The bottom line: A solid, cost-effective card for those who fly Delta frequently, or those who could choose to do so.
Quick FactsView rates and fees
Pros & Cons
Free checked bag
Miles don't expire
Has annual fee
Best for frequent Delta Air Lines flyers only
American Express isn’t accepted as widely as Visa or Mastercard internationally
Compare to Other Cards
$0 intro for the first year, then $99
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Get more smart money moves — straight to your inbox
Become a NerdWallet member, and we’ll send you tailored articles we think you’ll love.
For travelers who regularly fly Delta Air Lines, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card hits all the right notes for an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $99: It features a decent welcome offer, free checked bags and priority boarding. And as of Jan. 30, 2020, it added two more bonus categories, making it a better card for certain everyday purchases.
The card no longer offers access to Delta Sky Club lounges — previously, you were able to use it to purchase a single-visit pass for $29 — but its other perks still make it a keeper for many Delta fans. The free checked-bag benefit, for example, can easily offset the annual fee for those who travel with luggage.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card: Basics
To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, see this page.
Card type: Airline.
Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $99. (Starting Jan. 30, 2020: $99.)
Bonus offer: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership. Terms Apply.
2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets.
1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.
NerdWallet values Delta miles at 0.9 cent each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data on hundreds of economy routes, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 0.9 cent or more in value from your Delta miles.
First checked bag is free for you and up to 8 other passengers traveling on the same reservation.
20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases.
$100 Delta flight credit, good for future travel, after you spend $10,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year.
Why you should get the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
A welcome offer, plus a bonus for big spending
The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card starts off with a nice welcome offer: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership. Terms Apply. That could be enough to cover your next flight.
You’ll also get an extra $100 Delta flight credit after spending $10,000 in a calendar year. Terms apply. If you’re using this card for big travel purchases or everyday spending, that could be a relatively easy bar to clear.
Good ongoing rewards
The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card earns 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, in addition to the 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases. Terms apply. This gives you a reason to use the card for more than just airfare and free checked bags.
Free checked bags
Instead of just offering a first free checked bag for one or two travelers on your itinerary, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card gives you baggage waivers on the first checked bag for up to nine people on your reservation. That's enough waivers to cover the whole family from "The Brady Bunch," including Alice.
With this card, you'll also get to board with the Main Cabin 1 boarding group, which gets you early access to that coveted overhead bin space. If you always board with a rolling suitcase or large carry-on, this is a nice perk. But it doesn’t mean you’ll be the first to step on the plane. You’ll still board after a handful of other groups, including first class and Delta Comfort+ travelers and flyers with certain types of elite status.
How it compares with other Delta cards
In the family of Delta cards, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is the mass-market option. It offers richer benefits than its $0-annual-fee counterpart, the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card. But you get fewer benefits than you would with the more premium cards, which are the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. For more analysis about how these cards stack up, read NerdWallet’s comparison of Delta credit cards.
Here’s a quick look at what these cards offer:
Why you should choose a different card
No lounge access
If you want a card that helps you get into airport lounges, go with another card. The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card could be a good match. It comes with up to $100 a year in statement credit for airline incidentals (enough to cover the annual fee), including day passes to lounges among other travel expenses, and offers up to $100 in statement credit for a Global Entry or TSA Precheck application. It earns a respectable 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases, and 1.5 points for every dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, you'll earn 2 points per dollar on grocery store purchases now through Dec. 31, 2021. Its airline incidental credit won't get you into Delta Sky Club lounges, but it could help you cover the cost of a couple of day passes to other airport lounges.
Aside from Delta’s $0-annual-fee option — the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card — you might also want to look into no-annual-fee general travel cards, which offer more versatile points.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card could be a good match, for example. It earns 1.5 points per $1 on all purchases. Points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for travel. It also comes with a good sign-up bonus and an introductory 0% APR offer.
No help in reaching elite status
Some airline cards make it a bit easier to reach elite status through spending. Not the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card.
You need a certain number of Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs, measured in distance and fare class) or Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQSs, measured in flights you take) as well as Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs, measured in dollars spent on personal Delta flights) to gain membership into the next awards tier. While the bonus miles you earn on this card can be redeemed for free flights, they won't get you closer to elite status.
If you want a card that offers a way to get closer to elite status, consider the two higher-end Delta cards in AmEx’s collection, which do just that.
Is the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card right for you?
This card isn’t the right match if you’re looking for lounge access, a pathway to elite status or cards without annual fees. But if you want to earn miles with Delta and can make good use of the card’s priority boarding or free checked bags perks, it’s a valuable choice.
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.
on American Express's website