Business travelers need credit cards that reward them for flying, and that provide additional advantages both on the road and at home. Delta has five different versions of its SkyMiles credit card for consumers, including three business credit cards.
American Express offers the entry-level Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express to companies and sole proprietors. The card provides a number of features and benefits for business travelers. Before applying, learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of using this card.
- Earn SkyMiles. Cardholders earn miles in the Delta SkyMiles rewards program. Cardholders earn one mile for nearly every dollar charged to the card, and double miles for Delta purchases.
- Sign-Up Bonus. This card currently offers a 30,000 mile sign-up bonus, after spending $500 in the first three months. Cardholders can use this bonus for a free domestic flight using Delta’s lowest mileage tier. Also, by signing up for 2 additional cards, cardmembers earn 5,000 more miles.
- Priority Boarding and On-board Discounts. Cardholders enjoy early boarding privileges in order to have better access to the overhead compartments. Cardmembers also receive a 20% discount on food, beverages, and in-flight entertainment purchases.
- Free Checked Bag. Cardholders can check their first bag free when flying on Delta Airlines. Up to nine other people traveling on the same itinerary can also enjoy this same benefit.
- Companion Certificate. After your first year of card membership, you receive a $99 domestic companion certificate, redeemable online in conjunction with any paid domestic ticket.
- Pay with Miles Option. Cardmembers can apply their miles to the purchase of any ticket. Miles are only worth 1 cent each in increments of $100 (10,000) miles, and only Delta Gold, Platinum, or Reserve cardholders can use the pay with miles option. Cardholders who pay with miles fly without blackout dates.
- Annual Fee. This card has a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year.
- Foreign Transaction Fee. All purchases processed outside of the United States are subject to a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%.
- Decent Sign-Up Bonus. While some banks occasionally have promotions where they offer more than miles, 30,000 has become the standard.
- Checked Bag Fee Waiver. Until a traveler reaches Delta’s Elite Medallion status, he or she must pay checked bag fees. Delta Airlines charges a $25 checked bag fee for flights within the United States, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Cardholders and their friends and family members traveling together can save up to $250 in fees on a single trip.
- Companion Certificate. Your annual fee of $99 pays for a $99 companion certificate. By redeeming this certificate for a domestic coach ticket that costs more than $198, you can save hundreds of dollars. This valuable certificate especially benefits business travelers booking expensive, last-minute tickets.
- American Express Benefits. As an American Express card, this product comes with a host of compelling protection and travel insurance policies including extended warranty, purchase protection, and travel accident insurance. Additional coverages include car rental loss and damage insurance, fraud protection guarantee, and identity theft protection.
- SkyMiles Award Availability. Delta’s program releases very few award seats at the lowest mileage levels, especially for general members of their SkyMiles program who do not have elite status. When looking for awards, follow these tips to redeem Delta SkyMiles rewards for the most valuable seats.
- Low Value from the Pay with Miles Option. Delta touts this program as a way to redeem awards “anytime, any seat, anywhere.” At one cent each, cardholders who earn miles with this credit card may wish that they had used the Capital One Venture Rewards Card instead. The Capital One Venture Rewards card earns two cents per dollar charged to the card, as a statement credit. Flights booked with the Pay with Miles option do not earn miles, even if cash was used to pay for part of the flight. Redeeming 10,000 miles towards a long international flight may actually cost you more than you save. Furthermore, the loss of Medallion Qualifying Miles that you would have earned will thwart your attempt to reach Medallion status.
- Less Value Than Other SkyMiles Cards. One of the most compelling features of this card is the $99 companion ticket. Travelers interested in receiving a free companion ticket should compare the American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Card with the Business Platinum Card. The Platinum Card has a $150 annual fee, but the companion certificate does not cost anything to use. The Gold Card charges $198 for the combined cost of the annual fee, and the companion certificate. By comparison, the Platinum Card charges $150, and also offers Medallion Qualifying Miles.
- High Foreign Transaction Fees. Many credit cards aimed at travelers do not have this fee. While Amex recently eliminated this charge on its Platinum cards, this charge exists on all SkyMiles cards, even though they are aimed at international travelers.
Business travelers who regularly fly Delta, but do not fly often enough to earn Medallion status, benefit from using this card. The American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Card checked bag fee waiver and the companion certificate offer substantial value that offsets the $95 annual fee.
Business travelers who want to earn Medallion status should consider the SkyMiles Platinum or Reserve cards, in order to earn elite qualifying miles. However, travelers who want to top off their SkyMiles accounts, and enjoy a few extra perks, can benefit from using the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express.
Do you carry a Delta SkyMiles business credit card from American Express? What has your experience been like?
Editorial Disclosure: This content is not provided or commissioned by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, or airline. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.