Why You Maybe Shouldn’t Upgrade A Delta Card
When Delta and American Express increase the welcome offer bonuses on the cards, they are clearly looking to get new cardholders in the door. But they’re also shelling existing cardholders with offers to upgrade to a higher-tier card, too.
Should you take them up on an offer? It’s almost always a bad idea. Taking that upgrade will make you ineligible for earning a big welcome bonus offer on the same card later on.
Let’s say you’ve got the Delta Gold SkyMiles American Express Card and get an offer via email or snail mail to upgrade that card to the Delta Platinum SkyMiles American Express Card. More often than not, these upgrade offers pale in comparison to the elevated bonuses we often see on the suite of co-branded Delta credit cards.
Because of the way Amex’s application rules work, even if you have the Delta Gold Card, you would still be eligible to apply for the Delta Platinum card outright, and earn the full welcome offer bonus of 90,000 SkyMiles at least so long as you haven’t earned the bonus on that card previously.
Upgrade instead, and you won’t be able to get a big welcome bonus on that card in the future.
Or maybe you’re tempted by the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card. You could upgrade your existing Delta card but any upgrade offer would give you only a few bonus SkyMiles, if any. Or you could apply for the Reserve Card outright and earn 50,000 SkyMiles & 10,000 MQMs after spending $3,000 in the first three months.
How To Search With Price Calendar
Rather than starting your search from the Delta.com homepage, you’ll want to begin by selecting your Delta companion certificate. And you’ll want to do it on desktop not via the mobile app.
Log in, click your name, and select My Profile. If you’ve got an unused Delta companion certificate, you’ll see them under Certificates, eCredits & Vouchers along with any outstanding Delta eCredits from canceled flights.
From there, just enter the route you’re looking for and remember, these companion certificates are only valid on flights within the continental U.S. Alaska and Hawaii are off-limits, as are the U.S. territories. Make sure to click My dates are flexible before starting your search.
Unfortunately, there are no fares eligible to use a companion ticket on these flights from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Denver on Sept. 8, returning Sept. 14. Just a week ago, Delta would have merely shown a blank screen with grayed out availability. But here’s what you get now.
You can take things even further by selecting Price Calendar after you search, pulling up a full month’s worth of flights for whatever trip length you set.
These flexible dates and price calendar functions have been around for years, whether you’re looking for a cheap flight using cash or trying to redeem some Delta SkyMiles. By looping that in with companion tickets, Delta just made it much easier for flyers to find flights that are eligible to put those certificates to use.
Choosing A Delta Skymiles Credit Card Offer Gold Vs Platinum Vs Reserve
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. Citi is an advertising partner.
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card offers the most value compared with the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card.
Delta and American Express offer a few co-branded airline credit cards with rewards associated with the Delta SkyMiles® loyalty program. Each of the cards has a different rewards and bonus structure as well as a big difference in annual fee.
The best Delta SkyMiles card for practical travel benefits is the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card.
Offering a free checked bag and priority boarding on Delta, this card charges a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.
Also Check: What Channel Is Gold Rush On
American Express Delta Platinum Card
The Delta Platinum is back with another outstanding sign-up bonus offer:
- Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after you make $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months. Read more and learn how to apply here.
- After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year
- $250 annual fee
- Earn 2x miles on Delta purchases, 1x on all other purchases
- Free first checked bag on Delta flights
- Annual companion certificate for domestic main cabin fares
Its possible that this offer is less desirable than the one I signed up for which was for 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 bonus MQMs. But for most folks, the redeemable miles are probably more valuable. This welcome offer is worth at least $1,000, in my opinion.
Earning Miles With Gold Delta Amex Card
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card offers:
- 2x SkyMiles for purchases directly with Delta, including for flights, Delta Sky Club memberships, seat upgrades, and more
- 2x SkyMiles at restaurants globally
- 2x SkyMiles at U.S. supermarkets
- 1x SkyMiles on all other purchases
While its nice that the card has some bonus categories, I dont find the bonuses to be particularly compelling. There are still better cards out there for airfare purchases, restaurant purchases, and grocery store purchases.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
If you are going to put spending on the card, the good news is that there are no foreign transaction fees with the Gold Delta Amex, so you can use the card abroad without paying those high fees.
Also Check: Is The Delta Gold Card Worth It
First Checked Bag For Free On Every Delta Flight
When you hold the Delta SkyMiles Gold card, you’ll get your first checked bag for free on every Delta flight for you and up to eight other passengers, so long as they’re booked on your reservation.
Considering that checking a bag on a Delta flight costs $30 each way , this benefit alone can save you a ton of money if you check a bag when you travel. One hitch: Your Delta Gold Card will not cover the fee if your bag weighs more than 50 pounds.
Best of all, you don’t even need to pay with your Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card to get the free luggage benefit. You’ll get a free bag just for holding the card and having it attached to your SkyMiles account when you book. That’s great, as it means you can pay for your airfare with another top travel rewards credit card that will earn you more points or get you some level of travel insurance protection.
Delta Skymiles Gold Amex Review: Worth The Fee For Delta Fans
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list ofour partnersandhere’s how we make money.
Recommended Reading: 18k Gold Necklaces For Women
Understanding The Fine Print
Aside from the features, bonuses and offers, it is important to understand the fees, interest rates and reward earning rates. This way, you can determine whether it is a good addition to your wallet and will be helpful in managing your finances.
- Card Feature
- 12 Miles per $1
- Airline Benefits
- Rewards Rate on Online Shopping1x
- Rewards Rate on TV, Phone, Internet Services1x
- Rewards Rate on Air Travel2x
The different features, fees and offers can be found on the card issuers website. If you already have a credit card, you can check your latest billing statement, mobile app or online account. You can also find specific information about different credit cards using the maintained by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Delta Skymiles Gold American Express Card: This Amex Middle Child Offers Decent Rewards
If you like to fly Delta a few times a year, this card’s welcome offer and rewards tier might be a perfect match.
CNET editors independently choose every product and service we cover. Though we can’t review every available financial company or offer, we strive to make comprehensive, rigorous comparisons in order to highlight the best of them. For many of these products and services, we earn a commission. The compensation we receive may impact how products and links appear on our site.
We are an independent publisher. Our advertisers do not direct our editorial content. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in editorial content are those of the authors alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the advertiser.
To support our work, we are paid in different ways for providing advertising services. For example, some advertisers pay us to display ads, others pay us when you click on certain links, and others pay us when you submit your information to request a quote or other offer details. CNETs compensation is never tied to whether you purchase an insurance product. We dont charge you for our services. The compensation we receive and other factors, such as your location, may impact what ads and links appear on our site, and how, where, and in what order ads and links appear.
Also Check: How To Get Gold Out Of Rocks
Delta Gold Amex Welcome Bonus: 40000 Skymiles
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Amex has a welcome offer of 40,000 bonus SkyMiles after spending $1,000 within the first three months. I value SkyMiles at 1.1 cents each, so that bonus is worth ~$440, which is nice.
The welcome bonus on the card is once in a lifetime, so its not available to you if you currently have the card, or if youve had the card in the past. However, note that you can get each flavor of the Delta Amex card, so you are eligible for this card if youve had the Platinum or Reserve, or if youve had any of the business versions. You can read more about Amexs general application restrictions here.
Our Take On The Delta Gold Skymiles American Express Card
Huge Delta fan or not, the Delta Gold Card is one of the best travel rewards credit cards that doesn’t charge an annual fee for the first year of card membership. In our mind, it’s one of the best co-branded airline credit cards, period.
It allows you to earn a big SkyMiles welcome bonus without paying anything out of pocket in your first year. It essentially lets you try it before you buy it.
Even if you decided to cancel your Delta Gold card before your second year of card membership, the bonus SkyMiles you earned would be yours to keep. They would not be clawed back once you closed the card.
But one thing to consider with the Delta SkyMiles Gold card is that it isn’t necessarily the best option for your everyday spending. There are cards that are more rewarding for your everyday spending, like the non-Delta American Express® Gold Card.
Earning points that are not tied to one specific airline is typically a better idea in the long run. It helps keep your points diversified and they will simply lose value at a slower rate.
But if you want a card that will cover the cost of checked bags and allows you to earn a ton of Delta SkyMiles that won’t cost you anything out of pocket in year one, you simply won’t find a better option than the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card.
to learn more about the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card.
Read Also: What Is The Price Of 22 Carat Gold
Delta Skymiles Gold Vs Amex Gold Spending Example
Imagine youre the average family of four with two kids ages 12 and 13. According to the United States Department of Agriculture , you might spend an average of $14,272.80 per year on food while following a moderate budget. Lets also imagine you spend $4,800 per year on dining out , $4,000 on flights with Delta each year and $12,000 per year on miscellaneous purchases.
With the Delta SkyMiles Gold, you would earn 58,145 milesworth approximately $872.18 within a yearat a 1.5 cents per mile valuation:
- 28,545 miles on U.S. supermarket spending
- 9,600 miles on dining out
- 8,000 miles on Delta flights
- 12,000 miles on other spending
With the American Express Gold Card, you would earn 100,291 Membership Rewards pointsworth up to $2,005.82 within a year:
- 57,091 points on U.S. supermarket spending
- 19,200 points on dining out
- 12,000 points on Delta flights
- 12,000 points on other spending
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
If you’re an avid traveler but not a brand loyalist, your best overall option is probably the Chase Sapphire Preferred. With an annual fee of $95, you earn 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel booked through Chase, 2x points on other travel purchases and 3x points on dining, online grocery purchases and select streaming services. The welcome offer — 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months — is worth $750 in travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
The main advantage of going with a non-airline travel rewards credit card is that the points are more flexible, so you’re not constrained to a specific airline . With Chase, for example, you can transfer points to one of 11 airlines and 3 different hotel chains. You also get a boost in value when redeeming them for travel through Chase.
For more details, check out our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Also Check: Why Are Gold Coins More Expensive
How It Compares With Other Delta Cards
In the family of Delta cards, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is the mass-market option. It offers richer benefits than its $0-annual-fee counterpart, the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card. But you get fewer benefits than you would with the more premium cards, which are the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. For more analysis about how these cards stack up, read NerdWallets comparison of Delta credit cards.
Heres a quick look at what these cards offer:
$0 Introductory Annual Fee
The card has a $0 introductory annual fee. After that, it’s just $99 each year .
But even in year two and beyond, you can easily come out ahead on that annual fee if you check a bag on at least two round-trip flights a year. Since each bag costs $30 each way, that’s $120 total in savings more than zeroing out the card’s $99 annual fee. If you’re flying to Europe, the cost of checking a bag jumps to $60 each way, meaning one round-trip will more than cover the cost.
Recommended Reading: Where To Find Gold In California
How To Maximize Your Rewards
Getting the most from this card begins, of course, with ensuring you spend the required $2,000 within the first three months and earn the 70,000-mile bonus. After that, be sure to use the card for all of your Delta purchases to earn 2 miles per dollar, including at restaurants and supermarkets. You might also use it for non-Delta purchases as well, and earn 1 mile per dollar spent, although you may well have a card that offers a better reward than that.
Keep track of this card’s perks and rewards, since they change from time to time. And keep them in mind when you travel, to boost the value you get from this card. For example, checking your first bag for free on each flight allows you to skip a $30 charge. You receive a 20% savings when you use this card for Delta in-flight purchases on food, beverages, and audio headsets.
Lastly, be careful about how you redeem your miles. As a rule, you’ll get the most for your money by redeeming your miles for flights. By our calculations, redeeming for gift cards, hotel stays, and merchandise will yield less for your money.
Delta Skymiles Blue American Express Card
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
If you’re only flying once or twice a year, the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is probably your best bet. You won’t be responsible for an annual fee and you’ll still get some modest rewards when you use it to book future Delta flights.
The Delta SkyMiles Blue has similar rewards and perks to the Gold, with 2x miles on restaurants and Delta purchases and 20% back on eligible Delta in-flight purchases. The welcome offer is smaller, however, and the Blue doesn’t have an annual fee. You also won’t get that first checked bag for free.
The difference in welcome offers is substantial , but if you don’t fly Delta frequently enough to warrant the annual fee, the Blue may be your best bet.
Also Check: Is It Good To Invest In Gold
Consider Your Credit Score
One thing that you will need to consider when going this route is that applying for a new credit card outright will result in a hard credit pull.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. While your credit might take a temporary 5-10 point hit, your score will ultimately go up if you use that new line of credit responsibly.
When you upgrade or downgrade an account, it’s different. Banks call it a product conversion. Essentially, you are just moving an existing line of credit to a different credit card product from that bank. From the bank’s perspective, it isn’t a new line of credit at all and thus they do not need to pull your credit score again.
Of course, the trade-off here is that you either won’t earn any points or miles, or much fewer than you could by just applying for the card outright as a new account.