Credit card review: Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card

Jun 27, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the current 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 American Express Card 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 stable. 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 $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99 (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?

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card is built for those who want a way to earn SkyMiles and take advantage of elite-like perks when flying Delta, but who might not travel 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 frequent flyers, but they both charge higher annual fees. The Delta Gold Business, with its $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99 (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 for the Delta Gold Business Amex 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.

Now for the details on the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Amex.

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 the first three months of card membership.

TPG’s latest valuations place Delta SkyMiles at 1.1 cents each, which means this offer is worth around $600 (including the statement credit).

Delivering a generous welcome offer and with a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year(see rates and fees),  the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Amex is a solid choice for many small business owners that fly Delta on occasion.

Related: Best Delta credit cards of 2021

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 on purchases in a calendar year.

First checked bag free: You and up to eight companions on the same reservation (so nine travelers total) will get your first checked bag free when flying on flights that are both Delta-marketed and Delta-operated. 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 eight companions on the same reservation.

Inflight discount: Receive a 20% statement credit on inflight purchases, including prepurchased meals, food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets when using the card. The credit does not confer any discounts on inflight Wi-Fi.

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.

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.

The card now earns:

  • 2 miles per dollar on eligible Delta purchases.
  • 2 miles per dollar on U.S. shipping.
  • 2 miles per dollar on U.S. advertising in select media.
  • 2 miles per dollar on dining at restaurants worldwide.
  • 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

These aren’t show-stopping earning rates, 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 frequently has flash sales and other deals available on their website, and you can find excellent redemption options for both international and domestic itineraries. For example, we’ve recently seen deals for domestic awards from 2,000 SkyMiles one-way and New York to Bogota, Colombia, in Delta One from 12,000 SkyMiles one-way.

You can also use your SkyMiles for seat upgrades. Just know that since Delta doesn’t have award charts, you won’t know how many miles those premium seats will cost until you’re ready to book. SkyMiles upgrades are also valid 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.

Related: How to redeem Delta SkyMiles for maximum value

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 version comes with a solid welcome offer and portfolio 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, of course.

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card

Welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus miles, 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles(MQMs), and $100 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership.

TPG values this bonus at $760 (including statement credit)

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 additional miles per calendar year) and 1x miles 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 earns more miles and carries 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 good toward one domestic main cabin round-trip; 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 (in 2021, you get a 25% bonus, so 12,500 MQMs at each threshold, up to 25,000 MQMs total); and more.

Related: Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card review

Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card

Welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus miles, 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles(MQMs), and $100 statement credit after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership.

TPG values this bonus at $760 (including statement credit)

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 miles 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 per year; 15,000 MQMs toward status when you spend $30,000, $60,000, $90,000 and $120,000 on the card in a calendar year (though 18,750 MQMs at each threshold in 2021); and more.

Related: Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card review 

Non-Delta options

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 if you’ve opened five or more credit cards over the last two years, from any and all banks, your application will most likely be declined.

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 on a 1:1 basis 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 to 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, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Platinum Business Amex, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve Business Amex, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus card, click here.

Additional reporting by Eric Rosen.

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.