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Using Delta Airlines credit cards is one of the easiest ways to maximize your SkyMiles membership, especially when there are limited time offers. Not only can you earn SkyMiles on your purchases, you also earn additional travel benefits, depending on your card. If you fly on Delta on a consistent basis, using a Delta-friendly credit card can help you book a free flight more often. Read on to learn more.
Co-Brand Delta Airlines Credit Cards
American Express currently offers four different personal Delta Airlines credit cards that fit every travel style. The annual fee for these four cards ranges from $0 to $450. Each card offers incrementally more benefits. Note that Delta credit cards have some of the most generous checked baggage benefits among airline credit cards.
We’ll list these four Delta airlines credit cards in order of increasing annual fee.
Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
Annual Fee: $0
Ideal for Travelers That Don’t Check Baggage
The main reason to get the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is to skip the annual fee. You might use this credit card to build a credit history or as a secondary credit card to maximize your Delta Airlines purchases. A third benefit is that your Delta SkyMiles never expire if you own this card.
Since this card doesn’t charge an annual fee, you’re not going to receive the additional card benefits like free checked bags. But if you never check a bag, this card can save you $95 a year and still earn SkyMiles on eligible purchases.
But, its purchase rewards are just as valuable (arguably more valuable) as the other Delta credit cards:
- Earn 2x SkyMiles on eligible Delta purchases and U.S. restaurants
- All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent.
- Get a 20% statement credit on Delta in-flight purchases
The other co-brand Delta credit cards only offer double points on Delta purchases. If you don’t check bags or visit the Delta SkyClub, the Blue Delta Amex is the best option.
This is the only co-brand Delta credit card that charges a foreign transaction fee (2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars). You’ll want to consider upgrading to the Gold Delta SkyMiles if you travel abroad on a regular basis.
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
Annual Fee: $95 ($0 the first year)
Ideal for Travelers that Regularly Check Bags
For most casual Delta flyers, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express will be your best option. The reason why is that the first checked bag flies free for you and up to 8 passengers. That boils down to 9 free checked bags and a $225 savings each way.
American Express waives the $95 annual fee for the first year while you enjoy these benefits:
- 2x Skymiles on eligible Delta purchases
- 20% statement credit for eligible in-flight purchases
- Up to 9 free checked bags
- Discounted Delta SkyClub Access ($29 per person)
- Priority Boarding
If you don’t check enough baggage to offset the annual fee, you should apply for the no-fee Blue Delta SkyMiles. However, if you can use the free checked baggage and want the convenience of priority boarding, apply for this card.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
Annual Fee: $195
Ideal For Travelers Wanting One Free Companion Certificate
With the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, you can enjoy several annual SkyMiles boosts and an annual travel companion certificate. Plus, you have the opportunity to earn 20,000 bonus SkyMiles and Medallion Qualification Miles every year too.
The most valuable card benefit is the annual companion certificate you receive each card anniversary. With this certificate, you receive a domestic main cabin round-trip ticket for your travel companion. You will have to pay up to $75 in fees and taxes for the round-trip fare, but this bonus alone can outvalue the $195 annual fee.
You should also consider the Platinum Delta if you plan on making more than $25,000 in annual card purchases. After spending $25,000 and $50,000 annually, you get 10,000 bonus SkyMiles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles with each purchase.
In addition to these two card perks, you also enjoy these Delta benefits:
- 2x points on eligible Delta purchases
- 20% in-flight purchase statement credit
- Up to 9 free checked bags
- Priority Boarding
- Discounted SkyClub Access
Delta Reserve Credit Card
Annual Fee: $450
Ideal for First Class Passengers and Free SkyClub Access
If you want full access to the SkyMiles and Sky Club program, look no further than the Delta Reserve Credit Card. The Delta Reserve definitely caters to the finer things in life.
Each card anniversary, you receive the Delta Reserve Companion Certificate for one domestic round-trip ticket in the First Class, Comfort+, or Main Cabin class. You will need to pay up to $75 in fees and taxes, but think of the savings if you redeem it for a first class ticket!
Big spenders also have the opportunity to earn 15,000 bonus SkyMiles and 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles, when you spend $30,000 in annual card purchases.
As the primary cardholder, you get free Delta SkyClub access. You will need to pay the discounted rate of $29 for two other guests to access the SkyClub with you.
Besides these additional benefits, you will enjoy the same purchase rewards, waived checked baggage fees, and priority boarding as the Gold and Platinum SkyMiles credit cards.
Other Travel Rewards Cards to Consider
If you don’t need the bonus SkyMiles opportunities or free checked bags, you might also consider getting a flexible travel rewards card instead of a Delta airlines credit card, that lets you transfer points on a 1:1 basis to Delta when possible.
Platinum Card from American Express
Annual Fee: $550
Ideal for 1:1 point transfers and Delta SkyClub lounge access
The best flexible rewards card for Delta Airlines is the Platinum Card® from American Express. You can enjoy these Delta Airlines benefits:
- Earn 5x points on airlines purchases
- 1:1 point transfers to Delta (and other frequent flyer programs)
- $200 air travel statement credit (in-flight purchases and checked baggage fees)
- Free Delta Sky Club access
If Delta isn’t your primary airline, or you want to earn 5x points instead of 2x points on Delta ticket purchases, the Amex Platinum is the best option to quickly rack up frequent flyer miles. When you’re ready to book a Delta award flight, you can transfer your points on a 1:1 basis.
Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
Annual Fee: $95 ($0 during the first year)
Ideal for hotel loyalists that want 1:1 airline transfer options
The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is a budget traveler’s way to get 1:1 point transfers to Delta while enjoying one of the best hotel rewards cards available. You receive 6x points on Starwood and Marriott Rewards stays and 2x points on all remaining purchases. Since you either earn 1 or 2 points per $1 spent with any of the co-brand Delta credit cards, you will actually earn more points using this card instead.
Each card anniversary, you also receive a free hotel night certificate valid at any Starwood or Marriot Rewards property that costs 35,000 points or less.
With the opportunity to enjoy free nights and flights with the same credit card, what isn’t there to like?
Summary of the Delta Airlines Credit Cards
If you want airline-specific benefits like free checked bags or can qualify for the annual SkyMile and MQM spending bonuses, the co-brand Delta Airlines credit cards are a better option. If Delta Airlines is your secondary airline, using a flexible travel rewards card with 1:1 point transfers can earn you more points. For most people, your decision comes down to if you prefer benefits or points.
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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.