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Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card review: A cost-effective card for Delta loyalists

Meet your basic business needs while benefiting from loyalty to Delta Airlines.

 /  9 min
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Snapshot

4.2

Bankrate rating
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Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5

Bottom line

This Delta Airlines card is the most accessible in the Delta SkyMiles suite. It has the lowest annual fee, plenty of earning potential on everyday business expenses and a few cardholder perks. While this card isn’t the most flashy of the Delta Airlines cards available, it gets the job done for basic business needs.

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
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Recommended Credit

Intro offer

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$600

Offer valuation

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1X - 2X

Rewards Rate

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Annual fee

Regular APR

On This Page

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card Overview

The Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card is the perfect fit if your usual business spending includes Delta travel expenses, but you don’t spend enough on airfare to justify the premier Delta cards’ annual fees.

If you don’t mind missing out on boosts toward Medallion Status  and other top Delta benefits, the Gold Business is the best Delta credit card for the price tag. 

What are the pros and cons?

Pros

  • Checkmark

    The lowest annual fee of any Delta business card, making it accessible to business owners who can’t justify the more expensive options

  • Checkmark

    Valuable flight benefits, including $100 Delta flight credit available each year (after spending $10,000 in purchases), free first-checked bag and Main Cabin 1 priority boarding.

Cons

  • If you’re after Delta’s signature Medallion Status, it’ll be much harder to earn on this card without Status Boost.

  • This card has stripped-back benefits compared to bigger sibling cards.

  • Reward value is comparatively low due to limited redemption options and no Delta award chart.

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: Unlimited 2X miles on Delta purchases, select U.S. advertising, U.S. shipping purchases and at restaurants and 1X miles on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: earn 50,000 miles after spending $2,000 in purchases in your first 3 months of card membership.
  • Annual fee: $99, $0 introductory annual fee for the first year
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 20.99 percent to 29.99 percent variable

Current welcome offer

New cardholders can earn 50,000 miles after spending $2,000 in purchases in their first three months of card membership. This is a return to the card's "business as usual" bonus and a drop from its previous limited-time offer of up to 80,000 miles (75,000 miles after spending $6,000 in your first six months, plus an additional 5,000 miles after making an eligible Delta purchase within the first six months). While this is obviously a lower value, the bonus may be more attainable for small-business owners as you'll only need to spend $2,000 to earn the miles.

Based on Bankrate’s latest mile valuations, which give Delta SkyMiles an estimated value of around 1.2 cents per mile on average, we estimate this bonus is worth around $600 in travel with Delta.

Rewards rate

Like other Delta cards, the Gold Business card earns Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer miles. Bonus miles can lend a helping hand toward your business’ travel expenses, but you may have trouble earning miles at the higher Medallion Status rates without a higher-power Delta Card’s extra MQM features.

How you earn

The Gold Business card has a leg-up on other Delta business cards if you want to earn miles for spending outside of travel categories. Not only do you earn unlimited 2 miles per dollar on Delta and partner airline purchases made through Delta, but you rake in unlimited 2 miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases at U.S. shipping providers and eligible U.S. advertising purchases in select media. Effective 1/1/2024, this benefit will have a cap of $50,000 in eligible purchases per category, per year. Of course, you’ll also earn 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Paired with  the Delta SkyMiles Dining program’s extra miles, your 2 miles per dollar at restaurants can make dining out a worthwhile venture. You’ll start out at 1 mile per $2 spent in the dining program, but if you reach VIP status, you can earn 5 miles per dollar on top of the 2 miles per dollar you spend at restaurants.

You can also earn elite benefits and an additional 7 to 11 miles on Delta flights by qualifying for Medallion Status. Just keep in mind the Gold Business card doesn’t carry the boosted elite status-earning features of its bigger siblings.

How to redeem

The biggest drawback, like with many airline credit cards, is that your rewards have a shallow pool of redemption options. Booking flights, hotels, rental cars and vacation packages with Delta and its SkyTeam partners is perhaps the best use for your miles, but they come with a few caveats.

“Pay with Miles” only lets you book through Delta, meaning you can’t spend your miles with or transfer them to partner airlines. Granted, the SkyTeam alliance gives you access to over 1,000 destinations with no blackout dates, but that means your miles are strictly tied to Delta.

Your other redemption choices are a bit limited compared to other general-purpose travel rewards cards. You can gift miles to other accounts or donate them to charity. You could also spend them on travel experiences, merchandise or magazine subscriptions.

How much are the miles worth?

Delta makes it a bit difficult to appraise your miles since the airline doesn’t use an awards chart. “Pay with Miles” only accepts them in 5,000-mile intervals for $50 discounts, making your rewards worth 1 cent per mile on the surface. But without a consistent award chart value, your mileage value will fluctuate on a flight-by-flight basis.

Overall, Bankrate sets Delta SkyMiles’ current market value at around 1.2 cents per mile on average. That’s about average on the spectrum compared to other airlines and more versatile travel rewards. For instance, other American Express credit cards earn Membership Rewards points that we estimate are worth around 2.0 cents apiece based on the issuer’s travel transfer partners.

Other cardholder perks

The Delta SkyMiles Gold Business card is one of the lower-cost cards in the Delta business card family. However, it offers enough premium features to justify its annual fee if you’re focused on travel savings over Delta’s premier travel perks.

TakeOff 15

When you redeem your Delta SkyMiles for Delta-operated flights, you can save 15 percent. For example, if you used your SkyMiles to book a flight on Delta worth 33,000 miles, it'll be worth 28,000 miles with the TakeOff 15 benefit. However, this benefit doesn't work for partner-operated flights nor does it provide a discount for taxes and carrier fees.

$100 Delta Flight Credit

Each calendar year, you can receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit toward future travel after spending $10,000 on purchases with your card. Although this isn’t much considering the spending requirement, you should be able to easily meet this requirement if you put all everyday purchases on your Delta SkyMiles card.

Valuable flight perks

By paying with your card, you can save time and money for your business team in the airport and in-flight. The first checked bag is free for you and up to eight other guests on your reservation, plus you all can enjoy Main Cabin 1 priority boarding. In the air, you can earn a 20 percent statement credit on eligible in-flight purchases, such as food, beverages and audio headsets.

Travel and purchase protections

The Delta Gold Business doesn’t carry trip delay or trip interruption/cancellation insurance like the other Delta business cards, but you do receive some travel and shopping protections.

  • Travel protections: Your baggage insurance will cover lost luggage when you pay the entire fare with your card. Similarly, declining the auto rental agency’s protection and paying with your card can insure vehicles against eligible collisions and theft with American Express’ car rental loss and damage insurance.
  • Retail protections: By paying with your card, you can receive a year of extended coverage on eligible purchases with a warranty of five-years or less, and your purchases are protected against theft or accidental damage for up to 90 days after you bought them.

Rates and Fees

With a $99 annual fee (waived the first year), this card is the most accessible Delta business card — especially when you consider how easily the Delta Gold Business card’s features can make up the difference. Spending around $3,800 per year across your 2X-mile bonus categories could offset the annual fee with rewards earnings, based on Bankrate’s 1.3-cent-per-mile valuation. In fact, the savings you get from the first free checked bag perk can offset the card’s annual fee in just two roundtrips.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any introductory zero-interest offers, so carrying a balance will accrue interest at the card’s regular APR. However, no foreign transaction fees, a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year and no employee card fees are valuable savings on their own.

How the Delta Gold Business card compares to other business cards

Compared to the $250 annual fee for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card (rates and fees) and the $550 annual fee for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card (rates and fees), the Gold Business is by far the most cost-effective card for Delta business travel. There is no contest if you care more about earning reward miles on a variety of business expense categories than premier travel benefits. If you want more cards to compare, there are more than a few business credit cards out there that also offer competitive rewards on travel.

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Annual fee

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99

Intro offer

Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles
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Rewards rate

1X - 2X
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Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
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Image of American Express® Business Gold Card
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
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on American Express's secure site

Annual fee

$295 ($375 if application is received on or after 2/1/24)

Intro offer

Earn 70,000 points
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Rewards rate

1X - 4X
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Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
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Image of Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
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Apply now Lock
on Chase's secure site

Annual fee

$95

Intro offer

100,000 points
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Rewards rate

1X - 3X
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Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
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Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express card vs. American Express® Business Gold Card

If you’re thinking of stepping up a tier, the American Express Business Gold Card can deliver the best of both worlds — more valuable, versatile rewards and luxury travel perks. Of course, this upgrade does come at a premium, as the annual fee on the Amex Business Gold is $295. Anyone who is more a fan of affordability over luxury may want to stick with something like the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Amex.

The added versatility in the Amex Business Gold is that it’s not tied to any particular airline, so you can earn and use your rewards with any travel partner, unlike the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Amex. With the Amex Business Gold Card, you earn 4X points on the top two categories where your business spends the most, on up to $150,000 in combined purchases each year (then 1x thereafer) — and it’s tracked automatically. Each billing cycle, Amex calculates the top two out of six eligible bonus categories to determine which purchases will earn the 4X points. Fortunately, you still earn 1X points on all other purchases outside of the bonus categories. This rewards structure can potentially net you more value if you plan strategic transfers, making it easier to offset the card’s higher annual fee.

Business owners who already know they don’t spend a ton on anything other than Delta Airlines flights when booking airfare will find a better bang for their buck overall with the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Amex. However, if you’re craving a bit more flexibility and higher rewards-earning rates and you’re willing to shell out more money for more perks, the Amex Business Gold could be worth a look.

Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express card vs. Ink Business Preferred® credit card

The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card earns at a better rate than the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business card when it comes to travel. Cardholders will get 3X points on general travel and other eligible purchases (on up to $150,000 in combined purchases per year), which you can redeem for an extra 25 percent value toward Chase travel. Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program is one of the most valuable rewards programs around. So, if you don’t have any particular brand loyalty, this card is one to consider.

The annual fee on the card is $95, just $4 cheaper than that on the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Amex. However, Amex waives your annual fee on the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business for the first year, which can offset the cost difference for several years. 

The Delta SkyMiles Gold Business has a much more accessible welcome offer. You might want to consider welcome offer spending requirements as benchmarks to help decide which card is right for you. If your business expenses aren’t as high as the spending requirement to earn the Ink Business Preferred card’s welcome offer, then it might not be the right card for your business. However, you’ll also want to consider things like the card’s rewards rates, boosted categories and the value of its rewards.

If booking directly with Delta Airlines is most ideal and you want to stick with the SkyMiles rewards program, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Amex may be your final choice. But if flexibility and more perks is what you’re after and you can hit the high spending requirements to maximize the best you can get with the Ink Business Preferred, give it a closer look.

Best cards to pair with the Delta Gold Business

Besides coupling the Delta Platinum Business card with the Gold Business card for the extra 3X miles on Delta and hotel purchases, you might be better off with one of American Express’ business cards.

Since Membership Rewards points are more valuable (2.0 cents each, according to Bankrate’s valuations), a low-fee card like the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express may be a better option if you want the option to redeem not only with Delta (miles transfer at a 1:1 ratio) but also with other travel partners, potentially at a higher value than you’d get redeeming with Delta.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express or another flat-rate rewards card could be another great option to chip in more rewards on everyday purchases.

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Delta Gold Business worth it?

The Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express card is certainly worthwhile if you’re a loyal Delta traveler in the market for rewards and benefits that save you time and money.

You won’t be flying in the lap of luxury like you would with the Gold Business’ bigger sibling cards (such as the Delta Reserve Business card), but this card carries the lowest annual fee and earns rewards on day-to-day business expenses — perfect for smaller businesses that don’t travel as frequently.

All information about the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business, please click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express Business Gold, please click here.

Written by
Garrett Yarbrough
Writer, Credit Cards

Bankrate expert Garrett Yarbrough strives to make navigating credit cards and credit building smooth sailing for his readers. After regularly featuring his credit card, credit monitoring and identity theft analysis on NextAdvisor.com, he joined the CreditCards.com and Bankrate teams as a staff writer to develop product reviews and comprehensive credit card guides focused on cash back, credit scores and card offers.

Edited by Senior Editor, Credit Cards

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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.