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Blue Delta SkyMiles vs. Gold Delta SkyMiles: Which Offers More Miles?

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Delta and American Express recently updated their co-branded credit cards with new benefits and welcome offers. Both the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card were impacted, and remain great credit cards for consumers who fly on the airline. Deciding which card is best for you boils down to several factors, including annual fees and benefits.

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is the only $0 annual fee card that earns Delta miles with every purchase. However, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card has more benefits, such as priority boarding and free checked luggage.

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card vs. Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Here’s how the two cards stack up:

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card vs. Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Welcome offer Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
Rewards Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and at restaurants, now worldwide. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
Free checked luggage No First checked bag free
Priority boarding No Priority boarding for Main Cabin 1
Foreign transaction fee None None
Annual fee $0 $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
Rates & Fees To see rates & fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card please click here. To see rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card please click here.

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card pros and cons

Disclosures |
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
15.74%-24.74% Variable
$0
Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and at restaurants,
  • Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar at restaurants, now worldwide.
  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • Terms Apply.
720 850

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Pros

$0 annual fee. Even if you don’t fly Delta regularly, there is an upside to holding a card that earns miles with no costs to justify.

Solid benefits. Receive a 20% statement credit when using the card for in-flight purchases of food, beverages and audio headsets. The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card also comes with purchase protection, extended warranty and exclusive access to ticket presales and cardmember-only events, including Broadway shows, concert tours and family and sporting events.

Foreign transaction fees. In terms of foreign transaction fees, there are None. Before the update of the card in January 2020, there was a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%.

Cons

No airline benefits. Unlike other Delta-branded cards, the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card doesn’t offer you a free checked bag, nor does it come with priority boarding. You can’t buy a discounted Delta Sky Club® day pass with this card and it doesn’t help you earn Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) that go toward elite status.

Meager travel benefits. The card only comes with secondary rental car insurance and access to the Global Assist Hotline.

To see rates & fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, please click here.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card pros and cons

Disclosures |
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
15.74%-24.74% Variable
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn now. Travel when you're ready. After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to inspire your next travel.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms Apply.
660 850

How LendingTree Gets Paid

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Pros

Free checked bag and priority boarding. These are two great benefits for frequent Delta flyers. When you provide your Delta SkyMiles® number during booking, the free checked bag benefit applies to you and up to nine people traveling with you on the same reservation. If you were traveling with three other people each checking one bag, you would save $240 in one round trip, or $30 for each person, one way.

With priority boarding, you and your party of up to nine on the same reservation can board with Main Cabin 1 priority boarding after Medallion elite and Delta Comfort+® flyers, but before everyone else in the main cabin and basic economy.

Pay with cash and miles. You can use the Pay with Miles feature on both Delta cards, which allows you to use a mix of cash and miles to pay for airfare. For example: if your flight costs $250, you could apply 20,000 Delta SkyMiles to pay $200 of the airfare and pay the remaining $50 in cash.

$100 Delta flight credit. If you plan on using your Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card heavily, you can earn a $100 Delta flight credit after spending $10,000 on your card in a calendar year.

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99. This is a great way to give the card a try for the first year without any hard cost.

Cons

No help with elite status. This is the only Delta consumer credit card with an annual fee that doesn’t help you earn toward elite status. The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card ($550 annual fee) offers bonus award miles and MQMs — based on distance flown and your fare class — for meeting spending goals. If you fly enough to earn Medallion elite status and want the boost toward status with spending, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card may not offer the best overall value.

No companion certificate. The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is also the only one in the Delta card family that doesn’t offer a companion certificate while charging an annual fee of $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99. The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, on the other hand, offers a domestic first class, Delta Comfort+ or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate every year. If you take a flight on Delta at least once a year with someone else, the companion certificate can offer great value.

To see rates & fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.

Disclosures |
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
15.74%-24.74% Variable
$550
Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases. Earn 1X Mile on all other
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Complimentary access into the Delta SkyClubs® for you when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
660 850

How LendingTree Gets Paid

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Is there another no-annual-fee alternative for earning Delta SkyMiles?

If you don’t fly Delta regularly, a co-branded Delta card may not be the best fit for you. You may want to consider a no-annual-fee card where the rewards you earn can be turned into miles.

For example, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express allows you to earn Membership Rewards that can be transferred to the Delta SkyMiles program.

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express offers 2x points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), and 1x points on other purchases Plus, you can also earn a 20% Membership Rewards bonus after using the card a minimum of 20 times a month. This card comes with $0 annual fee.

Should you get a co-branded airline credit card?

Co-branded airline credit cards are a great option for some travelers, but not all. If you enjoy flying one airline primarily because of your location or preference, it can make sense to have a credit card co-branded with a particular airline for benefits such as free checked bags.

For example, it can make sense for consumers based in Atlanta or Salt Lake City to have a Delta credit card because the majority of flights going out of those airports are Delta. However, if you live in Los Angeles or New York City — you can fly nearly any airline. But what if you want the flexibility to use miles for free flights on various airlines?

In that case, it can be more fruitful to have a travel rewards credit card like The Platinum Card® from American Express or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. With these cards, you will earn American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards® respectively. These rewards can be transferred to a long list of frequent flyer programs. This allows for more flexibility in case you prefer to fly different airlines. However, know that The Platinum Card® from American Express has an annual fee of $550 and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a $95 annual fee.

Disclosures |
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
See Pay Over Time APR
$550
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties . Learn More.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
720 850

How LendingTree Gets Paid

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

To see rates & fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

Disclosures |
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
on Chase's secure site
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
750 850

How LendingTree Gets Paid

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Which card is right for you?

On the surface, it would seem that the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is the better offer because of the larger welcome offer. However, it all depends on how often you travel and your travel needs.

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card with its $0 annual fee has its own charm, but it doesn’t have any real tangible flight benefits other than the 20% back on in-flight purchases.

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card comes with a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99. However, this can easily be made back in checked bag fees saved, the Delta flight credit and the broader earning categories when you spend on the card.

If you fly more than three times per year on Delta with checked bags and spend consistently using credit cards, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card will most likely be the best choice. If less than that, the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card may be the better option.

The information related to The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.