Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: Earn Delta SkyMiles without an Annual Fee
October 9, 2017
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Recently, Delta Air Lines and American Express partnered up to offer a brand new co-branded credit card – the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. While the signup bonus on this card isn’t anything to write home about, it does offer one benefit many rewards consumers look for – no annual fee. Beyond its lack of an annual fee, this card also offers an interesting earning structure that could work well for consumers with certain spending habits.
Before you sign up for the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, it’s smart to learn all about the card’s benefits and how it works. Keep reading to learn more.
Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
- Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- No Annual Fee.
- Earn 2 miles per dollar at US restaurants.
- Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
- Receive a 20% In-Flight 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.
How the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express Works
Among travel credit cards, the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is fairly cut and dry. The card doesn’t offer a lot of special benefits or perks, but it doesn’t charge for them, either.
Once you sign up for your card and receive it in the mail, you’ll earn 2 miles per $2 spent at U.S. restaurants, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. The miles you earn are Delta SkyMiles, meaning they are good for redemption on Delta Air Lines and some of their partners.
Beyond the earning structure, you’ll also earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. You’ll also get a 20 percent discount on certain Delta in-flight purchases, although you’ll be charged full-price upfront and get the discount in the form of a statement credit.
Beyond those details, there is very little to know about or keep track of with this card. And since it doesn’t charge an annual fee, you’ll never have to wonder if keeping your Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is “worth it.”
In that sense, the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is probably best for people who want to earn Delta miles without an annual fee, and without really caring if they’re maximizing their rewards potential.
Where the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express Falls Short
While it’s hard to argue against earning airline miles without an annual fee, there are definitely areas where the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express comes up short. For starters, having the ability to earn 1 Delta SkyMile for each dollar you spend isn’t that great since Delta miles aren’t that valuable to begin with. Further, the signup bonus won’t get you far since most Delta redemptions start at 30,000 miles or more for a round-trip flight.
Sure, you get 2 miles per $1 spent on U.S. restaurants, but there are plenty of cash back cards that offer 2 percent cash back you can use on any type of travel – and not just on Delta flights.
Further, the Delta SkyMiles program has its own drawbacks, including the fact that airline loyalty program doesn’t even have an award chart. Without an award chart, you may have no idea how many miles you need to save up for a redemption. And, even if you do have a general idea, there’s no guarantee your flight won’t surge in cost before you have a chance to book.
The final reason the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express isn’t best for everyone is the fact that it’s just not very flexible. You’ll only earn Delta miles with this card, which means you’ll be able to book with Delta Air Lines and specific partners and that’s about it.
You can also redeem Delta miles for merchandise in the SkyMiles marketplace, but that is rarely a good deal due to the poor redemption value you’ll get out of your points.
Who the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is Good For:
- Someone who is loyal to Delta Air Lines
- Anyone who dines out at U.S. restaurants frequently
- A person who wants to earn Delta miles exclusively who also doesn’t want to pay an annual fee
Who Should Skip the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express:
- Anyone who would be better off earning flexible cash back
- Someone who has the option to fly on multiple airlines
- Big spenders who might be better off with a more flexible rewards card
Should You Get a Flexible Rewards Card Instead?
Since the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is fairly limiting – and since it doesn’t offer a lot of bang for your buck, it might be smart to consider alternative options. If you’re willing to pay an annual fee especially, you may discover there are myriad travel and airline credit cards that could leave you better off.
One good example is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card. This card offers bigger signup bonus (50,000 points worth $625 in travel after you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening), slightly better earning potential since it offers 2x points on all travel and dining purchases and 1x points on everything else, and several different ways to use your points.
As an airline credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® lets you transfer points to several notable airline loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio. Options include Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Korean Air, Air France/Flying Blue, and plenty of other options. But you can also transfer points to popular hotel programs like Marriott, IHG Rewards, Ritz Carlton, and Hyatt. As a last resort, you also have the option to use your points to book any travel through the Chase travel portal, which works a lot like Expedia.com. You will pay a $95 annual fee, although the fee is waived the first year.
If you’re a big spender who could earn enough points to offset a $95 annual fee after the first year, it’s easier to see how the Chase Sapphire Preferred® might be a better option. It’s also important to note how this card lets you transfer to multiple airline programs instead of just one.
The Bottom Line
If you’re considering the new Delta credit card, take some time to see what else is out there. If you want more flexibility and the option to rack up more points over time, you may find there are several different flexible rewards cards and travel credit cards out there that will help you earn more miles over time.
On the flip side, the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is one of the few airline credit cards without an annual fee. If you love flying Delta Air Lines and want to earn miles, using this card is certainly better than nothing.
Only you can decide which card is the best option for your wallet, but you should make sure any decision you make is an informed one.