For many years, the credit cards in your wallet were seen as a status symbol, but these days, the credit card choices you make are a sign of your travel savvy and know-how. Delta flyers will do well selecting one of the branded Delta American Express cards, and those not wishing to spend too much on fees will find the Gold card to be ideal since the $95 fee is waived the first year.
As a frequent traveler who pays close attention to where he keeps his miles, this card is great for frequent Delta flyers who may not necessarily be interested in achieving the top levels of elite status. Luckily, it provides several of those benefits (as of October 14, 2013) like priority boarding and a free checked bag, which saves $25 per flight, anyway. One bag on one roundtrip journey will cost $50 so travel two times, and you have already paid for your second year’s fee.
Or travel with your family, and each person will receive a free checked bag…the savings could really rack up. In fact, even if you rarely travel, but have a big group taking a Delta flight soon, you should sign up just to get this benefit.
Priority boarding is important for those with carry-on bags and worried about not finding room. These days, overhead bin space is pretty rare.
You can actually make money with this card too since you will earn 30,000 SkyMiles after you spend $1,000 on the card within the first three months of having it. That’s more than enough for a free domestic ticket. True, Delta saver award tickets can sometimes be hard to find, but they are out there (just maybe not on the busiest travel days of the year). You will also receive a $50 credit after you make a Delta reservation in the first three months.
If you book Delta flights (or know someone who does), you can earn double miles on Delta purchases (two miles per dollar spent), and if you can convince someone else you know who flies Delta to allow you to purchase their tickets and later be reimbursed…well, the points could really rack up! You earn the miles for buying their ticket, and they earn their own miles for flying it. All non-Delta purchases earn 1 SkyMile per dollar spent.
Yes, it’s true…Delta.com is a terrible website to search for award tickets, but with some patience and flexibility, it’s possible to achieve some great mileage awards on Delta. It may require calling the airline to find availability on airline partners like Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic.
Some of my favorites are the 120,000-mile business class award from North America to Africa since you can make a stop in one direction in Europe (how about spending a few nights in Paris on the way to the Seychelles or Mauritius?) and the 100,000-mile business class award (soon to rise to 125,000 miles in June 2014) from North America to Europe. Redeem it for Virgin Atlantic to score access to Virgin’s swanky lounges, which feature beauty salons, spas and full-service restaurants.
Many people wonder about taking a ding to their credit rating when applying for a card. If you plan on applying for several credit card offers, many experts say that doing it all on the same day will only lead to one credit check. So if you feel good about your credit, this card provides some excellent, money-saving benefits that could make traveling Delta more enjoyable…and eventually free!
For those interested in attaining Delta Medallion status, the Platinum and Reserve cards come with MQMs that are much-needed to reach annual goals. For many travelers, they are imperative for attaining status. There are Delta Medallions that rely mostly on credit card MQM bonuses to achieve their top status.
Still, those that are looking to attain Delta status can hitch their saddle to one of these cards because of the tremendous padding one of these cards may provide. While the Gild card is excellent for travelers not reaching out for status, the Platinum or Reserve card reserve a place in your credit card portfolio if Medallion status is important.