The Best Credit Cards to Use for Delta Airlines Purchases

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Disclosure, visit this page.

Editor’s Note: Some of the offers below may have expired or are no longer available on our site. 

Are you using the best credit card for Delta Airlines purchases? By using the following rewards credit cards to earn the most rewards points possible and additional travel perks like free checked bags and Delta SkyClub access. Depending on what Delta rewards you want to earn, there are several options to choose from.

Best Credit Cards to use for Delta Airlines purchases.

Amex Delta Co-Branded Credit Cards

For the Delta enthusiast, Delta partners with American Express and offers four different co-brand credit cards to choose from:

  • Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
  • Delta Reserve Credit Card

With any of these cards, you will enjoy the following perks:

  • 2 Delta SkyMiles on every Delta purchase
  • 1 SkyMile for all non-Delta purchases
  • 20% in-flight savings

In addition to these everyday purchases rewards that can be redeemed for Delta award flights, you will also enjoy additional benefits with each card.

Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

Annual Fee: $0

The Blue Delta SkyMiles is a great option for budget conscious travelers and frequent flyers who want a secondary rewards card–you fly Delta at least once a year but not enough to justify owning a Delta credit card with an annual fee.

Besides the 2x SkyMiles bonus on Delta Airlines purchases, you will also earn 2x SkyMiles at every U.S. restaurant.

Because the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is a fee-free card, you won’t enjoy any of the additional card benefits that come from the other co-brand Delta credit cards.

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

Annual Fee: $0 the first year then $95

With the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, you will enjoy benefits including free checked bags and priority boarding:

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card (Expired)

Annual Fee: $195

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is a great option for frequent flyers and its the first co-brand Delta credit card that offers Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) as a welcome offer–the Blue Delta and Gold Delta only offer bonus SkyMiles.

In addition to the nine free checked bags, priority boarding, and discount SkyClub access, you’ll also have these additional card benefits to enjoy:

  • Annual round-trip domestic main cabin companion ticket
  • Bonus 10,000 SkyMiles and 10,000 MQMs by making $25,000 and $50,000 in annual purchases
    (up to 20,000 bonus SkyMiles and 20,000 MQMs)

The annual companion certificate is your card anniversary bonus. Your travel companion flies for a free round-trip in the main cabin and all you have to pay is up to $75 in fees and taxes.

Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card

Delta credit cards

Annual Fee: $450

Premium travelers will enjoy the Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card with the following card benefits:

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months
  • Free Delta Sky Club® Access for primary cardholders
  • Earn 15,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 15,000 bonus miles after you reach $30,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in the calendar year
  • Priority boarding on Delta flights plus 20% savings on select in-flight Delta purchases in the form of a statement credit

Cardholders also don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees when they spend abroad.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Annual Fee: $0 then $95

Casual Delta customers might find more value in a flexible travel rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You will earn 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all travel and dining purchases and 1 point for everything else.

You can redeem your rewards points for 1.25 cents each through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal; most travel credit cards have a maximum redemption value of 1 cent each for award flights. Your points are automatically worth 25% more because of the travel redemption bonus.

What makes the Sapphire Preferred even more valuable is the ability to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points directly to a frequent flyer program on a 1:1 basis. While Delta isn’t a Chase travel partner, you can transfer your point to Air France Flying Blue or Korean Air to book a partner flight on Delta.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Annual Fee: $450

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the premium version of the Sapphire Preferred. You will 3x points on dining purchases, transfer your points to a Chase travel partner, or redeem them through the Chase travel portal for 1.5 cents each (even Delta flights!).

As a premium travel card, you will also enjoy the following benefits:

  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select lounge access
  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement

You can also earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. The $300 annual travel credit can be used for airfare, checked baggage fees, and in-flight purchases. Basically, if the expenses can earn 3x bonus points, it’s eligible for the credit. The Chase Sapphire Reserve also comes with a nice 50,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 in 3 months.

Platinum Card from American Express

Amex Platinum metal

Annual Fee: $550

Because of the Amex-Delta relationship, the Amex Platinum also has several Delta-friendly travel benefits including 1:1 point transfers and complimentary Delta SkyClub access.

For starters, you will earn 5x Amex Membership Rewards on all airfare booked directly through the carrier or You can then transfer your points on a 1:1 basis directly to Delta and the other Amex air travel partners.

Unless you want free checked bags or the annual Delta companion ticket, The Platinum Card® from American Express can easily be the best non-Delta credit card when your primary focus is earning points instead of travel benefits.

Besides the 5x point bonus and the direct 1:1 Delta points transfer option, you will enjoy the following travel benefits:

  • $200 air travel credit
  • $200 Uber credits
  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck Application Fee Reimbursement
  • Free lounge access to Delta SkyClub, Priority Pass, The Centurion, and International American Express

Additionally, cardholders can get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on their Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. However, they must be enrolled for this benefit to apply.

Premier Rewards Gold from American Express [Expired]

Editor’s Note: The American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has been upgraded to the American Express® Gold Card. It comes with the opportunity to earn valuable Membership Rewards Points, 4x purchase rewards on U.S. restaurants and supermarket purchases, and a limited-edition Rose Gold metal color option. Click here to learn more.

Annual Fee: $0 then $195

The Premier Rewards Gold from American Express isn’t as benefit-rich as the Amex Platinum but you can still transfer your points on a 1:1 basis to Delta and the $100 annual travel credit offsets your baggage fees and in-flight purchases.

You will also earn the following 3-2-1 purchase rewards:

  • 3x points on all airfare purchased directly from the airline
  • 2x points at U.S. gas stations, restaurants, and supermarkets
  • 1x point for all remaining purchases

If you don’t fly Delta regularly, but still want the ability to transfer your points on a 1:1 basis, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express provides a happy medium when you can’t justify owning the Amex Platinum.

Starwood Preferred Guest from American Express (Expired)

Annual Fee: $0 then $95

The Starwood Amex is a hotel loyalty card that earns up to 5x bonus Starpoints on Starwood and Marriott stays, but you can still transfer your points on a 1:1 basis to Delta.

You can get a 5,000 point bonus when you transfer at least 20,000 Starpoints at once.

By linking your Starwood and SkyMiles accounts together, you can also earn 1 Starpoint for each dollar spent on Delta ticket purchases.

If you don’t currently own the Amex SPG, you may want to act quickly. New Starwood credit cards will launch in 2018 with potentially different offers.

Update: The new Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is now available.

Summary on the Best Credit Cards for Delta Airline Purchases

American Express and Chase will be your two most Delta-friendly travel credit card issuers. For convenience and Delta travel benefits, the co-brand cards will be your best option. If you aren’t set on earning Delta SkyMiles with every purchase, there are some of the best travel rewards credit cards 2018 to choose from as well.

Mary Renking

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

The Best Credit Cards to Use for Delta Airlines Purchases
5 (100%) 1 vote

About the Author

Mary Renking
Mary writes about how to book travel with award miles & points, reviews top travel credit cards, and basic rewards news.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.