Navigating the Benefits of Delta Credit Cards

Originally posted on 07/17/2023 @ 3:52 AM

If you’re a frequent flyer with Delta Airlines, then owning a Delta-branded credit card can offer significant value and numerous perks that enhance your travel experience. These cards, issued by American Express, range from entry-level to premium, each with a unique set of benefits tailored to different user needs. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, there were four main types of Delta credit cards: the Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card, and the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card.

  1. Earning Miles: One of the primary benefits of all Delta credit cards is the ability to earn miles on every purchase. The earning rates vary depending on the card, but typically include 2x miles on Delta purchases and at least 1x mile on everything else. Higher-tier cards may offer increased earning rates for specific categories, such as dining and hotels.
  2. Welcome Bonuses: Delta credit cards frequently offer substantial welcome bonuses, provided the cardholder meets a certain spending requirement within a set period after opening the account. This could be a quick way to earn a large number of miles that can be used towards future Delta flights.
  3. Free Checked Bags: Cardholders of certain Delta credit cards, starting from the Gold level, are granted the benefit of the first checked bag free on Delta flights. This can represent a significant saving, especially for frequent travelers.
  4. Priority Boarding: Delta SkyMiles Gold, Platinum, and Reserve cardholders are entitled to Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights, giving them an advantage in securing overhead cabin space.
  5. In-Flight Discounts: All Delta credit cards offer in-flight savings in the form of a 20% statement credit for purchases made during Delta flights, including food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  6. Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs): For high-tier cards like the Platinum and Reserve, cardholders can earn Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after meeting certain spending thresholds. MQMs are crucial for those looking to attain Delta’s Medallion elite status, which offers even more benefits like complimentary upgrades and increased mileage earning rates.
  7. Companion Certificates: The Platinum and Reserve Delta credit cards offer an annual companion certificate, which allows cardholders to bring a companion on a round-trip domestic flight for only the cost of taxes and fees. The Reserve card’s certificate is even valid for First Class tickets, providing an incredible value.
  8. Delta Sky Club Access: The premium Delta SkyMiles Reserve cardholders also enjoy complimentary access to Delta Sky Club lounges, where they can relax and enjoy amenities before their flights.

Remember, the specific benefits and details can vary over time and may be different as of the current date. Therefore, it’s always important to check the most up-to-date terms and conditions from the official Delta or American Express websites before applying for a card. The right Delta credit card can certainly enhance your travel experience with Delta Airlines, offering perks and rewards that go beyond the convenience of making purchases.

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