Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card review

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Garrett Yarbrough  in  Business How we rate our cards  | 

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Annual Fee:
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
15.74% - 24.74% Variable
Terms and Restrictions Apply | Rates and Fees

Bankrate Rating

 

Best for cost-effective perks for Delta flyers

  • Rewards rate: Unlimited 2X miles on Delta purchases, select U.S. advertising, U.S. shipping purchases and dining and 1X miles on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: Limited Time Offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer Ends 4/28/21.
  • Annual fee: $99, waived first year
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 15.74 percent to 24.74 percent variable

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.

Rewards

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.

Earning rewards

The Gold Business card has a leg-up on other Delta business cards if you’re looking for miles on spending outside 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 dining. 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.

Redeeming rewards

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 charity or spend them on travel experiences, merchandise or magazine subscriptions.

How much are 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, The Points Guy sets Delta SkyMiles’ current market value at 1.2 cents. That’s on the lower end of the spectrum compared to other airlines and more versatile travel rewards. For instance, other American Express credit cards earn Membership Rewards points — worth 2 cents apiece by TPG valuations.

Benefits

The Delta SkyMiles Gold Business card offers the most economical experience of the Delta business card family. However, it offers enough premium features to justify the 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 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. Just spending $343.75 per month across your 2X-mile bonus categories will cover the annual fee, based on the 1.2 cent TPG value. In fact, even the first free checked bag perk can accomplish this in just two roundtrips.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any introductory zero-interest offers, so carrying a balance will incur the ongoing 15.74 percent to 24.74 percent variable APR (depending on your creditworthiness). However, no foreign transaction fees, a first-year annual fee waiver and no employee card annual fee are valuable savings on their own.

How the Delta Gold Business card compares to other airline cards

Compared to the $250 annual fee Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card and the $550 Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, 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.

This card is similar enough to other co-branded airline credit cards at the $99 price level, but other non-branded airline cards might provide a better deal if you need more flexibility. For example, the Capital One Spark Miles for Business offers unlimited 2X miles on all purchases. 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.

Take a look at these credit cards for a few different options:

Card Rewards rate Annual fee Welcome bonus
American Express® Business Gold Card
  • 4X Membership Rewards points on the two categories the business spends the most in U.S. purchases on each billing cycle (up to $150,000 in combined purchases from the two categories, then 1X points): select U.S. media advertising (online, TV, radio), direct technology provider products (computer hardware, software and cloud solutions), U.S. gas stations, restaurants, shipping
  • 1X Membership Rewards points on all other purchases
$295 70,000 points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of Card Membership (terms apply)
Capital One Spark Miles for Business card
  • 2X miles on every purchase
$95 (waived the first year) 50,000 miles after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first three months.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases per year (then 1X points) on travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone services and advertising for social media and search engines
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards points on all other purchases
$95 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $15,000 on purchases within first three months.

 

Best cards to pair with the Delta Gold Business card

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 cents each, according to TPG), a low-fee card like the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express can transfer Amex rewards to Delta at a 1:1 rate for more miles.

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 card 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.

Pros

  • The lowest annual fee of any Delta business card: $99 ($0 the first year)
  • Best Delta card for everyday business expenses
  • 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

  • Much harder to earn Medallion Status without Status Boost
  • Stripped-back benefits compared to bigger sibling cards
  • Reward value is limited due to limited redemption options and no Delta award chart

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.