Or, consider other cards for 50,000 or more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
$750 for air / hotel / car bookings. Or transfer points to United, Southwest, Hyatt, and more.
No annual fee.
If you’re looking for a credit card to earn SkyMiles, you’re probably familiar with the basic Gold Delta SkyMiles card from American Express.
What you might not know is that there are over 15 cards that can earn Delta SkyMiles either directly, or by earning points you can transfer into your SkyMiles account at any time.
And some of them don’t say Delta on them.
We think you should focus on two cards in particular that can cost less, earn you more miles, and offer more flexibility than the basic Gold Delta SkyMiles card.
They are the ‘Everyday’ credit cards from American Express.
One has no annual fee, and the other has a $95 fee.
Both earn points you can transfer directly into your Delta SkyMiles accounts 1:1, instantly with no limits any time. And you can transfer the points you earn to many other airlines besides Delta for flexibility.
The Amex Everyday. This card has no annual fee and can earn you up to 1.2 points per dollar you spend. As long as you use the card for at least 20 purchases of any size in a billing cycle, you’ll get a 20% bonus on all your points earned, getting you 1.2 points per dollar. There’s also a 2x bonus on all gas purchases, which turns into 2.4x when you factor the 20% bonus.
It earns full Amex Membership Rewards points that you can transfer into your Delta SkyMiles account anytime, and better yet it gives you the option to move your points into several other airline programs including JetBlue, British Airways, and Air France.
And if you don’t want to fuss with airline miles, you can also use your points to book flights via the American Express travel website, flying on just about any airline.
The Amex Everyday Preferred. This is a super charged card for earning points. You get a 50% bonus on the points you earn each month you use the card for at least 30 purchases of any size. That means you can earn 1.5 points per dollar on just about everything, 3x on gas, and 4.5x on grocery spending. There are no caps, except for a limit of $6,000 in grocery spending counting toward the bonus each year.
There’s a $95 annual fee, but it’s hard to find a more powerful card for earning SkyMiles.
If you’re still undecided the easiest way to figure out which card is right for you is to use our CardFinder tool for cards that earn Delta SkyMiles. You can enter your spending habits and it will rank the cards based on their value to you, factoring annual fees.
But if tools aren’t your thing, think about your answers to these questions.
But if you’re set on a Delta branded credit card, here’s a comparison…
|Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express||Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express||Delta Reserve American Expres|
|Earning Power||1 point per dollar, 2x Delta purchases||1 point per dollar, 2x Delta purchases||1 point per dollar, 2x Delta purchases|
|Annual fee||$95, $0 first year||$195||$450|
|Annual bonus miles||None||10,000 miles for $25,000 in annual spend; 10,000 more for $50,000 in annual spend||15,000 miles for $30,000 in annual spend; 15,000 more for $60,000 in annual spend|
|Delta elite qualifying miles (MQMs)||No||Yes, 10,000 MQMs for $25,000 in annual spend; 10,000 more for $50,000 in annual spend||Yes, 15,000 MQMs for $30,000 in annual spend; 15,000 more for $60,000 in annual spend|
|Ways to use miles|
|1:1 point transfer to Delta accounts||Yes, miles are earned in your SkyMiles account||Yes, miles are earned in your SkyMiles account||Yes, miles are earned in your SkyMiles account|
|Transfer points into friend / family Delta accounts free||No||No||No, but can transfer MQMs earned on card to friends / family|
|Other 1:1 airline transfer partners||None||None||None|
|Hotel 1:1 point transfer partners||None||None||None|
|Option to use points as cash toward any airline ticket||Delta flights only - every 100 points = $1 in credit||Delta flights only - every 100 points = $1 in credit||Delta flights only - every 100 points = $1 in credit|
|Delta baggage fee waiver||Yes, one each for up to 8 people in your reservation||Yes, one each for up to 8 people in your reservation||Yes, one each for up to 8 people in your reservation|
|Delta priority boarding||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Delta in flight purchase discount||Yes, 20%||Yes, 20%||Yes, 20%|
|Free / discounted companion ticket||None||Yes, one per year where companion flies free||Yes, one per year where companion flies free, also eligible for first class tickets|
|Secure application link||Apply now||Apply now||Apply now|
|More benefits details||Click here||Click here||Click here|
(Terms and restrictions apply)
With the minimum annual fee on a Delta Air Lines branded credit card at $95, why would you limit yourself to a Delta-only credit card?
Two reasons: baggage fees and elite qualifying miles.
All Delta branded credit cards offer a free checked bag for your and up to 8 people in your reservation (savings of $25 per bag each way each person). They also offer priority boarding, and the two premium cards let you earn elite qualifying miles.
So if you travel enough to make the bag fee waiver save you more than the annual fee on the card (about 2 roundtrips a year for one person) then you should consider the Delta branded cards.
However for day to day spending you may still want to consider the no annual fee Amex Everyday. You’ll get more flexibility to use your points and can earn faster thanks to the bonus on everyday spending.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.
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