What Are Delta Credit Card Benefits and How Do They Work?
Learn how Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card benefits can maximize every moment of your travel, from miles-boosting welcome bonuses to free checked bags and more.
By Megan Doyle | American Express Credit Intel Freelance Contributor
6 Min Read | November 11, 2021 in Cards
Though each Delta SkyMiles American Express Card is different, they all offer a variety of benefits and perks that can help you maximize every moment of every trip.
Depending on the Card, you can earn benefits like thousands of bonus miles, free checked bags, priority boarding, and complimentary companion passes.
To get the most out of your Delta Card, it’s important to not only understand how to earn and redeem miles, but how to receive all the benefits available to you.
If you’re a frequent flyer, you probably already know that travel has a way of helping you reconnect to the people, places, and experiences that matter to you most. And Delta – one of the largest airlines in the world – makes it easy for you to earn SkyMiles that can be redeemed towards flights and upgrades. Flyers don’t need anything more than a SkyMiles membership to start earning miles and perks, but Delta SkyMiles American Express Cards make it easier to earn miles faster. Plus, they provide a host of other perks and benefits that can enhance every trip.
With four Cards to choose from, there’s a Delta SkyMiles American Express Card designed to match the way most anyone likes to travel:
- Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card (no annual fee).1
- Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card ($0 annual fee for first year, then $99).2
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card ($250 annual fee).3
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card ($550 annual fee).4
But to get the most out of every trip, it’s important to understand how Delta Card benefits work – from earning and redeeming SkyMiles to getting free checked bags and more, depending on the Card.
Terms apply to all offers and benefits listed below and all offers are subject to change.
While any SkyMiles member can earn miles by flying via Delta or its partner airlines, using a Delta SkyMiles American Express Card is a great way to get more miles in more ways. For example, with a Delta Card you can:
- Cash in on welcome bonuses. Depending on the Delta Card, new Card Members can earn extra bonus miles after meeting specific spending thresholds on their Card within a certain amount of time. Bonus miles can be redeemed towards flights by using the Pay with Miles benefit of your Delta co-branded Card (more on Pay with Miles later).
- Earn on everyday spending. All Delta Cards reward Card Members with anywhere from two to three miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases, with specifics depending on the Card. For example, the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card each earn Card Members 2X miles on Delta purchases plus 2X miles at restaurants – including takeout and delivery. The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card offers more ways to earn miles faster: 3X miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels and 2X miles per dollar at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets. For an in-depth look at the different Delta SkyMiles® American Express Cards and their benefits, read “The Different Types of Delta Credit Cards.”
- Embrace the “double dip”. In addition to bonus spending categories like dining or groceries, all Delta Cards offer 1 mile per dollar spent on eligible purchases. This means you get a mile per dollar on purchases, which can be combined with additional SkyMiles bonuses to earn extra. For example, if you have the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Card – which gets 2X miles at restaurants – you can register that Card with Delta SkyMiles Dining to earn 5 extra miles per dollar at participating restaurants, for a total of 7 miles per dollar on eligible dining purchases. Similarly, you can earn extra miles at participating online merchants through Delta’s online shopping portal, SkyMiles Shopping, as well as purchases through participating hotel partners and rental agencies.
SkyMiles may never expire, but if you’ve built up a nice stash of miles you may be getting eager to use them. You can redeem SkyMiles towards vacation packages, hotel stays, gift cards, and charity donations. But the most common way Card Members redeem miles is, of course, toward flights.
As a Delta Card Member, you can use the Pay with Miles benefit to redeem miles at a fixed rate of 1 cent per mile on any eligible flight. Specifically, all Delta SkyMiles® Blue, Delta SkyMiles® Gold, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum, and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card Members can effectively reduce the cost of a ticket by $50 for 5,000 miles, $100 for 10,000 miles, and so on. To use Pay with Miles, log into your SkyMiles account at delta.com and search for Pay with Miles eligible flights. When you find the right flight, you’ll have three options: pay completely in miles if you have enough to cover the cost, pay with your Card, or a combination of both.
It’s important to note that Pay with Miles is a specific benefit to all eligible Delta SkyMiles American Express Card Members, and is different from Delta’s Miles + Cash program. Miles + Cash is available to anyone with a SkyMiles account. Unlike Pay with Miles, Miles + Cash redemption rates fluctuate.
If you’re wondering how many SkyMiles you need for a free flight, it depends. Delta uses a dynamic pricing system and flight costs can change at a moment’s notice. So, it’s hard to pin down an exact amount until you have a specific flight and dates in mind.
Delta SkyMiles American Express Card benefits and perks only start with Pay with Miles and extra ways to earn SkyMiles. Here’s a rundown of some popular Delta Credit Card benefits and how to get them (note that not all benefits listed below are available on all Cards):
- 20% back on in-flight purchases. All Delta Amex Cards earn Card Members 20% back on eligible in-flight purchases, like food, beverages, and audio headsets. How to get it: Automatically redeemed in the form of a statement credit after using your Card on eligible purchases.
- Free checked bags. Delta SkyMiles® Gold, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum, and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card Members – and each passenger on their reservation, up to 8 additional travelers – can get their first checked bag fee automatically waived at check-in on Delta flights, as long as the bags aren’t overweight or oversize according to Delta’s guidelines. How to get it: Pay with your Delta SkyMiles® Gold, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum, or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card and include your SkyMiles number in your reservation.
- Flight credits. After meeting a yearly spending threshold, Delta SkyMiles® Gold Card Members can earn an annual Delta Flight Credit that can be used toward future travel. How to get it: Card Members can earn the $100 Flight Credit after spending $10,000 on the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Card within a calendar year.
- Priority boarding. Delta SkyMiles® Gold, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum, and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card Members can get the benefit of Main Cabin 1 priority boarding on eligible Delta flights, so you can stow your carry-on and get settled sooner. How to get it: Pay with your Delta SkyMiles® Gold, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum, or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card and include your SkyMiles number in your reservation.
- Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credits. Delta SkyMiles® Platinum and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve offer statement credits for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓, both of which can help you get through security faster. How to get it: Earn either a $100 statement credit every four years for Global Entry, or an $85 credit every four-and-a-half years for TSA Pre✓, as long as you use your eligible Delta SkyMiles Card to pay for the application fee. Note that if you’re approved for Global Entry, you’ll also receive access to TSA Pre✓ at no additional charge. Card Members can apply for TSA Pre✓ through any Authorized Enrollment Provider.
- Companion certificates. Delta SkyMiles® Platinum and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve can help you save money when traveling with a companion by offering an annual complimentary companion certificate that can be used toward eligible flights. Note that you must pay up to $75 in government-imposed taxes and fees for roundtrip domestic flights, for itineraries with up to four flight segments. How to get it: A companion certificate is automatically issued to your SkyMiles account when you renew your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card. You can use your certificate when booking an eligible round trip flight through Delta. Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card Members can receive a domestic first class, Delta Comfort+®, or domestic main cabin ticket. Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card Members can receive a domestic main cabin ticket. Companion certificates must be used by the date on the front of the certificate. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See your Card’s terms and conditions for details.
The four available Delta SkyMiles American Express Cards offer a variety of different benefits and perks that can help you make the most out of every trip. But to use each Card to its fullest, it’s important to understand how benefits work, from earning and redeeming miles to getting free checked bags.
1 For more on Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card rates and fees, click here.
2 For more on Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card rates and fees, click here.
3 For more on Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card rates and fees, click here.
4 For more on Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card rates and fees, click here.