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, he 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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Dan
8 months ago

Is there a cancellation fee if I cancel slightly after my free 1 year is over?

Jon Jacobsen
10 months ago

In June, I “upgraded” from Delta AMEX Gold to Platinum with the understanding that I would receive 80,000 Skymiles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
I was just told that the card they gave me did not qualify for the promotion. (probably because I had an AMEX Gold Delta card) They did not make that clear to me, and now I am told that I will receive no miles.
I will cancel the Platinum card, and already cancelled the Gold.
Anyone have suggestions for another card that awards miles?

Zofia Wyszynski
Reply to  Jon Jacobsen
10 months ago

I am beginning to think they deliberately aim to deceive their members. I signed up for AMEX Gold Delta in May. I was making a reservation with Delta, and told that I could earn 30,000 bonus points if I paid for my tickets with the AMEX card, and that if I applied on the same day, I would be given a temporary credit card number that I could use for my ticket purchase. The agent transferred me to AMEX, I went through the rather lengthy application process on the phone, althoug it was a very inconvenient time for me – I even asked the agent if I could call him back, if he could call me back or if I could complete the application online, but was told neither of these options was possible. At then end, I asked for my temporary number so that I could purchase my tickets with Delta, and he said that he could not give me one over the phone, that I could only get a temporary number if I did the application online. So as it turns out, I COULD do the application online, and if I had, I would have been able to purchase my tickets using the AMEX card and get my bonus points. But now, I got neither. And the cannot ‘undo’ the application, so I will never see those bonus miles. I submitted a complaint, but never heard back from AMEX. Just called then to find out that the complaint had been reviewed and closed, and (surprisingly) the y did not find any fault with the way they handled it all. This is a second bad experience with AMEX, and I am beginning to think this is not the company for me. I will probably end up cancelling the Gold card.

Cleo McDowell
11 months ago

You’re incorrect about these 2:

Do I get priority boarding? —> Yes, you do
How about a free checked bag? –> Yes, for you and up to 8 companions (booked on the same reservation as you).

Jojo Williams
1 year ago

I will probably quit AMEX Delta for completely different reasons.
In March I made an emergency trip to Florida to deliver a passport and in the process lost my Amex Gold card, probably in a parking lot entrance ticket machine, and notified Amex immediately. They said they mailed a replacement the next day. Two weeks later they sent a message asking why I had not activated the new card and I wrote back that it had not arrived. They said they would send another. I was about to leave for Europe and wanted the card and I pestered Amex about the card they said they mailed to me and I asked where they had mailed it and they would not tell me the address. I said that it was important to me as I am responsible for the charges made to that card and the agent’s response was that this was inconsequential as they were canceling the card (two weeks after they say it was mailed). My replacement card came the day I was leaving for Europe, in April.
And today, out of the blue, another Amex gold delta card arrived without any explanation, and I’ve wasted an hour trying to find an electronic mail address to ask why it was sent, without luck.
This is why I’m going to cancel this card. Not that it is a valid defense, but I had a similar problem with Chase: a card they said was mailed that never arrived, that was mailed to a different city I finally learned. So for now, I got a card for my wife’s American Airlines Chase account and will use that.
It amazes me how worthless these credit card people are.

Jojo Williams
Reply to  Jojo Williams
1 year ago

I called AMEX this morning on another issue and since I was spending so much time with the fraud people I asked about the card that I received yesterday, 20 May, and they told me it is the card they mailed me on 11 March. Unfortunately, the envelope does not have a date stamp or cancellation on it but it sure sounds unlikely to me.

Andrew Wan
Reply to  Jojo Williams
1 year ago

These things happen from time to time, and yes it certainly is very frustrating.

I’ve been fortunate that this hasn’t really been a recurring pattern with any bank I’ve done business with, so I’m usually pretty understanding if they goof everyone now and then.

Zack
1 year ago

I recently had the same experience. The $95 was just not worth the only real perk of 1 free bag for the amount I fly. If it included some lounge passes that would be a different story…
I downgraded to the free version.

Kenneth Muller
1 year ago

It’s interesting that nobody mentioned the positive aspect of the card in that you can refer other people to get the card. That you can earn up to 55,000 points per year for simply referring others. The current offer rewards the new cardholder with 60,000 points and you get 10,000 points. I think that’s awesome. 55,000 points is worth many times more than the AF.

Axela05
Reply to  Kenneth Muller
1 year ago

Bonus points are only year 1 benefits. Year 2 and beyond really don’t justify the card as a “keeper card.” Now, if you wanna throw the Delta Platinum card in the ring, then yes, the yearly free ticket more than offsets the $195.00 AF.

Bryce G
1 year ago

I hear you! Makes sense…did the Delta Amex Blue formerly have an AF? I downgraded my Gold Delta years ago to Blue, and there was most certainly an AF. I’ve since upgraded it again because I lost my status and wanted free bags and the option to pay with miles. It’s time for me to reevaluate especially if the Blue is no AF!

Omar S
1 year ago

Good luck wih Southwest and United.

Personally, and if given a cheaper United flight and a more expensive, I can easily dismiss the price difference as being a factor impacting which to select.

My point here is this… As you wemt througj

Ken
1 year ago

I can’t believe I wasted 10 min reading your commentary. You want all those perks and complain about the $95 annual fee but then recommend 3 cards two of which are heavy on the AF side?! You get what you pay for and learn to work the system.

Gordon
1 year ago

I also recently cancelled my Gold Delta Skymiles Amex card. I had applied for it mostly for my son to get the supplementary card for the benefits such as free 1st bag & priority boarding, but later found out the benefits only apply to the primary card holder.

The Amex operator suggested that I downgrade to the Blue version so that I can receive the prorated annual fee as credit. We kept the same credit card numbers and credit limit. It also helps to avoid impacting credit score from a termination of credit card.

Rachel
1 year ago

So funny to read this article! I recently moved from MSO to DEN but have always used the platinum and love it. I really enjoy flying Delta out of DEN because of the quiet concourse, sky club access (thanks platinum) and priority boarding gets my through the vip lane at the sky bridge. I take layovers to fly delta!

Sean
1 year ago

I’m early in my Delta Gold ownership but I understand your points.

If you haven’t looked at the Chase stack.. Freedom for 5% on rotating categories, freedom unlimited for 1.5% (with double for the first year right now) and since you seem to be United a United Explorer for that same 95 with first year free.. and it includes TSA. And if you’re really in the mood, sapphire preferred for the 1.25% on travel ( All can be combined into one CUR account)

I’m a big fan of AmEx customer service, and I am in a Delta hub and I’m still not sure if CUR may be a better fit than AmEx…

Axela05
1 year ago

Honestly, after reading your article, you really need to check out the United Explorer Card (there’s your TSA benefit, and hits almost every bullet point) at $95/yr., as well as the Southwest Priority card at $149.00/yr. Both are issued by Chase.

I personally have the Southwest Priority card, because its benefits far outweigh the annual fee, after taking just ONE flight per year. With 7,500 anniversary points, and a $75.00 credit each year, you actually get PAID about $35.00/yr. just to have the card. Either way, give them both a hard look, and be sure to check out reviews of them by either AskSebby or Credit Shifu, both on YouTube. If you decide on the Southwest card, I’ll gladly send you a referral link (shameless plug, haha).

P
1 year ago

I am thinking along the line of not keeping it in the future. A first free checked baggage keeps me with AMEX Delta Gold for another year.

Edward
1 year ago

We gave up our Delta Platinum Amex for similar reasons. Out of PSP (Palm Springs), Delta service is next to nothing, mostly a tired old 50 seat regional that has seen better days. And the “free companion voucher” was useless because there was literally no available flights to use it. We only travel for leisure, a few international and domestic flights per year, so an airline card just isn’t worth it. We switched to the Hilton Aspire card and get far more benefit from it.

Miles
1 year ago

I’m at about the same point with my Amex Gold Delta card. For my situation, I just can’t see a good reason to keep it.