Delta skymiles gold vs platinum

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Delta skymiles gold vs platinum

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.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express – Review

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American ExpressLearn More

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 60,000 SkyMiles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months (limited time offer); $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase with the card within the first 3 months
  • Rewards: 2 SkyMiles per $1 spent on Delta purchases; 1 SkyMile per $1 spent on all other purchases; 10,000 bonus MQMs and 10,000 bonus SkyMiles when you spend $25,000 per year; another 10,000 bonus MQMs and 10,000 SkyMiles when you spend $50,000 per year
  • Benefits: One Companion Certificate per year; one free checked bag per flight; priority boarding; 20% discount on in-flight purchases; discounted Delta Sky Club access for cardholder and two companions
  • Fees: No foreign transaction fee; greater of $5 or 3% for balance transfers and cash advances
  • Annual Fee: $195
  • Credit Needed: Excellent

Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is an airline credit card with an extremely generous portfolio of perks for frequent Delta flyers and a travel rewards program that favors Delta purchases. The rewards program is similar to the American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card (and its cousin, Gold Delta SkyMiles for Business). However, Platinum Delta SkyMiles’s frequent flyer perks definitely step it up from the Gold level, and the rewards program has an added component that rewards heavy spending with accelerated progress toward Delta’s Medallion status thresholds.

Though Platinum Delta SkyMiles is a generous travel rewards credit card by any stretch of the imagination, it’s also pricey: its annual fee is $195, and is not waived in the first year (as is the case with many less-generous travel rewards cards). If you want this card in your wallet, you need to use it often enough – and fly Delta frequently enough – to make it worth the cost.

This card has a three-part welcome offer. First, when you spend at least $1,000 within three months of opening your account, you receive 35,000 bonus Delta SkyMiles. That’s good for at least one domestic economy round-trip ticket, and possibly as many as three domestic economy one-ways. Second, the same $1,000 spend entitles you to 5,000 bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). And third, you get a $100 statement credit when you make a Delta purchase with your card within the same three-month period.

To truly understand how this card works, you need some background on Delta’s Medallion status program.

Medallion has four tiers: Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. All confer generous benefits for frequent Delta flyers, including complimentary class and preferred seating upgrades, accelerating MQM and SkyMiles earnings, priority boarding, and waived fees (including baggage and standby). Medallion benefits become more attractive as you ascend the tier ladder, with Diamond status (the highest status) conferring a complimentary Delta Sky Club (airport lounge) membership and two Global Entry application vouchers.

To achieve Medallion status levels, you need to combine adequate MQMs (miles calculated as a multiple of total distance flown on each flight, usually 100% of distance in economy and 200% of distance in first class) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs – basically, any Delta flight segment) and adequate Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs – dollars spent with Delta, including base fares, surcharges, and certain upgrades) within a calendar year. You then earn Medallion status for the remainder of the current year and all of the subsequent year.

Silver Medallion status requires 25,000 MQMs or 30 MQSs and $3,000 MQDs; Gold Medallion status requires 50,000 MQMs or 60 MQSs and $6,000 MQDs; Platinum Medallion status requires 75,000 MQMs or 100 MQSs and $9,000 MQDs; and Diamond Medallion status requires 125,000 MQMs or 140 MQSs and $15,000 MQDs.

SkyMiles Rewards and Redemption

Every $1 spent on Delta purchases (including airfare, lounge passes, in-flight purchases, and other incidental expenditures) earns 2 Delta SkyMiles, with no limits on how much you can earn. All other purchases earn an unlimited 1 SkyMile per $1 spent. Accumulated SkyMiles can be redeemed for Delta airfare.

Redemption thresholds vary, but generally start at 10,000 SkyMiles for some domestic economy one-ways and 12,500 SkyMiles for a broader range of domestic flights with more flexible travel dates. Keep in mind that Delta’s redemption tables are not set in stone – certain travel times, dates, and destinations (for example, peak-season weekend flights versus off-season weekday flights to popular vacation destinations) may require more SkyMiles.

Point values are likewise variable – they generally range between $0.005 to $0.02 at redemption, but can be higher or lower. In general, expensive long-haul flights offer better value than cheap short-haul flights. If you don’t have enough SkyMiles to redeem for a full fare, you can use Delta’s Pay With Miles feature (an exclusive benefit for Amex Gold and Platinum Delta SkyMiles cardholders) to reduce the cost of your desired fare. Pay With Miles redemptions require at least 5,000 SkyMiles and always value miles at $0.01 apiece, so a 10,000-SkyMile Pay With Miles redemption equates to a $100 fare reduction.

It’s also possible to redeem SkyMiles at the Delta SkyMiles MarketPlace for merchandise, gift cards, and special experiences (such as musical performances). However, MarketPlace redemptions usually undervalue miles – in many cases, at significantly less than $0.01 apiece. On the other hand, MarketPlace redemption thresholds are lower – sometimes as low as 2,000 SkyMiles.

When you renew your card (at your annual renewal date), you get one companion certificate, good for one domestic economy round-trip flight. To use the certificate, the designated companion needs to be traveling with the primary cardholder, who must purchase the ticket (and pay any government taxes and fees on the companion fare) with his or her Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card.

Annual SkyMiles and MQMs Bonus

When you spend at least $25,000 on your card (in total purchases) in a calendar year, you get 10,000 bonus Medallion Qualification Miles and 10,000 bonus SkyMiles. When you clear the $50,000 annual spending threshold within a calendar year, you get an additional 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 SkyMiles, for a total potential spending bonus of 20,000 MQMs and 20,000 SkyMiles.

MQD Waiver With Sufficient Spending

If you spend at least $25,000 in a calendar year with your Platinum Delta SkyMiles card and have earned the requisite MQMs or Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQSs) to reach a given Medallion status level, Delta waives that level’s MQD requirements. For instance, if you’ve accumulated the 50,000 MQMs necessary for Gold Medallion status, you don’t need the $6,000 MQDs normally required to complete Gold qualification.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles has a host of additional Delta travel benefits, including one free checked bag for the cardholder ($25 value per one-way segment); up to three discounted Delta Sky Club (airport lounge) passes on every trip ($29 per pass, regularly valued at $5&); 20% off all in-flight purchases; and priority boarding (prior to general group boarding).

This card features several general travel benefits that don’t require cardholders to fly with Delta. These include complimentary loss and damage insurance for rental cars paid in full with the SkyMiles card; baggage insurance for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage; 24/7 global assistance for travelers more than 100 miles from home; and 24/7 roadside assistance.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles has several benefits and protections for shoppers, all underwritten by American Express. These include extended warranties (up to one year) on items with original warranties of five years or less, and purchase protection (reimbursement) for broken or stolen items within three months (90 days) of purchase.

There is a $195 annual fee, but no foreign transaction fee. Balance transfers and cash advances both cost the greater of $5 or 3%. Late and returned payments both cost $37.

This card requires excellent credit.

  1. MQM Bonus and MQD Waiver Dramatically Accelerate Medallion Status Progress. The Platinum Delta SkyMiles card’s power really awakens once you cross the $25,000 annual spending threshold, and redoubles when you hit $50,000. $25,000 in annual spending earns a 10,000 MQM bonus and an MQD waiver, meaning you only have to worry about MQMs or MQSs when striving for the next Medallion status level. If you hit $50,000, you earn 20,000 MQMs – 80% of the way to Silver, or Gold from Silver, or Platinum from Gold.
  2. Strong Welcome Offer. Platinum Delta SkyMiles’ welcome offer is very generous: 35,000 bonus SkyMiles (good for up to six domestic one-ways) and 5,000 MQMs when you spend at least $1,000 in three months, and a $100 statement credit when you make a Delta purchase within three months of signing up for the card. This compares favorably to most comparable travel cards – including Gold Delta SkyMiles from American Express, whose 30,000-SkyMile intro bonus ($1,000 spend requirement within three months of signing up) is paired with a smaller ($50) Delta purchase statement credit and no MQM bonus.
  3. Companion Certificate Benefit Every Year. Every year in which you remain a Platinum Delta SkyMiles cardholder in good standing, you get a complimentary Companion Certificate that can be redeemed on any domestic round-trip route – a potential value of $500 or more, depending on the route. There’s no associated spending requirement, aside from paying the annual fee and covering the cost of your own ticket when traveling with your companion, so you never have to worry about qualifying for this benefit. Many competing travel cards, including Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, don’t offer companion fare benefits.
  4. Annual SkyMiles Bonus Worth 1 Free Domestic Round Trip or 2 Free One-Ways. If you reach the $50,000 spending threshold, you’ll earn enough bonus SkyMiles (20,000) to cover one free domestic round trip or two free domestic one-ways. You’ll likely be well on your way to higher Medallion status tiers by the time you hit $50,000, so look at this benefit as one more opportunity to bask in your status.
  5. Discounted Airport Lounge Passes. This card gives you up to three discounted Delta Sky Club passes on every trip, good for you and up to two companions – worth up to $90 every time you fly. Many competing cards don’t offer any sort of complimentary or discounted airport lounge access.
  6. No Foreign Transaction Fee. Platinum Delta SkyMiles does not charge a foreign transaction fee – a major perk for cardholders who regularly travel outside the United States. Since Delta serves an array of international destinations (particularly in Europe), this could certainly come in handy.
  1. High Annual Fee. Platinum Delta SkyMiles has a high annual fee – $195 – and it’s not waived in the first year of card membership. If you don’t travel frequently or spend heavily, it’s not worth trying to qualify for this card.
  2. Airfare Rewards and Redemption Exclusive to Delta. Platinum Delta SkyMiles (and the SkyMiles rewards program in general) restricts SkyMiles redemptions to Delta airfare only. If you live near an airport that’s poorly (or not at all) served by Delta, consider a general purpose travel card such as Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Citi ThankYou Premier Card.
  3. Points Accumulate Slowly on Non-Delta Spending. Platinum Delta SkyMiles earns just 1 SkyMile per $1 spent on non-Delta purchases – a mediocre rate that’s bested by many competing general purpose cards, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred (2 points per $1 spent on restaurant dining and travel purchases) and Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® (2 points per $1 spent on everything). However, SkyMiles can be – though aren’t always – worth more than points earned with those two cards.
  4. MarketPlace Redemptions Undervalue SkyMiles. Though SkyMiles’ value varies based on the underlying cash price of the flights for which they’re redeemed, it’s generally a good deal to redeem them for airfare. That’s not the case with non-airfare redemptions at the SkyMiles MarketPlace, which typically value points at well under $0.01 apiece. Unless you have more SkyMiles than you can possibly redeem for airfare, and don’t plan to travel extensively anytime soon, it’s not advisable to blow your points at the MarketPlace. In fact, if you find yourself earning SkyMiles faster than you can redeem them for airfare, it’s probably time to get another credit card anyway. American Express’s Membership Rewards program – whose member cards include Amex Platinum, Amex Premier Rewards Gold, and Amex EveryDay Preferred – is much more versatile, and values non-airfare redemptions far more reasonably.

Delta is a major U.S. airline with several hubs and hundreds of destination cities. Indeed, much of the U.S. population lives close to an airport served by Delta or its affiliates. These consumers comprise Platinum Delta SkyMiles’ target audience – though, given its stringent credit requirements and limited appeal to people who don’t spend heavily, it’s only appropriate for a small fraction of them.

On the other hand, if you belong to the relatively small cohort of U.S. consumers who don’t live within easy reach of a Delta airport, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express definitely isn’t appropriate for you. The good news is that there’s probably at least one airline credit card – or perhaps a general purpose travel card, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred – that is a better fit.

Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is an excellent card for frequent, heavy-spending Delta flyers who want to accelerate their progress toward Delta’s Medallion status tiers, which confer tremendously generous benefits that increase in value as you rise through the ranks. On the other hand, Platinum Delta SkyMiles is decidedly not meant for people who don’t spend enough to offset the high annual fee, nor those who aren’t especially loyal to Delta.

Accelerated Medallion status, an excellent welcome offer, the annual Companion Certificate, SkyMiles bonuses, airport lounge benefits, generous Delta and general travel benefits, and no foreign transaction fees are all great. Limited rewards portability, poor redemption values at SkyMiles MarketPlace, slow SkyMiles accumulation on non-Delta spending, and no automatic loyalty status all hurt. Overall, a very good card for heavy-spending Delta loyalists.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express vs. Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: Do rewards outweigh fees?

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Most major airlines offer mileage cards, but Delta SkyMiles® credit cards are a bit different from their counterparts.

Although the majority of the cards’ perks are familiar, such as priority boarding and first checked bag free, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express stand out from the crowd because they let you accrue two kinds of miles: traditional miles and Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs).

In order to properly take advantage of all the perks available, it’s important to understand the distinction between miles and MQMs, and know how they are both earned.

Miles: Earned based on ticket price and SkyMiles® status. You can earn up to 75,000 miles per ticket purchased, and they never expire.

Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs): Earned based on distance flown and fare class paid. Used to determine your Medallion Status.

Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs): Earned based on segments flown.

Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs): Earned based on your annual spending on Delta flights and on most of Delta’s partner flights.

Medallion Status: Earned through a combination of annual spending and miles/segments flown. Broken into four tiers: Silver (25,000 MQMS or 30 MQSs and $3,000 MQDs or MQD waiver), Gold (50,000 MQMs or 60 MQSs and $6,000 MQDs or MQD waiver), Platinum (75,000 MQMs or 100 MQSs and $9,000 MQDs or MQD waiver) and Diamond (125,000 MQMs or 140 MQSs and $15,000 MQDs or MQD waiver). Benefits vary by tier but include unlimited upgrades and waived baggage fees.

When comparing these cards, you’ll notice that many of the perks are the same, which can make it challenging to choose between the two. To make the best choice, you’ll want to pay special attention to how the annual fees weigh against the awards you’re likely to earn.

From our partner

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

From cardholders in the last year

17.24% - 26.24%* Variable

$0 intro, $95 after first year

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after you spend an additional $1,000 with your new Card within your first 6 months. Offer expires on 4/11/2018.
  • Earn 2 miles on every eligible dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on other 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.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.

* See the online provider's credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the provider's website.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

From cardholders in the last year

17.24% - 26.24%* Variable

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within 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. Offer expires on 4/11/2018.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on other 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 the online provider's credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the provider's website.

At a glance: Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express vs. Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Make at least $25,000 in purchases and your Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) requirement for Medallion status will be waived for the year

Companion certificate for one domestic round trip

Spend $25,000 per year to get 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs

Spend $50,000 per year to get another 10,000 bonus miles and another 10,000 MQMs

1 per dollar spent on non-Delta purchases

2 per dollar spent on Delta purchases

1 per dollar spent on non-Delta purchases

2 per dollar spent on Delta purchases

Looking for the card that will earn you with the most travel rewards? You’re not alone. According to a 2017 U.S. News survey, free flights are the reason for 43 percent of airline credit card applications.

Both of these SkyMiles® credit cards offer bonus miles. But exactly how far will the bonus miles take you?

One-way domestic selected flights in the continental U.S., as well as selected flights to Canada and Alaska, can be purchased starting at 10,000 miles, plus taxes and fees. While there may be some variation, that means you could potentially earn five or more of these one-way flights just for opening either SkyMiles® credit card.

SkyMiles® members can redeem miles for Award Travel. One-way domestic selected flights in the continental U.S., as well as selected flights to Canada and Alaska, can be purchased starting at 10,000 miles, plus taxes and fees. While there may be some variation, that means you could potentially earn five or more of these one-way flights after opening either SkyMiles® credit card and meeting the spending requirements within the first three months.

You can also use miles to pay for or reduce the price of your international flights at a rate of $50 for every 5,000 miles.

Platinum cardholders get a slightly better incentive to sign up, as well as the option to earn more perks based on spending. When you make $25,000 in annual purchases with your Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, you’ll earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles and MQMs.

Be sure not to overlook the fees involved. The $195 you’ll pay in annual fees for the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express could be used elsewhere to buy you a low-cost, round-trip flight once a year. Unless you’re aiming to achieve Medallion status, you probably won’t see the payoff for these fees.

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express offers a more attractive alternative. Although you’ll pay a $0 intro, $95 after first year annual fee, the benefits probably outweigh the cost.

Best for rewards points and benefits

Both of these cards earn the same number of miles based on purchases. While additional perks are awarded to Platinum card holders who spend at least $25,000 a year, you’ll have to do more than just spend to see real benefits. The bonus miles and MQMs you’ll earn after spending $25,000, along with your MQMs from the welcome offer, still bring you 10,000 MQMs short of reaching the first Medallion status tier.

How many miles in flight would it take to earn those 10,000 MQMs and obtain Silver status? It varies. MQMs are awarded based on the distance flown and class fare you fly, and earned at either 50% or 100% of fare, depending on fare class. You’ll also need to earn the required MQDs.

Heads up: What to consider when applying for a Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

Make sure you shop around for the best deal. American Express, which co-brands the SkyMiles® credit cards with Delta, changes its welcome offers frequently, so if you apply at the right time you could be rewarded with a lot more miles and MQMs.

You’ll also want to do a little prep work before you apply. If you’re interested in obtaining elite status, make sure your current spending and flying habits roughly match what will be required to receive your desired SkyMiles® benefits.

Another detail you’ll want to consider is that in order to cash in on the welcome offer, this must be your first time opening up the card for which you are applying. If you already have a Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card but want to learn about other travel rewards options, look below to see a breakdown of some additional travel credit cards.

Bottom line: Which card is right for you?

When it comes to the Delta SkyMiles® credit cards, many of the perks are identical. The choice between the two comes down to which rewards matter most.

For those looking for Delta SkyMiles® perks, bear in mind that these are not the only two credit cards you can use to accrue Delta SkyMiles®. Delta also offers the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express for those willing to pay a more substantial annual fee in exchange for access to additional perks. SkyMiles® business cards are available as well.

You can also earn Membership Rewards® points with other American Express® cards and transfer those rewards points to Delta SkyMiles® on a 1:1 basis for a small fee.

At a glance: Other travel rewards cards to consider

Spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months to earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs

Complimentary Delta Sky Club® Access

For a limited time, spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months to earn 50,000 bonus miles. Plus earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after you make an additional $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 6 months (offer expires 4/11/2018).

Make a Delta purchase within the first 3 months to earn a $50 statement credit

$0 intro, $95 after first year annual fee

For a limited time, spend $3,000 in purchases in the first N/A months to earn 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs (offer ends 4/11/2018).

Make a Delta purchase within the first 3 months to earn a $100 statement credit

Spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months to earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points

Spend $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months to earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points

Up to $15 in monthly credits toward Uber rides in the U.S., plus a $20 bonus in December

**Rewards mentioned in table are not exhaustive.

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Gold Delta SkyMiles AmEx vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred

For frequent flyers on Delta Air Lines, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card both offer value, but in vastly different ways.

On traditional credit card features, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card edges the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. It offers better ongoing rewards for the same annual fee.

But the analysis doesn’t stop there for regular Delta flyers. Co-branded airline cards like the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express have an ace in the hole: free checked bags and other goodies that general travel cards can’t offer. And its sign-up bonus can be far more valuable.

At a high level, the choice here is between a co-branded airline card and a general travel card. In that analysis, the answer remains the same: If you fly primarily with one airline, you might get more value from that carrier’s card, especially if it lets you avoid checked-bag fees, which Delta’s does. If you appreciate flexibility in your airline choices, a general travel card with better rewards for everyday spending is the way to go.

The net result is that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is likely to be the better choice for most. But details matter. Here’s how the cards stack up side by side.

Why Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card wins for most

If you’re comparing these two cards, you probably want to book Delta flights with your rewards at least occasionally. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can’t do that directly with the airline, as you can with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. But there are two good ways to book Delta flights with Chase points.

  • Chase Travel Center: You can use your points to book Delta flights, or any other travel, through Chase’s online portal, which is similar to travel aggregators like Kayak and Orbitz. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders get a value of 1.25 cents per point when they redeem for travel through the portal. (You also can use Chase Ultimate Rewards points for cash back, gift cards or Amazon purchases, at a decent rate of a penny a point.)
  • Transfer points to a partner: You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to several airline and hotel partners on a 1:1 basis. Partners include Southwest, United, British Airways, Air France/KLM, Marriott and Hyatt. Although Delta isn’t a partner, there’s a workaround: You can transfer points to a Delta partner airline, such as Air France or Korean Airlines, and book the Delta flight through that carrier.

Delta SkyMiles earned with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express are more restrictive. They are best used for one purpose: buying flights on Delta and its partner airlines, especially on business-class international flights.

Both of these cards have premium versions that charge higher annual fees but offer more perks and rewards. They include the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠, the Delta Reserve Credit Card and Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card.

You’re likely to earn spending rewards faster on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card because it gives you 2 points per $1 spent on all travel, not just Delta purchases, which is the case with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also pays 2 points per dollar for restaurant purchases.

Both cards earn 1 mile or point per dollar on all other purchases.

Where Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express has an edge

The sign-up bonus for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is more valuable, assuming you earn it. Here are the bonuses:

  • Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: Limited Time Offer: Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Terms Apply..
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express has a lower spending requirement for getting the full sign-up bonus. Both cards offer additional bonuses:

  • On the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, you can earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first four months.
  • With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can earn an extra 5,000 points, worth $62.50 if redeemed for travel, for adding an authorized user.

NerdWallet places a higher average value on SkyMiles, 1.8 cents, than on Chase Ultimate Rewards points, 1.25 cents. And the math shows that the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express with its current bonus offer comes out ahead, $1,130 to $687.50, if you maximize your bonus and redeem points for travel.

Cardholders get their first checked bag free if they use the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express to pay for the flight — as do up to nine companions on the same reservation. Bag fees normally cost $25 each way, so free checked bags for a family of four saves $200 on each round trip. That perk alone generates tremendous value that keeps giving year after year — if you’re the type to check bags.

Cardholders and companions on the same reservation also get Zone 1 priority boarding, allowing them on the plane earlier than most. That means if you have just a carry-on bag, you’re more likely to find room in the overhead. You have to decide what value that holds.

The card also gets you a discount on a day pass to Delta Sky Club lounges, costing $29 instead of $59, as well as 20% off some in-flight purchases.

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express could be the right choice if you regularly fly from airports where Delta has a near monopoly and you have little choice in airlines — and if you value a bigger sign-up bonus, free checked bags, priority boarding and an occasional trip to the airport lounge.

But for most people, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, with its superior flexibility and ongoing rewards, will be the best choice in the long run.

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 MileCards.com'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.



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