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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This page includes information about one or more products not currently available on NerdWallet:

  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

  • Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

  • Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

  • Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

As a result, offers described on this page may be out of date. See our NerdWallet’s Best Credit Cards page for updated offers.

Our Take

3.9

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"

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

15.74% - 24.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick FactsView rates and fees

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • No annual fee

  • No foreign transaction 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 14.49% - 25.49% Variable APR. Terms apply.

Read our review

Full Review

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card 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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

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

Card type: Airline.

Annual fee: $0

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

Rewards: 

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

  • 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants.

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

NerdWallet values Delta miles at 1.1 cents 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 1.1 cents or more in value from your Delta miles.

Benefits: 

  • 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases.

APR: The ongoing APR is 15.74% - 24.74% Variable APR.

Foreign transaction fee: None.

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

$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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, 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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card earns double miles not just on eligible Delta purchases, but also when you use the card at restaurants worldwide.

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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card 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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card stacks up with the others on key benefits.

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

  • No foreign transaction fees.

  • Terms apply.

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

  • No foreign transaction fees.

  • First checked bag free.

  • Priority boarding.

  • Terms apply.

  • 3 miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta, and on eligible hotel purchases.

  • 2 miles per dollar at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets.

  • 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

  • First checked bag free.

  • Priority boarding.

  • Companion certificate (main cabin).

  • Terms apply.

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

  • 1 mile per dollar on other eligible purchases.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

  • First checked bag free.

  • Priority boarding.

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

  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club access for you, plus two one-time guest passes annually, plus complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounges when you use the card to book a Delta flight.

  • Credit of up to $100 for the application fee for either Global Entry or TSA Precheck.

  • Terms apply.

Why you should choose a different card

No free checked bags

It's not surprising that the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card 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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card 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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card.

No 0% APR offer

Many no-annual-fee travel cards come with 0% APR offers, but the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card doesn't: The ongoing APR is 15.74% - 24.74% 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% APR for 12 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 25.99% Variable APR. There's also a sign-up bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 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.

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

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

If you love Delta but you're dead set against paying an annual fee, the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card 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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, 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.

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