Credit Card Reviews

Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: Airline Miles for the Fee-Averse

If you don't fly often but want a chance to rack up miles with Delta Air Lines, the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express can be a cheap way to do it. The card doesn't charge an annual fee like most co-branded airline cards, but it also doesn't provide many significant perks when you fly.

Here's what to consider about the card before you pull the trigger, and when you might want to consider one of its sister cards instead.

Pros Cons
Double miles on Delta and U.S. restaurant purchasesNo priority boarding or free checked bags
Discount on in-flight purchasesLow welcome offer
No annual fee
Customer service contact info for American Express
1 (800) 528-4800

American Express
P.O. Box 981535
El Paso, TX 79998-1535

Experian Review

The Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is a watered-down version of some of the other credit cards the airline offers. It can still be valuable, though, if you don't care much about flight perks.

The card offers a small welcome offer, decent rewards and in-flight discounts. But you won't find any other common airline perks, like a free checked bag or priority boarding. As you review the card's features, consider your upcoming travel plans and whether it's the best fit, or if you should consider a credit card from another airline.

Rack Up Delta SkyMiles Over Time

The card's rewards program is nothing to write home about, but it can be a great way to rack up Delta SkyMiles slowly over time. You'll earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 with the card in the first three months of having it. Compared with other airline credit cards, that's extremely low, but considering there's no annual fee, it's not terrible either.

You'll also earn 2 miles per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants and on select Delta purchases; you'll earn 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else. These rewards rates aren't out of line with other airline cards, even ones with annual fees, so if earning miles is your primary focus, this card might be a good fit.

If you're interested in getting a bigger welcome offer, though, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express offers 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000. Plus, its $95 annual fee is waived the first year. That card won't give you extra miles on U.S. restaurant purchases, though.

Receive an In-Flight Discount With Delta Air Lines

When you fly with Delta, use your Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express on the plane and get a 20% discount on eligible purchases, such as food, drinks and audio headsets (in-flight Wi-Fi is not included). You'll get the discount in the form of a statement credit.

One of the biggest benefits of an airline credit card is the long list of special perks you get with that airline. Free checked bags, priority boarding and sometimes even airline lounge access are common with other cards, but are noticeably absent with this one. This card even charges a foreign transaction fee, whereas most travel cards don't.

Delta charges $30 per checked bag each way, which the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express won't help you with. Considering the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express offers a free checked bag for you and up to eight other passengers on your reservation, those savings alone may make that card's annual fee worth it.

Get Perks to Shop With Peace of Mind

In addition to other features, the card also provides some shopping-related perks that can come in handy. These include:

  • Purchase protection: Covers you if an item you purchase with your card is damaged or stolen.
  • Return protection: Offers an extended return policy on items you purchase with the card that the merchant won't take back
  • Extended warranty protection: Extends a manufacturer's warranty of five years or less by up to two years.
  • Shoprunner membership: You'll get a complimentary membership to the program, which offers free two-day shipping with more than 100 online retailers.

You'll also get secondary rental car insurance coverage, which can add extra savings when you're traveling. Alternatively, you can purchase primary coverage from American Express for as little as $12.25 for your entire rental period.

Track Spending With a Convenient Mobile App

Use the Amex mobile app to manage your card account on the go. The app allows you to keep track of your charges and make payments, set up alerts and more.

If Amex believes a fraudulent purchase has been made with your card, you can verify it with just a few taps rather than needing to call customer service. And if you've lost your card or believe someone has stolen it, you can freeze your account to limit purchases, then unfreeze it again when you find your card.

You can also use the app to search for Amex Offers. These deals can provide a statement credit on select retailers, restaurants, travel merchants and more.

Finally, you can use the app to take advantage of the American Express Pay It, Plan It feature. With Pay It, you can make a payment equal to the amount of purchases less than $100—much like you'd normally pay a credit card bill. With Plan It, however, you can set up a plan to pay off purchases of $100 or more over time, and it's subject to a plan fee of up to 1.18% instead of interest.

Additional Info

Purchase APR: 17.24%-26.24% VariableGrace period: 25 days
Transfer APR: 17.24%-26.24% VariableAnnual fee: $0
Cash advance APR: 26.74%Balance transfer fee: 3% ($5 minimum)
Minimum interest charge: N/ACash advance fee: 5% ($10 minimum)
Foreign transaction fee: 2.7%
Late payment fee: Up to $39
Returned payment fee: Up to $39

Authorized-User Policy

The American Express authorized-user policy allows you to add additional card users to your Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express at no charge.

Authorized users can make purchases on your credit line, and their transactions are separated from yours on your monthly statement, making it easier to keep track of who spent what. Keep in mind, though, that you're responsible for charges they make to your account.

Also, you can set spending alerts and limits as low as $200 for authorized-user accounts, which can come in handy if you want to maintain some control.

You can add someone as young as 13 as an authorized user, but Amex won't start reporting the account to their credit reports until they reach age 18.

Additional card members don't have access to your account information unless you give it to them through your online account.

Is This Card Right for You?

If you're serious about traveling and prefer Delta Air Lines over the competition, it may be worth it to get a Delta-branded credit card. And if you're generally annual fee-averse or you simply don't fly often, the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express could be worth it.

That said, take some time to think about your travel habits, and consider whether the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express may be a better choice with its larger welcome bonus and more valuable perks. While the card does charge an annual fee, you could make up for it with free checked bags and other benefits this card doesn't provide.

Also, plan to compare both cards with other airline and general travel credit cards. Consider your spending habits and preferences to narrow down your options to the best card for you.