Editorial Review

Blue Delta SkyMiles Review: Ideal for Loyal but Infrequent Flyers

If you dig Delta but can't stomach an annual fee, this card may fit the bill, as long as you don't mind the lack of perks like free checked bags.

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Our Take

3.2

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: This card offers decent ongoing rewards for no annual fee, but you may find other cards more useful or valuable.

Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express"

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

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

17.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick FactsView rates and fees

Annual Fee
$0
Annual Fee
$0
Intro APR
N/A

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No annual fee

Cons
  • No free checked bags

Alternate Pick: 0% intro APR and points that can transfer to Delta

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Save on interest while earning rewards

Earn a 2 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year (then 1%), for an annual fee of $0. Plus, points can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Delta, among other transfer partners. It also features excellent balance transfer terms and a generous 0% intro APR period: 0% Intro on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 25.74% Variable APR. Terms apply.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

17.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

15.49% - 27.49% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

16.74% - 24.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% APR for 12 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 12 billing cycles

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Full Review

The Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is the only card in the AmEx-Delta Air Lines portfolio with a $0 annual fee. If you’re a less frequent traveler with a preference for Delta, that could make the card an ideal choice. But if you fly Delta multiple times per year or you're in search of a card that offers major travel perks, you'll likely do better with another option.

Key features of the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

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

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

Card type: Airline.

Annual fee: $0

Welcome offer: Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Rewards: 

  • 2 miles per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants. (After Jan. 30, 2020, you'll earn 2X miles at restaurants worldwide — not just in the U.S.)

  • 2 miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta.

  • 1 mile per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.

Benefits: 

  • 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases.

Delta SkyMiles are worth an average of 1.4 cents apiece for domestic travel, according to NerdWallet valuations.

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

Foreign transaction fee: 2.7%. (After Jan. 30, 2020, the foreign transaction fee on this card will be eliminated.)

Why you should get the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

$0 annual fee

It's relatively rare to find an airline credit card that doesn't charge an annual fee in exchange for miles-earning potential. With the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, any rewards you rack up are entirely in the "gains" column, as long as you don't carry a balance.

Decent ongoing rewards

Another issue with co-branded airline credit cards is that some earn elevated rewards only on flights or other eligible spending with that airline. The Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express earns double miles not just on eligible Delta purchases, but also when you use the card at U.S. restaurants. In fact, its ongoing rewards are more generous than any of the other Delta cards — even though the other cards charge annual fees.

In-flight Savings

With this card, you can get a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on eligible in-flight purchases, including food, beverages and audio headsets on Delta-operated flights. When you use your card for these purchases, you'll receive a statement credit within eight to 12 weeks after the transaction posts. Unless you do a lot of spending at 30,000 feet, this perk isn't exactly lucrative — but it's still a nice benefit, and can certainly make a pricey in-flight nosh a little more affordable.

How it compares with other Delta cards

Of all the Delta cards, the $0-annual-fee Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is the most basic. It lacks key benefits the other cards offer, such as free checked bags and priority boarding. But if you want to earn Delta SkyMiles without paying an annual fee, it's a solid option. For more analysis, read NerdWallet's comparison of Delta credit cards.

Here's how the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express stacks up with the others on key benefits.

  • 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta and at U.S. restaurants.

  • Terms apply.

  • 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

  • First checked bag free.

  • Priority boarding.

  • Terms apply.

  • 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

  • First checked bag free.

  • Priority boarding.

  • Companion certificate (main cabin).

  • Terms apply.

  • 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

  • First checked bag free.

  • Priority boarding.

  • Companion certificate (first class, Delta Comfort+ or main cabin).

  • Delta Sky Club access.

  • Terms apply.

Why you should choose a different card

No free checked bags

It's not surprising that the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express doesn't offer a free checked bags benefit. Usually, you have to pay an annual fee for that kind of perk. If you regularly check bags, one of the other Delta cards could be a better deal just from this benefit alone.

No Priority boarding or lounge access

Unlike the other Delta cards, the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express doesn't offer priority boarding. That means you might end up in one of the final boarding groups, unless you're eligible for pre-boarding or early boarding — for example, if you need assistance boarding, are active duty U.S. military with ID or are traveling with car seats or strollers.

Other Delta cards also allow you to purchase single-visit passes to Delta's Sky Club lounges for $29 apiece. (Starting Jan. 30, 2020, these passes will be $39 apiece and available on fewer cards.) Such passes aren't available to purchase for the general public, and you won't be able to purchase them with the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express.

No 0% APR offer

Many no-annual-fee travel cards come with 0% APR offers, but the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express doesn't: The ongoing APR is 17.24% - 26.24% Variable APR.

If you're looking for a travel card that gives you some breathing room for paying down a major purchase, consider the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card instead. The $0-annual-fee card comes with 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 27.49% Variable APR. There's also a sign-up bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $300 cash redemption value. The card earns 3 points per dollar spent on eating out and ordering in, travel, gas stations, rideshares, transit and popular streaming services, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for travel, cash or gift cards.

Foreign transaction fees

The Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express charges a 2.7% foreign transaction fee. That fee will be eliminated in early 2020, but for the time being, the fee combined with American Express’ limited merchant acceptance abroad makes this a card that's not ideal for international travel.

A general travel card like the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card might be a better choice. It charges no foreign transaction fees, and its annual fee is $0. It's a Visa card, so you'll enjoy broad acceptance overseas. And you'll also be eligible for a sign-up bonus: 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases. Plus, there's a 0% APR offer: 0% on Purchases for 12 billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 16.74% - 24.74% Variable APR. It earns 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases, which can be redeemed toward a broad range of travel purchases — including airfare from any airline — at 1 cent a point.

Check out NerdWallet's list of best credit cards for more good options.

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

If you love Delta but you're dead set against paying an annual fee, the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is right up your alley.

But if you fly several times a year with the airline, you're better off paying an annual fee for a higher-tier co-branded Delta card. And if you frequently travel internationally, a general travel card with broad merchant acceptance and no foreign transaction fees will be a better option.

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

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

Information about the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet and has not been provided or reviewed by the issuer of these cards.