Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

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Light travelers may enjoy this starter rewards card.

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With no annual fee, a good rewards rate and American Express benefits, this card is a solid option for SkyMiles users looking for a beginner travel card.

Review

The Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card is the first tier of four SkyMiles® Credit Cards offered by American Express, offering 2x miles on Delta purchases, 2x miles at U.S. restaurants and 1x miles on all other eligible purchases. While this is certainly not the most premier card for travelers experienced in the points and miles game, it’s a solid beginner card for loyal Delta SkyMiles® users who are looking for a low maintenance card to help them earn SkyMiles.

As with all American Express credit cards, the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card grants cardholders some great perks, including purchase protection, free roadside assistance and fraud protection. One of the newer benefits available to American Express cardholders is the Pay It Plan It option, which allows larger purchases to be spread out over three, six or nine months with a fixed monthly fee in lieu of interest charges.

Compared to the second-tier option for Delta SkyMiles® cards, this credit card actually offers a better rewards rate due to its lack of an annual fee– especially considering that there’s no cap on how many miles you can earn. However, it doesn’t offer a few of the premium travel perks of its Gold, Platinum and Reserve counterparts.

The introductory offer is also pretty meager compared to the other Delta SkyMiles® cards and other comparable cards. New cardholders earn only a 10,000-mile bonus after spending $500 in the first three months. While that bonus might be attractive for users who aren’t looking to spend more than a few hundred dollars each month on the card, higher spenders and frequent fliers stand to benefit more from a more premium travel card.

SkyMiles® in and of itself is also a factor when discussing the merits of any of the SkyMiles® Credit Cards. While miles never expire, Delta has a tendency to be fickle about the number of miles it takes to pay for an award flight. A vast range of SkyMiles can be required for the same route from day to day, making it difficult to ensure you’re getting the most out of your miles. However, if you are a seasoned Delta flier, using SkyMiles is a relatively easy way to pay for flights, seat upgrades and more.

The bottom line: Both seasoned travelers and newbies to the points and miles game have better travel credit card options available, but the mix of American Express benefits, a good rewards rate and no annual fee can make this an attractive starter card for a loyal Delta flier who falls into a lower spending category.  

Who should get this card

The Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card is a good option for Delta fliers who are looking for an easy-to-use card with no annual fee. More seasoned Delta loyalists may want one of the more premium SkyMiles® Credit Cards with a more lucrative introductory offer, and beginner travelers should consider a more flexible travel rewards card.

Advantages
  • This card has no annual fee, which is becoming more and more unusual in travel credit cards.
  • Cardholders receive 20% savings on eligible Delta in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit.
  • No blackout dates for Delta awards flights make it easy to redeem miles for your next trip.
  • This card also comes with some pretty great American Express benefits such as purchase protection, extended warranty on eligible purchases, exclusive access to entertainment ticket presales and more.
Disadvantages
  • Delta award flights can be worth a constantly fluctuating number of SkyMiles®, making it difficult for cardholders to maximize rewards.
  • The introductory offer is only 10,000 miles after $500 spent in the first three months, making it pretty measly compared to other travel cards.
  • There is a foreign transaction fee, so cardholders will probably want to use a different travel credit card while abroad.

Fees & APR

  • No annual fee.
  • Variable 17.74% to 26.74% based on creditworthiness.
  • The balance transfer fee is $5 or 3% of each transfer, whichever is higher.
  • A penalty APR of 29.99% may apply for at least six months after a returned payment by the bank or at least one missed payments.
  • A late fee of up to $38 may apply.
  • There is a 2.7% foreign transaction fee on each purchase after the conversion to USD.
  • See all Rates & Fees.

Extras, perks and using rewards

If you’ve been looking for a simple card for earning and burning SkyMiles®, this is a solid card for your wallet. You’ll earn 10,000 after only $500 in purchases in the first three months, and there are no blackout dates when booking your next Delta trip.

On Delta flights, cardholders can receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on food, beverage and audio headset purchases. Other travel perks include car rental loss and damage insurance, plus 24/7 access to the Global Assist Hotline when you travel more than 100 miles from home.

Cardholders can benefit from American Express perks– extended warranty on eligible purchases, return protection, purchase protection and entertainment access to ticket presales and Card Member-only events. American Express cardholders also have flexible payment options with Pay It Plan It.

How this card compares

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Want even more flexibility? Pay with Miles is a Card Member feature that gives you the option to redeem miles for all or part of the price of your tickets on Delta.com.
  • Settle into your seat sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
Credit Needed

Excellent/Good

Regular APR

17.74%-26.74% Variable

Annual Fee

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months, plus get a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with the card within the first three months.
  • Priority boarding, no foreign transaction fees and a free checked back on round-trip Delta flights.

If you’re a Delta SkyMiles® loyalist looking for a card with more bang for its buck, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card might be a good fit for you. This the second-tier card in the Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card lineup.

JetBlue Card

JetBlue Card
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don't expire
  • Earn and share points together with Family Pooling
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food on JetBlue-operated flights
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Chip technology & $0 Fraud Liability protection

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our airline category page.

Credit Needed

Good

Regular APR

12.99%, 20.99% or 25.99% variable

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first three months, plus 3x points on JetBlue purchases, 2x points at restaurants and grocery stores and 1x points on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, family pooling and no blackout dates on JetBlue-operated award flights.

The JetBlue Card is an alternative option for those who want a no annual fee travel card but aren’t loyal to Delta.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Credit Needed

Excellent/Good

Regular APR

17.99% - 24.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months. Because of the higher redemption rates of Chase Ultimate Rewards®, that bonus is worth $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase.
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards® partners with 13 airlines and hotels to offer a 1:1 redemption ratio, helping cardholders maximize their rewards.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is hailed as one of the best beginner travel cards on the market. With a low annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and a sizeable introductory bonus offer, this is a great option for frequent travelers looking for flexibility in how and where they redeem rewards.

 

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.