Here’s Why I Canceled My AMEX Delta Gold Card

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You know that moment right after a breakup when you have that strange combined feeling of freedom and panic?  When you realize that you said the words and you are now actually on your own?

And it’s not just another fight.  You can’t take back that conversation, that instant when you said: “this is over, I’m done.”  I’m going through that right now….well, kind of.  I just canceled my Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express card somewhat spontaneously, in a fit of frustration.  And now I’m alone.  But I’m also free.  And I’m already trying to figure out what my next card should be.

The possibilities are endless.  One thing I know – whatever goes in my wallet next is going to be totally compatible with me.  No roadblocks allowed.

I’ll say this – the reasons this card no longer works for me definitely don’t apply to everyone.  So it’s worth looking to see if this card makes sense for you (living near a Delta hub can make all the difference).

Here’s why I canceled my AMEX Delta Gold Card.  You can subscribe to our newsletter for more honest pro/con credit card posts like this in the future!

I’ve ended my relationship with my Delta card, and I’m looking for a new credit card to fall in love with

Why I Canceled My AMEX Delta Gold Card

I’ve been thinking about this for a while.  Over a year to be exact.  And that’s a long time to live with doubt!

We started off strong, I received a healthy stockpile of Delta miles as an initial reward when I signed up for the AMEX Delta Gold Card.  It seemed like a great deal.  The problem is that the $95 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) didn’t seem worth it anymore (it’s waived for the first year).  I know some might protest that $95 is a fair trade for the benefits of this card (that’s definitely what the Delta customer service gal argued when I told her I was outta there).

Here are 4 reasons I felt like this card no longer added value to my wallet:

1.   I No Longer Live Near a Delta Hub

This one is a bit of a no-brainer.  When I was living in Missoula, one-third of the flights that departed from that charming little airport were on Delta.  Now that I live near a larger airport, it makes more sense to fly on either United Airlines or Southwest.  Delta flights are typically more expensive from Denver.

2.   I Didn’t Save Much With AMEX Offers Last Year

Do you know about AMEX offers?  Essentially, AMEX will publish a list of offers that you can add to your card to get discounts off certain products, services, restaurants, etc.  In the past, I’ve saved money on a Stitchfix subscription, Starbucks, Aveda shampoo, the list goes on.

It’s always fun to see what offers are available since the list is kind of all over the place.  For a few years, I claimed enough offers to offset the $95 annual fee (and then some).  But when I calculated the AMEX Offers I’ve claimed in the last 12 months, I saw I’d saved $5 at Starbucks and that was it.  Just one more reason to cancel.

3.   There Are Other Features I Want in a Card That This One Doesn’t Provide

I’ve seen other really generous credit cards out there, so my expectations are kind of high at this point:

  • Do I get TSA PreCheck?
  • Are there any lounge passes?
  • Do I get priority boarding?
  • How about a free checked bag?

I know some cards that offer these features have a higher annual fee, and that makes sense.  I’m willing to pay a little bit more for a card so long as I feel like I’m getting the full value it provides.

4.   I Don’t Use This Card Enough to Justify the Points I’m Accumulating Each Year

Realistically, I don’t collect Delta points fast enough on this card to make it worthwhile.  My husband and I have a few other cards that we prefer to stack rewards with (the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the United Club Card are two of our favorites).

The information for the United Club Card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets.  The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

When Negotiations Don’t Seem to Work

I called the AMEX retention line to see if I could get a refund for the annual fee.  I know I’m paying to accumulate miles, but I wanted to find out if I was missing something – what else comes with this card to justify paying $95 per year for it?

For example, I know that the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card (which has a comparable annual fee of $99 per year) gives cardholders 6,000 bonus miles every anniversary when you renew your card.  That’s just so generous!  Totally the kind of behavior I’m looking for in my next relationship.

The answer from AMEX was “no,” which wasn’t a big surprise.  But it’s always worth one last shot at saving the relationship.  Since no one was willing to compromise, I made a rash decision – I canceled my card on the spot.

Note that I did NOT downgrade my card to the no-annual-fee Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (See Rates & Fees).  While my current strategy no longer revolves around Delta, AMEX only allows you to earn each card’s welcome bonus ONCE per lifetime.  If I had downgraded my AMEX Delta Gold to the Delta Blue, I’d have forfeited my chance to earn the welcome bonus forever (meager though it may be in comparison to other Delta cards).

Now What?

I’m going to take a few days to reevaluate what I’m looking for.  I know there are a lot of great cards out there.  So many, in fact, that it’s important to do the legwork to find the perfect one.  My next card will be:

  • Flexible – Lets me use miles whenever I want (no blackout dates), and lets me transfer miles to a partner airline whenever possible
  • Generous – Comes with some other nice perks like TSA PreCheck, Priority Pass membership, or something similar
  • Far outweighs the annual fee (of course) – I’m totally willing to pay some money for the right card;  I just want to feel like I’m getting a fair amount back from the investment

With these parameters, I’ll probably choose one of the following:

You can subscribe to our newsletter for more insight into evaluating your credit card stash:

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For the rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, please click here.

For the rates and fees of the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, please click here.

Erin Lizzo is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, she covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

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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