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Delta SkyMiles Gold review

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Delta SkyMiles Gold review

Joseph HostetlerDelta SkyMiles Gold reviewMillion Mile Secrets Team

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

If you frequently fly Delta, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card has a lot to offer. This travel credit card comes packed with benefits that can save you both time and money — think perks like free checked bags and priority boarding. Plus, it comes with a welcome offer of 35,000 bonus miles after meeting minimum spending requirements.

Here’s an honest review of the Delta SkyMiles Gold card.

The Delta SkyMiles Gold Card has a limited-time welcome bonus that will help you make that dream trip a reality. (Photo by Tananyaa Pithi/Shutterstock)

Delta SkyMiles Gold Card review

Current bonus

The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card is currently offering 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

With the card’s Pay With Miles perk, the welcome bonus is easily worth $350 — but you could get much more value depending on how you redeem your Delta miles. For example, I was able to find the following award flights on the Delta website:

  • 4,000 Delta miles + ~$6 fees for a one-way flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco
  • 7,500 Delta miles + ~$6 fees for a one-way flight from Los Angeles to Dallas
  • 11,000 Delta miles + ~$6 fees for a one-way flight from Los Angeles to New York

Earning the full bonus, you’ll have at least 36,000 Delta miles after meeting spending requirements. Delta has regular award sales — in the past, we’ve seen flights for 30,000 miles round-trip to Hong Kong and Europe.

If you want to learn more about Delta’s award sales, subscribe to our newsletter, and bookmark our Delta SkyMiles deals page.

Benefits and perks

Earning rate

Due to COVID-19, Amex has upped the Delta SkyMiles Gold earning rate at U.S. supermarkets. You’ll now earn 4 Delta miles per dollar through July 2020. If you know how to best use Delta miles, you can receive a Delta miles value of 2 cents each. That means it’s possible to receive an effective 8% return at U.S. supermarkets — or potentially even higher.

You’ll also earn the normal return on all other purchases:

  • 2 miles per dollar spent with Delta, at restaurants worldwide (and at U.S. supermarkets after July 2020)
  • 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else
  • Terms Apply

Free checked bag

Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold cardmembers get a free checked bag for themselves and eight additional people flying with them on the same itinerary. (Photo by Romeo Pj/Shutterstock)

With the Delta SkyMiles Gold card, the primary cardholder and up to eight others traveling on the same reservation will enjoy one free checked bag each. With baggage fees starting at $30 per bag, a round-trip flight for yourself and eight others on the same itinerary would otherwise mean a total of $540 in baggage fees.

$100 Delta credit

When you spend $10,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, you’ll receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit.

20% discount on inflight purchases

If you use your card on certain inflight purchases, you’ll receive a credit of 20% off the purchase price on your Amex statement within six to eight weeks after the transaction is posted to your account. Not all inflight purchases will qualify for this discount, but eligible items typically include food, beverages and audio headsets. The purchase must be made entirely with the card to receive this benefit.

Priority boarding

If you want more time to settle into your seat, Delta SkyMiles Gold cardholders receive complimentary priority boarding for the cardmember and up to eight additional people flying on the same itinerary. Just make sure to include your Delta frequent flyer number on your reservation.

Discount on Delta SkyClub access

Delta stopped selling single-visit passes for its Sky Club lounges last year. But Delta Gold cardholders still have the option of buying lounge passes for themselves and two guests or their spouse and children under 21 years old. If you spend a lot of time at the airport or have a long layover, a lounge offers a quiet place to wait. In many cases, the lounges offer free food and drinks. The day passes cost $29 per person. In order to be eligible, you need to be traveling on a Delta flight that same day.

Ability to pay with miles for flights

The Delta Gold Amex card unlocks the ability to use the Pay with Miles feature. This allows you to purchase Delta flights with Delta miles at a rate of 1 cent per mile. The 35,000-mile bonus you can earn with this card is worth no less than $350 in Delta flights.

You can generally get more value from your points if you use them to book award flights, but with this option, you won’t have to worry about finding the cheapest Delta low-level awards on the dates you want to fly. And if you can find a good fare sale, you might be able to use fewer miles with Pay with Miles than if you booked an award ticket.

Just note, this perk only applies to Delta flights, not flights with partner airlines. Read our full guide on the Delta Pay with Miles feature.

Extended warranty

When you make an eligible purchase with the card, Amex will extend the original manufacturer’s warranty up to two additional years on eligible warranties of five years or less. That’s a nice savings if you’d otherwise be paying cash to purchase an extended warranty.

ShopRunner membership

With ShopRunner membership, you’ll get free, unlimited two-day shipping at a wide selection of stores. Membership normally costs $79 per year, but you’ll receive this membership at no additional cost as an Delta SkyMiles Gold card member.

Amex Offers

Amex Offers are targeted deals offering statement credits or bonus points for everyday purchases. A deal might offer $10 off a $50 purchase at a certain store or 5,000 bonus Amex Membership Rewards points for purchasing from a website. Jasmin loves using Amex Offers to stock up on household products and snacks for her kids, especially whenever the offers for Boxed.com appear. Meghan has also been able to take advantage of some of these discounts, even turning some of them into a profit.

How to redeem miles

You can easily redeem Delta miles at a value of 1 cent each thanks to Pay With Miles, but it’s not unheard of to get more than double that in value by booking award flights directly through the Delta website.

Easily book paid flights with Delta Pay With Miles, where your miles are worth 1 cent each. (Photo by Nieuwland Photography/Shutterstock.)

It’s very possible to find amazing deals on Delta award flights. To look up the cost of a flight, you’ll have to look up a specific route and date. You can also book award flights on partner airlines, like Air France and KLM.

There is no Delta award chart, so it’s tricky to tell how much your next award flight will cost. This can be a big problem if you don’t have a flexible schedule that allows you to pick and choose the best deals. But if you have an eligible Amex Delta credit card, you can 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. That’s probably less than what they would be worth if you booked an award flight outright, but when using Pay with Miles you can book any available seat.

If you don’t have enough miles to cover the flight, that’s not a problem with Pay with Miles. You can pay for just part of a flight — as long as you’re using at least 5,000 Delta miles. With award flights, it’s all miles or nothing. Pay with Miles helpful if you’ve got a few extra miles sitting unused in your Delta account. The one drawback is that you have to pay in 5,000-mile increments.

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

Is the annual fee worth it?

It’s easy to come out ahead of the $99 annual fee on this card (see rates and fees). You can get significant value from perks such as free checked bags, priority boarding, discounted Delta SkyClub lounge access and more.

With the Delta Gold Amex card getting the primary cardholder and up to eight companions their first checked bag free, this perk could make up for the annual fee after just a single trip.

Who is the Delta SkyMiles Gold for?

Based on reports online, you should have a good chance of being approved for this card even with fair credit. I was able to find a few reports of people being approved with a credit score as low as 630.

Amex has a once-per-lifetime rule when it comes to earning the welcome bonus on a card. This means that no matter how long ago you previously earned the welcome bonus on the Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold card, you won’t be eligible to receive an intro bonus a second time.

Credit cards similar to the Delta SkyMiles Gold

If the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express isn’t quite right for you, there are a few other Delta credit cards that you could consider:

The Delta SkyMiles Platinum comes with a higher annual fee of $250 (see rates and fees), but offers a few perks not found on the Amex Gold Delta SkyMiles card. You’ll receive a domestic main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your card, and with Delta SkyMiles Status Boost, you can earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 or more in eligible purchases on the card in a calendar year.

If you’re looking for the most elite cardmember experience, consider the Delta Reserve. With an annual fee of $550 (see rates & fees), you’ll enjoy perks like complimentary Delta SkyClub access, upgrade priority, a domestic first-class or main-cabin round-trip companion certificate upon renewal of your card and more.

Bottom line

With an annual fee of just $99 and a welcome bonus potentially worth hundreds of dollars, the Delta SkyMiles Gold card is definitely worth considering, even if you only fly Delta a handful of times throughout the year.

You’ll earn a welcome bonus of 35,000 miles after meeting minimum spending requirements.

As a cardmember, you’ll receive access to benefits that will save you time and money at the airport. These include priority boarding, free checked bags, discounted Delta SkyClub lounge access, discounts on certain inflight purchases, ShopRunner membership, Amex Offers and more.

You should have a good chance of approval with this card; we found reports online of people being approved with a credit score as low as 630.

You can apply for the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express card here.

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.

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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Cliff Woodards II

This article STARTS OUT with “Here’s an ‘honest’ review…”

Are y’all in the habit of posting fraudulent ones? Why would you even say that? Who’s writing these blogs? Good grief…

Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you’re approved! http://refer.amex.us/JEROEGbxxN?XLINK=MYCP

This card is crap, check reviews of many others at the well known credit card sites–the hassle involved with their call center to get any of the pointd/bonuses earned is not worth the hours out of your life. None of the bonuses are automatically awarded, you have to fight with customer service e over every little issue. Stay away.

Not to mention the reduction in benefits as of 2019– there are better cards out there

I received an email from Delta yesterday advising that as of 1/30/20 the annual fee will increase to $99/yr, and you will no longer be able to access the SkyClub for a fee with the Gold card. The good news is you will earn 2 points per dollar spent at restaurants and US supermarkets.

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