Milecards

Advertiser Disclosure

Gold vs Platinum Delta SkyMiles Amex: Which is worth the fee?

by on Fri June 3, 2016 • No Comment
Google+TwitterFacebookEmailLinkedIn

deltagoldvsplatinum

American Express issues multiple credit cards that earn Delta miles, and depending on your travel needs one might be a better choice for you over the other. We’re going to take a look at the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card and the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card and how to decide which one is a better choice for you.

We’re going to go into more detail below, but the short answer is:

  • Get the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card if you need a boost on your Medallion Qualifying Miles or have a high-value trip within the US that you would like to take a companion on. With this card you can earn up to an additional 20,000 MQMs per calendar year, and you also receive a companion certificate good for one economy trip within the US. It has a $195 annual fee that’s not waived the first year.

  • Get the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card if the only benefits you see use for are free checked bags and priority boarding. You probably need to fly Delta and check bags at least twice per year for this card to be break-even. It has a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year.

Here’s a rundown of the major features of each card:

  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles: Earn 1 Delta SkyMile per dollar spent on all purchases and 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases. Get into Delta Sky Clubs for a reduced $29 fee. Earn 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) and 10,000 bonus miles after spending $25,000 or more within a calendar year on your card. Earn a further 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 bonus miles after spending $50,000 or more within a calendar year.

  • Board the plane with the Priority group whenever you’re flying Delta. When traveling abroad, no foreign transaction fees will be charged. Receive your first bag checked for free on every flight. Earn a companion travel certificate good for a domestic economy flight every year on your cardmember anniversary date. This card has a $195 annual fee.

  • Gold Delta SkyMiles: Earn 1 Delta SkyMile per dollar spent on all purchases and 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases. Get into Delta Sky Clubs for a reduced $29 fee. MQMs and 10,000 bonus miles after spending $50,000 or more within a calendar year. Board the plane with the Priority group whenever you’re flying Delta. When traveling abroad, no foreign transaction fees will be charged. Receive your first bag checked for free on every flight. This card has a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year.

Depending on your spending patterns and travel needs, one of these cards might be better for you than the other. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each card.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card full review

> Gold Delta SkyMiles Card full review

Benefits of Both Cards

These cards have a few overlapping benefits. Let’s take a look at the benefits you will receive regardless of which of these two cards you get.

Pros

  • Reduced Fee Access to Delta Sky Clubs: With both of these cards, you and up to two traveling companions can access the Delta Sky Club for the reduced fee of $29 per person. This will give you access to snacks and beverages, Wi-Fi, satellite TV, newspapers and magazines, personalized flight assistance, private restrooms, and more. The regular price of a day pass is $59:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: Considering that American Express cards are not widely accepted around the world, this is not the most noteworthy benefit, but may come in handy in some countries around the world.

  • Priority Boarding: You won’t have to worry about finding available overhead bin space on your next Delta flight because you will receive Priority Boarding with both the Gold and Platinum cards.

  • First Bag Checked For Free: If you frequently check bags, you’ll want to have one of these cards. On every flight, your first checked bag is free – which means a savings of up to $50 on each round trip Delta flight. Remember that not all free checked bag benefits are created equal.

Cons

  • Earning from Spending: Both cards earn 2 points per dollar spent on Delta purchases and 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else. Neither of these will be the most reward card to put your credit card spent on, but may be quite valuable for other reasons.

  • American Express Network: Noted above, American Express cards are not as widely accepted around the world. While not having foreign transaction fees is definitely a pro, the fact that you won’t be able to use this card many places outside the US is a con.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card

Pros

  • deltaplatinum170Earn miles that count toward status: Every year, you have the ability to earn up to 20,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles that count toward status. You will earn 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 bonus redeemable miles after spending $25,000 within a calendar year, and a further 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 bonus redeemable miles after spending $50,000 within a calendar year. If you spend exactly $50,000, this amounts to an extra 0.4 redeemable Delta mile per dollar spent, plus the MQMs.

  • Free companion certificate every year on your cardmember anniversary: The companion certificate is valid for the base fare on one round-trip Main Cabin (economy) ticket within the 48 contiguous United States. You are still responsible for paying the taxes on the ticket, which aren’t too bad on domestic flights. The catch is your flight needs to have some of the cheaper fares available to be able to use the certificate, but if you plan ahead you should have good luck with it and can save hundreds of dollars.

Cons

  • High annual fee: The annual fee on this card sits at $195, which is on the high side, and is not waived the first year.

Gold Delta SkyMiles Card

Pros

  • deltagold170Annual fee waived the first year, then relatively low: The first year you have this card the $95 annual fee is waived. After the first year it is only $95, which is standard for an airline credit card.

Cons

  • Pretty mediocre ongoing benefits: There are really no special benefits of having this card. Waived checked bag fees, no foreign transaction fees, and reduced fee access to Sky Clubs are really nothing to write home about. Depending on your travel needs, it could still be worth having this card, however.

Which Should You Get?

In short: whichever card makes the most sense for you. The Platinum is hands down the best option if you need to earn a few more Medallion Qualifying Miles to meet your status level requirements or if you have use for a companion certificate within the US even though the annual fee on this card is higher.

The Gold card might make sense if you travel on Delta a few times a year and always or almost always check bags that you would otherwise be paying for and don’t see yourself able to make use of the companion certificate.

The companion certificate alone could make it worth paying for the Platinum card over the Gold even though the annual fee is $100 higher.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

Still confused? Have a question?

Leave a comment below -- we'll reply shortly -- no need to use your real name. Or, use the email form at the top of the page for private advice.

"These responses 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."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *