Delta SkyMiles Gold AmEx Review: Worth the Fee for Delta Fans

Earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets, and 1 mile per dollar on everything else. Free checked bags add value.
Claire TsosieSep 20, 2021

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: A solid, cost-effective card for those who fly Delta frequently, or those who could choose to do so.

Best Airline Credit Card

American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

on American Express's website

Annual fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $99

Regular APR

15.74% - 24.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick FactsView rates and fees

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free checked bag
  • Early boarding
  • Rewards don't expire

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Requires good/excellent credit

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $99

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$250

Regular APR

15.74% - 24.74% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

15.74% - 24.74% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

15.74% - 24.74% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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Full Review

For travelers who regularly fly Delta Air Lines, the  hits all the right notes for an annual fee of : It features a decent welcome offer, free checked bags and priority boarding. And as of Jan. 30, 2020, , 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.

To view rates and fees of the , see .

Card type: .

Annual fee: . (Starting Jan. 30, 2020: $99.)

Bonus offer: 

APR: .

Rewards: 

Delta miles at 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 or more in value from your Delta miles.

Benefits: 

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The  starts off with a nice welcome offer:  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.

The 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.

Instead of just offering a first free checked bag for one or two travelers on your itinerary, the  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.

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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.

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In the family of Delta cards, the  is the mass-market option. It offers richer benefits than its -annual-fee counterpart, the . But you get fewer benefits than you would with the more premium cards, which are the and the . For more analysis about how these cards stack up, read .

Here’s a quick look at what these cards offer:

If you want a card that helps you get into airport lounges, go with another card. The  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. If the  doesn't fit the bill, check out NerdWallet's list of for more options.

Annual fee

Aside from Delta’s -annual-fee option — the  — you might also want to look into no-annual-fee general travel cards, which offer more versatile points.

The 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.

» MORE:

Some airline cards make it a bit easier to reach elite status through spending. Not the .

You need  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.

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 , see . To view rates and fees of the , see . To view rates and fees of the , see . To view rates and fees of the , see .