Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card Review 2022

GOBankingRates Score

4.6
SCORE
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Quick Take: The Delta SkyMiles Gold is the mid-tier American Express card tied to Delta Airlines, and for the occasional Delta flyer, it offers more than enough perks to offset its modest annual fee.
  • Airline
    4.6
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Large sign-up bonus
  • Annual fee waived the first year
  • Good Delta Airlines perks

Cons

  • Annual fee kicks in after the first year
  • Most perks tied to frequent Delta flyers
  • Only one sign-up bonus per card per lifetime with American Express

Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express Card Overview 

If you like to fly Delta but don’t want to fork over hundreds of dollars in annual fees for a feature-rich credit card, the Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express card may be the perfect option.

This card provides a number of benefits that the casual Delta flyer will use, all for a modest annual fee of $99 that’s waived for the first year and an APR. It’s not a card designed for those flying Delta every week, but there are more expensive and feature-laden options that are geared for that crowd.

Card Members will earn double miles on purchases with Delta, along with dining — including takeout and delivery in the U.S. — and groceries at U.S. supermarkets and one mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Key Features

The Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express card earned a rating of 4.6 out of 5 from GOBankingRates, based in part on the following four features.

Fleet Size

Delta Airlines operates one of the largest fleets in the world, meaning you can use your SkyMiles for a huge number of flights. In fact, as of June 2022, Delta operated the 2nd-largest fleet in the world, just shy of global leader American Airlines. When it comes to selecting an airline-affiliated card, it makes sense to choose one with plenty of flight flexibility.

Foreign Transaction Fees

Whereas many credit cards — including travel-related cards — charge foreign transaction fees of 3% or more, the Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express card has no foreign transaction fees. This makes it a good option to use when you fly around the globe on Delta Airlines.

Welcome Offer

The large 60,000-mile welcome offer on the Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express card compares favorably with its $99 annual fee, which is waived for the first year. To obtain these extra miles, you need to spend $2,000 with your card in the first six months. In other words, you’ll be getting a pretty high number of extra miles for a relatively low fee, which is not always the case with other rewards cards.

Number of Travel Benefits

The Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express card offers a significant number of travel benefits, particularly when considering its relatively low annual fee. From priority boarding and a 20% discount on in-flight purchases to one free checked bag, there’s a lot of value to be had here if you’re a Delta flyer looking for additional perks.

Of note is the fact that this free baggage benefit applies up to nine passengers on the same reservation when booked with the card, making it extremely valuable for families or those who fly in groups. Those who spend $10,000 on the card within a single year also gain a $100 annual Delta flight credit that more than covers the annual fee.

The recently upgraded welcome offer is more than enough for two typical domestic roundtrip tickets, as long as you’re able to make the $2,000 in purchases in your first six months with the card. There’s also the ongoing kicker of 2x miles earned on every Delta purchase. Using the card overseas — or on foreign-based websites — is no problem, as the card doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees, either.

Some lesser-known — and lesser-used — travel perks of this card include:

Although these are not the primary reasons that you should get a credit card, they are types of emergency protections that can come in handy when you need them most. For example, if you rent a car using the Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express card, you’ll automatically get secondary coverage against any damage — subject to terms. And American Express experiences provides card holders with access to ticket presales and member-only events.

How the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card Stands Out

The Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express card stands out primarily because of its ratio between benefits and cost. Even a casual Delta flyer can easily recoup the value of the $99 annual fee, particularly because it is waived the first year, when the most valuable benefits accrue. While there is no lounge access attached to the card, there rarely is at this price level.

But the benefits of the card don’t stop with the headline-making features. This card offers a number of ancillary benefits and protections that can also prove extremely valuable, including fraud protection, purchase protection — which covers theft or damage for up to 90 days, up to $1,000 per occurrence of $50,000 per year — and extended warranty coverage for up to a year beyond manufacturer warranties of up to five years. These extras are essentially free perks.

Comparable American Express Delta-Affiliated Card Options

American Express, Member FDIC, offers a wide range of travel-related credit cards, along with a number of Delta Airlines-specific options. Cards are arranged into tiers, from no-fee cards with relatively limited perks to top-tier options that provide a significant amount of features and benefits.

The Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express card slots in nicely between the no-fee Delta SkyMiles Blue® American Express card and the $250 annual fee Delta SkyMiles Platinum® American Express card. Here’s a look at how these two cards stack up against the Delta SkyMiles Gold American® Express card. 

Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles Blue® American Express card is the line’s entry-level card, with no annual fee. Perks are limited to a meager 10,000-mile welcome offer — if you spend $1,000 in the first six months — 2x miles on Delta purchases and U.S. dining and one mile per dollar on other purchases.

But the card also has no foreign transaction fees and offers some of the same ancillary protections as the Gold card, such as 20% off in-flight purchases, car rental loss and damage insurance, the Global Assist hotline, purchase protection and extended warranty coverage.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum® American Express Card

Those willing to pay a $250 annual fee will enjoy a much bigger range of perks with the Delta SkyMiles Platinum® American Express card. The biggest draws of this card include the enhanced 50,000-mile welcome offer after spending $3,000 in the first six months, an annual domestic Main Cabin roundtrip companion certificate, 3x miles on Delta purchases and at hotels and 2x miles on U.S. dining and groceries — along with one mile per dollar on everything else.

The card also offers one free checked bag for up to 8 additional companions and priority boarding. Visits to Delta SkyClub lounges are discounted to $39 per person for the cardholder and up to two guests.

How To Apply

Applying for the Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express card is easy on the American Express website. As with all online credit card applications, you’ll have to provide various personal and financial information, such as your name, date of birth, address, employment status, annual income and Social Security number.

Your application can often be approved instantly online. However, in some cases you may have to wait 7 to 10 business days for American Express to verify all of your information.

Who the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card Is Best For

The Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express card is best for the occasional Delta flyer who isn’t willing to spend a lot of money to get high-end perks like lounge access or elite status. There’s not much downside to getting a card that waives the annual fee for the first year, as is the case here, but most will still derive value even after the $99 annual fee kicks in.

The 2x SkyMiles on Delta purchases and U.S. dining and groceries isn’t a game-changer, but the welcome offer and free bag for up to nine passengers are sufficient perks to give the card significant upfront and ongoing value. Even a single Delta flight per year might be enough to offset the annual fee, making the card a good option for the occasional Delta traveler.

Final Take

While there are no Earth-shattering benefits offered by the Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express card, there are more than enough perks to make it worthwhile for Delta flyers. Cardholders can get multiple years of value just from the card’s free baggage perk and its large welcome offer. While more frequent flyers will likely benefit from a higher-tier card, for the vast majority of the flying public, this card offers a nice balance of rewards and costs.

FAQ

  • What are the benefits of a Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express card?
    • The primary benefits of the Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express card are the welcome offer and the free bag perk for up to nine passengers on the same reservation. Other perks include a 20% discount on in-flight purchases and 2x miles with Delta and on U.S. dining and grocery charges. There's also a $100 Delta credit if you spend $10,000 or more annually on the card.
  • What credit score is needed for the Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express card?
    • American Express doesn't publish its credit score guidelines, but you should expect to need good-to-excellent credit in order to get approved. This likely means a credit score of at least 680.
  • How hard is it to get a Delta SkyMiles Gold® American Express card?
    • Although the Delta American Express card isn't an elite card, it's still an American Express card. You'll generally need above-average credit in order to qualify.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Oct. 12, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

All information about American Express card offers has been collected independently by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or approved by American Express. These offers are not available through GOBankingRates.

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About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.
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