Why this is the month to get a new Delta card

Mar 1, 2020

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with current information and offers. It was originally published on Oct. 17, 2019.

American Express cobranded Delta credit cards provide many perks that can be appealing to frequent — and infrequent –Delta flyers because each card is targeted at a different type of traveler.

Delta Sky Club in Seattle (Photo courtesy of Delta)
The Delta Sky Club in Seattle. (Photo courtesy of Delta)

If you’re looking for a boost toward Delta elite status or complimentary access to Delta Sky Club lounges, these cobranded Delta credit cards have you covered.

This is the month to apply for a Delta credit card. Four of Amex’s Delta consumer cards and three of Amex’s Delta small-business cards currently have elevated welcome offers that end on April 1, 2020. Let’s consider these offers so you can decide whether one of these cards is a good fit for you — even if you fly Delta only a few times a year.

Related: Choosing the best credit card for Delta flyers

In This Post

Comparing Delta credit cards

Welcome bonus Annual fee Notable perks
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card Earn 15,000 miles after spending $1,000 in your first three months (offer ends April 1, 2020) None (see rates and fees) 20% discount on inflight purchases
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Up to 70,000 miles: 60,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in your first three months, plus an additional 10,000 miles after your first account anniversary (offer ends April 1, 2020) $99, waived the first year (see rates and fees) First checked bag free, and 20% discount on inflight purchases
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Up to 100,000 miles: 80,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in the first three months and 20,000 miles after your first account anniversary (offer ends April 1, 2020) $250 (see rates and fees) Earn 10,000 MQMs at $25,000 and $50,000 in calendar year spending (up to 20,000 per year); MQD waiver based on calendar year spending; TSA/PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit; annual companion pass; priority boarding, and first checked bag free

 

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Up to 100,000 miles and 20,000 Medallion Qualification Miles: 80,000 miles and 20,000 MQMs when you spend $5,000 in the first three months and 20,000 miles after your first account anniversary (offer ends April 1, 2020) $550 (see rates and fees) Delta Sky Club membership; Centurion Lounge access; MQD waiver based on calendar-year spending; earn 15,000 MQMs at $30,000, $60,000, $90,000, $120,000 in calendar-year spending; annual companion pass, and complimentary upgrades for non-Medallions

 

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card Up to 70,000 miles: 60,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in your first three months and 10,000 miles after your first account anniversary (offer ends April 1, 2020) $99, waived the first year (see rates and fees) First checked bag free, and 20% discount on inflight purchases
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card Up to 100,000 miles: 80,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in your first three months and 20,000 miles after your first account anniversary (offer ends April 1, 2020) $250 (see rates and fees) Earn 10,000 MQMs at $25,000 and $50,000 in calendar-year spending (up to 20,000 per year); MQD waiver based on calendar-year spending; TSA/PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit; annual companion pass; priority boarding, and first checked bag free

 

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card Up to 100,000 miles and 20,000 Medallion Qualification Miles: 80,000 miles and 20,000 MQMs after you spend $5,000 in your first three months and 20,000 miles after your first account anniversary $550 (see rates and fees) Delta Sky Club membership; Centurion Lounge access; MQD waiver based on calendar-year spending; earn 15,000 MQMs at $30,000, $60,000, $90,000, $120,000 in calendar-year spending; annual companion pass, and complimentary upgrades for non-Medallions

 

This is a complete list of the cards Delta offers. Now, we’ll take a closer look at the three cobranded consumer Delta cards that we feel provide the most value to Delta flyers.

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Welcome bonus: Earn up to 70,000 Delta miles: 60,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months. Plus, an additional 10,000 miles after your first anniversary of cardmembership. This offer expires on April 1, 2020. Based on TPG’s valuation of Delta miles at 1.2 cents each, this bonus is worth about $840.

Earning rates: 2 Delta miles per dollar spent at restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and on Delta purchases; 1 Delta mile per dollar spent on everything else

Annual fee: $99, waived the first year (see rates and fees)

The Delta Gold Amex is great for occasional Delta flyers who can benefit from a complimentary first checked bag and priority boarding on Delta flights. These benefits apply for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on the same reservation — you can even use these benefits when flying on a basic economy ticket. Plus, these perks are tied to your Delta SkyMiles account once you have the Delta Gold Amex, so you don’t even have to use that card to purchase your ticket to receive the perks.

How many checked bag fees do you need to incur after your first year to come out ahead with the Delta Gold Amex? The annual fee after your first year is $99 (see rates and fees) and Delta’s checked bag fees start at $30, so you’ll only need to check four bags each year to come out ahead. And, you’ll get a $100 Delta flight credit each year after you spend $10,000 on your card during that calendar year.

This card is ideal if you can use the Delta perks it offers, including checked baggage and priority boarding benefits. And, if you don’t have better earning cards for airfare, dining and groceries — or you’re working toward the $100 Delta flight credit — the Delta Gold Amex may also be a good choice for some of your spending.

See our full card review and then apply by April 1, 2020, for the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card with up to a 70,000-mile bonus.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Welcome bonus: Earn up to 100,000 Delta miles: 80,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months. Plus, an additional 20,000 miles after your first anniversary of cardmembership. This offer expires on April 1, 2020. Based on TPG’s valuation of Delta miles at 1.2 cents each, this bonus is worth about $1,200.

Earning rates: 3 Delta miles per dollar spent on Delta flights, Delta Vacations and directly with hotels worldwide; 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, and 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else

Annual fee: $250 (see rates and fees)

The Delta Platinum Amex is most useful for frequent Delta flyers who need a slight boost toward earning a particular Delta elite status with Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs), or who can maximize an annual companion certificate for domestic flights in the main cabin.

One of the main perks of the Delta Platinum Amex is its MQD waiver. Based on this waiver, you can still qualify for Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion status if you have earned the required MQMs or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) and make at least $25,000 in eligible purchases within the qualification calendar year on your card. You can also earn an MQD waiver for Diamond Medallion status if you have earned the required MQMs or MQSs and make at least $250,000 in eligible purchases within that qualification year on your card.

Another primary benefit on the Delta Platinum Amex is Status Boost, which allows you to earn 10,000 MQMs after you spend $25,000 or more on your card in a calendar year. Plus, you can earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $50,000 on your card in a calendar year for a total of 20,000 MQMs.

Delta Platinum Amex cardholders also get a domestic round-trip companion certificate after each account anniversary. This companion certificate allows you to bring a companion for free — you’ll only need to pay the taxes and fees on the companion ticket and purchase an adult round-trip L, U, T, X or V fare. Depending on how you use this certificate, it could easily justify the card’s annual fee.

Delta Platinum Amex cardholders can pay $39 per person per visit to enter a Delta Sky Club with up to two guests or immediate family when flying a same-day Delta flight. Although the fee is steep, having lounge access when you need it may provide value.

Delta Platinum Amex cardholders also get a Global Entry application fee or a TSA/PreCheck application fee reimbursed when it’s charged to the Delta Platinum Amex. You can get a Global Entry application fee reimbursed every four years or a TSA/PreCheck application fee reimbursed every 4.5 years.

The earning rates on the Delta Platinum Amex aren’t terrible, but they also aren’t particularly compelling. So, you may already have cards in your wallet that provide better earning in some of these categories. As such, you’ll have to decide if the companion certificate, MQD waiver, ability to earn MQMs, ability to purchase Delta Sky Club access and other perks justify adding the Delta Platinum Amex to your wallet.

See our full card review and then apply by April 1, 2020, for the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card with up to a 100,000-mile bonus.

Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Welcome bonus: Earn up to 100,000 Delta miles and 20,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs): 80,000 miles and 20,000 MQMs after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months. Plus, earn an additional 20,000 miles after your first anniversary of cardmembership. This offer expires on April 1, 2020. Based on TPG’s valuation of Delta miles at 1.2 cents each, this bonus is worth about $1,200 plus your valuation of 20,000 MQMs.

Earning rates: 3 Delta miles per dollar spent on Delta flights and Delta Vacations; 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else

Annual fee: $550 (see rates and fees)

The primary way in which the Delta Reserve stands out is complimentary lounge access when flying Delta. If you fly Delta frequently, this can provide significant value. You’ll have Delta Sky Club access and you can bring up to two guests or immediate family members for $39 per person per visit. Plus, you get two one-time guest passes for Delta Sky Club admission, as well as complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounges when flying Delta with a ticket purchased on your Delta Reserve card.

Delta Reserve cardholders also get a domestic round-trip companion certificate after each account anniversary. This companion certificate allows you to bring a companion on a domestic round-trip in first class, Delta Comfort+ or Main Cabin for free — you’ll only need to pay the taxes and fees on the companion ticket and purchase an adult round-trip I, Z, W, L, U, T, X or V fare. Depending on how you use this certificate, it could easily justify the card’s annual fee.

Like the Delta Platinum Amex, the Delta Reserve also offers an MQD waiver that will allow you to qualify for each tier of Delta elite status if you’ve earned the required MQMs or MQSs but not the required MQDs. You’ll get the MQD waiver when you make at least $25,000 in eligible purchases within the qualification calendar year on your card for Platinum, Gold and Silver status or $250,000 for Diamond status.

The Delta Reserve also offers the Status Boost benefit, which allows you to earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after you spend $30,000 or more on your card in a calendar year. Then, you can earn an additional 15,000 MQMs after you spend $60,000, $90,000 and $120,000 on your card in a calendar year. You can earn at most 60,000 MQMs through the Status Boost benefit each calendar year.

Cardholders also get a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit when they charge an application fee to the card. Cardholders are eligible for a Global Entry fee credit every four years or a TSA/PreCheck fee credit every 4.5 years. Plus, non-Medallions get access to complimentary upgrades. And, flights purchased with your Delta Reserve may now be covered by Amex’s travel protections.

See our full card review and then apply by April 1, 2020, for the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card with up to a 100,000-mile and 20,000 MQM bonus. 

Bottom line

If you’ve been considering an Amex-cobranded Delta credit card, this is the month to add it to your wallet. The increased welcome bonuses available until April 1, 2020, can net you a nice stash of miles quickly. And, the benefits offered by these cards may justify keeping the card in your wallet for many years to come.

Here are the official application links:

  • Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card

Featured photo by The Points Guy.

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

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.