Delta Gold SkyMiles (50,000 Miles) – Top 10 Benefits!

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The American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles personal card and Gold Delta SkyMiles business card have an increased sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in the 1st 3 months.

Usually, the sign-up bonus on these cards is 30,000 miles, so this is a great deal!  But you have to apply by September 8, 2014.

Both Versions of the American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles Card Have an Increased Sign-Up Bonus of 50,000 Miles

Because the annual fee of $95 is waived for the 1st year, the increased sign-up bonus should be interesting to lots of folks.  But do you know these cards come with some great extra benefits?

The Top 10 Benefits!

Link:   American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles (Personal)

Link:   American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles (Business)

Link:   My Review of the American Express Delta Cards Increased Sign-Up Bonus

1.   50,000 Miles After Completing Minimum Spending

You’ll get 50,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in the 1st 3 months.  Here are ways you may not have considered to meet the minimum spending requirement.

Delta miles can sometimes be hard to use, but with 50,000 miles, you could get:

  • 2 round-trip coach class tickets to anywhere in the continental US, Alaska, and Canada for 50,000 miles
  • A round-trip coach class ticket to Hawaii for 45,000 miles
  • A round-trip coach class ticket to the Caribbean, Mexico, or Central America for 35,000 miles
  • A round-trip Business Class or First Class ticket to anywhere in the continental US, Alaska, and Canada for 50,000 miles

And after January 1, 2015, you could also get:

  • A 1-way coach class ticket to Africa for 40,000 miles
  • A 1-way coach class ticket to Middle East or South Asian Subcontinent for 42,500 miles
  • A 1-way coach class ticket to Southwest Pacific for 50,000 miles
  • A 1-way coach class ticket to Southeast Asia (such as Thailand or Malaysia) for 40,000 miles
Delta Gold SkyMiles 50000 Miles Top 10 Benefits

You Could Fly 1-Way in Coach Class to Bangkok for 40,000 Delta Miles After January 1, 2015

Delta miles can be used on Delta, partners like Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines, and SkyTeam alliance airlines.

2.   $50 Statement Credit

You’ll get a $50 statement credit when you make a Delta purchase on your new card in the 1st 3 months.  This could be airline tickets (purchased directly from Delta), baggage fees, change fees, or in-flight food and entertainment.

Delta Gold SkyMiles 50000 Miles Top 10 Benefits

Get a $50 Statement Credit for Delta Purchases, Including In-Flight Food, Drink, and Entertainment

You can only get the $50 statement credit once, but it’s a nice bonus to get if you’re planning on flying Delta within 3 months of getting the card.  Free money is good!

3.   First Checked Bag Free

Link:   First Checked Bag Free

Delta normally charges $25 for your 1st checked bag each way on domestic, coach class tickets.  With the Gold Delta SkyMiles cards, you and up to 8 traveling companions (on the same reservation) get your 1st checked bag free.

Delta Gold SkyMiles 50000 Miles Top 10 Benefits

Your 1st Checked Bag Is Free (and for up to 8 Traveling Companions, Too!)

This is great when you travel as a family or a large group.  A family of 4 could save $200 (4 people x $50 in checked bag fees each) on a round-trip ticket.  And a large group of 9 passengers could save $450 (9 people x $50 in checked bag fees each).

You’ll get the free bag as long as the primary cardholder’s Delta frequent flyer number is on the reservation.  And you don’t even have to use the card to pay for your ticket.

4.  Double Miles on Delta Purchases

You’ll earn 2 miles for every $1 you spend on Delta Airlines and Delta Vacations purchases.  This includes airline tickets, fees, in-flight purchases, lounge entrance, and vacation packages.

Delta Gold SkyMiles 50000 Miles Top 10 Benefits

Earn 2X Points on Delta Purchases, Including Tickets, Vacations, Lounge Passes, and More

If you buy lots of Delta tickets, or are planning on buying a vacation package for your family, you could earn a lot of extra miles.  But if you usually fly on Delta award tickets, the benefit is probably minor.

And if you spend a lot of money on Delta (or any other airline) tickets, you might instead consider the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express or The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN.  That’s because they earn 3 points for every $1 you spend on airlines.  And American Express Membership Rewards points transfer instantly at a 1:1 ratio to Delta!

5.   20% Discount on In-Flight Purchases

When you fly in coach class, meals, drinks, in-flight entertainment, and headsets can cost a lot of money, especially for families and groups.  With the card, you’ll get a 20% discount on in-flight purchases.  This doesn’t include duty free items, SkyMall, or in-flight Wi-Fi.

Emily and I prefer bringing our own food and entertainment onboard to save money, but some folks don’t.

Delta Gold SkyMiles 50000 Miles Top 10 Benefits

Eating in Delta Coach Class Isn’t Always Cheap!

For example, suppose a groom and 3 of his buddies are heading to Las Vegas from New York (for his bachelor party, of course!) and they get hungry and thirsty.  If each has 1 beer and a wrap on their Delta flight, they’ll pay:

  • $24 for the beer (4 people x $6 each), and
  • ~$44 for the wraps (4 people x ~$11 each)

That’s ~$68 for a beer and sandwich for 4 guys!  But with the Gold Delta SkyMiles card discount, they’ll save ~$14 (~$68 x 20%).  And if they add in-flight movies, headsets, and video games, the discount becomes more valuable.

Somehow, I don’t think the “Quinoa Crunch Wrap” would be a popular option in this case.  😉

6.   Priority Boarding

Boarding early is always a great perk, because you can get settled in sooner, and have more access to overhead bins for your luggage.  You can actually pay $10 extra on paid Delta tickets to get priority boarding, which could appeal to folks like musicians who have to carry their instruments on board, or those traveling with valuable or bulky items.

Delta Gold SkyMiles 50000 Miles Top 10 Benefits

Settle In Sooner With Priority Boarding on Delta

If you’re someone who usually pays for priority boarding, you might get some good value out of this perk!

7.   Pay With Miles

Link:   Pay With Miles

If you’re a Gold Delta SkyMiles cardholder, you can use miles to offset some (or all) of the price of a paid ticket!  Each mile is worth 1 cent towards the cash price of a ticket (unless you’re redeeming for a ticket under $100, which isn’t a good idea).

Delta Gold SkyMiles 50000 Miles Top 10 Benefits

You Can Use Delta Miles to Reduce the Cost of a Paid Ticket

Don’t use Pay With Miles for tickets less than $100, because you have to redeem 25,000 miles to get $100 off.  That’s not a good value because you’re paying 4 cents per mile ($100 cost of Delta Airlines ticket / 25,000 Delta Airlines miles).

For tickets above $100, you can get $100 off your ticket price by redeeming 10,000 Delta Airlines miles.  You can also redeem 5,000 Delta Airlines miles to get $50 off once you’ve already redeemed 10,000 or more Delta Airlines miles (for tickets that cost up to $1,000).

For tickets above $1,000, you can redeem 10,000 miles to get $100 off your ticket price, then redeem in increments of 10,000 miles.

Delta Gold SkyMiles 50000 Miles Top 10 Benefits

Use Pay With Miles to Reduce or Eliminate the Price of a Paid Ticket

To use Pay With Miles, you have to pay for the ticket with the card.

8.   Delta Sky Club Reduced Rate

A 1-day pass to a Delta Sky Club lounge costs $50, but Gold Delta SkyMiles cardholders can get a discounted lounge pass for themselves and up to 2 guests for only $29 each.  You’ll save $21 over the regular price.

Delta Gold SkyMiles 50000 Miles Top 10 Benefits

Enjoy the SkyDeck at the Delta Sky Club at New York JFK Terminal 4 for a Reduced Rate

There are other credit cards that give you free lounge access outright (like the American Express Platinum or Citi Executive AAdvantage cards), but those cards come with a much higher annual fee.

For folks who only use Delta SkyClub lounges occasionally, perhaps on a long journey, it could be worth paying for entering a lounge, especially at a discount!

9.   No Foreign Currency Fees

I’ve written about how cards with no foreign transaction fees can save you lots of money when you travel outside the US.  Some cards charge an extra ~3%, and that can definitely add up on an overseas trip.

Delta Gold SkyMiles 50000 Miles Top 10 Benefits

Foreign Currency Fees Can Cost a LOT of Money

But you won’t pay foreign currency fees on the Gold Delta SkyMiles cards.  That can be huge savings for folks who travel out of the country often.

10.   American Express OPEN Discounts (Business Card Only)

Link:   American Express OPEN

With the business version of the American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles card, you can get discounts for business expenses with the American Express OPEN program.

Delta Gold SkyMiles 50000 Miles Top 10 Benefits

Get Discounts or Extra Points Through the American Express OPEN Program

You get discounts of up to 10% or earn up to 4 extra Membership Rewards points per dollar at 7 popular merchants including Hyatt, Hertz, and FedEx.

But always compare the price at these merchants after the AMEX OPEN discount to the best price you would pay elsewhere for a comparable hotel or service.  It’s not worth paying more to earn a few extra points.

Bottom Line

You’ll get an increased sign-up bonus on the American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles personal card and Gold Delta SkyMiles business card until September 8, 2014.

The sign-up bonus alone is worth at least $500 in travel, plus you get a $50 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase with your new card in the 1st 3 months.  The annual fee of $95 is waived for the 1st year.

Depending on how often you fly Delta, this card could be worth paying the $95 annual fee for in the 2nd year and beyond.  That’s because you get a free 1st checked bag, priority boarding, 2X miles on Delta purchases, and a 20% discount on in-flight purchases like food, drink, and entertainment.

What do you think about the increased sign-up bonus and benefits on this card?  Is it worth keeping after the 1st year?

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23 responses to “Delta Gold SkyMiles (50,000 Miles) – Top 10 Benefits!

  1. I got the card at 75,000 miles a while ago. Still waiting to find a seat. If they would put as much energy into making seats available as they do into promoting the card, maybe people could get enthusiastic. “Delta miles can sometimes be hard to use…” No kidding.

  2. Let’s say I sign up for the card and get the 50,000 miles but don’t use them in the first year. At the end of the year, I cancel my card to avoid the yearly fee. Can I still use those points or do they disappear with the card?

  3. Darius: are you seeing success with using the $50 Delta credit for Delta GCs?

  4. Darius do you know if you can obtain the 50 dollar statement credit by purchasing delta sky miles?

  5. In the past I’ve used 15,000 delta miles for $100 Macy’s GC. I feel like Delta has stuffed this feature deep in the rewards website and it can be hard to find. In theory the miles could be used more effectively if on a plane ticket… but then the discussion of reward ticket availability comes into play. “Sky Pesos” is old and used, but it is still true as the day is long.

  6. Darius – I already signed up for this last year and cancelled the card few months ago.. Can I sign up again and get this new offer ?

    thanks
    AMY

  7. “2 round-trip coach class tickets to anywhere in the continental US, Alaska, and Canada for 50,000 miles” doesn’t seem to be accurate. I just tried few continental destinations (SEA-MIA, SEA-LAX), mid-week off peak in October (saver award dates) and Delta.com wants 25,000 miles one way. Am I missing something.

  8. I’m a big fan and I am trying to consume a lot of content to see how you’ve perfected your approach. One thing I’m trying to figure out is how to properly apply for cards. In the last round (the first time I’ve ever done something crazy like 3 cards at once), I opened a Marriott Chase, AMEX SPG, and Citi HHonors card. What I’m trying to figure out is what’s the right pace for applying (quarterly, twice a year, annually)? When offers come up like this AMEX, I want to apply but I have had lenders (Bank of America) freak out when I opened too many trades at once. Curious what pace you use in your method of opening to get points? I’m sure you covered this somewhere, but I haven’t found the exact answer. And, with AMEX specifically, do you close other AMEX cards before opening new ones?

  9. My husband and I both applied for this card last year and we could never find a good use for the miles! We never found any of the “cheaper” miles seats, but it could also be that we live in Dallas and Delta is not big here. However, we were able to buy $700 worth of Amex gift cards with our miles, which we applied to a Disney vacation. 🙂

  10. You forgot to mention a nice perk; NO-FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE 🙂

  11. What about point redemption to Europe?

  12. @Nancy–Delta’s Sky Peso program sucks if you don’t live in Atlanta. I have Tweeted mercilessly about the suckiness of Delta and it’s FF program. I got so damn excited when I finally hit a plane last month in their fleet that had a TV and an outlet. I booked an awesome deal to Hawaii via Flying Blue Miles that code shares with Delta, but the awfulness of their customer service reminds this road warrior why I would connect 20x to avoid 1 single Delta flight. However, free flights are the only reason to put up with the hassles of Delta. Be prepared to have to get to ATL or a coastal city if you intend to use their points. Hell, I’m not sure what you could possibly do with 50K miles. You’d probably only get high season, 65K mile awards if you wanted to go anywhere besides a place no one else wanted to go. #deltastillsucks

  13. Anyone know if the Delta Miles to Dollars trick still working? Use miles to buy a refundable ticket and then cancel the ticket and get the miles converted into an e-certificate that has a 1 year expiration date or no expiration date? you’ll get 1 cent per mile this way and not have to fish around for the random award seats to Duluth (sorry Duluth, I know Outside Mag named you #1 city, but I have no plans to fly there) or wherever Atlanta takes you.

  14. Hi, I have had the Delta Gold Card for some time now with the 50,000 miles. And I would like you to show me how to get two round trip tickets to Hawaii. One ticket using Delta miles will cost 75,000 miles, the last I checked. It will cost me less to just walk into an airport and book a flight to Floria than use Delta miles.
    I’m in Illinois using MLI airport – any and all advice is greatly appreciated

  15. Darius, first of all -thank you for all you do. Second, I have two part question…First, I just got this AMEX Delta SkyMiles Gold and on the CC Agreement it says that you can NOT earn miles on purchases of “pre-paid cards or other cash equivalents?” Second, I am also going to apply for the business Sky Miles as well, and I read all your posts about doing so, but do you know if they require the bank account linked with a business card to be a business account/Is it necessary to get a business bank account prior to applying for the business card? Muchas Gracias!

  16. Thank you for this post but the link to sign up for the card is not working.

  17. Does anyone know if the free baggage benefit applies on international Delta flights where the first checked bag is free anyway? In other words will I be able to use thus card to check in a second bag for free?

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  21. Hi there,

    I love love love your website, it has been so helpful for me. I started travel hacking just this past August and its working out great so far. I have a trip planned for January to Orlando Florida but I’m trying to incorporate a NCL Bahamas cruise while I’m down there which leaves from Miami and so I need a flight out of Miami. My question here is, if I were to apply for the credit card (which I have the 50k sign up bonus mailed to me), how fast do I get the bonus miles once I fulfill the $1k spent? I’m trying to gauge the timing since I’m doing this so late and I’m aiming to book as soon as possible (end of november 2014)

    Once last question just for my own clarification. I checked Delta for there flights using miles and I see, like you said, that it would cost 25,000 miles pp and fees. The cash price is $154, would you suggest that I use the pay for miles instead and apply 10,000 miles to the purchase followed by the 5,000 miles for a subsequent $50 off?

    Thanks so much!

    • @Jasmine – Thanks for reading! I’d pay $154 instead of 25K miles. In general, the sign up bonus posts in the statement in which you complete the minimum spending, provided you completed it within 8 to 10 days of the statement closing date.