Blue, Gold, Platinum, oh My! Which Delta Airline Credit Card Ranks?

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Blue, Gold, Platinum, oh My! Which Delta Airline Credit Card Ranks?

If you’re seeing colors from all of the Delta SkyMiles options available, you're not alone. It can get pretty darn confusing trying to make heads or tails of all the Blues and Golds and Platinums flying around but don't give up on these branded cards just yet. From the Blue Delta SkyMiles card to the Gold Delta SkyMiles card to the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card and finally, to the Delta Reserve card, here’s a simple breakdown of all of the Delta Airline credit cards available to help you decide which shade of the rainbow will brighten up your life most.

Blue Delta SkyMiles

Where it shines:

  • 2x miles for every dollar spent on all Delta purchases
  • 2x miles for every dollar spent at US restaurants
  • US Lyft purchases also earn 2x miles and up to $50 within the first six months
  • 1x on everything else
  • No annual fee
  • 20% off in-flight purchases (statement credit)
  • 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in three months (around $120 value)

Where it pales:

  • Charges a foreign transaction fee

Who it’s best for:

  • People looking for a solid miles program for dining out
  • Those who don’t want to pay an annual fee
  • Anyone who doesn’t travel that frequently

The Blue Delta SkyMiles card is a great choice for people who aren’t that serious about their travel rewards but still want to earn something for their spendings. In fact, for a no annual fee card, the Blue Delta SkyMiles card is one of the highest paying credit cards you’ll find at 2x miles per dollar spent. And I didn’t even mention the generous welcome bonus. You’ll earn 10,000 miles when you spend just $500. That’s something most people can spend in their sleep, so those bonus miles are pretty much in the bag immediately!

Putting Your Blue Miles to Work

If you wanted to pay for a 20,000 mile flight from NY to Miami, the welcome bonus would already cover half of it. With 2 miles per dollar on dining out, you’ll only have to spend $10,000 on meals to cover the rest. Once you add up all of those Starbucks frappuccinos, daily lunches, and weekend dinners out, 20,000 miles is only a few steps away.

Gold Delta SkyMiles

Where it shines:

  • 30,000 miles after spending $1000 in first three months plus $50 statement credit
  • 2x miles on all Delta purchases
  • 1x mile per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Earn unlimited miles
  • First bag checked free
  • Priority boarding
  • No foreign transaction fee

Where it pales:

  • $29/ person Sky Club access

Who it’s best for:

  • People who want to earn a lot of miles so they can travel more often
  • Anyone who doesn’t mind paying a minimal annual fee for big returns
  • Saver travelers

The Delta Gold SkyMiles card is the next rung in the Delta air miles ladder. You will pay an annual fee for this card, but at just $95 a year, it's really a bargain. Plus, Delta waives the fee for the first year you own the card (so you can always cancel if it’s not a good fit for you, and you’ll still have earned the bonus miles from signing up!)

I love the signup bonus, a hefty 30,000 SkyMiles because that’s enough for almost two flights to the Caribbean or one trip to Europe! Plus, Delta throws in a $50 statement credit for Delta purchases. (Delta purchases include bookings with Delta.com, additional passes or membership to the Sky Club, seat upgrades, in-flight purchases, and Delta Vacation packages.)

The rewards program is pretty decent too since it gives you 1x mile for every dollar you’re spending anyways, and it’s unlimited, so the sky’s the limit (pun intended). You will also earn 2x miles for every dollar you spend with Delta. Combine that with some sweet perks like priority boarding (no more waiting in line!), first bag checked for free (a $50 savings), and no foreign transaction fee, and the Delta Gold SkyMiles card really holds its own in the air miles battle.

Putting Your Gold Miles to Work

Using the same Miami flight example, with the Gold, you’re practically there before you’ve even left. 30,000 miles from the signup bonus covers ¾ of the flight. If you want to turbocharge your earnings to cover the rest, I recommend focusing on Delta purchases since these will give you 2 miles per dollar. So, things like baggage fees, in-flight purchases, and Sky club access will contribute to your cause.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles

  • 35,000 miles signup bonus
  • Additional miles boost bonus after reaching spend threshold
  • MQMs earn capability
  • 2x miles on every dollar spent on Delta purchases
  • 1x mile per dollar spent on all other purchases, unlimited
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Free first bag check
  • Companion certificate

Where it pales:

  • Inflexible redemption policy

Who it’s best for:

  • Those who travel with a companion
  • Anyone who likes to upgrade their travel experiences
  • People who want premium perks without premium pricing

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles card is probably the most exciting travel card Delta offers. That’s because it really hits the travel sweet spot: high-quality perks that aren’t outrageously priced. You see, most premium cards come with a premium price tag (like you’ll see with the Reserve card). But the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card offers you almost all of the Reserves benefits with a considerably lower annual fee. For just $195 a year, you can enjoy comforts like Medallion Qualifying Member points, a tremendous signup bonus, and even the coveted Companion Pass. That’s a significant value for less than $200 a year.

The Companion Pass is a free round-trip ticket for your companion to anywhere in the 48 contiguous states. Depending on where you fly, that's a considerable savings. The MQMs are also nothing to sneeze at. Aside from the initial 5,000 MQMs you earn when you signup, you'll earn another 10,000 MQMs when you spend your first $25,000. You'll also get another 10,000 SkyMiles points when you hit that spend threshold. Did it again? You'll earn another 10,000 SkyMiles and 10,000 MQMs when you hit $50,000 spent! That's a staggering sum of bonus bucks!

Remember, Delta partners with big name airlines too, so you can fly with other carriers like Virgin Atlantic, Alitalia, and Air France if your loyalties lie elsewhere.

Putting Your Platinum Miles to Work

With the Platinum card, there’s no work to be done at all. If you’re opting for this card, it’s because you spend money on your card frequently enough to justify the annual fee. So, after your 35,000 point signup bonus, earning 5,000 points is a drop in the bucket. Look at that, your first free fight’s already in the bag.

Delta Reserve Card

  • 40,000 miles and 10,000 MQMs after spending $3,000 in three months
  • 2x SkyMiles on all Delta purchases
  • 1x miles on everything else
  • Delta Sky Club access
  • Miles boost
  • Companion certificate each year
  • VIP concierge services 24/7

Where it pales:

  • $450 annual fee

Who it’s best for:

  • People who prefer to travel in style and are willing to pay for luxury travel
  • Anyone who spends more than $60,000 on their credit cards each year

Finally, the Delta Reserve card is the crown jewels of the SkyMiles club. This is for the really high rollers who spend a lot and want to enjoy themselves when they travel. And, why not? If you spend more than $60,000 on your credit card each year, then go ahead and stretch your legs in the Delta Sky Club lounge, enjoy the complimentary Companion Pass you earn from the Delta Reserve card, and lap up the luxury afforded to you by entering the hallowed halls of the Medallion Members. It’s America; you work hard, and you relax hard!

The Delta Reserve card comes with a 40,000 miles signup bonus, plus 10,000 MQMs. With Delta’s Miles Booster, you can also earn 15,000 more MQMs and 15,000 SkyMiles after you spend $30,000, and then another round of the same thing when you spend an additional $30,000. The Medallion members get the sweetest perks of all including unlimited upgrades, waived fees, gift cards to exclusive shops, and the ability to gift Medallion status to a friend.

Putting Your Reserve Miles to Work

Talking about a paltry 40,000 mile flight in regards to the Reserve card is laughable since your signup bonus already covers that. But, you get the idea of how this works. Spend money using your Delta card, earn rewards, and translate those rewards into free flights and vacations!

Delta partners with tons of other airlines too, so you can fly with the carrier of your choice including:

  • Alitalia
  • Air France
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • XiamenAir
  • WestJet

And more. No matter which Delta SkyMiles card you choose, you’ll be flying high with these unbeatable perks!

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