Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card review

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Free flights and no annual fees are credit card benefits that rarely coexist. If you’re looking for a modest airline credit card that’ll give you a sip from the tap of the free travel keg, the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is what you’re after. It’s a no annual fee card (see rates and fees) that comes with 10,000 bonus miles after meeting easy minimum spending requirements.

We’ll break down the card bonus and its value, as well as the card’s ongoing benefits. We’ll even throw a few tips in there, and recommend other Delta credit cards if this card doesn’t completely satisfy you.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith)

Delta SkyMiles Blue credit card review

Current bonus

The Delta SkyMiles Blue card offers 10,000 bonus Delta miles after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. We estimate Delta miles value to be around 2 cents each, so this bonus could be worth $200 in flights.

You can also utilize the Delta Pay With Miles feature to redeem your Delta points at a less impressive rate of 1 cent each — but you won’t have to worry about blackout dates when using your miles with this method. You must redeem miles in increments of 5,000 through Pay With Miles.

Benefits and perks

Earning rate

The Delta SkyMiles Blue offers a surprisingly generous return on spending — rivaling even Delta cards that come with annual fees! You’ll earn:

  • 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases
  • 2 miles per dollar on restaurants
  • 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases

Rental car insurance

Use the Delta SkyMiles Blue to reserve and pay for your entire rental car bill and decline the rental agency’s in-house collision damage waiver, and you’ll be covered for damage and theft to your car. This is secondary coverage, meaning the card will cover anything that your primary insurance provider does not. as with other credit card rental insurance coverage, you won’t be covered for liability.

No foreign transaction fees

Some cards charge a 3% fee when using the card outside the U.S. That can add up if you do a lot of swiping on vacation. The Delta SkyMiles Blue is a good card to bring with you on international trips, because this foreign transaction fee is waived (see rates and fees).

20% back on inflight purchases

You’ll get 20% off in the form of a statement credit when using your Delta SkyMiles Blue for eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages and audio headsets.

Extended warranty

When you use the Delta SkyMiles Blue for a covered purchase, you can get up to one extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty. This applies to warranties of five years or less for purchases in the U.S.

Purchase protection

The Delta SkyMiles Blue covers certain purchases against accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days from the purchase date.

Shoprunner

Shoprunner provides free two-day shipping at more than 100 online stores — and the Delta SkyMiles Blue gives you a free membership. Just enroll your card at shoprunner.com/americanexpress.

How to redeem miles

The best way to use Delta miles is by booking award flights, either with Delta or their partners like Air France and KLM.

There is no Delta award chart, so it’s not easy to know how much your next award flight will cost. There are frequently amazing Delta SkyMiles deals for various dates, but if you have firm travel dates, you might end up getting shafted with an exorbitant award rate. To look up the cost of a flight, you’ll have to look up a specific route and date.

As briefly stated above, you can choose to pay for Delta flights with miles through the Pay with Miles feature. With this tool, your Delta miles are worth 1 cent each toward Delta flights — and you can book any available seat on the plane. If you don’t have enough miles to cover the flight, you can pay for just part of a flight, as long as you’re using at least 5,000 Delta miles. You must pay in 5,000-mile increments.

Read our full guide on how to use Delta Miles here.

Is the annual fee worth it?

Again, this card has no annual fee (see rates and fees), so it’s free to keep forever. Just be sure you swipe it every six months or so to ensure that Amex doesn’t close the account for lack of activity.

Who is the Delta SkyMiles Blue card for?

If you want to dip your toe into the miles and points hobby but are a little apprehensive, this is an excellent card to choose. The lack of annual fee means this is one of the lowest-risk cards you can open. Plus, it comes with just enough miles for you to book a free flight. A word of caution — once you taste free travel, you won’t want to go back. Check out list of the best travel credit cards once you reach that point, and you’ll really start saving money.

Keep in mind that Amex only allows you the opportunity to earn the welcome bonus from each card once per lifetime. If you’ve already opened this card, you won’t receive another bonus.

Insider tips

Amex issues several Delta credit cards, such as the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card. However, all but Delta SkyMiles Blue come with an annual fee. For example, the Delta SkyMiles Gold comes with a $99 annual fee, waived for the first year (see rates and fees).

If you have one of these annual fee incurring cards and decide you don’t want to pay it any longer, you can downgrade any of them to the Delta SkyMiles Blue. You’ll get to keep your account number and credit limit, and you won’t lose your miles. Plus, your credit history won’t be affected by a closed account, which is good for your credit score!

Pairing the Delta SkyMiles Blue with other credit cards

The Delta SkyMiles Blue is a good no annual fee card, but its benefits are meager compared to its brothers and sisters with annual fees.

Just take a look at the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. It’s got an annual fee of $250 (see rates and fees), but it comes with perks such as:

  • Priority boarding
  • Free checked bag for you and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation
  • Each year when you renew the card, 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
  • Terms Apply

If you fly Delta domestically with any regularity and you find yourself checking bags, this perk alone could easily save you more than the annual fee. And the companion certificate can be worth several hundred dollars, as well. Read our post on the best Delta credit cards to choose the right card for your situation.

Bottom line

A solid no annual fee card, the Delta SkyMiles Blue provides more benefits than a no annual fee card should be allowed. However, it’s the lowest on the totem pole of Delta credit cards, so if you’re an avid Delta flyer, you’ll get your money’s worth by paying an annual fee for a card with a bigger bonus, better earning rates, and fantastic Delta-centric perks.

Let me know if you decide to open this card! And subscribe to our newsletter for more credit card reviews like this delivered to your inbox.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Blue Amex, click here

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex, click here

For the rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex click here

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex, click here

Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals.

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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