Recently, Delta Air Lines and American Express partnered up to offer a brand new co-branded credit card – the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card. 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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, it’s smart to learn all about the card’s benefits and how it works. Keep reading to learn more.
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
- Earn 15,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer Expires 4/1/2020.
- No Annual Fee.
- NEW! Earn 2X Miles per dollar at restaurants, now worldwide.
- Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
- NEW! No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Receive a 20% 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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card Works
Among travel credit cards, the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card 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 2X Miles per dollar at restaurants, now worldwide. You'll also earn and 1X Mile on all other eligible 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 15,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. This offer expires 4/1/20. You’ll also receive a 20% 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.
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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is “worth it.”
In that sense, the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is probably best for people who want to earn Delta SkyMiles® without an annual fee, and without really caring if they’re maximizing their rewards potential.
Where the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card Falls Short
While it’s hard to argue against earning airline miles without an annual fee, there are definitely areas where the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card comes up short. For starters, having the ability to earn 1X Miles on eligible purchases (aside from Delta purchases), isn’t that great since Delta SkyMiles® 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 restaurants, worldwide, 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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card isn’t best for everyone is the fact that it’s just not very flexible. You’ll only earn Delta SkyMiles® 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 SkyMiles® 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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is Good For:
- Someone who is loyal to Delta Air Lines
- Anyone who dines out at restaurants frequently
- A person who wants to earn Delta SkyMiles® exclusively who also doesn’t want to pay an annual fee
Who Should Skip the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card:
- 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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card 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 (60,000 bonus points worth $750 in travel after you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening), slightly better earning potential since it offers 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases, and several different ways to use your points.
As an airline credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card lets you transfer points to several notable airline loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio. Options include Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, British Airways Executive Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Aer Lingus, AerClub, and plenty of other options. But you can also transfer points to popular hotel programs like Marriott Bonvoy™, IHG® Rewards Club, and World of 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 for this card.
If you’re a big spender who could earn enough points to offset a $95 annual fee. It’s easier to see how the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express 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 Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card 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.
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