. A competing business credit card from United, for example — the United℠ Explorer Business Card — also offers double miles on purchases at restaurants, gas stations and office supply stores. Those are practical categories for small-business owners.

This will be changing, however. After January 30, 2020, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express will also earn 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants, on U.S. shipping purchases and on U.S. advertising in select media

Reward redemptions

Typically, the best redemption options for Delta SkyMiles are award flights and seat upgrades on Delta and its SkyTeam partners. That’s limiting compared with general travel business credit cards, which allow you to apply rewards to a wide range of travel-related expenses.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express: Alternatives

Perhaps you don't need a business credit card. The similar personal version of the Delta Air Lines card is the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. Welcome bonuses can change often, but because the cards are so similar, you might consider going with one that has a higher bonus. More generally, personal cards offer more consumer protections than do business credit cards.

If you mix your flying with airlines other than Delta, a general travel card might be a better fit. Good choices for small businesses include the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business.

Is the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express right for you?

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express offers useful rewards and perks for Delta business flyers that can quickly make up for the annual fee. But the card is currently lackluster for routine business spending. So if you don’t value the free checked bags and priority boarding — and aren't an avid collector of SkyMiles — you might be better off with a general travel card.

To view rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, please visit this page.