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The best Delta credit cards (and how to pick the right one for you)

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The best Delta credit cards (and how to pick the right one for you)

Meghan HunterThe best Delta credit cards (and how to pick the right one for you)Million Mile Secrets Team

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If you’re looking to enhance your flying experience with Delta, you’ll be happy to know that great perks like annual companion certificates, priority boarding and free checked bags are all within reach. You can choose from several Delta credit cards, each of which offers different types of benefits that can enhance your flying experience and also save you time and money. And even better, due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, Delta has made a number of customer-friendly moves with regards to these credit card perks.

Best Delta credit cards

How we choose the best Delta credit card

It’s important to get value out of a card in the long run, and it’s helpful when you can earn a welcome bonus to quickly see value out of a card. Here are a few of the things we look at when choosing the best Delta credit cards:

Welcome bonus: A strong welcome bonus can quickly give you a large enough stash to take a luxury vacation on short notice. We like cards with valuable welcome bonuses because you can quickly come out ahead with tremendous value, especially on a card that carries an annual fee.

Rewards for everyday purchases: We prefer cards that offer the ability to steadily rack up rewards on everyday purchases. If you choose one that earns rewards to match your daily spending patterns, it’s an especially great way to steadily accumulate points for your next trip.

Perks and benefits: This can be one area packed with value that is sometimes overlooked. We like perks that can not only save you money like free checked bags but can also enhance your flying experience, like airport lounge access and priority boarding.

With the best Delta credit cards, you can enhance your flying with perks like access to Delta Sky Club airport lounges. (Photo by YMZK-Photo/Shutterstock).

 

CardIntro bonusBest perkAnnual fee
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express CardEarn 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Terms apply. Free checked bag for you and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation. Terms Apply.$99, waived for the first year. See (rates and fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express CardEarn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months. Terms apply. Free checked bag for you and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation. Terms Apply.$99, waived for the first year. See (rates and fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express CardEarn 40,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Terms apply. Priority boarding and a free checked bag for you and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation. Terms apply.$250 See (rates and fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express CardEarn 45,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 Statement Credit after your first Delta purchase on your new Card in the first 3 months. Terms apply. Priority boarding and a free checked bag for you and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation. Terms Apply.$250 See (rates and fees)

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Terms apply.
Complimentary Centurion Lounge and Delta SkyClub access$550 See (rates and fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Terms apply.
Earn an annual companion certificate each year when you renew your card. Terms apply.$550 See (rates and fees)

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Intro bonus and ongoing earnings

The Delta SkyMiles Gold card has an intro bonus of 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Beyond just the welcome bonus, you can continue earning rewards with your daily purchases:

  • 2x miles per $1 spent with Delta, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets
  • 1 mile per $1 spent on everything else
  • Terms apply

Perks

You don’t want to forget about the Amex Delta Gold card’s benefits and perks because they can save you quite a bit of money as well. For instance, you and up to eight additional traveling companions can receive free checked bags if you’re all on the same reservation. With checked bag fees typically starting around $30 per bag, this could amount to a significant amount of savings for everyone.

You can also receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.

And if you don’t like waiting to board the plane, you’ll be happy to hear that Amex Delta Gold cardmembers receive priority boarding, so you’ll have more time to find storage for your bags and get settled in without feeling rushed.

Is it worth the annual fee?

For an annual fee of $99 (which is waived for the first year) (see rates and fee), you can easily make the fee worthwhile, especially when you consider the value of the welcome bonus alone. And when you consider the ability to earn daily rewards for your purchases and the other perks on the card that can save you time and money, this card is a no-brainer.

Delta SkyMiles Gold card bottom line

If you’re not sure you travel enough to make enough use of these perks, this is a great card to start with. The card carries a very reasonable annual fee of just $99 (see rates and fee), which is waived for the first year.

Apply here: Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

 Intro bonus and ongoing earnings

With the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business credit card, you can earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months. Just like the personal version of the card, you’ll earn rewards on your daily purchases too:

  • 2 miles per $1 spent with Delta
  • 1 mile per $1 spent on everything else
  • Terms apply

Perks

The Delta SkyMiles Gold business card’s benefits and perks are similar to the personal version of the card, as you and up to eight additional traveling companions can receive free checked bags if you’re all on the same reservation. You’ll also receive priority boarding and 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your card on select in-flight purchases.

Is it worth the annual fee?

Given the value of the welcome bonus and perks, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business card is definitely worth the $99 annual fee (see rates and fees). And because the annual fee is waived for the first year, you have plenty of time to use the card to make sure it’s right for you, even if you’re not entirely sure.

Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold Business card bottom line

If you’re a business owner, this is a great way to separate your business expenses, making it a lot easier to find deductions when you file your taxes. Plus, you’ll receive virtually the same benefits as the personal version of the card, like free checked bags and inflight savings.

Apply here: Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Intro bonus and ongoing earnings

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex card has a welcome bonus of 40,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.

In addition to earning the welcome bonus, you can continue to get great value from the card by using it for your daily purchases. You’ll earn:

  • 3x Delta miles per dollar spent on Delta, including flights booked on Delta.com, Sky Club membership or passes, Delta Vacations packages, upgrades and inflight purchases
  • 3x Delta miles per dollar on purchases made directly with hotels
  • 2x Delta miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets
  • 1 Delta mile per dollar spent on everything else
  • Terms apply
Each year when you renew your Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex card, you’ll receive a companion certificate. You can use it to add one person to a domestic round-trip flight for just the cost of taxes and fees. (Photo by Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock).

Perks

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum benefits go beyond just the bonus miles. Each year when you renew the card, you will receive a companion certificate that allows you to add another passenger to a domestic round-trip flight reservation for only the cost of taxes and fees.

You can save more money on checked bag fees because as a cardmember, you and up to eight additional traveling companions can also receive free checked bags if you’re all on the same reservation. Checked bags generally cost $30 each way ($60 round-trip per person), so if you’re traveling with a large group, you could end up saving as much as $540 for a round-trip flight.

If you’re looking for a relaxing airport experience, you’ll also receive priority boarding and discounted Delta Sky Club airport lounge access. You can also receive inflight savings of 20% off eligible inflight purchases when you pay with the card.

Is it worth the annual fee?

The Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum annual fee of $250 (see rates and fees) can be worth it if you fly just a few times with Delta each year. The welcome bonus alone is more than enough to make the annual fee worthwhile, and perks like the companion certificate, free checked bag perk, inflight savings and discounted Delta Sky Club access give you plenty of opportunities to get tons of value out of the card.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex card bottom line

If you fly even a small handful of times with Delta, you can get incredible value from this card. The value of the welcome bonus alone makes the annual fee worthwhile, not to mention other perks like the annual companion certificate and free checked bags.

Apply here: Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

Intro bonus and ongoing earnings

When you open the Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum business card, you can earn 45,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 Statement Credit after your first Delta purchase on your new Card in the first 3 months.

You’ll also earn the following for your everyday spending:

  • 3x miles on Delta purchases
  • 3x miles on purchases made directly with hotels
  • 1.5x miles on all eligible single purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 50,000 additional miles per year)
  • 1 mile per dollar spent everywhere else
  • Terms apply

Perks 

Just like the personal version of the card, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum business card benefits include an annual companion certificate each year upon renewing the card which is valid for round-trip main cabin domestic travel. You’ll also get your first checked bag free for you and up to eight companions traveling on the same reservation (a savings of $30 per bag per person), 20% inflight savings, and discounted Delta Sky Club airport lounge access.

Is it worth the annual fee?

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum business card’s annual fee of $250 (see rates and fees) can be worth it for some people. The welcome bonus alone, for instance, is worth several hundred dollars, and perks like free checked bags could also save you hundreds of dollars if you travel with a large group of people.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card bottom line

 If you’re a business owner who flies frequently with Delta, this card is certainly worth considering. You can easily get more value out of the card than the annual fee thanks to the welcome bonus and perks like free checked bags and an annual companion certificate.

Apply here: Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Intro bonus and ongoing earnings

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve card has an intro bonus of 40,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first three months of account opening.

If you redeem through Delta Pay With Miles, you can get at least $400 worth of value from the welcome bonus, and you’ll earn the following for your everyday purchases:

  • 3x Delta miles per dollar spent on Delta, including flights booked on Delta.com, Sky Club membership or passes, Delta Vacations packages, upgrades and inflight purchases
  • 1 Delta mile per dollar spent on everything else
  • Terms apply

Perks

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve card benefits are top-notch for Delta flyers. For starters, you receive complimentary access to Delta Sky Club lounges worldwide, so you’ll be able to enjoy free food and drinks and a quiet place to relax before your flight. Depending on the location, you might even be able to enjoy a shower or spa.

Delta SkyMiles Reserve cardmembers will also receive priority boarding, so you have more time to get settled in and find space to store your bags.

You’ll also be treated to a number of other money-saving perks, like free checked bags, an annual companion certificate and 20% savings on select inflight purchases.

Is it worth the annual fee?

Although the Delta SkyMiles Reserve card annual fee of $550 (see rates and fees), this is still well worth it for frequent Delta flyers given the value of the welcome bonus and perks like the annual companion certificate, priority boarding, free checked bags, Delta Sky Club lounge access and more.

Delta SkyMiles Reserve card bottom line

If you frequently fly on Delta, this is one of the best cards you can pick up if you’re looking for a premium Delta flying experience.

Apply here: Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

 Intro bonus and ongoing earnings

When you open the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card, you can earn 45,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $4,000 on your card in the first three months of account opening.

You’ll also earn:

  • 3 Delta miles per dollar spent on eligible Delta purchases
  • 1 Delta mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Terms Apply

Perks

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card benefits are similar to what the personal version has. You’ll receive an annual companion certificate, along with free checked bags, complimentary Delta Sky Club access, priority boarding and inflight savings.

Is it worth the annual fee?

 The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card’s annual fee of $550 (see rates and fees) can be worth it if you frequently fly Delta, you can definitely make this fee worth it thanks to the value of the welcome bonus and perks like the annual companion certificate, complimentary Delta Sky Club access, free checked bags, priority boarding, inflight savings and more.

Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card bottom line

If you’re eligible as a business owner and frequently fly on Delta, this is one of the best cards out there if you’re looking for a premium flying experience.

Apply here: Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

Extension of benefits due to COVID-19

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Delta is extending its customers’ status through Jan. 31, 2022, and your 2020 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) will roll over to 2021 (helping you qualify for 2022 status).

Delta will also provide extensions for Global and Regional Upgrade Certificates, and $200 in Delta travel vouchers for those who selected them as Choice Benefits. If your upgrades were set to expire between March 1 and June 30, 2020, you’ll be able to use them until December 31, 2020. Any certificates set to expire after June 30, 2020, will have six extra months beyond the original expiration date to use them.

Plus, Delta is offering a second set of Choice Benefits for this lengthened year of status.

Delta has also made exceptions for members taking advantage of elite status challenges. If you’ve registered for one of these promos but are unable to earn (or retain) Delta status due to the novel coronavirus travel shutdown, you can simply begin another challenge after things are back to normal. And if you were gifted temporary status during the elite status challenge, Delta will even let you keep that status until the promo period has passed.

The best Delta credit cards

Here’s a quick recap of our favorite Delta credit cards:

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please click here.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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If I have had a Gold card before, am I still eligible for the sign-up bonus or does that preclude me? Can I sign up for the Platinum and earn a sign-up bonus if I was an authorized user?

Cliff Woodards II

What is the point of this article entitled “the ‘BEST’ Delta cards when you’ve chosen every one of them except the Blue Card? I’m beginning to believe what a lot of readers say about this site: you all are nothing but shills for the airlines and credit card issuers because this story was basically useless.

10/2019: AmEx vs Visa/Mastercard
Sad that all Delta cards are all AmEx which is not widely accepted worlwide compared to other airlines visa/mastercard!