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.

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Snapshot

4.7

Bankrate rating
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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.

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Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

Rewards rate

1X–2X

Annual fee

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

Intro offer

50,000 miles

Regular APR

19.49% - 28.49% Variable

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)

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

  • The lowest annual fee of any Delta business card: $99 ($0 the first year).
  • Valuable flight benefits, including $100 Delta flight credit available each year (after spending $10,000 in purchases), first checked bag is free and Main Cabin 1 priority boarding.

Cons

  • If Delta’s signature Medallion Status is something you’re after, 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 lower 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: 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in your first three 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: 19.49 percent to 28.49 percent variable

Current welcome offer

You can earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in your first three months of card membership. That’s a clear step down from the card’s previous limited-time offer of 70,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months, but it still offers decent value, especially considering the card charges no annual fee in the first year ($99 after that).

Based on Bankrate’s latest mile valuations, which give Delta SkyMiles an estimated value of around 1.3 cents per mile on average, we estimate this bonus is worth around $650 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’re looking for miles on spending outside of travel. Not only do you earn unlimited 2 miles per dollar on Delta and partner airline purchases (must be made through Delta), but you rake in unlimited 2 miles per dollar on select U.S. media advertising (online, television and radio), eligible U.S. shipping purchases and at restaurants. Of course, you’ll also earn 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

With your bonus category on restaurant purchases, you should be able to take full advantage of the Delta SkyMiles Dining program’s extra miles. You’ll start out at 1 mile per $2 spent, but if you reach VIP status, you can earn 5 miles per dollar.

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 1.3 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 2.1 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 the ongoing annual fee if you’re focused on travel savings over Delta’s premier travel perks.

$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.

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 plan will cover lost luggage when you pay the entire common carrier 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

Considering its $99 annual fee ($0 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 will cover the annual fee, based on Bankrate’s 1.3-cent-per-mile valuation. In fact, even the first free checked bag perk can accomplish this fee coverage in just two roundtrips.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any introductory zero-interest offers, so carrying a balance will incur the ongoing 19.49 percent to 28.49 percent variable APR (depending on your creditworthiness). However, no foreign transaction fees, a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year and no employee card annual fee 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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Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

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4.7
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
Apply now

on American Express's secure site

Annual fee

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

Intro offer

50,000 miles

Rewards rate

1X–2X

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
American Express Image

American Express® Business Gold Card

Annual fee

$295

Intro offer

70,000 points

Rewards rate

25%–4X

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
Chase Image

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Annual fee

$95

Intro offer

100,000 points

Rewards rate

1X–3X

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)

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 — 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.

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 can then be redeemed for an extra 25 percent value toward Chase travel. Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program is one of the most popular and lucrative rewards programs around. So, if you don’t have any particular brand loyalty, this card is absolutely one to consider.

You also may be able to get a bit more for marginally less on the affordability front with the Ink Business Preferred. The annual fee on the card is $95, just $4 cheaper than that on the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Amex. Though the cost difference here is marginal, you could get a lot more value overall with the Ink Business Preferred for a lower cost, which is definitely something to take into account. The $95 annual fee on the Ink Business is also low compared to most of the best business cards on the market.

Still, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business has a much more accessible welcome offer if your business expenses aren’t as high as the spend required to earn the welcome offer on the Ink Business Preferred. You’ll also get a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year (then $99) with the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business, winning out on affordability in the short-term. 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 (2.1 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.