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Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Review

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

You can earn big rewards if you fly with Delta frequently.

The card may be not the best in terms of the redemption options, but it’s still beneficial for those who want to earn rewards when travelling with Delta. There is also a very generous sign-up bonus of 30,000 SkyMiles. You’re rewarded the miles once you spend $3,000 (time limit – the first 3 months of you using the card). Besides, you’ll get $50 statement credit after you make the first purchase with the card (the same time limit applies here). Below we provide information on the card based on which you can see if the card fits you or not.

General description


  • Miles you earn with this card do not expire.
  • The card allows to enjoy the perk of priority boarding.
  • The card allows you to check your bags for free at the airports.


  • The card is great only for those who prefer flying with Delta.
  • There is the fee you have to pay each year.
  • You can have problems when trying to pay with the card abroad since it’s not Visa or MasterCard.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

  • APR Special Offer: No offer for this card.
  • Standard APR from 16.74% to 25.74%. The rate can vary. Cash Advance APR amounts to 26.24%, but it’s also a subject to changes. In case you fail to pay on time, be ready to pay the penalty fee of up to 29.99%. The fee is variable so everything will depend on your creditworthiness.
  • The annual fee you’re expected to pay after the 12 months’ “bonus” period amounts to $95.
  • Special Offer: In case you spend as much as $1,000 within the first 3 months, you’ll be rewarded 30,000 bonus miles. You also have a chance of getting $50 statement credit if you make your first Delta purchase during the same period of time. The offer is a subject to certain terms.

More information on the card:

  • If you’re a new cardholder, you can get a sign-up bonus of 30,000 miles along with $50 statement credit.
  • Even though the card is meant to reward mainly for the purchases made with Delta, there are some other categories of purchases for which you also can get rewards.
  • Since you can check some of your bags for free with this card, you can save a considerable sum of money to be used during your trip.
  • If you don’t want to stand in a queue when boarding, you can use priority boarding feature implied by the card.
  • The fee you pay for the privilege of using the card applies only starting from the 2nd
  • Before applying for the card, we recommend you to read through the terms that apply for the features of the card.

Our opinion on the features of the card in general

  • The annual fee is waived for the 1st year only. After that, all cardholders are expected to pay $95 each year.
  • The card comes with no additional fees in terms of the purchases you make abroad.
  • Rewards program you take part in after you get the card: SkyMiles.
  • The sign-up bonus you can get: The card has 2 bonuses to offer. One of them is $50 statement credit and the other one is 30,000 miles. The condition that applies for the miles reward: you’re to spend at least $1,000 within the period of time of the first 3 months. As for the statement credit, you’ll get it after you make your first purchase with the card (during the same period of time).

Our opinion: The card is beneficial only under the condition that you often fly with Delta and spend at least $700 in a year on your trips.

The card will be great for the following categories of people:

  • People who are loyal Delta clients. (These people will find it beneficial to be able to earn rewards for flying with Delta).

The card doesn’t look beneficial for the following categories of people:

  • People who fly with other domestic airlines.
  • People who don’t travel very often.

Basic features of the card

The card allows those who are loyal Delta clients get rewards for every flight they book. Below is a more detailed description of the effective rewards rates and the structure of earning rewards:

  • Each purchase you make with the card during the flight with Delta as well as any other Delta purchase will bring you 2 miles for dollar spent. All the rest purchases with the card go under the rate of 1 mile per $1.
  • In case you book flight tickets with Delta, you’re to expect 7 miles for each dollar spent (5 miles are general SkyMiles and 2 miles are added for making the purchase with Delta). In case you happen to have Diamond Medallion status, your rate increases to 13 miles per 1 dollar. However, the status has no effect on the purchases you make with the card during your flight (the standard rate of 2 miles per dollar applies).
  • The value of each SkyMile you have on your accounts amounts to 1.7 cents.
  • The card comes with extra perks that are available to its cardholders.

All in all, the card is ideal for those loyal Delta clients that spend at least $700 on their trips. Actually, the cardholders may be more than satisfied with the general program that allows to earn miles according to a relatively high rewards rates. There is no need tp try hard in order to get a certain status.

The reasons for you to consider applying for the card

The card offers its cardholders a set of benefits to pay attention to. The benefits and their descriptions are provided below.

  • Being a cardholder of this card, you can forget about any restrictions concerning the flights you book. You are free to decide when you want to book a flight. It’s not a secret that some of the Sky Team’s partners often have blackout dates. With this card you won’t have to worry about. However, if you plan to travel during the summertime, we recommend you booking your flight ahead. This way you’ll definitely find seats that you can pay for with your miles.
  • Delta allows you to earn miles and then redeem them at a high value rate. Since you earn as many as 7 miles per dollar and each of your miles is 1.7 cents worth, you’re sure to cover a huge sum of your general travel expenses.
  • There is a very appealing sign-up bonus promised. Remember that the card rewards you 30,000 miles in case you mange to spend the total sum of $1,000 during the first 3 months (starting from the date when your account is open). Keep in mind that one-way tickets can be bought for 10,000 miles. Consequently, by getting the bonus mentioned you’ll be able to save money for several trips. Actually, the bonus is considered to be one of the most generous bonuses that you can find at the market.
  • Your miles never expire. It’s stated on the official Delta website that the airline is the only airline in the USA that rewards you miles that never expire. It’s truly so. For example, if you’re a loyal United client, you need to remember that the miles you earn will expire if not used for 18 months. If you travel with Southwest, you are to expect a bit longer period of 24 months. British Airways allows its clients to earn rewards that expire after 36 months if they’re not redeemed. Taking this in consideration, we can come to the conclusion that the Delta airline has one of the best offers in terms of miles and their expiration conditions.

The ways for you to get as many rewards as possible when using the card

We’ve already mentioned that the card offers you an opportunity to earn rewards at a high effective rate. It means that you’ll be able to save a considerable amount of money. Still, if your aim is to get as many rewards as possible, you should pay close attention to the points below.

  • Try to use your card as much as possible. This way you’ll never miss out on the opportunity to earn extra rewards. When booking flights with Delta do not forget to carry that transactions out with this card.
  • Choose saver days to book your trips. If it’s possible, try to make sure that you book your flights on saver dates. There are 3 categories of the dates implied by the card: Saver Award days, Standard Award days and Peak Award days. The flights booked on Peak Award days are the most expensive. Consequently, if you want to save your miles for future trips, your best option will be buying tickets on Saver Award days. Be attentive when booking your trip!
  • It’s best to book business class tickets when travelling abroad and economy class tickets when you need a domestic flight. The crux of the matter here is the value you get. If you decide to redeem your miles to buy an economy class ticket on a domestic flight, you’ll get 1 cent for each mile. If you choose to book a business class ticket for a domestic flight the value is liver (0.8 cent). Everything turns out to be vice versa in terms of international flights. You get the following value: 1.1 cents per mile (for a seat in economy class) and 2.8 cents per mile (for a seat in business class). Do not forget that the value of your ticket doesn’t necessarily have an impact on the value you get for your rewards. Plan everything ahead and make some simple calculations to see what option is the best.
  • Pay attention to one-way trips first. Actually, there aren’t that many loyalty programs out there that allow you to use your miles on one-way tickets. This card is an exception. As amazing as it may seem, but the fact is that 2 one-way tickets may cost you less than one round-trip ticket.

The reasons for you to consider applying for a different card

Before applying for any card, you need to be aware of the drawbacks it has. Below we provide information on why the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card may be a not good option for you.

  • Once you get the card, it doesn’t mean that you’re automatically granted any of the Medallion statuses. As it’s stated in the loyalty program of the airline, there are 5 levels of membership. As a new cardholder, you’ll start with the general membership. If you’re interested in getting a certain status, you’ll need to put effort in qualifying for it. As far as the statuses go, everything comes down to Qualifying Miles (that are measured in distance), Qualifying Segments (that are measured in the number of times you arrive at and depart from airports) and Qualifying Dollars (that are measured in the sums of money you spent booking and paying for Delta flights). Chances are that you’ll have to go with the general membership for a long time. The reason for it is that you need to spend at least $3,000 on Delta flights and earn 25,000 Qualifying Miles and 30 Qualifying segments to for your status to be upgraded. Mind that this should be done within the period of 1 year.
  • If you’re not a passionate traveler booking Delta tickets rather often, the accumulation of miles will go slowly. Since there is an annual fee to pay for the card, you need to do your best in order to offset it with the rewards you earn. It means that you need to spend at least $700 on your trips each year and you need to book your trips with Delta. If it’s not about you, you’d better continue your search for a card. For those who spend less than the sum mentioned the card isn’t that beneficial.
  • In case you already have a different American Express card, you won’t get the sign-up bonus promised by this card. If that’s about you, you need to get a card that will allow you to get the sign-up bonus despite the fact that you already have an account with its emitting bank.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express in comparison with its competitors

In case you still have doubts about whether or not to get the card we are talking about in this article, here is an alternative option for you to consider.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express in comparison with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

The Barclaycard doesn’t have any restrictions in terms of who qualifies for its sign-up bonus and it offers more flexibility when it comes down to redemption options. As a new cardholder you’ll be rewarded 40,000 bonus miles under the condition that you spend the sum of $3,000 with the card during the period of the first 90 days. You are able to redeem your bonus as a statement credit. If you choose this redemption option, you’ll get $400 that you can use on your trips ahead.

To make the thing even better for you, the card offers more flexibility in terms of the airlines you can fly with and still get your rewards. You’ll still be able to book tickets with Delta since it’s included in the list of the airlines for the purchases with which you get rewards. Besides, the card gives you an opportunity to earn rewards when booking hotels. The effective rewards rate of 2 miles per dollar applies to any kinds of purchases you make using this card. Consequently, you’ll be able to accumulate more rewards – the card can successfully be used to buy items that have nothing to do with your trips. This definitely makes the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® more beneficial than the Delta card.

Summary: Is the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express the option you’re looking for?

Actually, the card is useless in terms of saving money on domestic flights. Its biggest advantage is that it allows to save money when you need to travel abroad. Here you can book tickets either with Delta or with any of its SkyTeam partners and enjoy the rewards you get. If you’re a loyal Delta client and you’re looking for the card with a long-term value, you can get Gold Delta SkyMiles®.

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Comments: 2
  1. ReginaPeterson

    Very negative experience of using the card. I and my husband decided to get it in order to use the bonus miles on a trip we were looking forward to. We got the card with no problems. We used it regularly in order to accumulate the necessary number of bonuses. We paid all the purchases right on time. Once we got the miles we needed, we used the number specified on the back of the card to contact the customer support service. Of course, the aim was to make sure that the number of bonuses was right. We booked the trip via the recommended website. Guess what happened next? One month later, I received a bill to pay for that flight we booked. Well, I contacted the customer support service to ask for the explanation. I wanted to find out if they received my skymiles as a means of paying for the tickets. The representative told me that everything was just fine. I went travelling being sure that everything went fine with the purchase. That’s why when I received a bill of $400 (which was one month after my trip ended, by the way) I felt disappointed. I called American Express trying to solve this problem, but they just refuse to help me. I got sick and tired of waiting for them to connect me with the person who could explain what went wrong and why this satiation occurred. I just have no extra money currently to pay it. I don’t know what to do. I always paid all my bills on time, but now it seems like no one can help me. Finally, I decided to ask them to give me a gift card instead of those points as a compensation. Again, I spend lots of hours talking with them on the phone with no result. I’m at a loss. I’ve figured I’ll have to pay that bill after all. Overall, I spent more than $4,000 to get the miles and now they are simply lost. I got no value and benefits for them at all. I’m going to cancel the card and never even thinking about applying for an American Express card again.

  2. Kimberly

    I got the card because I knew that I could get 30,000 bonuses promised as a sign-up bonus. At that time, I had a couple of purchases to make that amounted to $2,000. I still haven’t received the reward. I’ve called the customer support service 3 times. Each time I was said that I needed to wait for the bonuses to be credited to my account. Last time I was told to simply wait and not to call them again asking the same questions. I hope the problem will be solved within the next week. Otherwise, I don’t know what else can be done. Guess, I’ll have to spend some more time talking to them which doesn’t sound great.

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