Verdict: The American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card stands among the top airline-rewards cards on the market. There are several reasons for this: The card offers a generous amount of bonus miles for new applicants, allows users to build air miles fairly quickly and provides other perks that other airline cards don’t offer. Only a rather high annual fee lowers the value of this otherwise strong card.
Overview: Unlike most airline credit cards, the American Express Gold Delta card rewards bonus airline miles as soon as cardholders make their first purchases. Many other cards require cardholders to spend a certain amount of money over a four-month period before they award their bonus miles. Like most airline cards, the Gold Delta card allows users to earn credits for free air travel at the rate of one free mile for every dollar charged.
How This Card Works: The due date for each payment is at least 25 days after the close of each billing cycle. It’s important for cardholders to make this date: Those who pay late will see their interest rate shoot up to a penalty rate of 27.24 percent. The rate will this level, too, if cardholders make a payment that has to be returned.
Travel and Shopping Benefits: The American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles card awards holders with 20,000 bonus airline miles after their first purchase. Cardholders then earn one mile for every dollar they charge on their card. Cardholders are allowed to earn up to 100,000 miles each year.
Cardholders who add two American Express credit cards to their account will earn 5,000 additional bonus miles.
Finally, the card proivdes holders with one free checked bag on every Delta flight. That’s no small benefit; it’s worth up to $50 on every roundtrip flight.
Fees: The Gold Delta card comes with an initial interest rate of 14.50 percent. Other fees are a bit lower than standard for this category of credit card: Cash advance fees run $5 or 3 percent of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater. Penalty and late payment fees run as high as $35. The biggest drawback to this card is its $95 annual fee. This fee, though, is waived for the first 12 months.
- 20,000 bonus miles after first purchase with card.
- Earn miles for every dollar charged.
- Low initial interest rate.
- $95 annual fee.
- Interest rate can soar to 27.24 percent with late payment.
- Cap on amount of miles you can earn in a year.