Fly Delta and you'll likely hear about the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit card issued by American Express during an in-flight presentation or before you board.
As a travel rewards credit card, the Gold Delta SkyMiles allows cardholders to earn miles for the purchases they make (instead of points), check their first bag free when flying Delta, and have access to a ton of other travel benefits.
If you're a frequent flyer, you may be wondering if the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit card is worth signing up for.
Today's guide will help you determine if the perks and rewards outweigh the drawbacks and fees.
So feel free to put your seat back into a comfortable position as we get to know the ins and outs of the Gold Delta SkyMiles card.
What is the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card?
The Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card is one of three Delta travel cards issued by American Express (Amex).
You earn miles instead of points anytime you make a purchase using the card.
And when you make a Delta purchase specifically, you earn twice the miles.
As a cardmember, you'll also have special travel benefits like checking your first bag free, discounted access to Delta's Sky Club airport lounges, and priority boarding.
We'll focus all of our attention today on the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card, but we'll discuss the differences between the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card and the Delta Reserve Credit Card later.
So let's get to the good stuff: What's in it for Gold Delta SkyMiles cardmembers?
The Perks and Benefits of the Gold Delta SkyMiles card
As soon as you activate your card, you'll get to take advantage of an almost countless number of perks for being a Gold Delta SkyMiles cardholder, including:
Check Your First Bag Free
Considering that a checked bag costs $25 one-way, you're saving up to $50 on a round-trip Delta flight with your Gold Delta SkyMiles card.
Book two tickets and your savings doubles to $100.
This perk applies to up to 9 passengers in your party.
That means a family of four could score up to $200 in free checked bags round-trip with their Gold Delta SkyMiles card.
Save $50 on Round-Trip Delta Flights
On top of checking your first bag free, you'll also earn a $50 discount for booking round-trip Delta flights with your Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card.
Zone 1 Priority Boarding
Get on your plane sooner and store all your carry-ons stress-free with Priority Boarding. You'll have early dibs just for being a Gold Delta SkyMiles cardmember.
Discounted Access to Delta's Sky Club Lounge
You know those ultra swanky airport lounges you only wish you could get into? Your wish is granted with the Gold Delta SkyMiles card.
Complimentary snacks and beverages, satellite TV, wifi, private restrooms, and more will be yours for the low $29 discounted access rate to Delta Sky Club.
Plus, you can bring two friends along for just $29 per person.
20% In-Flight Discount
Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit when you use your Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card for eligible in-flight purchases like snacks, beverages, and in-flight entertainment.
Flexible Payment Options
Certain American Express credit cards force cardmembers to pay off their balance in full each month.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles card has flexible payment options so you can carry a balance or pay it off.
Keep in mind, you will be charged interest if you carry a balance to the next month.
24/7 Global Assist Hotline
Frequent flyers like you may feel safer knowing you have 24/7 access to medical, legal, financial, and other select emergency assistance services when you're traveling more than 100 miles from home.
Cardmembers can contact the Global Assist Hotline for help with missing passports, stolen luggage, and much more.
Purchase, Accidental Damage, and Fraud Protection
Use your Gold Delta SkyMiles card and you'll have protection including:
Extended warranties for up to a year after the original warranty from the manufacturer runs out.
Extended return periods of up to 90 days for eligible items, instead of the traditional 7-, 14-, or 30-day time limit.
Accidental damage protection for your mobile phone.
Fraud protection, so if you spot a purchase on your statement you don't recognize, simply dispute it and you won't be held liable for the charges.
Car Rental Coverage
Decline the damage waiver at the rental counter, pay with your Gold Delta SkyMiles card, and you'll have coverage and protection even if the car is stolen.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
The Gold Delta SkyMiles card is issued by American Express, which is accepted by more global merchants and vendors than any other credit card.
And luckily for frequent travelers, the Gold Delta SkyMiles card has no foreign transaction fees.
That's a savings of 2–3% for each purchase you make outside the United States with other cards that charge a foreign transaction fee.
Another perk of the Amex network: You'll have exclusive access to presale tickets and member-only events.
Now that you know all the benefits, let's talk about how you earn travel rewards with the Gold Delta SkyMiles card.
How to Earn Miles with the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card
You'll earn an unlimited number of miles instead of points when you use your Gold Delta SkyMiles card for your purchases.
When you have enough miles saved, you can redeem them for Delta flights or trips with one of Amex's 15 global airline partners.
How You Earn Miles
Earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend on Delta purchases, such as tickets, Sky Club access passes, seat upgrades, vacation packages, in-flight entertainment, and refreshments.
Earn 1x Miles for Every Other Purchase
Earn 1 mile for every dollar you spend on groceries, gas, restaurants, your monthly bills, and everything else.
As long as you use your Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card, you'll be banking miles.
While the Delta Gold SkyMiles card makes it easy peasy to earn miles on the regular, they're also offering new applicants several introductory limited time offers to earn bonus miles.
And you should definitely take advantage of them.
Current Limited Time Introductory Offers for Bonus Miles
New cardholders will be able to rack up miles lightning fast thanks to the special limited time introductory offers.
Here's what we're talking about:
Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles When You Spend $2,000 Within the First 3 Months of Opening Your Account`
Earning 50,000 bonus miles would normally take you $50,000 worth of purchases to score.
Considering you only need to spend $2,000 to see these miles dropped in your account, you're getting a serious bonus here.
Earn Another 10,000 Bonus Miles if You Spend an Additional $1,000 within 6 Months of Opening Your Account
Spend $2,000 in three months and you earn 50,000 bonus miles.
Then all you have to do is spend another $1,000 in the next three months to bank an additional 10,000 miles. #NotTooShabby
Earn a $50 Statement Credit for Making a Delta Purchase in the First 3 Months
Book a flight or splurge on an upgraded seat or in-flight entertainment and you'll be rewarded with a statement credit that's as good as cash back.
So after you earn all these uh-amazing signup-bonus miles, how do you redeem them?
A Simple How-to Guide for Redeeming your Gold Delta SkyMiles Rewards
Redeeming your rewards with the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card is a piece of cake because you don't have to do a thing.
Unlike other rewards cards that let you choose how you'd like to redeem your points or miles, your Gold Delta SkyMiles rewards are applied automatically to your account.
Once you've reached a certain number of miles, you'll receive your rewards as a credit on a future statement.
You have to be patient as this can take as long as 8-12 weeks to appear.
To redeem your miles on purchases, you must have at least 5,000 ($50 value) accrued.
You can only use these miles on eligible Delta flights (including Delta Connections) and SkyTeam flight partners, including:
- Aerolineas Argentinas
- Air France
- Air Tahiti Nui
- Alaska Airlines
- China Airlines
- China Eastern
- China Southern
- Compass Airlines
- Czech Airlines
- Endeavor Air
- ExpressJet Airlines
- Garuda Indonesia
- Gojet Airlines
- Great Lakes
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Kenya Airways
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
- Korean Air
- Middle East Airlines
- Shuttle America
- Saudia Airlines
- Tarom Airlines
- Vietnam Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Virgin Australia
- Xiamen Airlines
Your flights must be booked directly from Delta.com (or the official SkyTeam partner site of your chosen airline) as opposed to a third-party site like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak.
Since your statement credit is automatically added, it will be taken off the total amount of your bill.
Are there Restrictions and Blackout Dates for Travel Rewards Provided by the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card?
There are no blackout dates on any Delta flights.
Unfortunately, the same may not be true if you fly with one of their 15 partner airlines.
To see if your ideal travel dates are under SkyMiles blackout restrictions, check here.
So now that you know all the benefits of having a Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card and you're familiar with how your earned miles are redeemed, you may be itching to apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles card RN.
Be a smart cookie and check out all the associated rates and fees first — there are a few you'll want to pay close attention to.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Card's Current Rates and Fees
You already know there's no foreign transaction fee with the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card, but there's also no overlimit fee charged either.
Here are all the other rates, fees, and financials associated with the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card:
No Annual Fee for the First Year; $95 Annual Fee After That
Consider testing out the Gold Delta SkyMiles card for free the first year as you'll get to enjoy all the perks without having to pay an annual fee.
However, you'll need to fork over a $95 annual fee after your first year.
Variable APR Based on Your Creditworthiness (between 16.74% and 25.74%)
The variable APR means your interest rate can change according to market conditions, but it's most dependent on your credit score and credit history.
Applicants with higher credit scores will qualify for lower APR while those with less-than-perfect credit reports may have an interest rate on the high end with the Gold Delta SkyMiles card.
Pay off your balance in full each month and your APR won't matter because you won't be paying interest charges.
Balance Transfers and Cash Advances
It will cost you $5 or 3% of the transaction (whichever is greater) to complete a balance transfer or cash advance.
Your balance transfer will then be subject to the same APR as your normal purchases.
Cash advances will be charged an APR of 26.24%, regardless of your creditworthiness.
That means you'll want to pay off your cash advances immediately or face this hefty interest charge.
Late payments are also a major offense with the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card.
Late and Returned Payment Fees and Penalty Interest (yikes!)
Late and returned payments will cost up to $38 each time and will negatively affect your credit score.
Here's the big kicker: You'll be charged penalty APR of 29.99% if you miss a payment or have a payment returned from your bank (also depending on your creditworthiness).
That means your normal APR will shoot up to 29.99% for at least six months. Your account will then be reviewed before it's lowered.
This is one big customer complaint. Let's touch on a few others so you know what others are saying about the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card.
Customer Complaints about the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card
The general consensus seems to be that if you frequently fly Delta, the Gold Delta SkyMiles card makes sense.
After all, you're earning up to 60,000 bonus miles, in-flight discounts, and you can check your first bag free.
When it comes to the negative reviews, cardholders are not happy about:
Bonus miles not always automatically added as a statement credit.
Many customers complained that their bonus miles were never credited to their account until they made several phone calls to straighten it out.
In some cases, it was never adjusted.
Limited rewards redemption options. You can't redeem your miles for gift cards or use them to pay for purchases at other retailers like other rewards cards.
Your earned points can only be redeemed as statement credits for eligible travel purchases.
Poor customer service. Several customers also ran into issues with customer support agents who could not help them or fix their issue.
In many cases, the customers were so frustrated they ended up canceling their card altogether.
It costs thousands of miles to redeem a single flight. Cardholders mention that it can be difficult to bank enough miles to completely pay for a flight.
Round trip domestic flights can usually be redeemed for around 20,000 miles.
You have to like flying Delta. Since you earn the most rewards flying and purchasing from Delta, if you're not a fan of the airline and their routes/airport hubs, you'll be limiting your reward-earning potential.
If you have a sneaking suspicion you'd feel the same about these complaints, let's talk about how the Gold Delta SkyMiles card fares against other travel credit cards.
How the Gold Delta SkyMiles Compares
Remember how we said there were three Delta cards issued by Amex?
Other than the Gold Delta SkyMiles card, you can also choose between the Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card and the Delta Reserve credit card too. How do they differ?
Comparing the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card to the Platinum SkyMiles and Reserve SkyMiles Cards
First, the Gold SkyMiles card earns up to 60,000 bonus miles during the limited time offer period. The Platinum SkyMiles card will allow you to earn up to 70,000 bonus miles:
However, both the Platinum and Reserve cards give you 10,000 Medallion miles so the tradeoff is definitely worth it if you're chasing Medallion status.
As enticing as those extra miles can be, you'll pay for that difference.
You only have to spend $2,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account to earn 60k bonus miles with the Gold SkyMiles card.
But you have to spend $3,000 within that time frame using the other two cards to reap those introductory bonus miles.
And it's not just the initial spend that's lower, either.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card doesn't charge their members an annual fee for the first year.
This is drastically different from the Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card and Delta Reserve credit card, which have a $195 and $450 annual fee, respectively.
Even after the first year, the Gold SkyMiles card's annual fee is still the lowest of the three cards at $95.
Then again, with the Reserve SkyMiles card you earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend on everything. That's sure to rack up tons of miles fast.
The APRs for each card are identical and range from 16.74% to 25.74%, depending on your credit score and history.
Let's compare the travel benefits offered by these three SkyMiles cards:
All three cards let you check your first bag free on any round-trip Delta flights.
But only the Gold and Reserve cards give you priority boarding and up to $50 off your Delta ticket purchase.
Now that you know the ins and outs of the Amex Delta SkyMiles credit cards, let's talk about their competitors.
Two of the closest alternatives to the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card are the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card and the Discover It Miles credit card.
Let's find out how these two travel cards stack up.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
Here's a snapshot of how the Chase Sapphire Preferred card compares to the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card:
You have to spend $4,000 within the first 3 months to earn 50,000 points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred introductory limited time offer. You only need to spend $2,000 during that same time frame with the Gold SkyMiles card to earn 50,000 miles.
On the plus side, you earn 2x the points for any travel-related purchases, including train tickets, Uber rides, rental cars, tolls, and more, and 2x the points for all dining purchases with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards portal also offers cardholders an additional 25% off for purchases on airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises.
Here's what the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Delta Gold SkyMiles card share:
- Zero foreign transaction fees
- No annual fee for the first year
- A $95 annual fee after the first year
- Extended warranties, purchase protection
- Travel insurance
- Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Check out our Chase Sapphire Preferred guide for an in-depth review of this card for more intel.
Now how does the Gold Delta SkyMiles card compare to the Discover It Miles card?
Discover It Miles Credit Card
Once again, there's a slightly higher exchange of dollars to points compared to the Delta Gold card.
The Discover It Miles credit card gives you 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend.
You'll also score a 0% introductory APR rate for 14 months of interest-free bliss, which the Gold SkyMiles card doesn't offer.
Here's a unique perk:
The Discover It card will match any cash back you earned within the first 365 days of activating your card as a sweet bonus.
Speaking of awesome perks, the Discover It card also boasts:
- No annual fee… Ever. You'll never be charged an annual fee, unlike the Gold Delta SkyMiles card which kicks in with a $95 annual fee after the first year.
- No foreign transaction fees, which is the same with the Gold SkyMiles card.
- No blackout dates
For a deeper look at this travel credit card (so worth it!), check out our Discover It card review after you finish reading this guide.
So you've seen how the Gold Delta SkyMiles rewards its cardholders and compares to the travel reward credit card competition.
If you still think the Gold Delta SkyMiles card is the perfect choice for you, let's talk about how to get approved for one.
Minimum Credit Score Requirements and Applying for the Gold Delta SkyMiles card
Most approved applicants for the Gold Delta SkyMiles card had an average credit score or better, which means it was above 620.
However, just because your score falls within this range doesn't mean you'll automatically be approved.
You can learn about the other factors affecting your creditworthiness to make your credit great again.
Apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles card online here and receive an answer about your approval in as little as 30 seconds.
Just fill out the application with your name, social security number, total annual income, and some other personal answers which shouldn't take more than a minute to complete.
So what are you waiting for?
Do you still have questions about the Gold Delta SkyMiles card before you apply for one?
FAQ About the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
You're practically an expert on all things Gold Delta SkyMiles card now, but you may have a frequently asked question we can answer here:
1. What is the Gold Delta SkyMiles card? Is there just one or more than one?
The Gold Delta SkyMiles card is a travel rewards credit card issued by American Express.
Cardmembers earn miles for the purchases they make using their Gold Delta SkyMiles card and can redeem them for eligible flights.
American Express also issues the Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card and the Delta Reserve credit card, which we compared earlier.
2. How do you earn miles with the Gold Delta SkyMiles card?
You'll earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend on Delta purchases (such as flights, seat upgrades, and in-flight entertainment or refreshments).
You'll also earn 1 mile for every dollar you spend everywhere else.
Use your Gold Delta SkyMiles card at the grocery store, gas station, or to fill your prescriptions and you'll be working your way towards rewards miles.
3. Are there any bonuses that come with the Gold Delta SkyMiles travel credit card?
The introductory bonuses are one of the major reasons to apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles card.
Spend $2,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account and you'll earn 50,000 bonus miles.
Spend another $1,000 and you'll bank 10,000 bonus miles, for a total of 60,000 miles in 6 months!
Accruing all these miles would normally cost you $50,000+ in spending.
Plus, anytime you make a Delta purchase during that same time frame you'll earn a $50 statement credit. Talk about a signup-bonus.
4. How do you redeem your rewards from the Gold Delta SkyMiles rewards card?
Your earned Gold Delta SkyMiles miles are accrued and automatically added to your account in the form of a statement credit for eligible travel purchases.
You don't have to lift a finger to redeem your rewards.
5. Will the Gold Delta SkyMiles card help me earn Medallion Status or Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs)?
If you're a frequent flyer with Delta, you'll want to learn how to achieve Delta Medallion Status ASAP.
Medallion Members receive the elite Delta traveling experience that goes above and beyond your typical frequent flyer program.
With unlimited complimentary seat upgrades, waived fees, priority boarding, extra bonus miles, and so much more, you'll wish you had Medallion status sooner.
Unfortunately, you won't be earning Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) using the Gold Delta SkyMiles card.
You'll need to bump up to the Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card or the Delta Reserve credit card to earn MQMs.
Both cards are currently offering 10,000 signup-bonus MQMs for those in Medallion status level.
Our Final Verdict
If your home's near a Delta hub, you're part of their frequent flyer program, and you don't mind purchasing your tickets directly from Delta or one of their partner airlines, the Gold SkyMiles card may never leave your wallet.
After all, checking your bag free on just two round-trip Delta flights pays for the Gold Delta SkyMiles annual fee — you'll still have a plane load of perks to enjoy after that.
But if you don't get to travel as much as you'd like, or if you hate the thought of leaving your couch, this card isn't a perfect match for you.
Learn how to find your ideal credit card here and score a rewards card to better fit your needs and lifestyle.
If you only fly whichever airlines are the cheapest or most convenient, a different travel rewards card won't limit your options like the Gold Delta SkyMiles card.