Choosing a Delta SkyMiles Credit Card offer? Gold vs. Platinum vs. Reserve

Choosing a Delta SkyMiles Credit Card offer? Gold vs. Platinum vs. Reserve

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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.

However, if you’re looking for more compelling Delta perks, you may want to consider upgrading to one of the premium Delta SkyMiles credit cards. If you’re choosing between the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, note that the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card is best for everyday spending while the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is best for lounge access.

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.

Best Delta credit card offer: Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card vs. Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card vs. Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Welcome offer40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.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.
Earning ratesEarn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels. Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Annual fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99. (See rates and fees)$250 (See rates and fees)$550 (See rates and fees)
Companion ticketN/ADomestic main cabin (government taxes and fees up to $75 apply)Domestic first class, Delta Comfort+ or main cabin (government taxes and fees up to $75 apply)
Status boost
  • N/A
  • 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to 2 times per year
  • Earn 12,500 MQMs for every $25,000 you spend on purchases on your Platinum Card, up to 2 times in 2021.
  • Skip MQD requirements for status by spending $25,000 in a calendar year on your card.
  • 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to 4 times per year
  • Earn 18,750 MQMs for every $30,000 you spend on purchases on your Reserve Card, up to 4 times in 2021.
  • Skip MQDs requirement forPlatinum, Gold or Silver status by spending $25,000 in a calendar year on your card.
BaggageFirst checked bag free (Delta flights only)First checked bag free (Delta flights only)First checked bag free (Delta flights only)
Other travel perks
  • $100 Delta flight credit toward future travel after you spend $10,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year
  • Pay with miles
  • Priority boarding (main cabin 1)
  • Terms apply
  • Up to $100 fee Credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
  • $39 Delta Sky Club Access
  • Priority boarding
  • (main cabin 1)
  • Terms apply
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club Access
  • Complimentary Centurion Lounge® Access
  • Upgrade Priority for Medallion Members
  • Pay with Miles
  • Priority boarding (main cabin 1)
  • Terms apply
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Why trust us

We’ve analyzed the three Delta SkyMiles cards in order to help consumers choose the Delta credit card offer that will offer them the most value. We have compared each card by a number of factors. Some of these include annual fee, welcome offer, earning rate, travel perks and more. Our recommendations are not influenced by our advertisers.

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Compare Delta SkyMiles credit cards: Rewards

When comparing the three Delta SkyMiles cards, one of the greatest distinguishing factors is the rewards. It's not surprising that as the cards increase in annual fee, they also offer more significant rewards.

  • For example, The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card offers basic rewards on varied spending categories plus some general travel perks, like a free checked bag and priority boarding on Delta.
  • The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card tops that with even more rewards on the same spending categories plus the added travel perks of a companion certificate and TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit.
  • The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card actually offers the lowest amount of rewards points in varied spending categories but includes and improves on the travel perks of the other two cards, even adding specialty lounge access to its list of benefits.

Here is a breakdown of each card’s rewards per spending category:

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Direct Delta purchases2X miles3X miles3X miles
Hotels1X miles3X miles1X miles
U.S. supermarkets2X miles2X miles1X miles
Restaurants2X miles2X miles1X miles
Other purchases1X miles1X miles1X miles

Compare Delta SkyMiles credit cards: Welcome offer

Another major difference between the three Delta SkyMiles cards is their welcome offers. Each card has a different welcome offer, the face value of which, unsurprisingly, increases with the caliber of each card.

With this calculation in mind, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card actually presents the most value with its welcome offer of any of the cards.

At first glance, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card seems to have the second highest welcome offer. However, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card also has the highest annual fee. Once each card’s annual fee is deducted from the value of its welcome offer, we can determine the overall value of each offer.

Here is a breakdown of each card’s welcome offer:

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Welcome bonus40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.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.
Estimated value$520$650$750
Annual fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.$250$550
$910$920$490

Compare Delta SkyMiles credit cards: Annual fee

Perhaps the largest distinction between the three Delta SkyMiles cards is with their annual fees. The difference in annual fee for each card is significant, and can be a deciding factor when choosing which card to get.

It's important to weigh each card's annual fee against its benefits to determine the overall value of the card. In this case, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card comes out on top with the highest value of the three cards as its significant benefits — like Delta Sky Club access and a companion certificate that applies to first class airfare — offset its high annual fee.

Here is a breakdown of each card’s annual fee:

Annual fees vs. value of benefits*

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Annual fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.$250$550
Benefits
  • First checked bag free = $120
  • $100 Delta flight credit = $100
  • First checked bag free = $120
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry = $100
  • $39 credit for Delta Sky Club access = $40
  • Companion certificate (domestic main cabin) = $200
  • First checked bag free = $120
  • Companion Certificate (domestic first class, Delta Comfort+ or main cabin) = $500
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club Access = $545
Net value$121$210$615

*Based on two roundtrip flights per year

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

The largest distinction between the Delta SkyMiles cards is the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card versus the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. The primary differences lie in each card’s annual fees, welcome offers and allotted benefits.

Best for practical travel benefits: Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is better for the casual Delta flyer, who appreciates the practical travel perks of a free checked bag, a solid welcome offer and priority boarding on Delta, but doesn’t want to pay a higher annual fee for extra benefits.

The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, on the other hand, requires a higher annual fee, but comes with solid benefits for frequent Delta fliers. It also offers more points per dollar for a variety of spending categories, making this a better card for day-to-day spending. If you fly Delta often, you may want to consider an upgrade from American Express Delta Gold to Platinum.

With each SkyMiles point worth around 1.3 cents each, the bonus miles alone between the two cards compensate for the difference in annual fees, assuming you reach the minimum spending requirement. The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card charges a $250 annual fee and the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card charges a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.

While it's hard to put a precise value on MQMs, 20,000 MQMs is about 80% of the MQMs needed to move from Silver to Gold Medallion status or Gold to Platinum Medallion status with Delta.

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please click here.

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Best overall value: the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Compared with the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card is the superior option when it comes to everyday spending. As long as you can meet the spending requirements, the larger welcome offer compensates for the additional cost of the annual fee — even in year one where the difference in annual fees is greatest. That, on top of the companion certificate and other travel benefits offered by the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, makes this the better option when it comes to maximizing the value of your credit card.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card vs. Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

When comparing the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card vs Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, it’s important to note that the differences between these cards are much more minor than between the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card cards. That said, we believe that, most of the time, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card will still give you the most bang for your buck.

Best for everyday spending: Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

If you travel often, but only sometimes like to take advantage of the airport lounge, there’s no question the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card will offer you the most value. With an annual fee of $250, which is still high but moderate compared to the $550 for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card affords you nearly all the same benefits (and in some cases more) than the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card.

Compared to the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card gives you Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels. Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.

On the downside, its annual companion pass is limited to domestic travel in the main cabin, which can be especially limiting if you prefer to fly in first class.

The bottom line: The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card gives you more points on different spending categories and the annual fee is lower, but you have to pay for lounge access and your companion pass is limited to the main cabin.

Best for airport lounges: The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

If you’re a truly frequent Delta flyer and consistently take advantage of airport lounges, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card may be worth it for you. This card gives you complimentary access into Delta Sky Club and Centurion® lounges, whereas the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card only gives you a $20 discount on Delta Sky Club passes.The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card also offers an upgraded companion certificate, which allows for rountrip domestic travel in first class, Delta Comfort+® or main cabin, whereas the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card limits you to the main cabin only.

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please click here.

The bottom line: Even if lounge access is a major priority for you, consider whether or not you’d be saving or losing money by choosing the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card over the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. With the $300 difference in annual fees, you may just be better off paying the $39 each time you want to use the lounge.

Which Delta SkyMiles credit card should you get?

Which Delta SkyMiles credit card you get should depend on how frequently you fly Delta. If you fly once and a while but often enough to enjoy the benefits of a free checked bag and priority boarding, stick with the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card.

However, if you fly Delta more frequently it may be worth it to pay a higher annual fee in order to receive the benefits of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, which include the same perks as the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card plus things like a companion certificate, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, and more points on varied spending categories.

Finally, if you frequently fly Delta and you’re an airport lounge fanatic, you should consider the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. Though there are a few perks that elevate the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card from the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, namely lounge access, you’ll need to decide whether or not the extra $300 in annual fees is truly worth it.

FAQs

What is the best Delta credit card offer?

The best Delta credit card offer for you will depend on your personal needs and spending habits. However, we believe that overall, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card is the best offer for frequent Delta fliers who are looking for a great card for everyday spending.

Is it worth getting a Delta credit card?

Yes, it’s worth getting a Delta credit card if you frequently fly Delta. A Delta credit card can grant you access to exclusive airport lounges, offer you companion passes, free checked bags and priority boarding on Delta, and more. However, if you rarely fly Delta, a Delta credit card probably won’t be as valuable for you.

How much is 60,000 Delta SkyMiles worth?

With each Delta SkyMiles point worth around 1.3 cents each, 60,000 Delta SkyMiles is worth around $780.

How much is 50,000 Delta SkyMiles worth?

With each Delta SkyMiles point worth around 1.3 cents each, 50,000 Delta SkyMiles is worth around $650.

What is the difference between Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card?

The biggest differences between the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card versus Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card are with their annual fees, welcome offers and benefits. The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card comes with basic Delta benefits and a low annual fee. The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card charges a higher annual fee but comes with a higher welcome offer and benefits that include all the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card benefits plus things like a TSA PreCheck credit and a companion certificate.

What are the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card requirements?

In order to be approved for the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, you’ll need a credit score of at least 700.

What are the Delta Amex card options?

Amex offers three Delta credit cards for consumers: The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. The Amex card hierarchy starts with Gold at the bottom, then increases to Platinum and Reserve is at the top. Note that when comparing the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card versus Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card actually offers better value. These American Express credit card colors are gold, platinum and purple.

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please click here.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).