American express delta platinum vs gold

American express delta platinum vs gold

Delta Amex Gold Vs. Platinum: Crunching The Numbers

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UPDATE: The limited time offers on the Delta Amex cards are expired, though the other information in this post is still relevant. You can find the best current credit card offers here.

Details of the card sign-up bonuses

  • 50,000 SkyMiles after making $2,000 in purchases within three months
  • $50 statement credit after making Delta purchase within three months
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year
  • 60,000 SkyMiles after making $2,000 in purchases within three months
  • 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles
  • $100 statement credit after making Delta purchase within three months
  • $195 annual fee

As I’ve shown, you can quite easily apply for both of these cards same day, and earn the sign-up bonuses on both cards — for example, Ford was recently approved for both the Gold Delta Personal Amex and Gold Delta Business Amex.

Crunching the numbers on which bonus is better

There’s a general approach to take towards valuing miles, but there’s no science to specific valuations. Comparing the sign-up bonuses of the Gold and Platinum cards varies based on:

  • How much you value SkyMiles
  • How much you value the $50 and $100 Delta statement credits offered by the Gold and Platinum cards, respectively (in practice these can typically be used to purchase Delta gift cards)
  • How much you value the Medallion Qualifying Miles offered by the Platinum card, which don’t come with the Gold card

So using my valuation of 1.3 cents per Delta SkyMiles, and assuming you value the statement credits at face value (since you can buy a Delta gift card, and I’m guessing most of us would eventually book a ticket on Delta), let’s compare the numbers for the card within the first year.

  • $650 worth of miles (50,000 SkyMiles after making $2,000 in purchases within three months)
  • $50 statement credit after making Delta purchase within three months
  • Annual fee waived the first year

That means you’re getting $700 of value, without an annual fee the first year.

  • $780 worth of miles (60,000 SkyMiles after making $2,000 in purchases within three months)
  • $100 statement credit after making Delta purchase within three months
  • 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles
  • $195 annual fee

You’re getting $880 of value, though there’s a $195 annual fee, making the value $685. This doesn’t account for the value of the 10,000 MQMs, which can help you qualify for Medallion status.

I’d note that you can also earn up to 20,000 additional MQMs on the Platinum Card per year — 10,000 bonus MQMs after spending $25,000 in a calendar year, and an additional 10,000 MQMs after spending a total of $50,000 in a calendar year.

If your goal is to earn Delta miles without actually going for status with Delta, I think the sign-up bonuses on the Gold Delta Personal Amex and Gold Delta Business Amex are more compelling. The fact that you pay $195 less in annual fees the first year is worth more than the 10,000 additional redeemable miles and $50 additional statement credit, at least based on my valuation.

However, if you are planning on going for status with Delta, the Platinum Delta Personal Amex and Platinum Delta Business Amex are the way to go, since these cards offer MQMs towards status. This can be valuable even if you’d qualify for status anyway, since Delta offers rollover MQMs, meaning you can bank those MQMs for next year.

Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the Platinum Delta Skymiles Business and Gold Delta Skymiles has been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

American Express Platinum or Gold Card?

Update – American Express is in the midst of updating their Platinum Card. We expect the new features and updates to be available later today. Please bear in mind that some information on this page regarding the card may be outdated at this moment.

In this comparison review, we will look at the differences between the American Express Gold, Premier Rewards Gold and Platinum version. We’ll find out at the end that these cards (especially the Premier Rewards and Platinum) can be complimentary and many people have both (we’ll explain why). We’ll also highlight the circumstances where one is better than the other. Below is the chart highlighting key features.

The most basic similarity among these cards is that the reward program is the same (well, almost) for all cards. Membership Rewards allows you to transfer points to their airline partners and hotel partners. Platinum cardholders are entitled to MR First program (which simply means there are a few high end luxury rewards). But for all intents and purposes, all these cards have the same program. Furthermore,

  • All cards allow you to earn unlimited points which do not expire.
  • There are no preset spending limits for these cards.
  • They are have the Gold Card Events feature – For those who are not familiar with it, American Express sponsors events like concerts, theaters etc. And they are normally some good seats which they make available to card members before the general public has access to them.
  • They have almost similar travel and shopping insurance type features.
  • How you earn points? – Ironically, the most effective card among the three in terms of points earning capacity is the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card, where you can earn triple points for airline ticket purchases and double points for gasoline and supermarket purchases. The other two cards just allow you to earn the standard one point per dollar on all purchases.

The Premier Rewards Gold also gives you 15,000 bonus points when you spend $30,000 a year on the card.

  • Hotel Booking Perks – Both the Gold and Platinum versions have hotel booking perks. Platinum has got the Fine Hotel and Resorts program.

    The program has lots of hotel partners and when you use your Platinum Card to book with them, you get perks like a $100 hotel voucher (which I frequently use at their spa), free room upgrade if available, late checkouts and complimentary continental breakfast.

    Recently, the Gold series has also added a similar perk called the Gold Hotel Connection. Their partners include Fairmont, MGM in Vegas, Destination Hotels and Resorts, Hilton, Preferred Hotel Group, KSL, Loews, City Center (Vegas), Omni, Radisson, Thompson and The PUBLIC Hotel in Chicago. You get $75 resort credits and room upgrades (if available) if you book with American Express Travel and stay two consecutive nights.

  • Extra Platinum Perks – Aside from these differences, the Platinum Card comes with the following extra perks that are not available in the Gold version. Examples include airport lounge access, no foreign transaction fees, global entry fee payment, $200 airline credits, cruise credits and concierge service.

    After looking through their features, the similarities and differences, we can safely make the following statements.

  • 1. The Platinum Card is All About Benefits – You pay a $450 annual fee a year. And it is all about benefits. They have more perks than most other credit cards. And if you use your perks, you could easily cover the cost of the annual fee. For example, making use of the airline credits ($200), joining the Hertz Gold membership ($60), joining the Platinum Status on Starwood, getting a couple of hotel credits when you book your hotels with FHR are some ways to reap the benefits. Getting access to Delta, American Airline
  • The Premier Rewards Gold Is Great For Earning Points – While the Platinum Card is full of great benefits, the Premier Rewards Gold the the king in terms of the points you can earn. It is really hard to beat triple points on airline tickets. You would think the the Plat would at least match it, but this is not the case. They also have the advantage of giving members 15,000 MR points if they spend $30,000 a year on the card. Both the Plat and regular Gold do not have this feature.

    So which is actually the better card? – Well, the simple answer would be to say that if you are more concerned about points (who would not be), then the Premier Rewards Gold would be the easy choice (read our review here).

    And if it is benefits that you are after, then the Plat should be your choice.

    American Express Delta Reserve vs. AmEx Platinum: Benefits Showdown

    Aw nerds! It looks like this page may be out of date. Please visit NerdWallet’s Best Credit Cards page for updated info.

    The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express Delta credit cards are known for their status: these are premium credit cards, carried less for their rewards rate (and certainly not for saving on annual fees) than for the luxury benefits that they deliver. In fact, the American Express Delta cards come in three forms: the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, and the high-brow Delta Reserve Credit Card, all which differ in perks and fees. But given that the Delta Reserve Credit Card has the same annual fee as The Platinum Card® from American Express, which card deserves our respect?

    The first vital difference between the Delta Reserve Credit Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express is that the former is a credit card, while the latter is a charge card. Credit cards allow you to have some debt outstanding at the end of the billing period, and pay it back over time with interest. They come with credit limits, prohibiting you from borrowing more than a certain amount. And they impact your credit score, for better or for worse. Charge cards, on the other hand, have no pre-set spending limit but require you to pay your balance in full each month or face severe penalties. Charge cards do not impact your credit score, since you aren’t extended a line of credit.

    Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we’ll move on to the main event: can The Platinum Card® from American Express’s much-lauded benefits stand up against the Delta Reserve Credit Card’s? Both have the same annual fee—$550—and 1% base rewards rate. But past that, the cards’ paths diverge.

    The Delta Reserve Credit Card offers double miles when you spend at the airline itself, and also has a signup bonus of 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles to move you closer towards elite status. You can earn an additional MQM boost of up to 30k miles if you spend in excess of $60,000 a year.

    The Platinum Card® from American Express pays out not in Delta miles but in Membership Rewards points, one of the best rewards programs out there. You can transfer points 1:1 to most airlines and hotels, or redeem for gift cards and the occasional travel option, all at full value. It offers 5 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel; 2 points per dollar spent on other trips booked through AmEx; and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

    Here’s a breakdown of each card’s benefits:

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

    50,000 bonus points - Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

    That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Or transfer points to United MileagePlus®, Southwest, British Airways, Marriott, and more.

    40,000 bonus miles - United MileagePlus® Explorer Card

    Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.

    Earn 60,000 bonus points - IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

    Earn 80,000 bonus points - Chase Ink Business Preferred℠

    $1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.

    50,000 bonus points - Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

    That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® or 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.

    Check here for's full list of the latest offers

    American AAdvantage: How to use your miles

    Delta SkyMiles: How to use your miles

    United MileagePlus: How to use your miles

    How to use Amex Membership Rewards points

    How to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points

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    Some of the offers on this page may not be available.

    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 two of the mid-tier Delta SkyMiles® earning cards – 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 5,000 MQMs after required spend, 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® Credit Card:

    • Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
    • In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
    • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
    • Check your first bag free on Delta flights – that’s a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
    • Settle into your seat sooner with Priority Boarding.
    • Terms Apply.
    • See Rates & Fees
    • This card has a $195 annual fee.

    Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card:

    • Earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
    • Earn 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
    • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight – that’s a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
    • Settle into your seat sooner with Priority Boarding.
    • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
    • Terms Apply.
    • See Rates & Fees
  • 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.

    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.

    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.

    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® Credit Card

    Earn 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.

    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® Credit Card

    Annual 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.

    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.

    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.

    Let’s face it, there’s a secret pleasure attached to American Express “metal” cards – whether Gold or Platinum. You can imagine the waiter straightening a bit or the shopkeeper lifting her eyebrows when you hand over the centurion-emblazoned card with the metallic sheen. Perhaps the status buzz comes from the cards being “charge” rather than “credit,” which means the bill is paid at the end of the month. The message is always: “I can afford this meal (or purchase) and not go into crazy long-term debt to pay for it.”

    When it comes time to choose your metal, though, how do the gold or platinum cards compare? The American Express Gold card costs $160 per year while the Platinum card has an eye-popping $450 per year fee. Over 10 years of use, the Platinum will cost you an additional $3,480. And a side-by-side comparison confirms that the Platinum card is basically a Gold card with some attractive add-ons. As a result, make your decision based on whether you will use the add-ons year in and year out. If so, the Platinum card may well be worth the higher annual fee.

    How the Cards Compare on Basics

    Here’s a quick breakdown in which the basic similarities in the two cards are apparent:

    Gold: $0 first year, $160 each additional year

    Platinum: $450 per year

    Membership Rewards points

    Both cards: 1 point for each dollar spent, 2 points per dollar for bookings on the American Express Travel website

    Car rental loss and damage insurance

    Gold: covers damage to cars with manufacturer’s retail prices under $50,000

    Platinum: covers damage to cars valued under $75,000

    Travel accident insurance

    Gold: up to $100,000

    Platinum: up to $500,000

    Gold: replacement cost up to $1,250 for carry-on, $500 for checked baggage

    Platinum: replacement cost up to $3,000 for carry-on, $2,000 for checked baggage, for a combined total of $3,000

    Purchase Protection covering the loss, theft or damage of items in the first 90 days after purchase

    Gold: up to $1,000 per incident, $50,000 per year

    Platinum: up to $10,000 per incident, $50,000 per year

    Entertainment Access and Preferred Seating programs

    Both cards offer equal benefits for these American Express-exclusive programs.

    So far, the cards stack up as similar (with the noted differences and limitations – generally more generous with the Platinum card). And as we said, it’s the add-ons of the Platinum card that add value and can bring down the cost.

    Airline Fee Credit. You know those pesky incidental fees that your airline tacks on – checked baggage fees, inflight refreshment fees? The Platinum card will pay those up to $200 per year total. You can only designate the fees on one airline, but this payback certainly helps cut the cost of the card.

    Airport Lounge Access. This can save substantial sums for travelers who will be using these lounges. Platinum cardholders and two guests get complimentary access to American Express’s own The Centurion Lounges (6 airports currently with more coming). Other American Express cardholders pay $50 per visit. Platinum cardholders also get free access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta (a value of $50 per visit or $450 per year) and Airspace Lounges (4 airports, and you can bring two guests for free). Finally, the Platinum card allows you to enroll in Priority Pass Select, a program that provides free access for the primary cardholder to an additional 850 airport lounges worldwide (some 100 airline lounges are excluded in the Platinum card version of the program). Ordinarily, that is a privilege that costs several hundred dollars a year.

    No foreign transaction fees. Other American Express cards charge a 2.7% transaction fee for foreign currency transactions. Platinum cards have no fee – a savings of $27 for every $1,000 spent overseas.

    Free Boingo Wireless. Boingo offers more than 1 million wireless hotspots worldwide for your iPad or laptop and Platinum cardholders get free access, saving from $5 to $59 per month depending on regions travelled.

    Global Entry or TSAPre. These two U.S. government programs promise expedited screening at border points entering the U.S. and at airport security, respectively. Platinum cardholders can get the 5-year membership fees reimbursed for one of the programs ($100 for Global Entry or $85 for TSAPre✓).

    While those benefits can add up to substantial savings and may defray the hefty annual fee, there are other benefits that add value and status for Platinum cardholders.

    Starwood Preferred Guest Gold. Starwood Hotels offers its own Preferred Guest Gold status with such perks as late checkout and enhanced rooms. Ordinarily, the chain requires 10 stays annually before granting that status, but Platinum cardholders are automatically enrolled at that level.

    By Invitation Only Events. American Express annually throws special events such as tours of the Napa Valley wine region with a famous wine writer or a four-day weekend at the Super Bowl. These big events come with big price tags for the cardholder, but promise entry to what American Express describes as “once-in-a-lifetime experiences.” You decide how much these matter to you.

    Finally, for those who can afford to live at a Very VIP level, the Platinum card offers a slew of extras such as discounts on private jet and limousine rentals and a dedicated concierge service to assist in managing travel details. American Express even holds reservations at exclusive restaurants worldwide should you require feeding when you travel.

    There is a downside to both the Gold and Platinum cards, and that is in the area of points. Some people value accumulating points when they purchase and the two metal cards are somewhat lean in that area. While both offer points for purchases and double points for booking through the Amex Travel website, many other cards are more generous.

    American Express itself offers an enhanced Gold card that is far more generous with points – the Premier Rewards Gold card costs $30 more than the standard Gold card ($195 per year), but provides triple points on all flights booked directly with the airlines, and double points on purchases at U.S. supermarkets and gas stations. If you live for points, that may be the credit card for you.

    So which is the best card for you? If you travel by air a lot every year – either domestically or internationally – the American Express Platinum card carries strong advantages, particularly with its airport lounge access, hotel benefits, zero foreign exchange fee and concierge service. If you value the perks, the increased insurance coverage and spend at a high enough level to justify the high fee, go Platinum. But if you only travel occasionally and mostly use your card for local purchases, the Gold card will probably suffice for your metal fix.

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