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Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card vs United℠ Explorer Card

Choose between two mid-tier airline credit cards with valuable perks.

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Fact checked

The biggest difference between these two cards comes down to the signup bonus. The United Explorer card lets you earn 40,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. The Delta Gold has a slight edge, offering 35,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.

Compare the additional perks offered by these cards to find the right fit for your travel preferences.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Rates & Fees

United℠ Explorer Card

United℠ Explorer Card

Rates & Fees

finder.com's rating
finder.com's rating

★★★★★

4.0 / 5.0

★★★★★

4.4 / 5.0
Best for
Best for
  • Delta rewards and perks with a low annual fee
  • Earning miles in multiple ways for United Airlines
Welcome offer
Welcome offer

35,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months

40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months

Rewards
Rewards

2x miles on Delta purchases, restaurants and at US supermarkets and 1x miles on all other purchases

2x miles at restaurants, hotels and United and 1x miles on all other purchases

Purchase APR
Purchase APR

15.74% to 24.74% variable

16.49% to 23.49% variable

Annual fee
Annual fee $0 intro annual fee the first year, then $99 $0 intro annual fee the first year, then $95
Balance transfer APR
Balance transfer APR 15.74% to 24.74% variable

16.49% to 23.49% variable

Cash advance
Cash advance

APR: 25.24% variable

Fee: $10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater

APR: 24.99% variable

Fee: $10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater

Foreign transaction fee
Foreign transaction fee None None
Late payment fee
Late payment fee Up to $40 Up to $39
Additional cardholder fee
Additional cardholder fee $0
Interest-free period
Interest-free period 25 days 21 days
Minimum interest
Minimum interest $0
Minimum credit score
Minimum credit score 670 670
Card type
Card type Credit Credit
Learn more
Learn more

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Which card should you choose?

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

  • Priority boarding on Delta flights
  • Earn Delta SkyMiles
  • American Express purchase protection
  • Check first bag for free

United℠ Explorer Card

United℠ Explorer Card

  • Signup bonus. Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you make $2,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Rewards. Earn 2x miles on United purchases, eligible hotel stays and restaurant spending. Earn 1x miles on all other purchases.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit. Get up to $100 credit once every for years to cover for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.

Compare travel credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card™
N/A
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1% for cash back
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
50,000 miles after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months
2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, at gas stations and restaurants and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $2,500 in the first 3 months.
The World of Hyatt Credit Card
25,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. 25,000 points after spending another $6,000 in the first 6 months
9x points at Hyatt hotels as a World of Hyatt member, 2x on gyms, commuting, dining and airlines and 1x on all other purchases
$95
Earn 25,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. 25,000 points after spending another $6,000 in the first 6 months.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
This popular travel card's signup bonus is worth up to $750. Get even more value out of your travel, dining, and Lyft rewards by transferring them to miles.
Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™
N/A
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1.5% for cash back
$495
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
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Compare American Express credit cards

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