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Is Delta's new SkyMiles Select worth the $59 price tag?

Oct. 17, 2019
4 min read
delta a220
Is Delta's new SkyMiles Select worth the $59 price tag?
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Delta unveiled a new travel benefits program on Oct. 16 called SkyMiles Select and it — as the kids say — "ain't it." The $59-a-year program gives members Main Cabin 1 boarding, eight drink vouchers (worth up to $9 each) and what the airline's calling a "limited-edition bag tag." Delta values all of these perks at $100.

The program isn't super impressive, especially considering that some of these perks come courtesy of cobranded credit cards or elite status. For instance, if you're an elite Delta Gold or Platinum Medallion you get Sky Priority, which boards before Main Cabin 1. If you're Delta Silver Medallion (which we value at $775) you'll board with Main Cabin 1 anyway. And if you hold a cobranded Delta credit card (more on that later), some offer priority boarding.

While Delta Medallion elite members don’t get free drinks as a stated benefit, elites who are upgraded to Delta Comfort+ can score a free drink. If you hold a Delta American Express card, however, you'll receive 20% off eligible inflight purchases (which includes drinks) when you travel with Delta. If you fly Delta regularly, you'd get more value from inflight purchases holding a cobranded card than through SkyMiles select.

(Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy.)

Delta's not the first U.S. airline to try a subscription service. United offers an Economy Plus subscription, which includes extra legroom in an Economy Plus seat located at the front of the economy cabin. It starts at a hefty $599, but some people (even those without United status) have been targeted for free subscriptions.

If you're not impressed by this new program but still want some of the perks like priority boarding, you may want to consider a cobranded credit card. Even better, some are currently offering elevated welcome bonuses. Here are the offers currently available:

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  • Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express ($450 annual fee; $550 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020; See Rates & Fees): Earn 75,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months of account opening. Offer ends 10/30/19.
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express ($195 annual fee, $250 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020; See Rates & Fees): Earn 75,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.Offer Expires 10/30/2019.
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express ($95 annual fee; See Rates & Fees): Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $2,000 in purchases within your first three months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 10/30/2019.

With any of these cards you'll also get a free checked bag (for yourself and up to eight companions on the same reservation), worth $60 per person round-trip.

Bottom line

If you're a frequent Delta traveler, spend a lot of money with the airline or have a cobranded Amex Delta card, you won't have much need for this program. However, if you fly Delta occasionally (especially in Basic Economy, where you'd otherwise board dead last) and want some perks to make your journey more comfortable (who doesn't like free alcohol?) then you may find some value in the program.

Featured photo courtesy of Delta.

Featured image by Main Cabin passengers are also treated to a large IFE screen on Delta's A220 (Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023