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Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express review – December 2018

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A low-cost miles card with benefits for loyal Delta flyers.

finder.com’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0

★★★★★

30-second take

  • Get this card if you’re a regular Delta flyer — and you’re OK with not earning Medallion status.
  • Pick something else if you prefer other airlines or want cashback rewards.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.
Product NameGold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
Card TypeAmerican Express
Annual Fee$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases17.74% to 26.74% variable
Balance Transfer APR17.74% to 26.74% variable
Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate27.24% variable
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Cash Advance Fee$3 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $38
Returned Payment FeeUp to $38
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Rates & FeesRates & Fees
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome Offer30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first 3 months.
Reward Value per Dollar1x miles
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

The basics

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express offers a strong welcome offer, decent Delta perks and the same mile earnings as its more expensive siblings, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card and the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express. As a sweetener, the card comes with a $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Every time you make a direct Delta purchase, you get 2x miles, which you can redeem toward flights with Delta and its partners.

Scoop up the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express if Delta is your go-to airline. Otherwise, consider a general travel credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®.

The perks

  • Generous welcome offer.

    Earn 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months your account is open. And get $50 in statement credit after you make your first Delta purchase within the same period.

    The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card and Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express cards offer bonus miles as well as Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). If you don’t care about MQMs, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express may be a better choice.

    What are Medallion Qualification Miles?

    Medallion Qualification Miles are a way to earn higher Medallion tiers in the Delta SkyMiles® Loyalty Program. You generally earn 1 MQM for each mile in your trip with Delta and its partners, with higher MQM rewards in first and business class.

    You can also achieve higher Medallion tiers by collecting Medallion Qualification Segments and Medallion Qualification Dollars. Learn more on Delta’s website.

  • Earn Delta SkyMiles.

    Earn 2 miles for each dollar you spend on such Delta purchases as flights, tickets, seat upgrades and food. Earn 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases. Redeem your miles toward travel rewards, gift cards, shopping and more.

    To earn yet more miles, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card and Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express could be a stronger choice — you’ll get more miles and MQMs based on your spending. But you must spend a substantial amount to qualify: $25,000 for the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card and $30,000 for the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express. If you spend less than $25,000, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express might better match your spending.

  • Priority boarding.

    The card entitles you to Zone 1 priority boarding on Delta and Delta Connection flights for up to nine passengers in the same reservation. For everyone else, the price of priority boarding is $15.

  • First checked bag free.

    Save up to $50 round trip with Delta for all passengers traveling on the same reservation. Even if you don’t travel often, it takes only two round-trip tickets to offset the card’s annual fee.

    How much are SkyMiles worth?

    The value of SkyMiles depends on the service or product you’re redeeming them for. You can explore your options on the Delta SkyMiles redemption site.

    For example, as of October 2018, you can:

    • Redeem 35,700 SkyMiles for a $250 gift card — a value of 70 cents a mile
    • Redeem 25,600 miles to buy an Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 Sunglasses worth $133 — a value of around 50 cents per mile
    • Redeem 134,900 miles to buy an Apple 10.5″ iPad worth $600 — a value of 40 cents per mile
    • Redeem 10,000 miles or more toward a $130 round-trip domestic Delta flight, plus taxes and fees — a value of $1.30 per mile

    Redeeming miles for flights offer the highest value per mile. To make the most of your Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, redeem your miles for airfare on future travels.

You’ll also like …

  • Discounted Delta Sky Club access.

    Buy your way into a Delta Sky Club for a reduced $29 — and bring up to two guests for $29 each. A regular single-visit pass costs $59, so it’s quite the deal if you’re traveling with company. From the Delta suite of cards, only the Delta Reserve® Card offers complimentary entry.

    Getting free entry could save you a lot if you’re a Sky Club regular. But the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express could be a better choice if you’re less interested in the additional amenities and services.

    You’ll find gems among the Delta Sky Clubs.

    Delta owns a host of superb lounges in its portfolio. A few of the newer lounges include those at Newark Liberty International Airport and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. You may want to consider visiting the Sky Club at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which comes with an open-air Sky Deck.

    Gold Delta SkyMiles Sky Deck

    A single-visit pass to a Delta Sky Club costs $59. With the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, you can buy a pass for $29.

  • 0% foreign transaction fees.

    When traveling abroad, you can freely use your card without worry of international fees on your transaction.

  • Statement credit for in-flight purchases.

    The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express lets you get a statement credit equal to 20% of your in-flight Delta purchases on eligible meals, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets.

  • Car rental insurance.

    When you use your Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express to pay for a car rental, you’re covered against damage or theft.

  • Global assistance.

    Get 24/7 access to medical, financial, legal, missing luggage or any other service when you travel more than 100 miles from home. Keep in mind that you’re responsible for any third-party service costs.

  • Shopping benefits.

    Get free two-day shipping with ShopRunner and free returns. You can also get $1,000 in annual coverage for any returns not accepted by a merchant when it’s sent back within 90 days of purchase. Phones and another eligible items damaged within 90 days of purchase can also be covered up to $50,000 per year.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.

    There’s a $0 annual fee for the first year. After that, you’ll pay $95 each year. You can easily offset the annual fee by taking advantage of the card’s free first checked bag on two round-trip flights.

  • High APR on purchases and balance transfers.

    Compared with other Amex cards, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express offers a relatively high 17.74% to 26.74% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers. Compare that to the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, which comes with 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers for 12 months on balances you transfer within the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the APR reverts to 14.99% to 24.99% variable.

  • Not as widely accepted overseas.

    Because the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is an American Express card, you may have limited opportunities to use it when traveling abroad, where Visa and Mastercard are more widely accepted.

  • Steep penalty for late payments.

    Try to make your payments on time to avoid a penalty APR as high as 29.99% variable. You may also incur late and returned payment fees as high as $38.

Consider other cards if …

Compare American Express travel cards

Compare travel rewards credit cards

Name Product Welcome Offer Reward Value per Dollar Annual Fee
30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first 3 months.
1x miles
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
30,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors Card after you use your new card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
3x points
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Rates & Fees
50,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months.
1x points
$250
50,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months Rates & Fees
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
2x miles
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
1x points
$550
Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & Fees
125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card after you use your new card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
3x points
$95
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
1x miles
$0
Earn 10,000 Bonus Miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Rates & Fees
75,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
2x points
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Enjoy a $0 annual fee on the first year and earn up to 2 Starpoints® for every dollar of eligible purchases. Rates & Fees
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
1x points
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening - that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
1x points
$450
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
1x points
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
1x points
$495
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
2x points
$995
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old.
  • A US resident.

In your application, you must provide such information as:

  • Your name and contact information.
  • Your phone number and email address.
  • Your annual income and income source.

What credit score do I need?

You can apply with a fair credit score of 680. But to increase your chances of approval, get the lowest APR on purchases and balance transfers and get a higher credit limit, apply with a higher credit score.

What’s my likelihood of being approved?

You’ll have a better chance of approval for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.

What do customers say about the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express?

Customers reviews are divided on the subjects of American Express’s customer support and the welcome offer’s bonus miles. Some cite poor customer support and claim they never received the bonus miles, despite meeting welcome offer requirements, while others praise help reps and had no issues receiving bonus rewards.

American Express is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and earns an A+ with a composite score of 3.78 out of 5 stars. Trustpilot, on the other hand, isn’t so generous — it rates American Express a 3 out of 10.

How to apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express?

  1. Click apply now.
  2. Complete the application with personal and financial details.
  3. Review the application and submit it.

How long will it take to be approved?

American Express can approve your application within minutes.

How long will it take to get my Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express?

On approval, your card should arrive by mail in 7 to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Set up autopay. Set up automatic payments through your online account.
  • Pay on time. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 25 days to pay your balance without interest.
  • Avoid fees. Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $38. Balance transfers and cash advances also come with fees.
  • Enroll with ShopRunner. Get free two-day shipping and returns at more than 100 retailers through your complimentary ShopRunner membership.
  • Customer support. Call 1-800-528-4800 for help with questions about your card, billing and more.

Want to earn more SkyMiles?

Consider getting the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express in addition to your Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and earn 2x miles per dollar spent at US restaurants. This is the only card in the Delta suite that offers this option. It has no annual fee, which makes owning the card basically free, plus you can easily clear the welcome offer and get additional miles.

Bottom line

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is a fairly robust entry-level airline card. You may want to consider it if you’re a frequent Delta flyer and you don’t need miles for SkyMiles Medallion status.

If you spend more than $25,000 a year, however, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card or the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express may be a stronger match with your spending.

Make sure to compare your options before settling on any one card. You may be able to find a better offer within the American Express family of cards or with another provider.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Images: americanexpress.com

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Kliment Dukovski

Kliment Dukovski is a writer who specializes in global financial markets and personal finance, with a focus on credit cards. His main goal is to deliver honest and accurate information to help you make the right financial decision. When he's not writing about finance-related subjects, he writes sci-fi stories.

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