Best Delta credit cards of 2023

Written by Rebecca Safier / January 13, 2023
Reviewed by Robin Saks Frankel

Delta and its partner airlines offer flights to more than 1,000 destinations in over 60 countries around the world. And Delta offers more than just reach: In 2022, it was the top-performing U.S.-based airline for punctuality, according to a report from OAG, a travel data provider. 

If you’re a frequent Delta flyer, you might be interested in opening a Delta credit card to earn rewards on your travel. The best Delta credit cards earn points on flights, restaurants, and other purchases, and come with perks to enhance your travel experience.
Be sure to compare these cards to those on our lists of the best credit cards to view them outside of the context of this list of cards. Although Delta offers a wide range of co-branded cards, these may not always be the market's best offerings or right for your particular needs.

Delta offers four personal credit cards: 

  • Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card

  • Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card 

  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card 

The annual fees on these cards range from $0 to $550, with the pricier cards offering bonus perks like a free companion ticket and access to the Delta Sky Club. 

We analyzed Delta’s credit cards to identify the best cards for different Delta flyers and curate this list of their most valuable features. Here are our selections for the best Delta credit cards of 2023.

Inside this article

  1. Best Delta credit cards of 2023
  2. Best for earning SkyMiles without an annual fee: Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card
  3. Best for a free checked bag and priority boarding: Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card
  4. Best for a companion certificate: Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
  5. Best for maximum Delta perks: Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
  6. Compare the best Delta credit cards
  7. Should you get a Delta credit card?
  8. Guide to Delta credit cards
  9. Methodology
  10. Frequently Asked Questions

Best Delta credit cards of 2023

  • Best for earning SkyMiles without an annual fee: Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card

  • Best for a free checked bag and priority boarding: Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

  • Best for a companion certificate: Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

  • Best for maximum Delta perks: Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

Best for earning SkyMiles without an annual fee: Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card

Why it’s the best

If you’re looking for a Delta rewards card with no annual fee, check out the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card. This card offers 2 Delta SkyMiles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and restaurants and 1 mile on everything else with no limit or expiration. 

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • No annual fee 

  • Welcome bonus of 10,000 miles 

  • No foreign transaction fees 

Cons:

  • No 0% introductory APR offer 

  • Welcome bonus is lowest among Delta’s credit cards 

  • Lacks lounge access, priority boarding, and other airline perks 

More details

  • Annual fee: $0

  • APR: 19.99%-28.99% variable. 

  • Foreign transaction fees: None. 

  • Rewards: Earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, at restaurants. worldwide, and on takeout and delivery in the U.S.; 1 mile per dollar on other eligible purchases. 

  • Welcome bonus: Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 on your card in the first six months. 

  • Other perks and benefits: Receive 20% off in the form of a statement credit on

    eligible in-flight Delta purchases, get up to $50 off a flight booking on Delta.com

    for every 5,000 miles you redeem.

Best for a free checked bag and priority boarding: Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

Why it’s the best

If you want some instant airline perks, consider the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card. With the card’s annual fee come extras such as a free checked bag on Delta flights for you and up to eight additional traveling companions and priority boarding. If you fly Delta just a few times per year, these benefits could make the card worth the carrying cost. 

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Free checked bag and priority boarding on Delta flights 

  • Solid welcome bonus

  • No foreign transaction fees 

Cons:

  • Annual fee after the first year 

  • No Delta lounge access 

  • Earns only 1 mile per dollar on most purchases 

More details

  • Annual fee: $0 for the first year, $99 per year after that.

  • APR: 19.99%-28.99% variable. 

  • Foreign transaction fee: None.

  • Rewards: Earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, at U.S. supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and 1 mile per dollar on other eligible purchases.

  • Welcome bonus: 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in your first six months.

  • Other perks and benefits: $100 credit for future Delta flights after you spend $10,000 on your card in a calendar year.

Best for a companion certificate: Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

Why it’s the best

In exchange for a $250 annual fee,  the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card offers a free checked bag and priority boarding on Delta flights, plus an annual companion certificate. This alone can make the card worth the price. The card also offers a generous welcome bonus and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs).

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Annual round-trip companion certificate for domestic flights

  • Valuable welcome bonus of miles and MQMs 

  • Free checked bag and priority boarding 

Cons:

  • Annual fee of $250 

  • Access to Delta SkyClub isn’t free 

  • Some purchases only earn 1 mile per dollar 

More details

  • Annual fee: $250 

  • APR: 19.99% to 28.99% variable. 

  • Foreign transaction fee: None. 

  • Rewards: Earn 3 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2 miles per dollar at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets, and 1 mile per dollar on other eligible purchases.

  • Welcome bonus: 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in your first six months.

  • MQM bonus: Earn 10,000 MQMs with Status Boost each year after you spend $25,000 on your card, up to two times. 

  • Delta SkyClub access: Discounted rate of $39 per person for you and up to two guests. 

  • Perks and benefits: Free round-trip domestic main cabin companion certificate each year, free checked bag, priority boarding, application fee credit of up to $100 every four years for Global Entry or up to $85 every four and a half years for TSA PreCheck. 

Best for maximum Delta perks: Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

Why it’s the best

With a steep annual fee of $550, the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card is Delta’s highest-tier personal credit card and offers a variety of perks and benefits. Along with free access to the Delta SkyClub lounge, you’ll get an annual companion certificate for domestic flights and are eligible for a valuable welcome bonus of travel miles and MQMs. This card is primarily aimed at those who want Delta SkyClub lounge access, and are willing to pay for it via ownership of this card.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Free access to Delta SkyClub

  • Annual companion ticket in First Class, Comfort+ or domestic main cabin for round-trip domestic flights

  • Generous welcome bonus of both miles and MQMs 

Cons:

  • Steep annual fee 

  • Free lounge access limited to cardholder

  • Some purchases only earn 1 mile per dollar 

More details

  • Annual fee: $550 

  • APR: 19.99%-28.99% variable.

  • Foreign transaction fee: None.

  • Rewards: Earn 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

  • Welcome bonus: 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $5,000 in purchases in your first six months.

  • MQM bonus: Earn up to 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 in purchases in a calendar year, up to four times per year.

  • Lounge access: Complimentary access to the Delta SkyClub, Escape Lounges, and The Centurion Lounge for one person. You also get two one-time Delta Sky Club guest passes every year. 

  • Perks and benefits: One round-trip companion certificate each year (can be used in Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+, or domestic main cabin), first free checked bag for you and up to eight traveling companions, priority boarding, application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Terms apply.

Compare the best Delta credit cards

Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express CardDelta SkyMiles Gold American Express CardDelta SkyMiles Platinum American Express CardDelta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
Welcome offer10,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases in your first 6 months40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases in your first 6 months50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases in your first 6 months50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases in your first 6 months
Annual fee$0$0 the first year, then $99$250$550
APR19.99%-28.99% variable 19.99%-28.99% variable19.99%-28.99% variable19.99%-28.99% variable
Delta SkyMiles earned per dollar 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, and on takeout and delivery in the U.S.; 1 mile per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. supermarkets, and on takeout and delivery in the U.S., 1 mile per dollar spent on other eligible purchases3 miles per dollar spent on Delta and hotel purchases, 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. supermarkets and on takeout and delivery in the U.S.; 1 miles per dollar spent on other eligible purchases 3 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, 1 mile per dollar spent on other eligible purchases
Free checked bagNoYesYesYes
Companion certificateNoNoYes, in the domestic main cabinYes, in domestic first class, Comfort+ or main cabin
Credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application feeNoNoYesYes
Entry to Delta Sky ClubNoNoReduced rate of $39 per personYes
Discount on in-flight purchases 20%20%20%20%
Medallion status boostNoNoEarn 10,000 MQMs after $25,000 in purchases (twice per year)Earn 15,000 MQMs after $30,000 in purchases (four times per year)
Foreign transaction feeNoneNoneNoneNone

Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card 

The Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card is a straightforward choice if you’re looking to earn Delta SkyMiles on a card with no annual fee. While you may enjoy the points boost on Delta purchases and restaurants, there are other travel rewards cards that may offer more lucrative rewards for your spending.

Annual fee: $0 

Rewards: Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, and on takeout and delivery in the U.S.; 1 mile per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. 

Welcome bonus: Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases in your first 6 months.

Foreign transaction fee: None. 

Other benefits and drawbacks: Although the Delta Blue Amex card doesn’t offer the same perks as some of Delta’s other cards, it does give you 20% savings on in-flight Delta purchases in the form of a statement credit. 

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

While the Gold American Express Card starts charging an annual fee in your second year with the card, it comes with a free checked bag perk for you and up eight traveling companions on your reservation to that can make the cost well worth it.

Annual fee: $0 for the first year, followed by $99 per year. 

Rewards: Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. supermarkets, and on takeout and delivery in the U.S., 1 mile per dollar spent on other eligible purchases. 

Welcome bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases in your first 6 months.

Foreign transaction fee: None. 

Other benefits and drawbacks: Along with 20% savings on in-flight purchases, the Gold card comes with priority boarding and a free checked bag when you fly Delta. If you spend $10,000 on purchases in your first year, you can earn a $100 flight credit for future travel on Delta. The card also offers an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. 

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

While the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex card has a hefty annual fee of $250, it comes with a variety of perks for cardholders, including a free checked bag, priority boarding, 20% savings on in-flight purchases, and an annual companion certificate for a friend to fly for free domestically. 

Annual fee: $250

Rewards: Earn 3 miles per dollar spent on Delta and hotel purchases, 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. supermarkets, and on takeout and delivery in the U.S., 1 mile per dollar spent on other eligible purchases. 

Welcome bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases in your first 6 months.

Foreign transaction fee: None.
Other perks and benefits: The card grants you and two guests access the Delta SkyClub lounge for $39 per person. If you spend $25,000 on your card in a calendar year, you can also earn up to 20,000 Medallion Qualification Miles, which can bring you closer to achieving Medallion status and enjoying the travel perks that come with it. 

Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

The Reserve card offers a variety of perks and benefits, including free access to the Delta SkyClub. The annual fee on the card costs less than purchasing a Delta SkyClub membership. You’ll also be eligible for complimentary upgrades, when available. This card is primarily aimed at those who want Delta SkyClub lounge access, and are willing to pay for it via ownership of this card.

Annual fee: $550 

Rewards: Earn 3 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, 1 mile per dollar spent on other eligible purchases.

Welcome bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases in your first 6 months.

Foreign transaction fee: None.

Other perks and benefits: The card includes free access to the Delta SkyClub, Escape Lounges, and the Centurion Lounge, a free checked bag, priority boarding, credit for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, and 20% savings on in-flight purchases. You’ll receive an annual companion certificate valid for a domestic round-trip flight in first class, Comfort+, or the main cabin.

Should you get a Delta credit card?

“Delta Air Lines is consistently one of the most popular airlines among travelers. If you love Delta, a Delta Air Lines credit card from American Express can enhance and optimize your Delta SkyMiles earning, redeeming, and flying. From a big welcome offer to extra benefits like priority boarding, free checked bags, and extra status miles, you can save hundreds of dollars annually with any of these cards. To make the right choice, think about your next year of travel, how often you’ll fly on Delta, what benefits you like most, etc., then match that up with the right card,” --Zac Hood, travel rewards educator and founder of the app, TravelFreely.com

If you frequently fly with Delta, a Delta credit card could make your travel experience more enjoyable and you could earn valuable points to use for future Delta flights. Depending on the card you choose, you could enjoy perks such as free checked bags, priority boarding, and access to the Delta SkyClub lounge. 

Plus, you’ll earn rewards back on your purchases and get 20% savings in the form of statement credit on in-flight purchases you make on snacks, drinks, and other items. At the same time, you may be able to find other travel rewards cards with even better rewards structures. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card, for example, offers 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on dining, groceries, and select streaming services, 2 points per dollar on travel, and 1 point per dollar on other purchases and has a $95 annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card has a $550 annual fee but earns 3 points per dollar on travel and dining and 1 point per dollar on other purchases.  

If you want a travel card that offers more points on your purchases, a Delta credit card might not be the way to go. But if you frequently fly with Delta or one of its partner airlines, a Delta Blue, Gold, Platinum, or Reserve credit card could be a valuable addition to your wallet. 

Guide to Delta credit cards

What are Delta SkyMiles and how do they work?

Delta SkyMiles are the rewards you earn when you charge purchases to your Delta credit card. You can redeem SkyMiles for travel with Delta or one of its partner airlines. You must have a minimum of 5,000 points to redeem, which equates to $50 toward your ticket. 

How to get a Delta credit card

You can apply for a Delta credit card on the American Express website. The application asks for personal details, such as your name, Social Security number, and total annual income. After submitting your application, American Express will run a hard credit inquiry to check your credit, which could ding your credit score by a few points. You should get a decision on whether or not you qualify for the card in as little as 30 seconds. 

Benefits for Delta flyers with a Delta credit card

Delta flyers with a Delta credit card enjoy a number of travel benefits, depending on which card they hold. All cards, for instance, offer 20% back in the form of a statement credit on in-flight purchases. The Gold, Platinum, and Reserve cards come with free checked bags, and the Reserve card additionally offers free access to the Delta Sky Club lounge, among other benefits. 

Maximizing the value of your Delta credit card

You can maximize the value of your Delta credit card by utilizing your travel benefits and charging your purchases strategically. Most Delta cards, for instance, offer 2 or 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants. You can also get the most out of a Delta card if you qualify for the rewards bonus within your first six months of card ownership. 

Methodology

Sound Dollar’s credit cards team has spent hours analyzing hundreds of credit cards. We took a deep dive into the details of each product and that analysis, combined with our years of experience covering credit cards, informed us as we developed these credit card rankings. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I get a free checked bag with a Delta credit card?

Three of Delta’s four personal credit cards come with a free checked bag when you fly Delta: the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card, Platinum American Express Card, and Reserve American Express Card. The only Delta card that doesn’t come with a free checked bag is the no-annual-fee Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card. 

What credit score do I need for a Delta credit card?
What are Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD)?
How many Delta SkyMiles do you need for a free flight?
Can you use Delta SkyMiles on other airlines?

About the Authors

Headshot of personal finance writer Rebecca Safier

Rebecca Safier

Rebecca has been writing about personal finance and education since 2014. Formerly a senior student loans and personal loans writer for Student Loan Hero and LendingTree, Rebecca now covers a variety of personal finance topics, including budgeting, saving for retirement, home buying and more.

Full bio
Robin Saks Frankel

Robin Saks Frankel

Robin Saks Frankel is a credit cards and personal finance writer and editor for Sound Dollar. Previously, she covered credit cards and related content at other national web publications including Forbes Advisor, NerdWallet, Bankrate and HerMoney. She's been featured as a personal finance expert in outlets including CNBC, Business Insider, CBS Marketplace, and has appeared on or contributed to The New York Times, Fox News, CBS Radio, ABC Radio, NPR, International Business Times and NBC, ABC and CBS TV affiliates nationwide.

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