Credit card review: Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card

Mar 10, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest credit card information.


Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card Overview

For business owners looking to dip their toes into the Delta cobranded card lineup, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business is a solid starting point. It comes with an affordable annual fee and a few decent perks. But it just can’t hold up to the other cards in the Delta cobranded lineup. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

Business owners loyal to Delta Air Lines have no shortage of cobranded cards to choose from, whether you’re a casual traveler or in the air every week. The Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card is the starter card of the group, offering solid perks and a low $99 annual fee that’s waived the first year (see rates and fees). Let’s look at how the card stacks up against its Delta counterparts and other non-Delta alternatives.

In This Post

Who is this card for?

The Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card is built for those who want a way to earn SkyMiles and take advantage of Delta perks on flights, but don’t fly with the airline enough to justify a higher annual fee. Cards such as the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card come with more impressive welcome offers and premium perks for more-frequent flyers, but they both charge higher annual fees. The Delta Gold Business, with its $99 annual fee waived in the first year (see rates and fees), is a great starter card for business owners just getting into the Delta SkyMiles program.

Like most business credit cards, you can qualify without a registered business. Freelancers and side hustlers who don’t have a tax ID or employer identification number can still apply so long as you plan on using the card for your business expenses. If you’re not sure whether a business card is right for you, check out these TPG guides on when to apply for a business card, what kind of businesses qualify and how to choose the right business credit card.

Related: 10 side hustles that can help you qualify for a business card

Welcome offer

The Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Amex is currently offering new cardholders 50,000 bonus miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

TPG’s latest valuations place Delta SkyMiles at 1.1 cents each, which means this offer is worth $700. It’s not the flashiest welcome offer of the bunch, but it does only require $2,000 in spending in your first three months — an easy feat for many small businesses.

Related: Earn up to 90K Delta SkyMiles with new welcome bonuses across Delta credit cards 

Main perks and benefits

(Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

While the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business card doesn’t come with the same premium perks as its more expensive Delta business card counterparts, it does come with a number of benefits when you’re flying on Delta.

Delta flight credit: Earn a $100 Delta flight credit after you spend $10,000 in a calendar year.

First checked bag free: You and up to nine total travelers on the same reservation will get your first checked bag free when flying Delta. At $60 a bag round-trip, that can add up quickly if you travel regularly.

Priority boarding: Receive Main Cabin 1 boarding on Delta flights for you and up to nine total passengers on the same reservation.

Inflight discount: Receive a 20% statement credit on inflight purchases, including pre-purchased meals, food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets when using the card. The credit can’t be used for inflight Wi-Fi.

Travel accident insurance: Get up to $100,000 in accidental death and dismemberment coverage while traveling when airfare is charged to the card.

Baggage insurance plan: If your luggage is lost, damaged or stolen when you use the card to pay for travel, you’ll receive up to $1,250 for a carry-on and up to $500 for a checked bag.

Car rental loss and damage insurance: You’re covered if your eligible rental car is damaged or stolen when you use the card to reserve and pay for it and decline company insurance. Note that this is secondary coverage and doesn’t include liability.

Roadside assistance: Call the hotline to get help for car emergencies such as a flat tire or running out of gas.

Shopping protections: The card comes with an extended warranty that adds up to one year onto an original manufacturer’s warranty for five years or less. Purchase protection covers items that are accidentally damaged or stolen if you paid for them with the card for up to 90 days after the date of purchase.

Earning

In early 2020, Delta’s lineup of credit cards got a full makeover — including the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Amex. You’ll earn 2x miles on eligible Delta purchases, U.S. shipping and U.S. advertising, and 1x on all other eligible purchases. It’s not a show-stopping earning rate, but it is nice to see some non-travel earning categories thrown in to help business owners earn on more than just travel with Delta.

Related: Best business credit cards for each category 

(Photo by Darren Murph)
(Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

Redeeming

Your best redemption options are going to be for award flights on Delta or Delta’s SkyTeam airline alliance partners. Delta’s move to dynamic award pricing has made it harder to maximize SkyMiles, but you can still find value with the program if you can put in the time to do your own searches and be flexible when it comes time to redeem your miles.

Delta also frequently has flash sales and other deals available on their website, and you can find excellent redemption options on both international and domestic city pairs. You can also use your SkyMiles for seat upgrades, but know that since Delta doesn’t have award charts, you won’t know how many miles that premium cabin seat will cost until you’re ready to book. SkyMiles upgrades are also good on certain flights operated by Delta partners Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic and Aeromexico when using Mileage Upgrade Awards once your flight is booked.

While you can also redeem your SkyMiles for gift cards, magazines, unique SkyMiles Experiences, online shopping and more, those options almost always get you a less-than-optimal return.

Which cards compete with the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Amex?

The most direct competitors to the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business are the other Delta business cards offered by Amex. While the Gold comes with a solid welcome offer and lineup of perks, more-frequent Delta flyers can get even more out of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Amex and the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex in exchange for higher annual fees.

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card

Welcome bonus: 60,000 bonus miles, 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $100 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. TPG values this bonus at $760.

Annual fee: $250 (see rates and fees).

Earning rate: Earn 3x miles on eligible Delta purchases and hotel purchases, 1.5x miles on purchases over $5,000 (up to 50,000 miles per calendar year) and 1x on all other eligible purchases.

When you should get it instead: If you fly Delta regularly but not enough to justify $550 in annual fees (see rates and fees) for the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card, the Delta Platinum Business Amex might be the better fit for you. It comes with more perks than the Gold, but at a more manageable price tag than the Reserve. You’ll get an annual companion certificate each year upon card renewal for main cabin, round-trip travel; 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles toward status when you spend $25,000 on the card in a calendar year, plus an additional 10,000 MQMs when you spend $50,000 in a calendar year; and more.

Related: Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card review

Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card

Welcome bonus: 60,000 bonus miles, 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $100 statement credit after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. TPG values this bonus at $760.

Annual fee: $550 (see rates and fees).

Earning rate: Earn 3x miles on Delta purchases, 1.5x miles on all purchases after spending $150,000 per calendar year and 1x on all other eligible purchases.

When you should get it instead: The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex is for frequent business travelers who are looking for luxury benefits and a fast-track to elite status with Delta. You’ll get a number of perks, such as an annual companion certificate each year upon card renewal for round-trip travel in first class, Comfort+ or main cabin; complimentary Delta Sky Club access when you fly Delta, plus two one-time guest passes; 15,000 MQMs toward status when you spend $30,000, $60,000, $90,000 and $120,000 on the card in a calendar year; and more.

Related: Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card review 

Non-Delta options

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

If you’re wary of being tied down to Delta, credit cards with transferable points are also excellent options. The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card comes with a generous sign-up bonus of 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months, plus 3x Ultimate Rewards points on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business purchases. Just remember that the Ink Business Preferred falls under Chase’s 5/24 rule, so know that if you’ve opened five or more credit cards across all banks over the last two years, you will most likely be denied.

Other Amex business credit cards like the no-annual-fee Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (see rates and fees) or the more premium American Express® Business Gold Card are also alternative options to the Delta card. Amex Membership Rewards are directly transferable to Delta when you need to top off your SkyMiles balance for a redemption, but the program offers more flexibility with other travel partners and redemption options. And keep in mind that you won’t get the same Delta-specific perks with your Chase or Amex business card as you will with one of Delta’s credit card options.

Bottom line

You’ll want to choose the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Amex if your business needs a credit card that comes with basic Delta perks like a free checked bag and priority boarding that help make travel easier, and you don’t want to spend a huge amount in annual fees. However, if you’re hoping to use your card to help you hit elite status, other Delta business credit cards will be a better fit.

If you’re looking for an everyday business credit card, there are other alternatives with better options for earning extra points in spending categories that are most important to you, or the ability to get more value for those points when redeeming them. But for Delta flyers looking for a simple business credit card to make their time in the air more comfortable, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Credit Card from American Express is the most straightforward and inexpensive choice.

For rates and fees of the Delta Gold Business Amex, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Platinum Business Amex, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus card, click here.

Featured photo by The Points Guy.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.